September 27, 2011

SSTL Brings Economical Space Discussion To IAC 2011 In Cape Town

Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) is sponsoring the 62nd International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Cape Town next week — the company´s experts are eager to share their vision for cost effective innovation during the five-day congress.

Following the launch of Nigeria´s first high resolution Earth Observation satellite into the African Resource Monitoring constellation (ARM), a paper titled “First light for the NigeriaSat-2 imaging mission” will be presented. NigeriaSat-2 is SSTL´s first 300kg class satellite, using the extra capacity to provide 2.5m panchromatic and 5m multispectral resolution imaging and very flexible multi-mode operation from a small and cost effective mission.

During the past year, this same 300kg platform has been adapted for operation with an innovative low cost Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) payload that was developed jointly with Astrium and a paper on the new platform titled “A low cost SAR solution for Disaster Management and Environmental Monitoring Applications” will be presented at the Small Satellites Symposium.

Continuing the “maximum value for money” theme, Mission Concepts analyst Shaun Kenyon will present a paper on the use of a conventional smartphone to provide nanosatellite avionics, drawing on his recent experience working with the Surrey Space Centre on the STRaND-1 nanosatellite. On the same theme, his colleague Susan Jason will present a new, commercially available, flexible, high performance microsatellite platform, the SSTL-50.

The economics of lunar missions is also under scrutiny. In a second paper, Susan Jason will also present “Hitchhiking to the Moon: The European Student Moon Orbiter Mission”, inviting participation on the ambitious student-built lunar mission SSTL is currently coordinating for the European Space Agency (ESA).

“Changing the Economics of Universal Satellite TV and Internet in Africa” is a subject likely to attract significant interest given the huge cost associated with traditional communications satellites. This paper will present new approaches to communications infrastructure.

In total, SSTL will present more than 12 papers on topics including optical imaging payloads, altimetry and low cost spacecraft for situational awareness.

A full list of the SSTL papers can be found on To discuss SSTL´s new technologies with an expert visit stand 66. For more information on the IAC 2011 congress and exhibition visit


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