Surrey Satellite Expands LEO Platform Capability with VESTA Nanosat

VESTA nanosat (Credit: Surrey Satellite)
VESTA nanosat (Credit: Surrey Satellite)

GUILDFORD, UK (SSTL PR) — Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) has signed a contract with Honeywell to supply the VESTA satellite platform, a technology demonstration mission that will test a new two-way VHF Data Exchange System (VDES) payload for the exactEarth advanced maritime satellite constellation. The contract was signed as part of an MOU between Honeywell Aerospace and the UK Space Agency.

John Paffett, SSTL’s Director of Telecommunications, commented “The SSTL nanosatellite range provides flexible and highly capable payload accommodation, engineered with SSTL’s unrivalled class-leading reliability and I am delighted that VESTA will be first nanosatellite to be manufactured in our new NanoLab here in Guildford.”

Leveraging SSTL’s extensive track record and proven heritage in the provision of high quality, cost effective small satellite platforms, VESTA is a new configuration of the SSTL-12 satellite platform, a product in SSTL’s scalable LEO platform range covering 3kg to 1000kg.  The SSTL-12 provides a flexible mission solution offering more power, mass and payload capability than many other current offerings in this class and is ideally suited for missions of between 3kg and 25kg.

VESTA is being manufactured in SSTL’s new NanoLab at the Company’s Guildford facility under a rapid-build schedule to meet a 2017 launch date.  The VESTA platform will have 3-axis pointing capability, an SEU tolerant on-board computer, VxWorks operating system and an S-Band transmitter and receiver. The design is compatible with a range of launch deployment systems for injection into orbit by Soyuz, Antares, Dnepr, Falcon-9, Atlas, Delta and Vega rockets.

In 2012, SSTL supplied the platform for exactView-1, the highest detection performance AIS satellite currently in orbit. exactEarth is pioneering space-based maritime information services which include the highest performing, most widely accepted satellite AIS system increasing the range of vessel detection and providing real time monitoring of vessels throughout the World’s oceans.

VESTA is a flagship project of the National Space Technology Programme , funded by the UK Space Agency  and managed by the Centre for EO Instrumentation and Space Technology (CEOI-ST).

About SSTL

Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) is the world’s leading small satellite company, delivering operational space missions for a range of applications including Earth observation, science and communications. The Company designs, manufactures and operates high performance satellites and ground systems for a fraction of the price normally associated with space missions, with 450 staff working on turnkey satellite platforms, space-proven satellite subsystems and optical instruments.

Since 1981, SSTL has built and launched 47 satellites for 20 international customers – as well as providing training and development programmes, consultancy services, and mission studies for ESA, NASA , international governments and commercial customers, with an innovative approach that is changing the economics of space.

Headquartered in Guildford, UK, SSTL is part of the Airbus Group.
www.sstl.co.uk

About Honeywell

Honeywell (www.honeywell.com) is a Fortune 100 diversified technology and manufacturing leader, serving customers worldwide with aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes and industry; turbochargers; and performance materials. For more news and information on Honeywell, please visit: www.honeywellnow.com

About exactEarth

exactEarth is a leading provider of global maritime vessel data for ship tracking and maritime situational awareness solutions. Since its establishment in 2009, exactEarth has pioneered a powerful new method of maritime surveillance called Satellite-AIS (“S-AIS”) and has delivered to its clients a view of maritime behaviours across all regions of the world’s oceans unrestricted by terrestrial limitations. exactEarth has deployed an operational data processing supply chain involving a constellation of satellites, receiving ground stations, patented decoding algorithms and advanced “big data” processing and distribution facilities. This ground-breaking system provides a comprehensive picture of the location of AIS equipped maritime vessels throughout the world and allows exactEarth to deliver data and information services characterized by high performance, reliability, security and simplicity to large international markets. For more information, visit exactearth.com.

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