Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal visited Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) today, Tuesday 22 November, and was received by Major General Tim Sulivan, Deputy Lieutenant for Surrey. Her Royal Highness was given a tour of the Company’s facilities hosted by Executive Chairman, Sir Martin Sweeting and CEO, Patrick Wood.
The tour of SSTL’s Guildford site included viewing the Assembly, Integration and Test Hall where 16 spacecraft are currently in manufacture including NovaSAR-S, a low-cost radar satellite which has been part-funded by the UK Government and which is due to launch early next year.
The Princess unveiled a small engraved plaque that commemorates her visit and will be flown on one of SSTL’s satellites due to launch in 2017.
Sir Martin Sweeting commented “I am delighted to welcome Her Royal Highness and our other distinguished guests today. SSTL has been based in Guildford on the University Research Park for over 30 years and is an example of the powerful synergy between academic research and commercial exploitation that has resulted in a world-leading company pioneering small satellites that are used for improving agriculture, disaster monitoring, navigation and communications. Guildford has a thriving business community and strong transport links. We have been especially pleased to see space company start-ups and SMEs joining us here in the area, where the town forms part of the ‘space corridor’ that stretches from Portsmouth via Guildford and up to the Harwell campus near Oxford.”
The tour concluded with a visit to the Spacecraft Operations Centre, SSTL’s control hub designed to communicate securely with orbiting satellites via a number of ground stations located around the world, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
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 500 staff working on turnkey satellite platforms, space-proven satellite subsystems and optical instruments.
Since 1981, SSTL has built and launched 49 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.