Satellite Vu Signs Deal with Surrey Satellite Technology to Build World’s First High Resolution Thermal Imaging Satellite

LONDON, 16th December 2021 (Satellite Vu PR) — British scale-up Satellite Vu, an Earth observation company that offers the highest-resolution thermal imagery and insights, has formally signed a contract with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL) to build its first satellite.

The new satellite is due to be launched into low earth orbit in Q4 2022.

The satellite will collect thermal data day and night of both the natural and the built environment at any location on the planet. The full constellation will have the ability to measure the heat signature of any building multiple times a day, enabling Satellite Vu to derive new insights in real time about building heat loss, activity and insulation. 

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Surrey Satellite to Lead UK Space Agency Project to Study Active De-orbit of Space Debris

Novel technology will be required for these ambitious steps, which are proposed as part of the new ‘Protect’ Accelerator, one of three currently being defined to help shape Europe’s future in space. (Credit: ESA)

The LEOPARD (Low Earth Orbit Pursuit for Active Debris Removal) study will define concepts for de-orbiting 2 uncooperative UK space assets from low earth orbit

GUILDFORD, UK (Surrey Satellite PR) — Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) has been selected to lead a UK Space Agency study to define the mission requirements for a complex mission to de-orbit two non-operational space debris targets. SSTL is a world-leader in the manufacture and in-orbit operation of small satellites, and has valuable experience in two previous Active Debris Removal (ADR) demonstration missions; RemoveDEBRIS, which concluded a series of debris retrieval demonstrations in January 2019, and Astroscale’s 2021 ELSA-d mission for which SSTL supplied the Client “target” satellite.

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ESA Signs Contract with GomSpace to Build Scout CubeMAP

The Scout CubeMAP mission is a constellation of CubeSats that focus on understanding and quantifying atmospheric processes in the upper troposphere and in the stratosphere. (Credit: CubeMAP consortium)

PARIS (ESA PR) — ESA has signed a contract with GomSpace to build the Scout CubeMAP mission. Embracing the concept of New Space, CubeMAP is a trio of nanosatellites to help quantify atmospheric processes in the upper atmosphere and how they impact our climate. The constellation will measure water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, ozone, nitrous oxide and aerosols – all of which play a key role in the greenhouse effect and climate change.

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Two New Satellites Mark Further Enlargement of Galileo

Soyuz rocket lifts off with the Galileo 27 and 28 satellites. (Credit: Arianespace webcast)

KOUROU, French Guiana (ESA PR) — Europe’s largest satellite constellation has grown even bigger, following the launch of two more Galileo navigation satellites by Soyuz launcher from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana on 5 December. Galileo satellites 27-28 add to an existing 26-satellite constellation in orbit, providing the world’s most precise satnav positioning to more than 2.3 billion users around the globe.

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UK Government Backs Space Technology to Tackle Climate Change

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — Trailblazing technology that will help tackle climate change and predict global disasters using satellites is receiving new funding from the UK Space Agency.

Eleven UK organisations have been awarded a share of just under £7 million of government funding to put into action the latest advances in space innovation. The majority of the projects focus on climate change or environmental management, with others designed to secure our telecommunication systems and protect digital infrastructure against cyber-attacks.

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European Software-defined Satellite Starts Service

Quantum satellite in thermal vacuum facility. (Credit ESA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — A telecommunications satellite that can be reprogrammed in-orbit, offering unprecedented mission reconfiguration capacity, has successfully passed its in-orbit acceptance review.

Developed under an ESA Partnership Project with satellite operator Eutelsat and prime manufacturer Airbus, Eutelsat Quantum is pioneering a new wave of flexible satellites developed with the European space industry.

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UK Working with Global Partners to Clear up Dangerous Space Debris

Location of the 24,000 debris larger than 10 cm in low orbit in 2020. (Credits: NASA)

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — The UK Space Agency is today announcing a range of different initiatives aimed at supporting safe and sustainable space operations.

From developing our space tracking capabilities and promoting international efforts in space sustainability, to finding novel ways of removing space debris – the UK is leading the way to ensure the Earth’s orbit can continue to be used now and in the future.

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SSTL Secures ESA InCubed Funding to Improve Data Throughput for Small EO Satellites

GUILDFORD, UK (Surrey Satellite PR) — Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) has secured European Space Agency InCubed programme financial and technical support to demonstrate a high throughput, flexible and intelligent payload downlink chain for small Earth Observation satellites. Currently advanced and innovative satellite imaging payloads are producing data with ever increasing dimensionality, volume and rates which can exceed small satellite’s downlink bandwidth.

