Lockheed Martin has started construction on a $350m satellite production facility at its Waterton Canyon campus near Denver, US.
Scheduled to open in 2020, the new Gateway Center will help the aerospace company to speed up the production and decrease operational costs.
Lockheed Martin said that the preliminary construction is underway on the new facility and described the project as the latest step in an ongoing transformation, infused with innovation.
The 266,000 sq ft facility dubbed ‘Factory of the Future’ features high bay clean room capable of simultaneously building a spectrum of satellites from micro to macro.
Equipped with paperless, digitally-enabled production environment, the facility incorporates rapidly-reconfigurable production lines and advanced test capability.
The centre includes a thermal vacuum chamber to simulate the harsh environment of space, an anechoic chamber for highly perceptive testing of sensors and communications systems, and an advanced test operations and analysis centre.
Hensel Phelps has been selected as the general contractor, Matrix PDM Engineering and Dynavac for thermal vacuum chamber design and construction, and ETS-Lindgren for anechoic chamber design and construction.
Lockheed Martin executive vice president of space systems Rick Ambrose said: “This is our factory of the future: agile, efficient and packed with innovations. We'll be able to build satellites that communicate with front-line troops, explore other planets, and support unique missions.
“You could fit the Space Shuttle in the high bay with room to spare. That kind of size and versatility means we'll be able to maximize economies of scale, and with all of our test chambers under one roof, we can streamline and speed production."
Lockheed Martin expects the construction of the facility will create 1,500 contract jobs.