Professor Sir Martin Sweeting, Executive Chairman of Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) and the Surrey Space Centre at the University of Surrey, has been admitted to Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS).
Sir Martin Sweeting’s award of Honorary Fellowship was made in recognition of his leadership and exceptional contribution in pioneering the use of Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) technologies in space and in particular the use of small, low-cost satellites for practical applications, as well as new forms of international collaboration in space that recognise the inherently global nature of satellites.
Sir Martin received his certificate of Fellowship at the Royal Aeronautical Society’s annual Wilbur and Orville Wright lecture, held on the 9th December at the Society’s headquarters in London.
Sir Martin commented “Over a span of many years, I have both attended and delivered many lectures at the Society, and these have proved to be invaluable opportunities to exchange insights and nuggets of information with both Members and the general public. It is therefore a tremendous honour to be elected to Honorary Fellowship of the RAeS, an institution which I greatly admire for its dedication in promoting the aerospace industry all over the world, and for its commitment to sharing knowledge and ideas.”
Martin Broadhurst OBE FRAeS, President of the RAeS, said: “For over a century, the Royal Aeronautical Society has been honouring outstanding achievement, innovation and excellence in aerospace and the admittance of Sir Martin Sweeting to the Society as an Honorary Fellow is no exception. Thanks to Sir Martin’s leadership and entrepreneurial spirit, SSTL have pioneered the development of small, affordable satellites for a huge range of applications giving the UK a leading position in this arena. Sir Martin has also been at the forefront of increasing awareness of the economic and social value of the space industry in the UK and promoting the sector to government."
About Sir Martin Sweeting OBE, FRS, FRAeS, FREng, FIET
Sir Martin has a BSc in electronics and PhD in radio engineering from the University of Surrey (UK) and is the founder and Executive Chairman of Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL). Following two experimental ‘microsatellites’ built by his research team at the University of Surrey and launched in 1981 & 1984, he pioneered rapid-response, low-cost and highly-capable small satellites utilising modern consumer electronics to ‘change the economics of space’ and has established the UK at the forefront of this new field.
In 1985 he formed a spin-off University company (SSTL) that has since has grown to 550 staff with annual revenues exceeding £100M and exports of over £0.5Bn. SSTL has built and launched 48 small satellites – including the international Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC) and the first Galileo navigation satellite (GIOVE-A) for ESA – and currently has 13 new small satellites under construction, including the Company’s first geostationary telecommunications satellite for EutelSAT, alongside building the 22 satellite navigation payloads for the European Galileo constellation. In 2015, SSTL launched a constellation of three high-resolution (1-metre) Earth Observation mini-satellites and is preparing a low-cost medium-resolution SAR minisatellite (NovaSAR) for launch in 2016. SSTL has also developed a highly successful satellite know-how transfer and training programme with long-term collaborative partnerships with 18 countries – particularly enabling emerging space nations achieve their first space missions and thus to access space directly to benefit their environment and economies.
Sir Martin also chairs the Surrey Space Centre comprising around 100 researchers investigating advanced small satellite concepts and techniques and which acts as the research laboratory for SSTL – an exemplar of real academic-commercial synergy. The SSC collaborated with SSTL on the world’s first ‘smartphone’ nanosatellite, STRaND-1, launched in February 2013 and launched a research nano-satellite for orbital debris mitigation in 2015.
Sir Martin has been appointed OBE and knighted by HM The Queen, elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and received the prestigious von Karman Wings Award from CalTech/JPL. He is a member of the UK Space Agency Leadership Council and, in 2014, was identified by The Sunday Times as one of the UK’s 20 most influential engineers and received the Chinese Academy of Sciences/COSPAR Jeoujang Jaw Award, recognising his contribution to international space development.
About the Royal Aeronautical Society
The Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) is the world’s only professional body dedicated to the entire aerospace community. The Society promotes the highest professional standards in all aerospace disciplines; provides specialist information; acts as a central forum for the exchange of ideas; and plays a leading role in influencing opinion on aerospace matters. Visit www.aerosociety.com for more information.
The Honorary Fellowship of the RAeS is the world’s highest distinction for aerospace achievement and is awarded only for the most outstanding contributions to the aerospace profession.
Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) is the world's leading small satellite company, delivering operational space missions for a range of applications including Earth observation, science and communications. The Company designs, manufactures and operates high performance satellites and ground systems for a fraction of the price normally associated with space missions, with 450 staff working on turnkey satellite platforms, space-proven satellite subsystems and optical instruments.
Since 1981, SSTL has built and launched 47 satellites for 20 international customers – as well as providing training and development programmes, consultancy services, and mission studies for ESA, NASA , international governments and commercial customers, with an innovative approach that is changing the economics of space.
Headquartered in Guildford, UK, SSTL is part of the Airbus Group. www.sstl.co.uk