Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) is to team with UrtheCast, a Canadian Earth Observation company traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), as the implementation partner for the forthcoming Generation-3 constellation. This announcement follows several months of close co-operation between the SSTL and UrtheCast teams to design a new high performance low earth orbiting platform that will fulfill the requirements of UrtheCast. This agreement exploits SSTL’s expertise in providing innovative low cost small satellite solutions.
SSTL will design and build the satellite platforms as well as the high resolution optical imagers. Patrick Wood, SSTL Group Managing Director, commented: “The dual optical/radar constellation created by UrtheCast will be a game changer for the Earth Observation market. SSTL is ideally placed to design and build the UrtheCast satellites, having made a substantial investment in new automated production facilities geared to constellation manufacture. As strategic partners in this venture, we see this initiative as a perfect marriage that exploits SSTL’s satellite manufacturing capacity and UrtheCast’s downstream data services.”
Building on SSTL’s credible knowledge and experience in designing constellations, which include RapidEye, the Disaster Monitoring Constellation and more recently DMC3 and Formosat 7, the ‘design for manufacture’ approach to Generation 3 will provide a common platform to accommodate both optical and radar payloads. The mission will be designed for multiple-launch, utilising SSTL’s expertise in working with low cost launch providers.
Wade Larson, President of UrtheCast said: “We are very impressed with SSTL’s demonstrated ability to design and build complete space solutions tailored to customer needs. Of significance is the experience gained by SSTL through the design and build of NovaSAR which has established SSTL as the world leader in affordable SAR solutions and makes them uniquely qualified to manufacture UrtheCast’s cutting edge dual band SAR design. SAR will be a key component of our constellation.”
NovaSAR is an innovative platform being built by SSTL under a UK Government grant and provides a new benchmark in affordability and performance for responsive spaceborne radar.
The Company’s Guildford UK facilities have the capacity for batch-build and a unique automated test capability for greater manufacture efficiency. Earlier this month six spacecraft were shipped for international customers and a further 11 satellites are under manufacture.
This agreement follows an earlier contract placed on SSTL by UrtheCast for the provision of an optical imager to be installed on the International Space Station.
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 over 500 staff working on turnkey satellite platforms, space-proven satellite subsystems and optical instruments.
Since 1981, SSTL has built and launched 43 satellites – 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.