About SSTL

We have been delivering small satellite missions for over 25 years - longer than anyone else in the world, giving us the experience to justify our reputation as the world's premier provider of operational and commercial satellite programmes.

SSTL is an independent British company within the Airbus Defence & Space group.


What we do:

  • Provide complete in-house design, manufacture, launch and operation of small satellites
  • Deliver complete mission solutions for remote sensing, science, navigation and telecommunications
  • Deliver space training and development programmes including on-the-job customer training
  • Design and build remote sensing and communications payloads
  • Supply avionics suites and subsystems
  • Build and install ground infrastructure
  • Provide consultancy services

Changing the economics of space

We first changed the economics of space in the late 1970s when we pioneered ‘commercial off the shelf’ (COTS) satellite technology. This process took standard consumer technology, such as those used in personal computers, and adapted them to the unique environment of space. Until then, satellite equipment was purpose-built for space travel, at huge expense and taking many years, with the result that the technology was obsolete by the time of launch. 

Our capability

We can build and launch a satellite for any payload under 1,000 kilograms. Every SSTL customer will be offered a spacecraft solution designed for their needs. In fact, we believe that we are at our best when given the flexibility to advise customers on a complete solution. Whilst we mostly supply both the satellite and payload for our customers, we also undertake to integrate a customer supplied payload within an SSTL-built platform.

Our customers have used our expert knowledge and in-house capabilities to produce satellites for:

  • Earth observation and imaging
  • Navigation and telecommunications
  • Scientific research
  • Military/defence purposes
  • Technology demonstration (testing an instrument in space)

With the acquisition of SIRA Electro-Optics in 2006, SSTL's in-house optical engineers are producing some of the world’s most sophisticated cameras and visual technology for customers’ satellites. 

The complete satellite lifecycle


We can develop satellites throughout their life cycle – from design and build through to launch and in-orbit monitoring and maintenance – or any stage of that cycle. For customers who want to monitor and maintain their own satellites, we set up their ground station and train their in-house team.

We are able to offer our customers such flexibility because we design, build, assemble and test our satellites and almost all their components in-house.

Download our Corporate Brochure


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