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Satellite Communications Technology

SSTL announces new Earth Observation data contract with Airbus

(30 April 2019 - SSTL) Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) has signed a contract with Airbus to provide high resolution optical data from the SSTL S1-4, an Earth observation satellite which was launched in September 2018.

Sarah Parker, Managing Director of SSTL said: “We are delighted with the performance of the SSTL S1-4 in orbit, demonstrated by the outstanding quality of the sub 1 metre resolution images of Tampa, Ho Chi Minh City and Chihuahua that we have released today. I am also pleased to announce that Airbus is enhancing its imagery offering by leasing data capacity from the SSTL S1-4, and I look forward to start of service shortly.”

SSTL will retain ownership and in orbit satellite operation, and will lease imaging payload capacity to Airbus for the lifetime of the satellite, designed to be in excess of 7 years. The new contract will contribute high resolution panchromatic and multispectral optical data into the Airbus portfolio which already includes image data from seven satellites manufactured by SSTL, the DMC Constellation and the TripleSat Constellation.

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Sub 1 metre resolution image of Tampa International Airport, USA acquired by SSTL S1-4 satellite, 2019. (courtesy: SSTL)

“We really look forward to welcoming the S1-4 data into the Intelligence portfolio, to further enhance our high-resolution coverage capabilities. This will benefit our high-demand users across the defence and security sectors,” said Phil Brownnett, Head of UK Programmes at Airbus Defence and Space, Intelligence.

The SSTL S1-4 satellite has a mass of 450kg and is capable of acquiring multiple targets in one pass, utilising spot, strip and mosaic imaging modes and 45 degree off-pointing agility for a range of applications including urban planning, agricultural monitoring, land classification, natural resource management and disaster monitoring. The very high resolution imager on board the spacecraft has been designed and manufactured by SSTL and will acquire sub 1 metre resolution images in panchromatic mode and sub 4 metre resolution images in multispectral mode, with a swath width of about 20.8km.

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, communications, navigation, in-orbit debris removal and servicing and beyond Earth infrastructure. SSTL designs, manufactures and operates high performance satellites and ground systems for a fraction of the price normally associated with space missions, and employs 450 staff working on turnkey satellite platforms, space-proven satellite avionics, optical instruments and new mission concepts.

Since 1981, SSTL has built and launched more than 60 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. Our innovative approach is changing the economics of space.

Headquartered in Guildford, UK, SSTL is part of Airbus.