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Startups Selling Services, Tech Far Beyond Satellites And Rockets  

by Irene Klotz

Aviation Week & Space Technology

August 3, 2018

RBC Signals, a Seattle-based company is bringing the shared services business model to space-to-ground communications.  RBC is part of a small but growing cadre of companies jockeying to serve the expected tsunami of smallsats, the fastest growing segment of a global satellite industry worth $269 billion in 2017, according to the Satellite Industry Association. While spacecraft manufacturers and launch companies garner most of the attention and investment dollars, ventures such as RBC and LeoLabs, which sells satellite-tracking and mapping services, are diversifying the ecosystem of the New Space economy.

“I think that investing in the space sector and the growth of the space economy now is a massive opportunity to make a lot of money,” said Joe Landon, chairman of the venture capital firm Space Angels, at the NewSpace conference in Seattle in June.

Reimagine Aerospace Product Design with Generative Design & Advanced Composites  

Free Webinar

Date: September 18

Time: 8am pacific time

As per the 2018 Global Aerospace & Defense Outlook from Deloitte, the passenger air traffic is expected to grow at an average annual growth rate of 4.7% contributing to increased aircraft production. As aircraft production continues to grow, the key challenges the industry needs to consider include – strengthening the supply chain, effective program management and use of new and advanced technologies to become more efficient.

With the aviation emission regulations getting stricter, designers and engineers are being continually challenged to lightweight aircraft components while the development cycles keep getting shorter.

In this webinar, we’ll explore how new technologies such as Generative Design and advances in Composites design and manufacturing can help Aerospace companies reimagine existing products and develop the next generation of products.

Space Symposium  

Dates: September 25th and 26th

Location: Traverse City, Michigan

Sponsor: Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association

The symposium focus is on understanding and taking advantage of defense and commercial opportunities in near-earth and low orbit space.

Thought leaders and policy makers who are envisioning and implementing the USA’s presence in space will provide context for the program. Prime contractors and program managers will brief attendees on their current and planned projects. They will be detailing the needs and opportunities available to the USA’s supplier network.

Attendees representing small and medium size enterprises in the fields of engineering and manufacturing will have the opportunity to participate in B2B meetings with the presenting prime contractors.

Whether it is the Pentagon’s new Space Force, nano/microsatellite networks, or Missile Defense Systems, near earth outer space is becoming crowded with business opportunities. Growth focused enterprises who aspire to be part of the next generation of high tech companies will benefit from attending this event.


Winnipeg A&D Company: Owner wants to exit a 30+ year old A&D enterprise possessing C$20m in revenue and C$3+m of EBITDA. The aerospace operation has top equipment and customer approvals and C$60m of capacity (affords a low-cost source of production given exchange rates). The defense operation is literally unique in North America, and provides R&O for all types and generations of military land vehicles owned by the US, Canada, Australia, etc. Owner is seeking the FMV of the assets, and the operations can be sold separately. If interested, please contact Jeff Knakal, Growth Partners at Jeff@GrowthPartners.Net or 818-713-8000.

Manufacturing Day 2018

This year, National Manufacturing Day will be on October 5. It is a celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers. It addresses common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show what manufacturing is – and what it isn’t. By working together, manufacturers will begin to address the skilled labor shortage they face, connect with future generations, take charge of the public image of manufacturing, and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the whole industry.

A&D Forum Upcoming Chapter Meetings  

See the Meeting Notices tab on the A&D Forum website for descriptions and links to RSVP to any of the meetings. Waitlists are maintained for all meetings and tours.
Joining chapter mailing lists is free.

Recordings of over 200 chapter presentations are available for download by A&D Forum members.

Orange County Chapter:

  • September – Dark because of holiday
  • October 4 – “Finding & Financing So.Calif A&D Companies”, panel of executives from A&D companies and private equity groups

South Bay Chapter:

  • Sept 12 – Tour of Systems Technology in Hawthorne
  • October 10  – Tour of NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory – a joint meeting of the South Bay and San Fernando Valley chapters

Dallas – Ft. Worth Chapter: September 13 – “Developments in Additive Manufacturing”, Kelly Knake & Sam Hockaday, Impac Systems Engineering

Arizona Chapter: September 27 – “United States Space Force: What does it mean for the Market?”, Benjamin Hernandez, CoFounder of the Arizona Spaceport Alliance

Los Angeles Chapter: Septembe 20 – A&D Leaders Evening (by invitation only)

San Fernando Valley Chapter:

  • September 13 – Tour of Stratasys Direct Manufacturing, Valencia
  • October 10  – Tour of NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory – a joint meeting of the South Bay and San Fernando Valley chapters
  • November 15 – Tour of Vanderhorst Brothers, Inc. an advanced machining facility in Simi Valley

San Diego Chapter: Manufacturing Discussion/Orientation, Panelists/Speakers: TBD, July 24