NEC to build satellite assembly plant outside Tokyo
NEC Corp is building a new facility for the assembly, integration and testing of satellites at its existing plant in Fuchu City, a suburb of Tokyo. In addition to the Fuchu plant’s existing operations, the new facility will enable NEC to assemble as many as eight satellites at any one time.
The new facility will accommodate the construction of large scale satellites within a 4-story, steel frame structure featuring a total floor area of 9,900 square meters, including a large chamber space and a large work room space with a maximum interior height of 26 meters. The facility is also being built to withstand earthquakes up to an intensity of 7 on Japan’s seven-stage seismic scale.
Approximately 9.6 billion yen is being invested in the new facility, including the building and its equipment. This investment is partially subsidized by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s Innovation Center Establishment Assistance Program. NEC is investing approximately 7.6 billion yen.
Construction of the new facility is scheduled to begin in March. Operations are expected to begin in June 2014.
NEC has managed the integration of sixty-six satellites, including Osumi, Japan’s first satellite, which launched in 1970, the Hayabusa space probe, which successfully returned samples from the Itokawa asteroid, and the first stage of the Shizuku water cycle observation satellite.
NEC said it aims for 100 billion yen in space-related business by 2020. Starting in Asia, the company seeks to proactively meet satellite demand for emerging space programs by capitalizing on the capabilities of its compact satellite assembly plant in Sagamihara City, Kanagawa Prefecture, the new facility in Fuchu, which will support integrated production systems for NEC’s advanced standard satellite bus, the “NEXTAR Series” (NEC Next Generation Star) and the development of satellite infrastructure for environmental observation and disaster surveys.