Technology Demonstration Missions
Operational space missions, whether scientific, military or commercial demand reliable, high-performance solutions. The basic technologies required for true state-of-the-art performance are seldom designed for the harsh space environment. However, a technology demonstration mission based on the appropriate SSTL platform can validate key technologies in the orbital environment rapidly and affordably.
In July 2014 a UK national technology demonstration satellite, TechDemoSat-1 was launched. The mission was part-funed by The UK’s Technology Strategy Board and the South East England Development Agency and the platform is flying 8 innovative payloads for UK academia and industry, as well as more than 25 developments for SSTL.
Past SSTL technology demonstration tasks have ranged from early tests on solid-state devices, through to missions such as S80/T, Clementine, CERISE and CFESat, which validated payloads and initiated services
SSTL’s GIOVE-A mission
was the technology demonstrator for ESA’s satellite-supported navigation system Test Bed, which has validated an entire navigation payload and signal structure. SSTL nanosatellites, microsatellites and minisatellites have hosted customer technology payloads including solar cells, communications transmitters, an internet router and a GPS receiver, as well as numerous SSTL R&D payloads.
With a rapid order-to-orbit time, SSTL provides customers with a technology demonstration mission that will rapidly reduce costs and risks for an operational programme.