Thales Alenia Space has begun to operate company-developed “collaborative” robots to support satellite production efforts alongside human employees at two separate facilities.
The company said Wednesday its Collaborative Robot Addressed To Operative Solutions platform is currently deployed at a plant in L’Aquila, Italy, while the Saphir robot is located at a facility in Cannes, France.
CRATOS works to assemble and bond electronic equipment using computer-aided design system files or by self-learning and has started to integrate electronic components into the first flight model of Italy’s second-generation COSMO-SkyMed satellites.
Thales Alenia Space serves as prime contractor for the next-generation COSMO-SkyMed radar satellite constellation, which is funded by Italy’s space agency and defense ministry.
The company also operates Saphir to automate the installation of inserts into the structural panels on telecommunications satellites in efforts to lessen satellite production cycles and costs.
Thales Alenia Space said it will again utilize robotic panel assembly and other technologies such as production process digitization, augmented reality and digital data management to manufacture photovoltaic assemblies at a future plant in Hasselt, Belgium.