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Tue, 23 May 2006

Surrey Satellite Technology acquires "Eye-in-the-Sky" enhancements from Sira Group

As part of its long-term growth strategy for "changing the economics of space," Guildford-based Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) has announced the acquisition of the space imager and scientific instrument activities of the Sira Group completed on the 11th April.

This acquisition further strengthens SSTL's position as a vertically integrated manufacturer of space imaging systems comprising satellite platforms, instrumentation payloads, ground stations and image processing data distribution application exploitation capability as a satellite mission prime contractor.

This move provides SSTL with the platform with which to broaden the company’s involvement in European science and technology programmes. The Sira team has already developed many sophisticated electro-optical instruments, Hyperspectral imagers for environmental, commercial and military applications, Environmental Ozone monitors, Infrared fire and hot-spot detection imagers, Space debris monitoring cameras in addition to Satellite-to-satellite broadband optical communication.

Mike Cutter, Earth observation and technology business manager commented, "Sira's imaging camera on the SSTL-built Beijing-1 microsatellite has already shown that we can produce world-class results together. Now we will see further benefits of complete industrial and technical integration of the optical payload and the satellite platform capability."

SSTL's Group CEO, Sir Martin Sweeting, is confident that the acquisition will deliver benefits to SSTL's customers. "We have already seen that when SSTL acquires previously outsourced activities, we can deliver even more rapidly and responsively" he commented, "we warmly welcome Sira's staff and expertise into our team".

In addition to the obvious cost saving from shortening the supply chain, Sira’s staff joining the team will enable SSTL to produce a more tightly integrated design optimising power consumption, mass and engineering time to deliver the best possible value.

In 2000, SSTL acquired small satellite company Space Innovations Limited and the solar panel lay-down capability of Marconi Applied Technology, both of which are now successfully integrated into SSTL.

About Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd

Surrey Satellite Technology Limited is an enterprise company formed in 1985 by the University of Surrey to commercialise the results of its innovative small satellite engineering research. SSTL was the first professional organisation to offer low-cost small satellites with rapid response employing advanced terrestrial technologies. Over two decades, we have built a profitable business around our unique approach to space.

Today, SSTL employs over 200 staff and has been involved in 23 small satellite missions, making it the most successful and experienced small satellite supplier in the world.

Notes to editor

A high resolution image of Sira’s modulation transfer function test equipment, word and pdf versions of this press release are available from:

Keep up to date with SSTL and UK Space on the SSTL Space Blog:

Press Contact:

Stephen Ballard

Ballard Communications Management (BCM)

Tel: 01306 882288