UK MINISTRY OF DEFENCE INCREASES INVESTMENT IN MAGNA PARVA IN-SPACE MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY
Magna Parva wins major follow-on contract to build engineering qualification model that will manufacture structures of indefinite size in space.
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), has awarded a significant phase 2 contract to UK-based space engineering specialist, Magna Parva. Magna Parva will develop an engineering qualification model of a system to manufacture large structures in space.
The new contract is part of the MoD’s ‘Affordable & Revolutionary Space’ project from the Space S&T programme to investigate and develop novel satellite technologies. The in-space manufacturing system has already been proven at a prototype level in phase 1 activities by providing a method for producing indefinite carbon composite 3D structures in space.
Current pre-manufactured structures (antennae, solar arrays, deployment booms) designed to go into space are high in mass and volume, and have to meet specific launch environment requirements. By manufacturing in space, many of these requirements are eliminated, offering an order of magnitude capability increase over current state of the art systems. Based on a deployed length to packed volume ratio of greater than 1000:1, the Magna Parva market disruptive technology can offer a new and unexplored utility from even small satellites.
The UK Space Agency are also supporting the technology development making the project a good example of cross-government co-ordination with MoD DSTL. Under the MoD Phase 2 contract, Magna Parva will redesign the system from its prototype stage to be representative of a system suitable for launch and space operations. The company will miniaturise the machine and test the process for operation in space including vacuum, radiation, thermal and vibration environments to Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6.
Nick Cox, Head of Space Technology UK Space Agency said: “The UK Space Agency has been very supportive of this exciting technology for several years, through our NSTP funding and European Space Agency funding streams. I am pleased to see MoD DSTL progressing funding even further with this contract award.”
Andy Bowyer, Director of Magna Parva added: “We’re delighted to win the contract to deliver the latest phase of the In-Space Manufacturing technology getting us tangibly close to flight readiness.
“We are concurrently developing new applications for the technology which include larger spaced sensors for increased sensitivity and enhanced directivity, alternatives to formation flying for small satellites, enabling more precise earth observation operations, and enhancing satellite communications systems via small satellites,” continued Andy Bowyer.
Notes to Editors:
About Magna Parva:
Magna Parva was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in Leicester, England. The company provides value adding engineering services to the space sector whilst developing unique, innovative market disruptive technologies.
Today, Magna Parva has an experienced team of design, development, systems, assembly, integration, verification, test engineers and has a strong heritage delivering not only R&D developments but also commercial mission critical services. The team is supported with a range of facilities including test and clean assembly. Magna Parva also has a metal packaging Joint Venture with Ball Corp of the USA.
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