Solar MEMS has established itself as one of the leading suppliers of solar sensors in the global aerospace market. It’s technology is used in over 40 countries and it is collaborating with the main actors in this sector, such as NASA, ESA and Airbus OneWeb Satellites. This is due to its young team with fresh ideas, initiative and the desire to take on new challenges. We are interviewing José Miguel Moreno, General Manager of Solar MEMS, who can fill us in on the day-to-day work of this small company that has taken a large role on the international stage and which aims to double its profits in 2021 thanks to its involvement in new projects and satellite constellations.
About José Miguel Moreno
What is a normal day like for you, as General manager of Solar MEMS?
I usually start with a follow-up meeting with the team to address the main daily topics about the different projects, production, engineering, etc. As a small company, in Solar MEMS I’m not only involved in management matters but also in the day by day activities of the whole workteam, which is great to keep my engineering skills up to date! I also spend many time with calls, meetings with customers, sales and financial topics, and travelling when Covid situation allows it.
What is the best thing about working in Solar MEMS?
Definitely the team. We have a very high qualified staff, a young team with fresh ideas, initiative, and eagerness to get to work. We are like a family in the company, and this fact is really important to face the new challenges together and give the best in our daily work.
What is the most important part of coordinating a team that is making history with its work?
I think the key aspects are to have a good internal organization with a proper team building, effective communication to keep high motivation and to align the work with the company larger goals. It is key to know the strengths of the team and listen to everybody’s ideas, because we all are an important part of the company success.
What do you consider to be the main achievements of Solar Mems?
The main achievement is to have consolidated through the years our position as one of the main sun sensor suppliers in the global space market. We have been working very hard since 2009 but now we can proudly say that our technology is present in more than 40 countries and we have worked with the top actors of this industry: NASA, ESA, DLR, Airbus OneWeb Satellites, Thales Alenia Space and much more.
One main reason of this success is to be part of OneWeb Satellites constellation as the sun sensor supplier, where Solar MEMS has designed and developed a customized unit to fulfil the mission requirements, and with the main goal of providing global high-speed Internet connection. This is linked with other important success, which is to have industrialized our production that means to have the world’s first sun sensor assembly line for high volume manufacturing. This makes possible to have really fast delivery times and competitive prices, maintaining the high quality of our products.
About Solar Mems
What are the most important sectors or projects that the Solar MEMS team is focusing its work and technology on now?
The main sector of our company is Space, with more than 90% of our annual sales. In this regard, we have different sun sensor models for different kind of missions and satellite platforms. An important workload here are the customization services that we offer, in order to adapt the sun sensor specifications to our customer requirements. We also provide ground support equipment for sun sensors and we are present in other markets, such as renewable energy, UAVs and automotive industry, developing sun tracking solutions and engineering services using sun sensors for many different applications.
What does Solar MEMS offer that its competitors do not?
I think there are two main factors here: flight heritage and customer service.
Regarding the first one, our sun sensor technology has flight heritage since 2009, with more than 2000 flight units delivered so far. We have hundreds of sun sensors operating in orbit right now which endorses our technology and is an important decision making for the customers.
On the other hand, our customers are the center of our business: we always try to provide fast responses, be flexible and supportive, and do our best to fulfil their needs and requirements.
What new projects is Solar MEMS working on now?
We are involved in the production of the remaining units to complete Airbus OneWeb Satellites constellation, as well as in the final steps of development of a miniaturized Star tracker that is expected to be launched next year. The company is also working in a novel ground support equipment solution for our commercial sun sensors, and in a new promising development for the automotive industry, among other projects.
What does the company expect to happen in 2021?
Although 2020 was a difficult year for everybody, we managed to maintain good levels of turnover and profitability given the circumstances. In 2021 we plan to double our current revenues through our participation in new interesting projects and satellite constellations for different customers.