The idea was simple!
If satellites were made sufficiently small and light (nano-satellites weigh 10 kg or less), they could be launched quickly and at low cost by converted fighter jets. Lars Stenmark, Adjunct Professor of Microsystems Technology at Uppsala University, had been involved in space projects for many years. In 1996, he started a research group at Uppsala University that in 2000 became a center dedicated to developing microsatellites, Ångström Space Technology Centre (ÅSTC).
Within a few years, he had attracted a new generation of researchers. Financial support came from Uppsala University, the European Space Agency and the Swedish National Space Board. After almost 10 years, the group had a sufficiently strong process bank to begin commercializing their knowhow. In 2005, ÅAC Microtec was established as a spin-off from ÅSTC (Uppsala University).
Orders from space agencies and aero groups began to come in. From the beginning, we understood that innovation was not enough. Equally important is the ability to do business, and to build a business with the right competence and capacity.