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ThumbSat Opens SmallSat Factory in Tijuana Mexico

By | May 23, 2016

      Artist’s rendition of a ThumbSat satellite in space. Photo: ThumbSat.

      [Via Satellite 05-23-2016] Experimental satellite manufacturer ThumbSat has opened a factory in Tijuana, Mexico for the production of small satellites and their associated components. The facility is fully operational and capable of producing circuit boards for satellites, electronic subsystems such as radio transmission boards, and customer specific payloads, including the new ThumbNet dongles, which will be one of the most advanced Software Defined Radio (SDR) receivers available anywhere in the world, according to the company.

      The facility includes a clean room housing all of the equipment required to manufacture and assemble ThumbNet tracking stations and ThumbSat satellites as well as perform all of the required testing to ensure the satellites are ready for launch into space. Testing capabilities of the laboratory eventually will include hot and cold thermal cycling, three axis random and sine wave vibration, vacuum, and complete electrical and operational verification.

      ThumbSat created its first circuit boards in April, and now has radio boards in Europe for extensive testing. Once verification is complete, the first of the quality model and flight model ThumbSat satellite boards will be produced at the Tijuana facility in June. The company expects production levels will eventually reach several hundred satellites and radio transmission boards, as well as several thousand SDR receivers, per year.