New Aerospace Technology Company Focusing on MEMS in Uppsala

Ångström Aerospace Corporation has entered into competition with other suppliers of aerospace technology in Sweden and internationally. Their goal is to mass produce, for example, small observation satellites that can be launched from converted fighter jets.

The new company, Ångström Aerospace Corporation (ÅAC), has as its ambition to be the world’s leading supplier of advanced microsystems for use in space. The business concept is to transform the research results from the Ångström Space Technology Centre (ÅSTC) at Uppsala University into attractive products for the aerospace market. The company expects to have the first products ready to sell within one and one-half years.

“The first products will be miniaturised subsystems for space and air systems. We are commissioned by The Swedish National Space Board to develop the subsystems for about 1 million euro. We also estimate the world market value of the products to be about 10 million euro,” says the company’s CEO Fredrik Bruhn, who will defend his doctoral thesis on miniaturised multi-functional space vehicles at the end of September. 

An advantage of several of the subsystems being developed at Ångström Aerospace Corporation is that they will be suitable for use in a variety of vehicles and technical contexts. For example, the company is developing a solid state mass memory and a communication module in miniature format that are well suited for use in, e.g. airplanes, busses and cars. The third subsystem is a magnetic attitude control system for small satellites. It will, for example, be able to magnetically carry out rough adjustments in the direction and position of small Earth observation satellites.

Small Satellites Save Time and Money
One product that Ångström Aerospace Corporation plans to develop is a mass produced micro satellite. The miniature satellite will be able to be launched with the help of an airplane. The satellite will weigh about 25 kg, but its performance will be equivalent to a satellite more than ten times heavier built using traditional technology.

“Instead of launching a heavy satellite with a large launcher, a small country like Sweden can save money using this type of satellite,” says Lars Stenmark, Technical Director at Ångström Aerospace Corporation and professor at Ångström Space Technology Centre. “The satellites can be launched according to need in the exact trajectory and position desired with the help of, for example, a converted fighter jet.”

International and National Co-operation
Within three years, the company expects to employ about 25 people in Uppsala. Even internationally, interest in the new company has been great and has attracted important collaborators.

“Ångström Aerospace Corporation has developed a radical new way of designing and producing multifunctional space vehicles and is in a good position to capture new markets, especially in the area of quick launches, cost-effective observation satellites and satellites for innumerable commercial, military and civil applications,” says Thomas George, former Research Supervisor for Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) MEMS group and now a member of the Uppsala company’s advisory board.

“This is great for the individual scientists and also because it creates job opportunities for young and creative academics. This effort is a good example of successful commercialization of university research, and I will eagerly follow the company’s evolution,” says Lena Hartwig, Mayor of Uppsala and chairman of the City Executive Board.

“It is very interesting for us as investors that Ångström Aerospace Corporation’s technology can be applied within many areas, both space and aviation, as well as within the motor vehicle industry, health services and biotechnology, for example,” says Dr. Lars Jonsson, CEO for one of the investors in ÅAC, Uppsala University Holding Company. 

Ångström Aerospace Corporation will be located in Uppsala Science Park as a company within the Uppsala Innovation Centre. The company thus benefits from the resources of the Innovation Centre in the areas of, for example, advisory services, education and business development.




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