Press Release

SSTL announces TechDemoSat-1 launch date

By SpaceRef Editor
May 23, 2014
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Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) is announcing the launch of TechDemoSat-1, an in-orbit technology demonstration mission for innovative UK spacecraft equipment and software, planned for 28th June 2014 by a Soyuz-2 launch vehicle with a Fregat upper stage from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

TechDemoSat-1 is based on the SSTL-150 platform and is part-funded by a grant from the UK’s Technology Strategy Board, and SEEDA (South East England Development Agency). The spacecraft will carry eight separate payloads from UK academia and industry, providing valuable in-orbit validation for new technologies.  

Iain Gray, the Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, said: “The UK is home to an expert space community and the Technology Strategy Board supports businesses with potential to be world leaders in this growing sector. Technology and data from space can help solve problems on the ground – in agriculture, healthcare, transport and many other areas of life. This mission is an exciting opportunity to flight test innovative technology in extreme conditions.”

The payloads flying on TechDemoSat-1 are:

MuREM, a flexible miniature radiation and effects monitor from Surrey Space Centre

ChaPS, a prototype compact instrument to detect electrons and ions from the Mullard Space Science Laboratory

HMRM, a lightweight, ultra-compact radiation monitor designed to measure total radiation dose, particle flux rate and identify electrons, protons and ions from Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and Imperial College

LUCID, a device to measure characterisation of the energy, type, intensity and directionality of high energy particles from the Langton Star Centre

Compact Modular Sounder system, a modular infrared remote sensing radiometer unit from Oxford University’s Planetary Group and Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

De-orbit sail from Cranfield University

Cubesat ADCS, a 3-axes attitude determination and control subsystem from SSBV

Sea State Payload, a device using an enhanced GPS receiver from SSTL and components from a Synthetic Aperture Radar from Airbus Defence and Space to monitor reflected signals to determine ocean roughness

Dr Matt Perkins, SSTL’s CEO, commented “We are delighted to provide the platform that will carry innovative new British technologies into space, along with over 20 product developments for SSTL. We have worked closely with the payload providers for this mission and nothing would please us better than seeing these new technologies developed for the market as a result of the in-orbit demonstration opportunity they are being given on TechDemoSat-1.”  

The Launch and Early Operations phase (LEOP) and platform commissioning will be performed by SSTL from the Satellite Applications Catapult Operations Centre at Harwell. Subsequently, the commissioning of the payloads will be performed by SSTL via its own Mission Control Centre in Guildford before handing over day-to-day operation of the payloads back to the Catapult. SSTL will continue to manage spacecraft level monitoring and operations for TechDemoSat-1 in Guildford.

Notes to editor:
This press release and accompanying images can be downloaded as a Word or Pdf document at the following url:

Press Contacts:
Joelle Sykes, PR Manager, Surrey Satellite Technology Limited
Tel: +44 (0)1483 804243

Stephen Ballard, bcm public relations
Tel: +44 (0)1306 882288

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 600 staff working on turnkey satellite platforms, space-proven satellite subsystems and optical instruments.

Since 1981 SSTL has built and launched 41 satellites– as well as providing training and development programmes, consultancy services, and mission studies for ESA, NASA , international governments and commercial customers, with its innovative approach that is changing the economics of space.

In 2006 SSTL formed a UK subsidiary company, DMCii, to exploit the applications of its small Earth Observation satellites and in 2008 the Company set up a US subsidiary, Surrey Satellite Technology US LLC (SST-US) with facilities in Denver, Colorado to address the United States market and its customers for the provision of small satellite solutions, applications and services.

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

The Technology Strategy Board is the UK’s innovation agency. Its goal is to accelerate economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy. For more information please visit

SpaceRef staff editor.