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November 12, 2020
SSC UK awarded ESA contract to define next generation ground segment connectivity systems for CubeSats and SmallSats

The UK subsidiary of SSC (Swedish Space Corporation), has been awarded a contract by the European Space Agency ESA to develop a next generation concept for space to ground communications targeting the “NewSpace” (CubeSats and SmallSats) market. The initiative is supported by the UK Space Agency and aims at developing a range of new technologies that will address some of the market entry barriers faced by CubeSat organizations globally.

The Global Newspace Network Evolution (GNNetE) project brings together a number of new technologies that address costs and technical difficulties surrounding space to ground communications. It aims to support activities of CubeSat operators and manufacturers who are developing cost effective small to medium constellations and solutions for rapid deployment of space assets.

The SSC UK team is working closely with a wide range of European CubeSat manufacturers and technology partners to develop solutions that can eliminate some of their most challenging technical problems, such as spectrum allocation and effective management of spacecraft constellations.

“Space to ground communications have not yet managed to harness the dramatic technology advances and cost efficiencies that CubeSats have brought to the space segment. We are committed to changing this by introducing a range of new technologies into this market. We are working with some of the most talented teams in the world and I am confident that we can deliver the next generation of space communication technologies”, says Iraklis Hatziathanasiou, Vice President of Business Development at SSC UK.

“This programme acts as a catalyst for the development of next generation satellite communications systems and marks the start of the journey of our UK venture to become a world leading player in this field. We have a very ambitious growth target and we are grateful for the support of the UK Space Agency, ESA and the wider space community that has embraced our activities”, says John Stuart, Managing Director at SSC UK.

Photo: One of SSC antennas at Esrange Space Center in northern Sweden, where SSC has one of the world’s largest ground stations for satellite management.

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