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(root)About SSTL

We have been delivering small satellite missions for over 30 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.

Staff, sites & ownership

  • SSTL employs ~500 staff.
  • 3 sites - Guildford and Bordon in the UK, and Denver in the US.
  • In 2009 Airbus bought a 99% shareholding from the University of Surrey, and Surrey Satellites is now an independent company within the Airbus Defence and Space group.
​More company information

The story of Surrey Satellites

What we do


We specialise in the design and manufacture of small satellites and we develop space missions throughout their life cycle – from design and build through to launch and in-orbit monitoring and maintenance – or any stage of that cycle. 

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

Our products include:
  • Satellite platforms and space payloads
  • Space mission training
  • Ground segment supply and installation
  • Spacecraft in-orbit operations
  • Constellations management
  • Launch services

Our capability

Our customers use our expert knowledge to create space missions for:

  • Earth observation and imaging
  • Navigation and telecommunications
  • Scientific research
  • Military/defence purposes
  • Technology demonstration 
  • Orbital servicing

and our satellites operate in LEO, MEO, GEO and beyond.  


Over the years, we've racked up an impressive list of "Firsts" in space engineering and missions.
Browse our list of SSTL Firsts  


Sir Martin Sweeting 
1995 OBE in Queen's Birthday Honours List
1995 Royal Academy of Engineering Silver Medal
1996 Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering
2000 Election to the International Academy of Astronautics
2000 Fellowship of the Royal Society
2001 Knighthood in the Queen's New Year Honours for services to microsatellite engineering
2001 World technology award for space
2002 Frank J Molina Astronautics Medal
2004 AAS Industrial Leadership Award
2006 Top Ten Britons Who Shaped Our World, the Independent
2008 Sir Arthur Clarke Lifetime Achievement Award
2010 The Institute of Engineering and Technology Faraday Medal
2010 The Euorpean Electronics Industry Elektra Lifetime Achievement Award
2012 International Von Karman Wings Award
2012 Guildford Roll of Honour, recognising local innovation, creativity & commitment
2014 Chinese Academy of Sciences/COSPAR Jeoujang Jaw Award
2016 Honorary Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society
2017 IAF Distinguished Service Award
2017 The Sunday Times: 50 Most Infuential Britons
2017 Debrett’s 2017 list of the 500 most influential people in the UK.
1998 Queen's Award for Technological Achievement
2000 SSPI Industry Innovators Award
2004 World Technology Network Corporate Award for Space
2005 The Queen's Award for Enterprise in Innovation
2006 The Royal Institute of Navigation Harold Spencer Jones Gold Meal
2006 The Times Higher Award for Outstanding Contributions to Innovation and Technology
2007 Royal Aeronautical Society Silver Medal for TopSat
2008 ESA Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Galileo programme
2009 Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For
2012 AIAA Space Systems award for the Disaster Monitoring Constellation
2012 Arthur C Clarke Project Team Award – NigeriaSat-2
2013 IET Award for Innovation - NovaSAR
2014 Made in the UK Aerospace and Defence Award
2016 Arthur C Clarke Project Team Award - Galileo FOC