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Tue, 17 Jul 2007

SSTL's high flyers receive three Royal Aeronautical Society awards

The achievements of Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) have been recognised in by three prestigious awards from the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS). The RAeS awards are considered the most prestigious and long-standing awards in global aerospace honouring achievement, innovation and excellence

The team responsible for the building and delivery of the Galileo test satellite, GIOVE-A, received the Team Silver Award. This was accompanied by the Geoffrey Pardoe Space Award for an exceptional contribution to space, demonstrating first class risk and project management skills in designing and placing into orbit a complex, yet cost-effective satellite. Dr Mike Cutter was presented with the Society's Bronze Award for work of merit in the design, manufacture and exploitation in space of the CHRIS hyper-spectral camera.

SSTL was awarded the GIOVE-A contract in the summer of 2003 with a strict schedule to launch the satellite before the end of 2005. As the largest and most complex satellite SSTL had ever developed, the GIOVE-A project brought together a large multi-disciplinary team of up to 70 people to support development.

A core team of 10-20 people was responsible for the majority of the project co-ordination, system and payload engineering to deliver GIOVE-A to schedule. This core team was also essential to subsequent key phases of the mission such as the launch, commissioning and in-orbit test campaigns. Their understanding of GIOVE-A ensured that these critical activities were performed safely and efficiently, leading to the successful achievement of the main mission objectives.

CHRIS is the highest resolution hyper-spectral camera ever to be flown in space. The design is particularly light in weight (14kg) and thrifty in its use of electrical power (8W), enabling it to be flown on a small satellite platform. CHRIS has been operational in space since the launch of PROBA in October 2001 and is in constant demand by more than 80 scientific groups across Europe and North America, Australia and China who use the flexible hyper-spectral modes of the instrument to analyse how various objects, materials and scenes can be analysed from orbit. Such research underpins important advances in remote sensing for environmental, farming, land use planning, water management and many other applications.

It is not the first time that the achievements of SSTL staff have been recognised by the RAeS. In 1998 Dr Marc Fouquet was presented with the Geoffrey Pardoe Space Award for a significant contribution to space as the principle designer of imaging systems for Earth observation and star tracking.

The Royal Aeronautical Society has been honouring outstanding achievers in the global aerospace industry since 1908, when Wilbur and Orville Wright came to London to receive the Society’s first two Gold Medals. In the years that have followed, honouring world aerospace achievers has become a permanent tradition of the Society. The Society’s Awards Programme rewards individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to aerospace, whether for a single outstanding contribution or achievement, a major technical innovation, for exceptional leadership, long and valued service, or for work that will further advance aerospace.

Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) develops innovative technologies to change the economics of space, delivering cost effective satellite missions within rapid timescales. The Company is a world leader in the design, manufacture and operation of high performance small satellites with experience gained over more than 25 years and 27 missions launched.

SSTL employs 250 staff working on LEO, GEO and interplanetary missions, turnkey satellite platforms and space-proven satellite subsystems and optical systems. The Company also provides know-how transfer and training programmes and consultancy services, and performs studies for ESA, NASA and commercial customers related to platform design, mission analysis and planning.

Based in Guildford, UK, SSTL is owned by the University of Surrey (85%), SSTL staff (5%), and SpaceX of the USA (10%).

Notes to editor:

Event photography for this press release can be downloaded from the online press room. These can be previewed in the printable pdf version of this press release, that can be downloaded from the SSTL online press room :

SSTL Contact:

Audrey Nice, Surrey Satellite Technology Limited

Tel: +44 (0)1483 804200 Email:

Press Contact:

Robin Wolstenholme, Ballard Communications Management (BCM)

Tel: 01306 882288 Email: r.wolstenholme (AT)