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LoadPath wins $15M Air Force contract

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque-based LoadPath LLC won a $14.9 million contract with the Air Force Research Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base to assist in research and development of advanced components and systems for satellites.

The company, which launched in 2009, specializes in designing and building components and structures for satellites and launch operations, including mechanisms, antennas, solar arrays and thermal controls.

Under the contract, LoadPath will work to advance new technology that’s not yet ready for prime time, including sate-of-the-art solar arrays, antennas and thermal-control structures, such as special piping that guides heat away from electronics, optics and other components. It will also create agile manufacturing methods for components with 3D printing, said LoadPath co-founder Adam Biskner.

“These technologies are still at a low level of development now,” Biskner told the Journal. “We’ll work to advance them for future Air Force missions, making them more mature and robust.”

New Mexico’s space-related business is growing rapidly, spurred in good part by Department of Defense efforts to modernize its space capabilities, particularly in rapid development and deployment of satellites. Much of that modernization work is based at Kirtland, where the AFRL and other space-related defense agencies are based.

Local industry representatives, economic development professionals and state and federal officials are partnering in New Space New Mexico, an organization that formed last year to help businesses tap into emerging opportunities.

Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., is one of the state’s key advocates for increasing federal spending on space-related defense, helping to channel more of those contracts to New Mexico.

“This is another big step forward in building New Mexico’s integral role in major advances in the development of the military’s more responsive and resilient space architecture,” Heinrich said in a prepared statement. “I’m proud that New Mexico has become a center of excellence for small satellites and other important military space testing.”

LoadPath, which employs 20 people, earned a place on the Journal’s 2018 Flying 40 list of fast-growing technology companies with under $10 million in revenue. It reported $3.8 million in revenue in 2017.

“Our 2020 revenue will probably be close to $8 million, based on the new contract and other opportunities,” Biskner said.