Aerospace Startups in Los Angeles: The Future of Aviation and Space Exploration
Explore 10 aerospace startups in Los Angeles that will bring our civilization to the next level
Written by RamotionSep 7, 202210 min read
Last updated: Aug 22, 2023
10 Aerospace Startups in Los Angeles That Are Soaring to New Heights
Startups are the foundation of any growing industry, and the aerospace sector is no exception. Although the state of California has been home to some of the biggest aerospace companies for decades (like SpaceX, Space Systems Loral, and Northrop Grumman), today’s innovative and high-tech startups are providing resources, services, and technologies that will have an immense impact on future developments in space exploration and national security.
If you are looking to take your business to the next level with bespoke branding services in Los Angeles, we recommend taking a closer look at 10 aerospace startups that have a promising future and great potential to soar high above their competitors, keeping California on the cutting edge of innovation.
Exosonic is an aerospace company building a supersonic transport aircraft, established by Norris Tie and Tim MacDonald in June 2019. Tim was a core developer of the open-source conceptual aircraft design tool SUAVE, which has been utilized in many academic and industry projects around the world. Norris has spent three years working in aerospace as a propulsion engineer, all on vehicles that fly faster than the speed of sound. The team also includes experienced engineers, designers, and defense experts with decades of experience in the aerospace industry.
The company has a clear roadmap and is currently working on the design of supersonic uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) to address several commercial and government missions, such as air combat training and freight transportation.
These unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are a pivotal point for the company’s vision of going supersonic in all sectors by developing the world’s first quiet supersonic commercial aircraft that will be capable of supersonic travel around the world without restrictions on an overland flight due to its muted sonic booms. This means allowing passengers to travel from places like San Francisco to New York in only three hours and making intercontinental travel possible in under 24 hours. For example, reducing the flight time from London to Hong Kong down to just six hours instead of eleven.
The company is focused on building a sustainable future where everyone can partake. Their main goal is to make prices for supersonic travel comparable with those found in business class within ten years.
Founded in 2015, Relativity Space is one of the most cutting-edge aerospace startups in Los Angeles, accelerating humanity's quest for space exploration by reinventing the process of rocket manufacturing. Equipped with technological advancements such as large metal 3D printers, cloud computing, and an army of skilled workers, this company specializes in rocket manufacturing.
Relativity has found the method of building a full-fledged rocket from scratch in just under 60 days (the former speed was measured in months) with only 100 parts. By fusing cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence and autonomous robotics with traditional methods like 3D printing, they are pioneering their very own version of factory automation. With this revolutionary approach, small teams will be capable of producing multiple rockets per day, also taking advantage of automated assembly line systems which allow to drastically reduce human error. With a reduced number of spare parts, Relativity presents a simplified logistics system that promises to cut production costs by up to 95%.
Rhoman Aerospace is among the top aerospace startups in LA. Founded in 2015, the company specializes in developing adaptive machine learning flight control and autonomy solutions for drones for both military and commercial applications. These innovations enable machines to take full responsibility for direction without needing human oversight. Energy usage has been reduced by up to 30% thanks to these updated algorithms, and automatic software update enables instant energy savings through real-time calculation of drone movement profile optimization.
Any drone becomes safe, multi-purpose, and fully autonomous with CG-adaptive controls, safety constraint path functions, and visual-based positioning even if GPS is blocked or spotty because of low signal quality.
The company offers unique solutions to clients who deploy the PX4 system on different vehicles with customized flight control algorithms. These adjustments are made available to both Ardupilot and other Ground Control Systems. Among the most innovative products are Multi-Purpose 'Swiss Army' UAVs which can adapt quickly and effortlessly depending on the current needs, while boasting an increased power efficiency and precision in their navigation routes.
Wright Electric Aeroplanes
With total carbon emissions from aviation globally at 1.04 billion tonnes of CO2 each year, the increased fuel consumption is a dangerous and seemingly irreversible trend if a solution isn't found soon.
Wright has set out to disrupt the aerospace industry with their mission to bring zero-emission flight down to the same cost as running a fossil-fueled commercial aircraft by 2040. The megawatt-class electric motors integrate seamlessly with Wright's inverters and thermal management system - working together to create an efficient propulsion system that can be used in many areas of aerospace, plus it works efficiently with any type of fuel (not just electricity).
Wright's experts are working alongside NASA, the Department of Energy, and the Pentagon/Department of Defense for the mutual goal of designing an environmentally friendly transportation system while also reducing the price tag so that it will no longer outweigh environmental concerns about how we're consuming our planet's finite resources.
Lucid Circuit, Inc.
Lucid Circuit, Inc. is an aerospace corporation that was founded in 2016. The company specializes in energy-efficient signal processing and machine learning platforms for aerospace applications. Lucid Circuit has created a new type of AI microprocessor that adapts to changes in data, operating conditions, and environmental factors—allowing them to deliver compute-energy sensitive resilience while simultaneously making computations, compiling data, and extracting algorithms, allowing to process information at faster rates while also managing efficiency levels far better than before.
