Dragonfly Aerospace is a South African startup that was founded in 2020 and is currently based in Stellenbosch. The company operates in the aerospace sector and provides a range of services for commercial satellites.
WHY DRAGONFLY NAME?
The dragonfly has excellent vision, agility and stability, the same as their high-resolution imaging satellites. The eyes of the dragonfly are one of the best in the animal kingdom. Some have over 30 colour receptors like their hyperspectral imagers.
A compound eye is good analogy for their large constellations of imaging satellites with numerous objectives imaging simultaneously to create a complete picture. A dragonfly’s eyes provide a 360-degree field of vision just as their satellite constellations provide a 360-degree view of the Earth.
Dragonfly Aerospace is investing in a 3000m design and manufacturing facility with 1000m of cleanroom areas for microsatellite constellation production. The facility is situated in the technology hub of the Western Cape, called Techno Park, overlooking the vineyards and mountains of Stellenbosch. The facility is a 30-minute drive from Cape Town International Airport.
The facility consists of satellite and imager assembly cleanrooms, development and environmental test labs and office areas. The satellite assembly clean rooms are ISO 8 controlled while the imager assembly clean rooms are ISO 7 controlled and ISO 6 flow cabinets are used for imager focal plane assemblies.
They are planning a production line with up to 16 satellites being built in parallel and up to 48 satellites produced per year. The facility is designed to build satellites from 100kg to 300kg and imagers from 1U CubeSat imagers to large aperture sub-metre imagers. It is intended to serve commercial and civil space customers.
Dragonfly is building humanity’s next great data infrastructure. Like its animal namesake, the company’s network of compound “eyes in the sky” will provide a data fusion of planetary knowledge that will be transformative for industries and societies. Uniquely, Dragonfly designs, owns and operates the hardware that is the core of its vertically integrated system, enabling it to deliver remote sensing data and actionable intelligence solutions faster, more affordably, and more flexibly than any rival.