The prototype was also revealed to the public on Wednesday 12 May at a live event held at the UPM Headquarters in Helsinki. The video is on UPM Plywood’s YouTube channel.
Manufacturing of the satellite that will fly to space is also going on. There will be two exact copies of the flight model: one “real” satellite that will be launched and another one for the environmental and vibration tests.
The WISA-birch plywood used for the satellite was manufactured at the UPM Plywood’s factory in Savonlinna in the beginning of May. The only difference between the bulk production and the satellite plywood is the selection of the layers of thin veneer. The quality of the raw material is normally very high, but now only the best of the best layers were used.
This plywood was cut in smaller pieces and sent to UPM Research Centre in Lappeenranta. There the parts were checked, measured and put in a thermal vacuum chamber for drying. After this the parts were packed in vacuum bags and shipped for precise cutting with a CNC engraving machine.
Flight versions of the 3D printed camera boom are also made very soon. Team at Huld’s Jyväskylä office is in charge of this and they also assemble the booms before the boom structures will be transported to Espoo, where the assembly takes place in early June.
We’ll tell more about all these thrilling steps during the following weeks here on our blog, starting next week with an article about the plywood.