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Sevenoaks, United Kingdom

Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, or SSTL, is a spin-off company of the University of Surrey, now majority-owned by EADS Astrium, that builds and operates small satellites. Its satellites began as amateur radio satellites known by the UoSAT name or by an OSCAR designation. SSTL cooperates with the University's Surrey Space Centre, which does research into satellite and space topics.SSTL moved into remote sensing services with the launch of the Disaster Monitoring Constellation in 2002 and an associated child company, DMC International Imaging. SSTL also adopted the Internet Protocol for the DMC satellites it builds and operates, migrating from use of the AX.25 protocol popular in amateur radio. The CLEO Cisco router in Low Earth Orbit, on board the UK-DMC satellite along with a network of payloads, takes advantage of this adoption of the Internet Protocol. SSTL is also developing a new Geostationary Minisatellite Platform-Transfer orbit variant aimed at the telecommunications market under the brand name SSTL-900.The University sold a 10% share of SSTL to SpaceX in January 2005. It then agreed to sell its majority share to EADS Astrium in April 2008. In August 2008 SSTL opened a US subsidiary.SSTL was awarded the Queen's Award for Technological Achievement in 1998, and the Queen's Award for Enterprise in 2005. In 2006 SSTL won the Times Higher Education Supplement award for outstanding contribution to innovation and technology.In 2009 SSTL ranked 89 out of the 997 companies that took part in the Sunday Times Top 100 companies to work for.On Wednesday 5 September 2012, one of SSTL's employees and his family were killed in a suspected contract killing in the Chevaline killings. Wikipedia.

Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Small Business Research Initiative | Award Amount: 75.25K | Year: 2015

This Phase 2 study continues the development and test of new GNSS antenna technologies put forward by SSTL in the Phase 1 study. Two different prototype antenna designs were produced by SSTL applying the technique of Composite Left and Right-handed Transmission Lines (CRL-TL), often referred to as meta-materials. Using CRL-TL allows the reduction in size of antenna features below the normal 1/4 wavelength limit. One antenna developed was a multi-resonant interdigital antenna, the other a circular slotted ground-plane broadband antenna. During this Phase 2 study, the main focus will be on the development of the most promising slotted circular broadband antenna for practical applications. The design of the antenna will be refined, packaging options will be developed with a view to manufacture, 10 units will be produced and will undergo testing in collaboration with DSTL laboratories. At the end of the study, a report will be issued detailing the path to commercial exploitation. .

Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Small Business Research Initiative | Award Amount: 50.00K | Year: 2015

Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) has a long history in advanced GNSS technology ranging from space GPS receiver design up to Galileo GIOVE mission and FOC payloads. SSTL is planning the development of a triple frequency antenna for new precise spaceborne GNSS applications, as suitable compact triple frequency antennas are not available commercially in the configuration required. Hence SSTL is proposing a novel antenna design for this competition that meets both the needs of its space requirements and also the needs of this SBRI call - i.e. small, robust, high performance, and low cost, in a configuration that also lends itself to low cost mass manufacture. An interdigital design has been adopted that allows the achievement of resonance at three frequencies within a single patch-like element. This avoids the need for stacking multiple elements, or for a standing off from a ground plane as is required for a wideband spiral. The design does not require unusually high or stable dielectric material, and can be be accommodated within 1 mm thickness (initially excluding radome). For generic application, a wideband Low Noise Amplifier is integrated with the antenna that can be operated off 3 to 5V, but this can be deselected as a manufacturing option to transform it into a passive antenna. The LNA will add 0.5 mm to the package, though this could be recessed into the mounting panel to maintain the 1 mm profile (excluding radome). Gains of 20 dB and 45 dB will be supported. This approach will allow reception of L1, L2 and L5 signals, within a suitably small package that the antenna could be incorporated into a CPRA (phased array). SSTL has anechoic facilities for tuning functional test, and has partners who are able to offer calibrated antenna measurement chamber. For subsequent phases, SSTL can manufacture and test small quantities of antennas, but would expect to licence the design to a mass product manufacturer, exclusively if required, as long as the IP for use in space applications is maintained by SSTL.

Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Fast Track | Award Amount: 74.78K | Year: 2012

The evaluation and development of UK low toxicity (green) propellants, thruster, tank and propulsion architectures for future spacecraft and satellite missions.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SPA.2010.2.1-04;SPA.2010.2.3-2 | Award Amount: 2.83M | Year: 2011

The goal of this project is to develop and flight test a novel, low cost/riskdeorbiting device based on a 25-m squared Solar Sail with a total mass (including the satellite platform) of 3 kg. The approach will be to modify Solar Sail deployment technology for use as a satellite and/or rocket upper stage deorbiting system. The effectiveness of such deorbiting device is predicted to be high at altitudes lower than 900 km for minisatellites (20 to 500 kg) if deorbiting time constraints of 25 years are being considered. Recent studies show an increasing probability of collisions between intact spacecraft and debris. If no countermeasures are taken, the number of debris particles will grow with a growth rate in the order of up to 5% per year. The historical practice of abandoning spacecraft and upper stages at the end of mission life has resulted in 8,500 tones of space debris in low earth orbit. The uncontrolled growth of the space debris population has to be avoided in order to enable safe operations in space for the future.However, reviews by panels of independent international experts have repeatedly failed to identify a single plan which is both technically feasible in the near-term and economically viable. The consortium will design and develop a state of the art deorbiting system foe LEO satellites and upper stages with a mass less than 500 kg. The deorbiting system will be deployed after the useful time of the satellite/upper stage and will be used to remove/deorbit the object from its orbit within 25 years as required by Space Agency recommendations. An example of the kind of impact this project can have is that if one assumes that all satellites and upper stages with a mass < 500 kg launched after 2013 to 2020 would hypothetically carry the proposed deorbiting system developed by the DEOBRIT-SAIL team space, debris (> 10 cm) will be reduced by 70%.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SPA.2013.2.3-02 | Award Amount: 11.73M | Year: 2013

A huge amount of debris has progressively been generated since the beginning of the space era. Most of the objects launched into space are still orbiting the Earth and today these object and their by-products represent a threat both in space and on Earth. In Space, debris lead to collisions and therefore to damages to operational satellites. For both issues, a credible solution has emerged over the recent years: actively removing heavy debris objects by capturing them and then either disposing them by destructive re-entry in Earth atmosphere or disposing them in graveyard orbits. The REMOVEDEBRIS project aims to demonstrate key technologies for ADR in these three main domains by performing in-orbit demonstrations representative of an ADR mission. The specific key technologies that will be demonstrated as part of this project are: (i) Capture technologies such as nets and harpoons (ii) De-orbiting technologies such as electric propulsion and drag augmentation (iii) Proximity Rendezvous operations technologies based on vision-based navigation. The technology demonstrations will be carried in orbit using a micro satellite test-bed, a worlds first. The micro satellite will carry the ADR payloads together with 2 deployable nanosatellites (CubeSats). Through a series of operations, the nanonsatellites will be ejected, re-captured, inspected and de-orbited, thereby demonstrating the ADR key technologies.

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