UK boosts Space-as-a-Service with 10 satellite contract

November 23, 2020 // By Nick Flaherty
UK boosts Space-as-a-Service with 10 satellite contract
AAC Clyde Space is aiming to dominate the Space-as-a-Service market through a UK satellite project and the acquisitions of SpaceQuest and Hyperion Technologies.

European satellite builder AAC Clyde Space is aiming to dominate the Space-as-a-Service market through a UK project and two recent acquisitions.

The Swedish-owned company is to build ten small satellites in Glasgow, Scotland, as part of a UK government project for a new constellation. This comes as the OneWeb satellite operator also emerges from bankruptcy with UK support to continue its rollout of 720 large satellites for a low earth orbit (LEO) broadband network.

Alongside this, the €9.9m, three year XSpancion project aims to launch the constellation of ten CubeSat small satellites that will be available to business, including satellite communications, Earth Observation and remote sensing.

The project plans to provide a ‘one stop shop’ for satellite services. It brings together the University of Strathclyde, the Satellite Applications Catapult, Bright Ascension and D-Orbit UK. 

“The project will revolutionise our space-as-a-service offering,” said Luis Gomes, chief executive of Swedish-owned AAC Clyde Space. “It will allow us to significantly reduce the cost of every message collected, every image captured, supporting those business cases that to date have not been able to justify the capital expenditure to have hundreds of sensors in orbit. Fundamentally, our customers will no longer have to worry about how to access space, they can focus on how to enhance their core business. This project will catalyse a new generation of applications not previously possible.”

The project will specify new technologies for the constellation by the middle of 2021, covering propulsion, inter-satellite links, the safe and secure transmission of data and a customer interface. This is highly likely to integrate technologies from the recent acquisition of small satellite specialists Hyperion in Delft, the Netherlands, and SpaceQuest in the US.

Next: Space as a service satellite plan

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