Assembly and test of our novel S-Band radar spacecraft in photos.
Above: The NovaSAR-S structure in our Assembly, Integration and Test Hall. The spacecraft's structure is made from aluminium and carbon fibre panels, manufactured at our Composites facility in Bordon.
Above: The payload panel interfaces wired up ready for delivery of the Synthetic Aperture Radar panel from Airbus Defence and Space in Portsmouth.
Above: The S-band Synthetic Aperture Radar panel and team at Airbus Defence and Space in Portsmouth.
Above: The spacecraft structure (centre), avionics panel (centre, front) and SAR payload (right) ready for integration.
Above: Just some of the miles of wiring that connects NovaSAR's systems together. This wiring is called the harness in the space industry, and it requires a great deal of skill, planning and expertise from our engineers to design and manufacture.
Above: The SAR payload is attached to an overhead crane and very slowly and precisely manoeuvred into position for attaching to the spacecraft.
Above: The SAR payload fitted to the structure, ready for spacecraft level testing to begin.
Above: NovaSAR-S in the anechoic chamber for EMC testing (electromagnetic compatibility) and SAR payload testing. The chamber is part of the Triton test facility at Airbus Defence and Space in Portsmouth. The EMC test campaign demonstrates the compatibility of the spacecraft with the launch vehicle and confirms that all the systems and equipments on the spacecraft can operate at the same time without interference.
Above: Connecting the spacecraft to the test equipment.
What is SAR?
Radar signals can overcome limitations of optical imaging by being able to take an image of the Earth through clouds or even at night.
Synthetic Aperture Radar is an advanced form of radar which makes use of the relative motion between the satellite as it orbits and the target to form a high resolution image.
What is novel about NovaSAR-S?
Our applications driven approach has resulted in designing an S-band SAR spacecraft which is truly low cost. NovaSAR-S is smaller and lighter than traditional radar spacecraft, reducing the cost of launch significantly. It delivers flexible viewing modes, including a wide area maritime mode for ship detection across oceans.