Lucid Circuit's radiation-tolerant processors are ideal for reliable high-performance cognitive aerospace devices due to their ability to self-heal or recover from damage/incorrect usage issues.
Slingshot Aerospace technologies combine heavy data streams from multiple sources - such as satellites, ground-based sensors, and more to create a dynamic understanding of the entire orbit and its features.
The company builds world-class spacecraft simulations and analytic tools for safety and reliability purposes, aiming to help astronauts perform a safer maneuvering trajectory or plan collision course avoidance through its Slingshot Beacon solution, which uses advanced high bandwidth RF frequency communications networks.
The company's patented Slingshot Lab allows for safe experimentation for individuals who wish to explore any potential problems or challenges that might arise when performing work at high altitudes. By enabling a virtual trial run, aerospace engineers can find the best solution to any future challenge before entering outer space.
Rocket Lab provides a range of complete space systems and technologies for fast and low-cost payload deployment, making commercial space more accessible. Its leading product, Electron, carries payloads of 150kg using a process that enables clients to have standby loads prepared and eliminates delays.
Building on Electron’s heritage, Rocket Lab’s experts are developing a new 8-ton class reusable launch vehicle to explore the constellations of the future. Although the main development center is based in Southern California, Rocket Lab also has offices in Virginia and New Zealand.
The company's main goal is to make space exploration easy and affordable not only for scientists but for entrepreneurs, students, and stay-at-home parents alike.
Rocket Lab has already launched over 100 satellites into orbit on behalf of their customers - both individuals and private companies spanning all sectors such as commercial, civilian, defense and academic. Starting March 31st, 2022, Rocket Lab has launched two Electron rockets carrying 36 commercial satellites.
Morpheus Space is one of the most revolutionary aerospace companies in California that has changed the way we see satellite mobility with the Sphere Ecosystem. This cutting-edge approach combines the most efficient and scalable satellite propulsion systems with artificial intelligence-driven maneuvers making it easier than ever for satellites to carry out dynamic constellation operations
Among their cutting forwards thinking ideas are their innovative NanoFeep Propulsion System, which uses a proprietary non-toxic alloy as a propellant to provide constant thrust over many years with unprecedented efficiency and is embedded into tiny units the size of an apple.
Another groundbreaking solution is the MultiFeep Propulsion System for satellite mission sets with strict requirements, like having low total delta-V, high thrust levels, or precise thrust vector control. To synchronize the satellite missions, Morpheus has come up with Flow - a complex software system operating on ground servers that brings satellite networks together into one easy-to-manage entity enabling cluster-wide reconfigurations by giving the satellite systems a set of precise instructions to follow.
Founded in 2017 by Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Orbit is one of the most prominent enterprises in the aerospace industry committed to providing low-cost launch services for small satellites. With clients including private companies, the US government, and foreign governments alike, each of their customers takes on missions that are both socially impactful as well as being economically savvy; using micro-launchers like those built by Virgin Orbit to provide equitable access to space.
Thanks to the partnership with DMG Mori, the world's leading manufacturer of metal-cutting machines for turning and milling with advanced manufacturing capabilities, the spacecraft are being constructed at an unprecedented rate.
Offering rapid prototyping at a lower cost than traditional methods, these technologies save them months in production cycles, allowing them to produce over 20 lightweight rockets every year.
Varda Space company was founded in 2020 and has since been building the first-ever space-based industry of its kind. The company founders aim to be the first ever to develop a fully functional space station with a commercial capability for manufacturing - taking advantage of the environment in outer space to make high-quality goods at low cost compared to traditional methods on Earth.
Decades ago, scientists had already started noticing that products manufactured in microgravity (i.e., free from earthly conditions) showed superior results when compared with ground-made equivalents, leading them to start the innovative venture which would take full advantage of this peculiar space phenomenon.
With recent developments now making reaching outer space affordable and achievable, they're working towards expanding humanity's economic boundaries by creating new opportunities utilizing low gravity environments; all while researching ways that off-planet production can improve existing methods here on Earth, such as tech components and pharmaceuticals with improved quality or entirely new materials.
Varda Space will launch its first spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket in early 2023 to demonstrate the ability to produce a wide range of materials in microgravity.
With the recent boom in technology - specifically IoT, Robotics, and aircraft engineering - there are many opportunities for scientific research and development focused on improving our everyday lives. While Innovation does not come easily, let alone space exploration. The aerospace industry is constantly evolving and demanding new technologies and unconventional approaches to the existing problems.
At this point, we are getting closer to other galaxies than ever before, and who knows, maybe in just a few decades, space tourism will be as commonplace as going on vacation abroad right now.
Groundbreaking aerospace startups and well-established companies in Los Angeles see these advancements as an opportunity to bridge the gap between the Earth and space, making this transition smoother and more seamless than ever imagined by providing safety measures and controls that can alleviate major concerns about space travel.