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Space Blog

University of Surrey space success stems from SSTL

With another micro-satellite ready for launch on 28th December, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd., (SSTL) confirms its position as a leader in the design and supply of small cost-effective satellites. The company's continued commercial success reflects the culture fostered by the University of Surrey to encourage innovation in industry and commerce. The University of Surrey is widely recognised as a world leader in research that can be transferred to practical applications for use in everyday life and attracts students worldwide. SSTL's vision of "changing the economics of space" by supplying highly advanced small satellites is no exception. Quicker and cheaper to build, SSTL's satellites have achieved a leading position in the face of growing demand for affordable access to space. Developing commercial initiatives that deliver profitable results is a University of Surrey mantra. Since 2000, SSTL?s revenues have continued to grow by 20% per annum, reaching more than ?24m at end July 2005. The profits are reinvested to enhance the University's reputation as a world class research organisation. This self-funding approach also contributes significantly to the UK's collective responsibility to advancing space technology. Despite collaboration between many of the leading EU member states, there is a growing need to increase investment if Europe is to maintain a strong presence in space projects - and SSTL continues to play a significant role. Additionally, in the light of recent natural disasters and increased public concern, the need for a disaster monitoring satellite system has become topical. By providing a range of highly cost-effective micro-satellites, SSTL made a positive contribution to the high profile Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC) project. The satellites within the constellation are able to image anywhere on the surface of the earth, with a 24 hour revisit. Located on the campus is the Surrey Space Centre (SSC), which works in conjunction with the commercial company, SSTL, to provide its Small Satellite Engineering Know-How Transfer and Training programme, known as KHTT. Attracted by the University's excellent international reputation, students from across the world study the entire satellite engineering process from mission definition to in-orbit commissioning. The 18 month course includes hands-on spacecraft engineering, and the knowledge gained is ideal for transfer to their own space programmes on their return. As a result, students trained at the University by SSTL have formed the nucleus of new space agencies in other countries. According to Vice Chancellor Professor Chris Snowden, "The University of Surrey seeks to make a positive contribution to the world in which we live, by working to introduce new, effective technologies that make a real difference. We are very proud of the achievements of SSTL. Their innovation and enterprise are a clear demonstration of how a small to medium size business (SME) can have a real impact in today's competitive markets. This example underpins the University's agenda to support the government's initiative in understanding how Higher Education Institutions can better meet the needs of SMEs." 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 26 small satellite missions, making it the most successful and experienced small satellite supplier in the world. Source: SSTL Press release





26 December 20050 Comments1 Comment

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