Leonardo DRS Opens New Space Payload Manufacturing Lab

August 31, 2023

It takes agility, affordability, and innovation to conquer space, and Leonardo DRS is positioning itself to do just that. The opening of our new space payload manufacturing lab is utilizing our innovative technology for space-based systems and will produce advanced electro-optical and infrared (EOIR) payloads for a variety of military, civil, and commercial programs.

August 31, 2023 — The company celebrated the opening of the new laboratory with a ceremony that included a representative from U.S. Congresswoman Michelle Steel’s office, military and government, representatives from partner companies and leaders from Leonardo DRS.

The state-of-the-art laboratory is based out of the company’s Cypress, California facility, home to the company’s operations for developing, producing, and sustaining advanced sensors and systems for tactical and space-based operations. The expertise at the Cypress facility, combined with the capabilities of the new manufacturing laboratory, now make this location the company’s EOIR space payload center of excellence.

Leonardo DRS launched the laboratory as it expands its capabilities and positions itself for future EOIR payload opportunities in the growing Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite business.

“The demand for EOIR payloads is growing at an exponential rate, with no sign of slowing down,” said Jerry Hathaway, senior vice president and general manager of the Leonardo DRS Electro-Optical and Infrared Systems business unit. “Combining this enhanced production facility with our innovative designs, our agility and our ability to meet demanding schedules positions us well for future business with the Space Development Agency, NASA and other government agencies.”

The space payload manufacturing lab is a 3,400 square foot cleanroom with state-of-the-art equipment, including large thermal vacuum chambers, collimators, vibration tables, thermal chambers, and optical benches for the assembly, integration and testing of space payloads.

“We understand the speed of this market requires innovative technology that can get on orbit quickly, at affordable costs, and we designed this manufacturing lab to produce up to 25 payloads to support the market need,” Hathaway said. “We have proven experience to quickly move from design to launch readiness in under 16 months and expect to bring that agility to bear for our customers.”

Leonardo DRS is a leading provider of advanced cooled and uncooled infrared camera systems for the U.S. government and allies around the world. It has an extensive installed base across multiple domains, including space. Sensing technology is a key strategic focus for Leonardo DRS as the company brings together its industry-leading sensing capabilities and laser technologies for a range of programs across the U.S. government.

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