Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL) has signed an £22 million contract with Defence Equipment and Support on behalf of Space Command for Carbonite+, a 150kg spacecraft
Carbonite+ is a 150 kg. spacecraft. Project TYCHE is the first satellite procurement for the MINERVA program, which is a key enabler in the development of the foundation for a UK Space-based Intelligence Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR) constellation under program ISTARI. Delivered under a three year build program, the Carbonite+ mission will be compatible with both horizontal as well as vertical launch. Carbonite+ will be operated from SSTL’s Spacecraft Operations Centre in Guildford, UK.
The key outcome of project TYCHE will be a robust understanding and analysis of the integration activities, test environments and interfaces required to establish and maintain UK MOD rights to freely operate a space based ISR capability. The project also aims to understand security requirements, risks and identify further activities that may be required to mature the ISTARI ISR capability.
Phil Brownnett, SSTL’s Managing Director, said, “We are delighted that Space Command has signed with SSTL for Carbonite+, and we are looking forward to working together on this pivotal mission for the UK. We have established an excellent relationship with Space Command and by working closely together we have evolved and enhanced our Carbonite+ spacecraft design for the Project TYCHE Program.”
Defence Procurement Minister, Jeremy Quin, said, “The MINERVA program provides the route to use space to be fully interoperable and able to share data with our close allies. “his is the crucial first step in delivering this capability and I’m delighted that we’re working together with UK companies to remain at the forefront of innovation in space.”
The Project TYCHE contract provides sustained employment at SSTL, with as many as 100 employees directly contributing to the successful project delivery, together with increased opportunities for UK start-ups, SMEs, and VSCE’s to become involved with an annual growth target of 5%.