As part of the UK Space Agency’s National Space Technology Programme (NSTP), twenty-nine projects are receiving grant funding to develop commercial products and services using space technology or space-derived data. These ‘fast-track projects’ applied as part of the ‘Space for Growth’ competition, and each will last between 6 and 9 months. The projects will carry out research and development in: Satellite Telecommunications; Sensing; Position, Navigation & Timing; Robotics & Exploration and Access to Space.
The NSTP was established to help UK industry exploit growth opportunities in the space sector and improve domestic space technology capabilities. In addition to the UK Space Agency’s contribution, funding has been provided by the Technology Strategy Board and the South East England Development Agency. Additional matched funding from the businesses involved brings the total value of research and development to nearly £5 million.
“The UK space industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the country, contributing £7.5bn annually to the UK economy. The National Space Technology Programme will help us further this success by providing an opportunity for promising UK space technologies and applications to be developed to meet their full commercial potential and for businesses to explore collaborations with other sectors to establish services in new markets.”
The organisations (PDF) leading the collaborative projects are:
- ABSL Power Solutions Ltd (2 projects)
- Advanced Composites Group Ltd
- AMPAC ISP UK Westcott Ltd
- Astrium Ltd (3 projects)
- Clyde Space Ltd
- e2v technologies (UK) Ltd
- Exemplar Associates Ltd
- Logica (2 projects)
- M Squared Lasers
- Magellium Ltd
- Mars Space Ltd
- National Physical Laboratory (2 projects)
- Nottingham Scientific Ltd
- Reaction Engines
- SSBV Space and Ground Systems Ltd.
- Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (2 projects)
- VEGA Space Ltd, VIPER RF Ltd. (2 projects)
- Zettlex UK Ltd.
Find out more about the NSTP and the progress of other funding opportunities.
Editor’s Note: Just a quick look at some of the more interesting projects:
Project Title: Fundamental Analysis and Design Study of Integration of Precoolers into Advanced Air‐Breathing Propulsion Systems for Reusable Launch Vehicles
Partners: Reaction Engines (lead), Cranfield University
Project Title: Innovative “Green” Propulsion Systems
Partners: Astrium Ltd (lead), MT Aerospace Satellite Products Ltd, Ampac Isp UK Westcott Ltd, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, Deltacat Ltd
Project Title: Extension of pulsed plasma thrusters lifetime for cubesat application
Partners: Mars Space Ltd (lead), Clyde Space Ltd
Project Title: Mars Rover Autonomy using Endocrine based Algorithms (ENDOVER)
Partners: EADS-UK (lead), Astrium Ltd, Aberystwyth University