UK Space Conference Showcases Growing Space Sector

UK_space_agencyLIVERPOOL, England (UKSA PR) — From a feasibility study into the next generation of mobile satellite services, to a study examining the potential for UK communications support for the Orion mission, a host of new contracts were announced last week as leading figures from the space industry met for the 2015 UK Space Conference in Liverpool.

The conference announcements illustrated the strength and diversity of the UK space sector and the skilled services it has to offer.

ICE Telecommunications Contract

On day 2 of the Space Conference, the European Space Agency (ESA) signed a contract with Inmarsat in the UK to support the Inmarsat Communications Evolution project, ICE – a public-private partnership that gives European industry the opportunity to shape future mobile satellite services on land, at sea and in the air.

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New Facilities Open at UK Space Gateway

UK_space_agencyOXFORDSHIRE, England (UKSA) — Another boost for the UK’s £11.3 billion space industry as 2 new space facilities are opened at the UK Space Gateway in Oxfordshire.

  • Inauguration of European Space Agency’s ECSAT facility in the UK
  • STFC’s RALSpace opens £27.7 million state of art test facility
  • UK arm of Airbus Defence and Space awarded contract for Quantum satellite with Eutelsat and European Space Agency (ESA)

The inauguration day for the multimillion pound space facilities was also the backdrop for the first contract signed from the new European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications (ECSAT) – a €180m contract between ESA and Eutelsat for the first of an innovative class of geostationary communications satellite to be primed and manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space (ADS) in the UK using flexible payload technology and a new platform from Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL).

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ESA Plans Quantum Leap in Satellite Design

Quantum (Credit: Airbus)
Quantum (Credit: Airbus)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Telecom satellites are set to enter a new age, as ESA, Eutelsat and Airbus Defence & Space begin designing the most flexible payload ever.

The Quantum programme is a departure from the traditional, custom, one-off approach to building satellites by offering a new and generic payload design. For the first time, it will enable users to request the performance and flexibility they need in terms of coverage, bandwidth, power and frequency.

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ESA Establishes First R&D Center in UK

Artist's impression of the UK ESA facility. (Credit: ESA) Credit: ESA.
Artist’s impression of the UK ESA facility. (Credit: ESA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — David Willetts, UK Minister for Universities and Science, and Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA Director General, today unveiled the Agency’s first UK facility: ECSAT, the European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications, located at the Harwell Oxford campus.

ECSAT supports activities related to telecommunications, climate change, technology, science and ‘integrated applications’ – the combined use of different space and terrestrial technologies, data and infrastructures to create new everyday applications. The development of innovative public–private partnerships will be emphasised.

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