To tackle the onboard data bottleneck SSTL is leading a consortium that includes the University of Surrey and Craft Prospect Limited to develop and demonstrate new capabilities for SSTL’s Flexible & Intelligent Payload Chain (FIPC) solution. The FIPC’s advanced hardware architecture enables a new intelligent and adaptive data downlink and a state-of-the-art framework for software defined onboard data processing to realise a payload chain capable of handling the throughput rates of future small Earth Observation satellites. The framework enables processing applications which include data calibration and image compression to Machine Learning (ML) for image classification and information extraction towards greater satellite autonomy. 

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Contract Secures Build for HydroGNSS Scout Mission

The HydroGNSS Earth observation spacecraft (Credit: Equinox Graphics)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Today, as Φ-week gets underway, ESA has signed a contract with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd to build the HydroGNSS Scout mission. Embracing the concept of New Space, HydroGNSS is a micro satellite that will use a technique called Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) reflectometry to measure climate variables such as soil moisture, freeze–thaw state over permafrost and inundation.

The contract, worth €24 million, was signed by ESA’s Acting Director of Earth Observation Programmes, Toni Tolker-Nielsen and Managing Director of Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, Phil Brownnett.

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SSTL Signs Up ESA as Anchor Customer for Lunar Pathfinder Communications Relay Satellite

Lunar Pathfinder satellite (Credit: Surrey Satellite)

LONDON, September 15, 2021 (SSTL PR) — The European Space Agency (ESA) has signed a contract with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) for communications services from Lunar Pathfinder, due to launch in 2024.  The Commercial Lunar Mission Support Services contract was signed between ESA’s Director of Human and Robotic Exploration, Dave Parker, and SSTL’s Managing Director, Phil Brownnett, on 15 September 2021 at The Royal Society in London.  Amanda Solloway, UK Government Science Minister, Josef Aschbacher, ESA’s Director General, Paul Bate, Director of the UK Space Agency, and SSTL’s Executive Chairman, Sir Martin Sweeting were also in attendance. 

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Reprogrammable Satellite Launched

Ariane 5 VA254 lifts off on July 30, 2021. (Credit: Arianespace)

KOUROU, French Guiana (ESA PR) — A sophisticated telecommunications satellite that can be completely repurposed while in space has launched.

Developed under an ESA Partnership Project with satellite operator Eutelsat and prime manufacturer Airbus, Eutelsat Quantum has pioneered a new generation of satellites with the European space industry.

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New Government Funding Helps UK Companies Lead the Way for Future Moon Missions

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — UK companies are developing new communication and navigation services needed for future missions to the Moon, thanks to funding from the UK Space Agency

In what will be the world’s first commercial servicing of its kind, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL), Inmarsat and MDA UK are among those who won contracts with the European Space Agency (ESA), worth just over £2 million in total, to shape the infrastructure for future lunar exploration.

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SSTL Lunar to Lead Consortium for ESA Moonlight

GUILDFORD, UK (Surrey Satellite PR) — Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) has been selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) to lead a Phase A/B1 Study under ESA’s Moonlight initiative that will shape the service provision and infrastructure to provide sustainable commercial Lunar data-relay services for communication and navigation around the Moon.

The Moonlight Phase A/B1 Study will define the service infrastructure and clearly lay out the development path for a constellation of Lunar communication and navigation satellites. The Study will characterise the complete end to end system, including the Lunar Space Segment, the Moon Surface Segment, the Lunar User Segment and the Earth Ground Segment.

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ESA Advances its Plan for Satellites Around the Moon

PARIS (ESA PR) — A bold proposal to create a commercially viable constellation of lunar satellites has taken a step closer.

Two consortia of companies will be supported by ESA to devise detailed definitions of how to provide telecommunications and navigation services for missions to the Moon, under the agency’s Moonlight initiative.

Such a lasting lunar link will enable sustainable space exploration.

ESA is going to the Moon together with its international partners including NASA.

Dozens of international, institutional and commercial teams are sending missions to the Moon that envisage a permanent lunar presence. These will become regular trips to Earth’s natural satellite rather than one-off expeditions

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ESA to Unveil Plans for Lunar Satellite Constellation on Thursday

PARIS (ESA PR) — ESA is backing a bold proposal to create a commercially viable constellation of satellites around the Moon.

Dozens of international, institutional and commercial teams are planning to send missions to the Moon, envisaging a permanent human lunar presence. Using a shared telecommunications and navigation service would reduce the design complexity of future individual missions and make them lighter, freeing space for more scientific instruments or other cargo, making each individual mission more cost-efficient.

Two consortia of companies will be funded by ESA to devise detailed definitions of how to provide telecommunications and navigation services for missions to the Moon, under the agency’s Moonlight initiative.

Such a lasting lunar link will enable sustainable space exploration.

Watch a press briefing with ESA directors and representatives of Surrey Satellites Technology Ltd, Telespazio, the UK Space Agency and the Italian space agency ASI that will be held on Thursday 20 May 14:00-15:00 CEST [9 a.m. EDT] and streamed live on ESA Web TV.