SSTL has recently started work as the prime contractor on a highly exciting 18-month ESA-funded Phase 0/A study “SSA P3-SWE-LIII Nanosatellites for D3S”. This study will assess the feasibility (including latency, lifetime, reliability etc) to use nanosatellites for future operational space weather monitoring missions in near-Earth space as part of ESA's Distributed Space Weather Sensor System (D3S), which forms part of the wider ESA Enhanced Space Weather Monitoring System. The study will also include analysis of measurement requirements and available instrument and nanosatellite technologies to propose a first nanosatellite mission concept, followed by initial Phase A level design for implementation in 2022+.
SSTL will be leading a highly experienced study consortium including sub-contractors from the UCL MSSL (UK), Imperial College London (UK), and VZLU (Czech Republic). Surrey Space Centre (UK) and Northumbria University (UK) will also provide expert consultancy.