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Tue, 10 Oct 2006

Deimos and Surrey Satellite Technology Contract for Spanish Imaging Mission

Deimos and Surrey Satellite Technology Contract for Spanish Imaging Mission

Deimos Imaging SL, a subsidiary of Deimos Space SL, and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) have announced a contract for an Earth imaging satellite, DEIMOS. The satellite will be built by SSTL to be ready for launch early in 2008 and will form part of the Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC). The satellite will provide imagery for commercial applications, for government use and for rapid-response following disasters.

The DMC is a unique international collaboration of member nations and, through this contract, Spain joins the existing countries in the consortium (Algeria, China, Nigeria, Turkey and the UK). Each member of the consortium owns and operates its own satellite whilst co-operating with the other members of the consortium. The model of co-operation has significant benefits – it allows information generated on board one satellite to be used by other members of the consortium.

In 2005 the DMC joined the world’s major space agencies in adhering to the “International Charter: Space and Major Disasters”. Coordination of the DMC is undertaken by DMC International Imaging Ltd (DMCii) who also provides a specialised 24-hour emergency satellite planning service to task the Charter satellite fleet as Emergency On-Call Officers. Since it became operational, the DMC has provided daily broad area image coverage during disasters such as hurricane Katrina and the Indian Ocean Tsunami.

This contract with SSTL will provide Deimos with an enhanced version of the DMC wide area imaging system. The new system will image 600km wide swaths of the Earth in three spectral bands at a ground resolution of 22 metres. The contract also covers the provision of the ground system to allow operation of the satellite from Valladolid, Spain and it establishes SSTL as the launch agent for procurement of launch services. Commenting on the award, SSTL’s CEO Sir Martin Sweeting noted that “this contract provides a tremendously useful Earth observation asset for Spain and extends the operational status of the international DMC.”

The contract marks Deimos’ first steps into satellite ownership. Deimos was formed in 2001 and has grown rapidly to become one of Europe’s leading Space consultancies with over 200 staff. Commenting on the contract, Deimos Imaging Managing Director Mr Pedro Duque stated “we went to Surrey because they could offer us excellent value with a a proven product and, by procuring one satellite, we could benefit from being a part of a larger constellation which is already operational. This means that we can receive data from space before our satellite is launched and, once launched, obtain imagery of Spain far faster than we could with a single satellite. Our business case relies on this.”

Editors Notes:

Visit SSTL’s Space Blog for up to date information and comment on SSTL, small satellites and space.

Photo caption:

Miguel Bello Mora, Managing Director of Deimos Space and David Hodgson, Managing Director of DMCii (DMCii is a subsidiary of SSTL) sign DEIMOS contract

About Deimos

DEIMOS Space SL is a private Spanish company operating in aerospace activities. Founded in 2001, DEIMOS Space is co-owned by its staff, a group of over twenty, highly motivated and competent professional engineers with broad expertise in space engineering, sharing a common desire to develop high-tech, state-of-the-art solutions.

DEIMOS Space is part of Elecnor Group (sales turnover of €781m for the year 2005, and more than 6000 employees). The Elecnor Group, founded in 1958, is one of the leading Spanish groups in the fields of energy, transport, environment, installations and telecommunications, with subsidiaries in 10 countries around the globe.

DEIMOS Space SL and the Remote Sensing Laboratory of the University of Valladolid (LATUV) founded the company, DEIMOS Imaging SL, with headquarters in Valladolid, Spain. Deimos Imaging will be the operator of the System being procured through this contract.

Contact details - tel: +34 91 806 3450, email:

About SSTL and DMCii

Based in Guilford, UK, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. is a 200-strong, $45M turnover 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. SSTL supplies an international marketplace, with customers including ESA, NASA, French DGA, USAF, US DOE, and UK BNSC & MoD. SSTL was prime contractor for the DMC satellites and ground systems. The DMC system provides 24-hour revisit imaging for national applications, commercial users and in response to natural and man-made disasters.

In October 2005 SSTL launched the 2.5-metre resolution 120kg TopSat optical Earth imaging microsatellite for the UK government and a 4-metre resolution imaging satellite for the Beijing Landview Mapping Information Technology Co. Ltd. of China also operating in the DMC. In December 2005, SSTL launched the 600kg GIOVE-A for the European Space Agency, being the first satellite in the European Galileo navigation system.

SSTL is currently manufacturing the satellite platforms for the US Department of Energy's CFESat and the five-satellite commercial imaging constellation RapidEye due for launch in late 2006 and mid-2007 respectively.

DMC International Imaging Ltd (DMCii) was formed by SSTL in October 2004 and is a UK supplier of remote sensing data products and services for international Earth Observation (EO) markets. DMCii supplies both programme-on-request and archived optical satellite imagery provided by the DMC satellites. DMC data is now used in a wide variety of

commercial and government applications including agriculture, forestry and environmental mapping.

The small EO satellites of the DMC provide daily revisit in combination with an unmatched 600km imaging swath width at 32 metre ground sample distance for frequent broad-area coverage. DMC data products are calibrated and processed to a variety of levels according to customer requirements.

In partnership with the British National Space Centre (BNSC) and the other DMC member nations (Algeria, China, Nigeria, Turkey) DMCii uses the commercial exploitation of the DMC small satellite constellation to fund co-ordination of the DMC for humanitarian use in the event of major international disasters. DMCii works with the UN, the European Space Agency and the International Charter: Space and Major Disasters during disasters such as Tsunami, Fire, Flooding and Hurricanes.

Contact details – tel: +44 (0)1483 803803, email:

Press Contact:

Stephen Ballard

Ballard Communications Management (BCM)

Tel: +44 (0)1306 882288