Report: General Atomics Seeks Smallsat Market Share via Acquisitions, Orbital Test Bed

General Atomics executives have said previous acquisitions of two small satellite manufacturers are helping the company build up its presence in the smallsat market, SpaceNews reported Monday.

The San Diego-based defense contractor bought Miltec in 2016 and Surrey Satellite Technology’s U.S. subsidiary the following year.

The report said General Atomics used expertise from the acquired firms in order to develop the Orbital Test Bed and won contracts from NASA and the U.S. Air Force to launch hosted payloads on the OTB platform.

USAF ordered one OTB to place a sensor from France’s space agency in orbit by 2021. NASA selected the satellite platform to support two missions that aim to bring the Multi-Angle Imager for Aerosols instrument payload into space, the Deep Space Atomic Clock and a modular solar array payload in early 2020s.

“This is our new business model,” said Nick Bucci, vice president of missile defense and space systems at General Atomics’ electromagnetic systems business.

“Delivering for everybody when they need it and where they need it,” Bucci added.

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