...major new British research that will develop commercial products and services using space technology and data from space-based systems. The grant funding, part of the National Space Technology Programme (NSTP) from the U.K. Space Agency and the Technology Strategy Board, will support four major research and development consortium projects to be led by Astrium Ltd., Avanti Communications Ltd., DMC International Imaging Ltd., and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. The total value of the R&D, including contributions from the participating companies, is over 11.5 million pounds. The portfolio of projects includes participation by 21 partner companies, universities and research organisations, including seven SMEs.
The four projects will:
- Start the development of the Next Generation Telecommunications satellite platform. The work is focused on developing the mechanical platform architecture for future European telecommunications satellites in the 3 to 6 tonne range. This project will also prepare UK companies to take leading roles in future European Space Agency programs to develop telecommunication space technologies
- Develop a ruggedised and light-weight portable Ka-Band SATCOM terminal. This “suitcase” terminal will provide portable and mobile access to the latest generation of high bandwidth satellite broadband services
- Develop a system and service for measuring land carbon stocks and fluxes from Satellite Earth observation data. This service will provide much higher resolution services than are currently available and enable the monitoring and trading of carbon credits and similar commercial tools for tackling climate change
- Prepare the way for the planned UK NovaSAR Synthetic aperture radar mission by accelerating the technology development of an innovative S-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar instrument
The investment forms the core part of the U.K. Space Agency’s National Space Technology Programme (NSTP), which sees government investment of £10 million to help UK industry exploit growth opportunities in the space sector and improve the UK’s space technology capabilities. Last month, the U.K. Space Agency and the Technology Strategy Board announced investment of 2.5 million pounds through the NSTP in 28 short-term, fast-track research and development projects.