[SatNews] Surrey Satellite Technology US LLC (SST-US) has announced plans for a second Orbital Test Bed (OTB-2) ride-share mission dedicated to carrying demonstration payloads, subsystems, and equipment into Low Earth Orbit (LEO) aboard a flight-proven satellite bus.
Targeted for launch in the second quarter of 2016, OTB-2 will fly SST-US’s own experimental optical payload alongside third-party payloads. The news comes just two weeks after SST-US made public the completed flight manifest for its OTB mission now scheduled for launch in 2016. The first spacecraft to be integrated at the SST-US satellite facility in Englewood, Colorado, OTB will carry five experimental payloads for Surrey, NASA JPL, Air Force Research Laboratory, and academic institutions.
Similar to OTB, OTB-2 is based on the SSTL-150 platform developed by SST-US’s parent company in the U.K. and flown on numerous scientific and operational missions. In addition to the primary SST-US payload, the baseline OTB-2 design will have capacity to support payloads up to 50kg and 50W, although SST-US can adapt the design to accommodate larger payloads if required.
“The Surrey hosted payload business model is unique in the industry and continues our tradition of providing cost-effective access to space,” said Doug Gerull, chief operating officer of SST-US. “The ride-share concept appeals to organizations that need to test satellite components or payload concepts in space with low risk and at a fraction of the cost of dedicated missions. As soon as we closed the OTB manifest, we opened discussions on payload ride-sharing contracts for OTB-2. Many government and commercial organizations are developing advanced satellite technologies that need to be rapidly space-qualified before they can fly on operational satellites.”
SST-US will manufacture OTB-2 at its facility in Colorado, where engineering personnel adhere to Surrey satellite development, integration, and test processes refined during 43 successful missions spanning three decades. SST-US will own and operate both OTB satellites.
The SST-US infosite is available at http://www.sst-us.com/