GLASGOW, Scotland (Clyde Space PR) — Clyde Space, the Glasgow-based company putting Scotland’s first satellite into space, has announced record orders of around £3 million [£3.63 million/$5 million] for the last year. The record-breaking figure was announced by CEO, Craig Clark MBE, as he revealed new orders from the US Air Force Academy and the Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-ISAB).
Craig also announced that the company was expanding because of increasing demand for its pace-setting products and was actively seeking new premises to enable it to treble the size of its manufacturing and design space to 10,000sq ft.
The company is a leading producer of small satellite, nanosatellite and CubeSat systems – fully-functional satellites that ‘piggy-back’ on other launches to minimise costs and boost the commercial viability of space research.
Craig said: “The increase in orders is not only an indication that the small satellite market is growing, but also that we are offering the right kind of products and services for that market. It’s also very encouraging to note that many of our new orders are from repeat customers.” Craig also said that he had received confirmation that the launch date for Scotland’s first satellite, UKube-1, will be June 19 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. Craig said he was was delighted the launch date was now fast-approaching. “The sooner it’s launched the better because it will show our capabilities.”
The order from the Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy, worth €300,000 [£248,000/$416,000], is for a full mission CubeSat. The Institute specialises in the physics and chemistry of the atmosphere of the earth and other planets and outer space. The CubeSat’s payload will include a Hyper Spectral Imager whose applications include the capability of measuring the composition of the atmosphere.
The order for the US Air Force Academy is for solar panels and reaction wheels, which control the pointing direction of a satellite, for the FalconSAT-6 programme. The main experiment aboard FalconSAT-6 is a multi-mode flight experiment designed to prove the effectiveness of multiple thrust modes. For commercial reasons, the exact value of the order cannot be revealed but it’s worth several hundred thousand dollars. Clyde Space has also recently won another order from a US company, which cannot be named because of commercial sensitivity, for a five kilowatt, high-power electrical power system for a small satellite project.
Craig, who received an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to innovation and technology, said: “This is an exciting time for Clyde Space as we expand into new premises and also expand the depth and capability of the excellent team we have working here.”
The launch in June of UKube-1, which was designed and manufactured by Clyde Space at their high-tech facility on the West of Scotland Science Park, will send into space one of the most advanced satellites of its kind. The complexity of the spacecraft is highlighted by the nature of the six independent, advanced payloads it carries. The mission is the pilot for a collaborative, national CubeSat programme bringing together UK industry and academia to fly educational packages, test new technologies and carry out new space research quickly and efficiently.
Hugh Stewart OBE, chairman of Clyde Space and Managing Partner of private equity company Coralinn LLP, a financial backer of the company, said: “Clyde Space is one of Scotland’s most innovative companies. “The growing number of prestigious contracts it is winning is a fantastic example of how a small Scottish company can compete globally in leading edge manufacturing. He added: “Its strategy is for continued growth and we hope to open in the USA in the next year,” Coralinn invests in high growth Scottish companies wanting to compete in a global market and Mr Stewart said Clyde Space was “a classic example of how Scottish companies of all sizes can succeed at that level”.