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UK-based company plans to build radar satellites

Surrey, UK: United Kingdom based Surrey Satellite Technologies (SSTL) announced that it will soon begin to develop a low-cost Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite system. The medium resolution (6-30 m ground sample distance) NovaSar-S satellite system would be developed in coordination with SSTL’s parent company Astrium. The satellite platform will be an adaptation of the company’s very-high-resolution imaging NigeriaSat-2 mission, which was launched earlier this year.

The prime advantage of SAR over its traditional counterpart is that it can take images regardless of cloud cover and also during both day and night. The company aims to build the satellite for less than 50 million Euros, a considerable savings based on prior platforms that have cost twice as much. Challenges in the past have revolved around data handling, because SAR generates 20 to 30 times more data than optical data processing systems.

SSTL is eying a constellation of three NovaSar-S satellites to be flown in constellation at equatorial or polar low-Earth orbits, because with this coverage they could image any point on the globe every day. The company indicates that they could deliver two complete NovaSAR-S satellites into orbit within the next 24 months.

Source: Vector 1 Media