July 28 E-Bird Newsletter: HawkEye 360 opens satellite manufacturing facility in Herndon + Weekly Business News Digest

 (*See photo identification below article. FCEDA photo)

On Friday, July 22, 2022, Fairfax County-based HawkEye 360, a commercial provider of space-based radio frequency (RF) data and analytics, hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of its Advanced Technology and Development Center in Herndon.

“Congratulations to HawkEye 360 on the opening of their Advanced Technology and Development Center in Herndon,” said Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. “We are honored that HawkEye 360 continues to grow here in Fairfax County. This expansion exemplifies how Northern Virginia has become a growing hub for the space and satellite industry.”

The 19,000 square-foot data processing, software development, and satellite manufacturing facility continues HawkEye 360’s investment in Fairfax County to support U.S. government and allied government needs.

“The opening ceremony for the new facility is a very important moment for HawkEye 360 as well as our local community,” said John Serafini, CEO of HawkEye 360 at the event. “It’s been a major point of investment for us, with over $1 million invested in the development of this facility and the clean room. And we anticipate investing tens of millions of dollars in the local economy in the coming years as we bring the manufacturing of small satellites here into Virginia. The future will be the remainder of our 60-satellite constellation will be built predominantly here in Herndon and integrated along with the payload development effort that has already been ongoing in our offices.”

“In addition, as a complement to the infrastructure that we built, this new facility will hold 70 high paying jobs created for satellite RF engineers, data scientists, software engineers, advanced manufacturing and more. Last year alone, Fairfax County saw $1.24 billion of capital investment, the first time in the history of the county surpassed $1 billion. I’m very proud to say that $200 million of that $1.24 billion came from HawkEye 360 fundraisers that we had accomplished,” Serafini added.

Following the ribbon cutting, event guests were given a tour of the satellite manufacturing facility. As a commercial provider of space-based RF data and analytics, the facility enables HawkEye 360 to have end-to-end responsibility to manufacture its commercial RF-sensing satellites for gathering geospatial intelligence. Full control of the development chain from space to ground will streamline integration, accelerate the introduction of new capabilities, and provide stronger security to satisfy the rigorous requirements for serving defense and intelligence customers.

HawkEye 360’s new facility will house up to 70 employees and host constellation operations, data processing, software development, payload development, and satellite assembly. The company has built a customized clean room and electronics lab for advanced RF technology and smallsat manufacturing. This investment boosts HawkEye 360’s commitment to the Commonwealth of Virginia as it continues to seek and hire advanced manufacturing, space systems, data engineering, RF engineering, software engineering, and electronics engineering employees.

HawkEye Cluster 5, launched on May 25, 2022 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida. (Photo credit: HawkEye 360)

HawkEye 360 anticipates launching a sixth cluster of three satellites with Rocket Lab from Wallops Island, Virginia before the end of the year, which will bring its total constellation to 18 satellites to support timely defense, humanitarian, environmental, and commercial applications.

To find out about career and internship opportunities at HawkEye 360, click here.

Click here to view/read FCEDA’s interview with HawkEye CEO Serafini: HawkEye 360 satellites focus on defense, security, intel missions. 
Wondering why a proliferation of space and satellite companies are expanding their operations to Fairfax County and Northern Virginia? Click here to view a recent FCEDA article: 10 reasons why Northern Virginia is a space and satellite company hub.

* Photo identifications: left to right, back: Nick Sinai, Senior Advisor, Insight Partners; Victor Hoskins, President and CEO, FCEDA; U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith; Jeffrey C. McKay, Chairman, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; John Foust, Dranesville District Supervisor, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; Dennis Holste, Economic Development Manager, Town of Herndon; Robert Geckle, Jr., CEO, Airbus U.S. Space & Defense; John Boylan, President, Dulles Chamber of Commerce; John Serafini, CEO, HawkEye 360. left to right, front: Mark Spoto, Managing Director, Razor’s Edge Ventures; State Delegate Irene Shin; Herndon Mayor Sheila Olem; U.S. Rep. Jennifer Wexton; U.S. Rep. Don Beyer; Marlon Dubuisson, District Director for U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly; Duncan McGaan, Assistant Secretary of Transportation, Commonwealth of Virginia; Deborah Lee James, former Secretary of the United States Air Force; Letitia Long, former Director of the United States National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Note: Pete Muend, Director of the National Reconnaissance Office’s Commercial Systems Program Office, and HawkEye 360 board member Richard Clarke, Special Advisor to CEO, were also among the VIP guests at the event.

Weekly Business News Digest

Space domain awareness: SCOUT Space, a 15-person startup based in the Fairfax County area of Alexandria, won a demonstration contract from the Air Force Research Laboratory’s AFWERX technology accelerator, Breaking Defense reported. Under the Phase 2 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award, SCOUT will work with AFRL’s Intelligence Systems Division and the Space Force’s Delta 2 responsible for space domain awareness (SDA), according to company officials. While SCOUT is developing its own sensors and flew a demo version of its space inspection payload, called Vision, last June, CEO Eric Ingram said that the firm is “ultimately a data and service company.”

