Beyond Gravity (formerly RUAG Space) is Sweden’s largest industrial space company with sites in Gothenburg (ca. 240 employees) and Linköping (ca. 160 employees). In Linköping the company is expanding its production capacity of satellite dispensers, which safely place satellites into space. A new hall close to the existing hall will allow the production of twice as many products as before. In the new facility Beyond Gravity will produce the dispensers for more than 3000 internet satellites for Project Kuiper, an Amazon initiative to increase global broadband access through a constellation of satellites in Low Earth Orbit.
Anna Ekström, Minister for Education and responsible for space matters, visited Beyond Gravity in Linköping On Monday, 22 August. “Everyday people benefit from space activities. Satellites in space provide crucial information for weather forecasts or a better understanding of the climate crisis. The Swedish space industry is of crucial importance to our society and to Sweden’s ambition to be a world leader in combatting climate change,” says Anna Ekström. “Space activities and research also provide new jobs as well as new knowledge and opportunities for innovation and competitiveness.”
“Every fifth satellite in space is placed in orbit by technology from Sweden. With the expansion of our site in Linköping we strengthen our world leading position in the placement of satellites. At the same time, we create high quality workplaces in the booming and increasingly important space sector,” adds Anders Larson, Beyond Gravity’s Managing Director for Sweden, and mentions some examples: “Satellites in space provide essential information about climate, weather, navigation or security.”
The construction of the new facility is scheduled for completion beginning of 2023. With this new building, Beyond Gravity will double its production capacity in Linköping. Instead of one dispenser system every month, the company will produce one every two weeks in the future. This will also lead to the creation of new jobs in Linköping, as the number of employees in dispenser systems production will increase by 60, from about 160 at present to about 220 in 2023.
Beyond Gravity’s separation systems have successfully placed more than 1,100 satellites into orbit. Built in Linköping for 40 years, they ensure that the satellite and rocket remain securely connected during the tough journey into space, and then precisely deliver the valuable payloads into orbit. End of 2021 a Beyond Gravity separation system placed e.g. the NASA Webb space telescope into space.
Beyond Gravity’s dispenser systems allow multiple satellites to be launched and separated in a specific sequence to achieve exactly the right orbit. They have been used worldwide for missions such as Galileo, the TerraBella constellation of Earth observation satellites, the Canadian Radarsat constellation of Earth observation satellites, or the OneWeb Internet satellite constellation. Beyond Gravity’s dispensers are particularly suited for large satellite constellations where a large number of satellites must be placed into orbit in a short period of time.