Lockheed Martin has announced a new, dynamic satellite bus lineup. The new lineup offers 4 basic satellite bus configurations that can then be customised with a number of compatible components.
The smallest addition to the new lineup is the LM 50 nanosat. The nanosat will weigh between 10 and 100 kilograms and has been developed with knowledge and technology from Terran Orbital.
The LM 400 is the next satellite bus in the lineup and is an evolution of the company’s legacy small satellite bus. It can be placed in low Earth orbit, geostationary or even interplanetary. With additions to production efficiency like 3D printing of components, the LM 400 can be delivered within 24 months.
The newest bus size to the Lockheed lineup, the LM 1000 weighs between 275 and 2,200 kilograms. The satellite bus shares much of the same functionality as its bigger brother the LM 2100 but at a much more affordable price tag. The LM1000 is the ideal choice for mid-size missions and can be placed in multiple orbits like the LM400.
A “modernised” version of the company’s A2100, the LM 2100 is a powerful spacecraft that offers a host of new enhancements. In an official press release, Lockheed Martin officials boasted that the LM 2100 had 26 individual improvements from it’s now retired predecessor, improvements that will improve flexibility and power.
In an exclusive for Rocket Rundown, Communications Manager for Lockheed Martin, Mark Lewis explained the significance of the new lineup. “This is the most sweeping change to our satellite product lines in Lockheed Martin’s history. We’re developing better payload capability for smaller satellites, and that’s changing the game for the mix of buses customers can use in mission concepts.”
Offering a full selection of mission-ready satellites to its customers has required a significant upfront capital contribution from Lockheed Martin. In a recent press release, Lockheed Martin Space Systems executive vice president, Rick Ambrose explained how heavily the company had invested in its new satellite “family” stating, “We’ve invested $300 million in revamping our satellite solutions from top to bottom, applying what we learned from hundreds of small sat and geostationary missions.”
Lockheed Martin will, however, be banking on a range of common components its satellite busses share to ensure costs are controlled. Lewis explained the process stating, “In addition to capability enhancements, we’re driving commonality across our buses so we can be more agile in production, shrinking cost and schedule. In the past, we designed a custom satellite for each opportunity, but now we can base our design from common buses and propose multi-bus constellations that could better serve missions across our customer sets.”
Image Credit: Lockheed Martin