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Roccor Builds Deployable Structural Systems

Longmont-based company is part of the ongoing revolution in space technology


ROCCOR  |  Product: Aerospace + Aircraft  |  Made in: Longmont

Founded in 2011, Roccor manufactures booms and other satellite hardware in Longmont. "We call them deployable structural systems," CEO Doug Campbell says. It's the arms and hinges that keep solar arrays, antennae and other systems in place on a satellite.

The company is part of the ongoing "revolution in space," Campbell says. "There's this term, new space vs. old space." Old space is NASA; new space is SpaceX and startups "driven by growth in information markets," he says. 

The lower-orbit satellite constellations that are now in vogue include tens to hundreds of satellites. "They can't cost $250 million apiece," Campbell says. "It creates real opportunities for new technologies."

Roccor is building a business by looking for money-saving components for the satellites of today and tomorrow. "Our innovation really starts in manufacturing," Campbell says.

One example is Roccor's "solid state hinge" made of advanced composites, which contains no moving parts. The simple design makes for much lower recurring costs, and when you spread it across a couple hundred satellites, it adds up to real money.

Campbell pivoted Roccor from consumer products to aerospace when he joined in late 2012. The strategy is working: The company has grown from about 10 to 45 employees in the last two years. "We've seen explosive growth," Campbell says. "That's been challenging."

But Campbell obviously likes a good challenge. Simultaneously CEO of battery-tech startup Solid Power in Louisville, he balances his time between the two companies.

He says Colorado is a great home base for both companies, but especially Roccor. "As an aerospace manufacturing company, Colorado is an awesome place to be," he adds. "The last place I'd want to be is Silicon Valley."

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Eric Peterson

Denver-based writer Eric Peterson is the author of Frommer's Colorado, Frommer's Montana & Wyoming, Frommer's Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks and the Ramble series of guidebooks, featuring first-person travelogues covering everything from atomic landmarks in New Mexico to celebrity gone wrong in Hollywood. Peterson has also recently written about backpacking in Yosemite, cross-country skiing in Yellowstone and downhill skiing in Colorado for such publications as Denver's Westword and The New York Daily News. He can be reached at Eptcb126@msn.com

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