Honeybee Robotics Expands Longmont Office

Honeybee Robotics has a history of high-performance solar array deployment systems for spacecraft. Image Credit: Honeybee Robotics

Honeybee Robotics has a history of high-performance solar array deployment systems for spacecraft. Image Credit: Honeybee Robotics

February 6, 2015 – Responding to strong demand for reliable spacecraft subsystems, Honeybee Robotics’ Longmont, Colorado facility recently expanded to provide more resources for product design, fabrication and systems validation.

Founded in 2008 to lead the company’s flight systems development, the office has steadily grown with increased demand for its products and technologies. The facility now comprises 12,000 square feet, including a machine shop, Class-10,000 clean room, Class-100 laminar flow benches, and thermal vacuum chamber for systems integration and testing.

“The growth of our Colorado facility is a direct reflection of the demand, among both private sector and government clients, for high-performance spacecraft subsystems that work reliably and can be delivered quickly,” said Erik Mumm, VP of Flight Systems, Honeybee Robotics. “The space industry demands consistency and reliable performance above all. While we continue to advance the state of the art in satellite and space exploration technology, our growth reflects our track record of designing and delivering mission-critical spacecraft subsystems.”

In addition to tripling the size of the design, fabrication, integration and testing facility, the company’s Longmont office also received AS9100 Rev C certification for quality management in aerospace systems.

Honeybee Robotics provides a range of components, mechanisms and subsystems for satellites and other aerospace applications. The Longmont office has built several flight subsystems for satellites, including solar array deployment hinges for the Air Force STPSat-1, and miniature control moment gyroscopes for the Air Force/Georgia Tech UNP Nanosat, scheduled to launch this year.

Some of Honeybee Robotics highest-profile projects are for the Mars exploration program. They designed the Rock Abrasion Tool on the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity, which was the first tool to access the inside of rocks on Mars; the Phoenix scoop for the Phoenix Mars Lander, which was the first tool to sample water on Mars; and the Sample Manipulation System for the Mars Science Laboratory, which is a sort of robotic lab assistant to move samples to the instruments on the rover. They also built the Dust Removal Tool, which helps the science instruments examine geology rather than be blinded by the pervasive dust.