UK: As part of the National Space Technology Programme, the UK Government will grant nearly GBP 6 million to co-fund major new research projects that will develop commercial products and services using space technology and data from space-based systems.
The grant funding, from the UK Space Agency and the Technology Strategy Board, will support four major research and development consortium projects.
– The first project will be for the development of the NextGen 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 programmes to develop telecommunication space technologies.
– The second project aims to 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.
– The third project will help in developing 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.
– The fourth project will 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.
All the four projects will 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 GBP 11.5 million.
Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said, “The UK space industry supports thousands of high-tech jobs in the UK and is an important driver of economic growth. This USD 6 million investment will build on that success by helping some of the most innovative British businesses develop highly commercial, cutting-edge space technology that will be in demand in a growing global market.”
Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, said, “We are delighted to support these exciting new projects, which will enable the development, commercialisation and exploitation of space technologies to address challenges and provide growth opportunities across a wide range of emerging markets.”
Source: BIS UK