Synchronizing cyber offense and defense: Tysons-based Booz Allen Hamilton joined forces with Santa Clara, Calif.-based cybersecurity software company Acalvio Technologies to assist federal government agencies with strengthening cyber posture. The partnership will focus on the joint deployment of an Acalvio-created autonomous deception platform to try and curb advanced persistent threats, ransomware and insider threats, according to Booz Allen Hamilton. “To outpace the adversary, it is imperative that government and commercial organizations better integrate and synchronize the way they conduct cyber offense and defense,” commented Garrettson Blight, director of national cyber solutions at Booz Allen. ExecutiveGov has more.

Farnborough news: Falls Church area-based Northrop Grumman and Denver, Colorado-based aviation designer Boom Supersonic agreed to collaborate on a new supersonic aircraft aimed at enabling quick-reaction aviation capabilities to the U.S. military and its allies, Military Embedded Systems reported. The companies’ agreement to propose special mission variants of Boom’s “Overture” supersonic aircraft was finalized at the recent Farnborough (U.K.) International Air Show. According to a statement from Northrop Grumman, the initial Overture aircraft will be in production for commercial use in 2024, start flight tests in 2026, and begin carrying passengers in 2029.

More Farnborough news: Airbus, which bases its North American headquarters in Herndon, and Boeing, which announced in May that it would relocate its headquarters to Arlington in Northern Virginia from Chicago, and has office locations in Fairfax County, both touted advanced aerial refueling capabilities at the recent Farnborough (U.K.) International Air Show, DefenseNews reported. Airbus announced on July 19 its A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport is now the first tanker to be certified to conduct automatic air-to-air refueling boom operations in daylight. Airbus said the certification by the Spanish National Institute for Aerospace Technology came after a collaboration with the Republic of Singapore Air Force. Later that same day, Boeing issued a statement to reporters saying its KC-46A Pegasus — the Air Force’s newest refueling tanker, of which at least 61 of a planned 179 have been delivered — has carried out autonomous boom aerial refueling capability during flight tests.

Ground connection: Boca Raton-based Terran Orbital Corporation, which has an office in Tysons, a satellite solutions company primarily serving the U.S. and Allied aerospace and defense industries, announced the commissioning of the Fleet Space CENTAURI-5 payload. CENTAURI-5 is a pathfinder satellite designed for use in the energy, utilities, and resource industries.  The payload provides Machine to Machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity to ground terminals. satnews has more.

Listen up: Melbourne, Florida-based L3Harris Technologies, which has offices in Fairfax County in Herndon, Reston, Fairfax, Springfield and Chantilly, will provide a critical communications radio to Axiom Space for its planned commercial space station. The radio will mirror the functionality that exists on the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA’s Common Communications for Visiting Vehicles. It will serve as the common data link between Axiom’s space station called Axiom Station as well as it’s docking vehicles, enabling audio, video and telemetry data at varying data rates and communications ranges. Axiom Station is currently being constructed, with its first section planned for launch in late 2024 ahead of the ISS decommissioning in 2031. Space Ref has more.

Vital and growing role in the defense innovation ecosystem: A recent research report issued by the Fairfax-based George Mason University Center for Government Contracting endorsed the consortia model for the U.S. Department of Defense acquisition strategy, ExecutiveGov reported. The consortia model was touted by the GMU CFGC study as encouraging open communications between government and industry participants and as lowering the barrier of entry for nontraditional defense contracting organizations, according to the report. Stephanie Halcrow, one of the report’s co-authors and a senior fellow at the GMU center, identified the consortia model as playing “a vital and growing role in the defense innovation ecosystem.”

Frolick for food: Reston-based Frolick, a Northern Virginia meal-delivery startup raised $1.8 million in fresh capital and is using the funds to expand service into D.C. and beyond, reported the Washington Business Journal. The company was founded late last year by a former executive at Germany’s Delivery Hero, partners with local commercial kitchens to prepare full meals for under $15, with no fees or minimum orders. Its partners include GateGroup, the Swiss-based airline catering giant that has set aside a portion of its kitchen at Washington Dulles International Airport for Frolick chefs to design menus and prepare meals. Jipy Mohanty, Frolick’s founder, said he founded the company because, like many consumers, he often turned to meal delivery during the pandemic but soon became fatigued by the choices and concerned about the cost. “Our belief, especially in this economy, is that meal delivery won’t really take off for the masses until fees are eliminated,” Mohanty said.

