UPSALA, Sweden (ÅAC Microtec PR) — ÅAC Microtec AB’s subsidiary, Clyde Space, has signed a contract with the UK’s Satellite Applications Catapult to upgrade an existing order for the IOD Program from an 3U CubeSat to an enhanced 6U CubeSat. The contract value is 0.2 MGBP (approx. 2.5 MSEK) [$270,513].
The satellite is part of the In-Orbit Demonstration (IOD) Program, funded by Innovate UK, the UK Government’s innovation agency, and led by the Satellite Applications Catapult. The spacecraft will be delivered as the IOD-3 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) through launch providers Nanoracks in the second half of 2020.
The Satellite Applications Catapult, which was set up by the UK government to drive innovation and growth in the UK space sector, is providing six satellites for the purpose of proving applications and associated technologies in orbit. To date, the manufacture of five of the IOD program satellites has been commissioned from Clyde Space.
“The upgrade of one of the 3U CubeSat IOD missions to a 6U will provide our customer not only with increased payload capacity, but they will also benefit from a range of enhanced performance including power and pointing capability. The modular nature of our satellites means that our 3U, 6U and 12U satellites benefit from essentially the same heritage avionics systems, meaning the switch to the larger platform size is a relatively simple change. We’re delighted to be continuing to support the IOD Programme; personally I have witnessed the success the programme has had in attracting inward investment in space applications as well as supporting UK companies, like Clyde Space, to secure key customers for future growth. This follow-on order from the Satellite Applications Catapult builds on the successful relationship we have in the delivery of the IOD programme,” says Craig Clark MBE, Clyde Space Founder and CSO.
“We’ve seen a great influx in the number of mission concepts demanding increased capability and payload volume offered by larger spacecraft buses. As a direct response to this trend we are increasing IOD-3 to a larger spacecraft through our partnership with Clyde Space. Our goal is to enable responsive opportunities for a new generation of business within the space sector and to do this we need to listen to both the enterprises we are here to foster and the New Space market demand,” says Chris Brunskill, the Head of Access to Space at the Catapult.
In 2016, Clyde Space was commissioned by the Satellite Applications Catapult to supply four platforms for the IOD Programme and, in 2018, were contracted to deliver the Kepler Communications TARS IOD-5, which is a 6U CubeSat.
This new upgrade order for IOD-3 builds on the successful delivery of the previous demonstrator mission IOD-1 GEMS, a cutting-edge 3U CubeSat within an innovative weather payload, which was delivered to the launch provider earlier this month. The IOD Programme is proving highly successful in offering quick, regular and more affordable access to space to the Catapult partner companies.
ÅAC Microtec AB and its subsidiary, Clyde Space, continue to develop their expertise and experience in delivering a wide range of commercially focused satellite solutions, designed for rapid manufacture, ease of payload integration and cutting-edge technology to offer customers unrivalled access to space.
For more information, please visit: www.aacmicrotec.com
About ÅAC Microtec
ÅAC Microtec and its subsidiary Clyde Space offer a full turnkey mission service from design to on-orbit operations including reliable platforms in the range of 1 to 50 Kg; customizable to suit our customers’ requirements. Our end-to-end service package enables our customers to reach their mission goals with a single, trusted point of contact. In addition, we supply a full range of subsystems for cube satellites and small satellites.