Press Release

SSTL does it again: 1m Earth observation constellation

By SpaceRef Editor
June 29, 2011
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Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) has signed a #110m contract with satellite imaging provider DMC International Imaging (DMCii) to provide three SSTL-300S1 satellites, a new smallsat design which provides unparalleled 1 metre high resolution imagery with high speed downlink and 45 degrees off-pointing.

SSTL CEO Dr. Matt Perkins commented, “The demand for high resolution geospatial imagery is growing and with this new design we can provide our customers with an exceptional satellite system that delivers 1 metre imagery, large coverage and high revisit times for a price that would have been deemed unimaginable until very recently.”

The three satellites will form a new constellation, DMC3, with enormous imaging potential made possible by recent innovations in satellite design. Until now, the physical demands of high resolution imaging from space have required a large satellite but, by re-engineering its heritage imaging payloads and adapting the existing SSTL-300 satellite design used on NigeriaSat-2, SSTL has introduced a highly capable sub-metre resolution small satellite for a fraction of the cost of a conventional Earth observation mission.

By combining the coverage from three satellites, the DMC3 constellation will be able to revisit a given area daily, which is crucial for change detection, disaster monitoring and response planning, and essential for acquiring cloud-free imagery. Like its SSTL-300 counterpart, the new 350kg satellite also features advanced avionics and optical systems that make it possible to perform several different types of imaging such as mapping terrain, strip imaging and mosaic imaging for wide areas.

Notes to editor:

The SSTL-300 S1 platform specification:
– Mass: 350kg
– GSD: PAN: 1mGSD M/S: 4m
– Swath: 23km
– Off-pointing up to 45deg fast slew
– 16Gbyte High Speed Data recorder
– 128 Gbyte non volatile storage
– X-Band downlink at up to 320Mbit/s
– Antenna Pointing Mechanism to track GSN during spacecraft slews and imaging

This press release can be downloaded as a Word or Pdf document at the following url:

3D satellite graphics are available upon request.

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 over 350 staff working on turnkey satellite platforms, space-proven satellite subsystems and optical instruments.

Since 1981 SSTL has built and launched 34 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.

Based in Guildford, UK, SSTL is owned by EADS Astrium NV.

About DMC International Imaging Ltd

DMC International Imaging Ltd (DMCii) is a UK based supplier of remote sensing data products and services for international Earth Observation (EO) markets. DMCii supplies programmed and archived optical satellite imagery provided by the multi-satellite Disaster Monitoring Constellation. DMCii’s data is now used in a wide variety of commercial and government applications including agriculture, forestry and environmental mapping.

In partnership with the UK Space Agency and the other Disaster Monitoring Constellation member nations (Algeria, China, Nigeria, Turkey and Spain), DMCii works with the International Charter ‘Space and Major Disasters’ to provide free satellite imagery for humanitarian use in the event of major international disasters such as floods, fires, tsunamis, and hurricanes.

DMCii was formed in October 2004 and is a subsidiary of Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL), the world leader in small satellite technology. SSTL designed and built the Disaster Monitoring Constellation with the support of the then British National Space Centre and in conjunction with the other Disaster Monitoring Constellation member nations listed above.

For more information, please see

SSTL Contact:
Joelle Sykes, Surrey Satellite Technology Limited
Tel: +44 (0)1483 804243 Email:

Press Contact:
Robin Wolstenholme, bcm public relations
Tel: +44 (0)1306 882288 Email:

SpaceRef staff editor.