Team sport stepping high: Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church was named the best hospital in Virginia for the second year in a row on U.S. News and World Report’s annual list of the best hospitals in the nation, according to Virginia Business. The Inova Health System’s hospital also ranked as the top hospital in the Washington, D.C., metro area. “World-class health care is a team sport and I am proud to lead the Inova team which steps up every day, year after year, to deliver the safest and highest quality care to those we are privileged to serve,” president and CEO of Inova J. Stephen Jones said. For the Northern Virginia region, Inova Fair Oaks in Fairfax ranked no. 4, Inova Alexandria Hospital in Alexandria and Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg tied for no. 5 and Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington ranked no. 7.

Investing in consumer intelligence: Reston-based Resonate, a consumer data and intelligence company, announced that private equity firm ZMC  invested in the company. Resonate provides brands and marketing agencies with detailed insights on consumers. “We are thrilled to be partnering with ZMC as Resonate continues to disrupt the consumer intelligence market,” said Bryan Gernert, co-founder and CEO of Resonate. “ZMC’s expertise in scaling businesses is an accelerant to our strong position, enabling the further expansion of mission-critical consumer data, and enhancements to our AI-data infrastructure and ID graph at a critical time in the industry.” Potomac Tech Wire carried the release.

Get your passport ready: United Airlines announced plans to inaugurate service between Washington Dulles International Airport and Berlin’s Brandenburg Airport in May 2023, according to InsideNoVa. The daily service is expected to operate seasonally. United initially had planned to start service this Spring, but delayed its debut. United also provides service to Berlin from Newark-Liberty International Airport.

Back in business: Concession sales are booming at Reagan National and Washington Dulles International airports as travel continues to rebound from the early days of the pandemic, according to the Washington Business Journal. Since the start of 2022, concessions sales have grown 241 percent at National and 143 percent at Dulles, said Jaimini Erskine, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority‘s vice president for marketing and concessions. To keep up with that demand, the airports authority is increasing its retail capacity in a major overhaul of concessions at both airports, Erskine said.

Korean business connection: The FCEDA’s President and CEO Victor Hoskins discussed the work of the FCEDA in an interview with Korea Times with reporter Lee Chang -yeol. Published in Korean on July 24, the article focuses on the services that the FCEDA provides to Korean companies in Fairfax County, as well as in Korea via its Seoul, Korea office. The FCEDA has maintained an office in South Korea since 2004. It serves as a go-to resource for South Korean companies interested in expanding into the U.S. market. The FCEDA’s office in Seoul also serves other Pacific Rim countries. The FCEDA has additional overseas offices in Bangalore/Mumbai, Berlin, London and Tel Aviv.

Happy Birthday, neighbor! The Central Intelligence Agency in Langley turned 75-years-old on Tuesday, July 26, when President Harry S. Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947 into law, according to Northern Virginia magazine in an article titled: The CIA Turns 75 This Month. Here’s Everything You Didn’t Know About the Government Agency. In the early days the CIA was scattered around Washington, D.C., until 1961, when the headquarters building was built on 258 acres in Fairfax County, near the Potomac River in McLean. There’s a 13,000 square-foot museum documenting the agency’s history at the headquarters. While closed to the public, the online version is accessible here.

Contract Wins

Acuity International (Reston) received a $127 million Air Force contract to provide base operational and security support for Iraq’s F-16 program. Virginia Business

HII’s Mission Technologies (Tysons) won a five-year $44 million contract from the Department of Defense’s Chief Information Officer to provide assessments of the spectrum of invisible radio frequencies across technical, policy and strategy areas. Military Embedded Sytems

Spire Global (Tysons) won a $1.7 Million contract from NOAA to deliver space weather data. Space Daily

FCEDA Hosted and Sponsored Events

August 23 — Fairfax State of the Market: Exploring Today’s Emerging Markets. Bisnow presents an event focused on: “From Richmond Highway to Chantilly, where to make the next best commercial real estate investment.” Featured panelists include Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the FCEDA. Click here to register.

October 1 — 2022 Dulles 5K/10K. The Washington Dulles International Airport community presents its 10th Annual Dulles 5K/10K. Proceeds from this event will support the Committee for Dulles Community Outreach Scholarship Program, Special Olympics Virginia, and the Washington Airports Task Force. Click here to register.

October 7 — Raise the Region Gala. Join the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia and help “Raise the Region” at its annual celebration of local philanthropy. This event attracts hundreds of regional business, philanthropic and community leaders and supports the Community Foundation’s ability to grow philanthropy to respond to needs and seed innovation throughout the region. Held in the fall, it features the presentation of the Community Leadership Award for outstanding service and commitment to Northern Virginia, the longest-standing award of its kind. It includes a one-of-a-kind auction and opportunities to engage and connect with our community. Click here to register.

FCEDA is Here to Help Your Business Thrive

Fairfax County EDA is here to connect businesses of all kinds to resources and information. For direct assistance, email the FCEDA at info@fceda.org, or call 703-790-0600 to leave a voice message for our staff. And click here for resources available in the other nine jurisdictions that make up the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance.