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Global MilSatCom 2018

SSTL and 21AT announce new Earth Observation data contract

(2 February 2018 - SSTL) Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) signed a £25M contract in Beijing yesterday with Twenty First Century Aerospace Technology Co., Ltd (21AT) to provide data from a new Earth Observation satellite (SSTL-S1) due for launch on PSLV in the middle of this year. The contract was signed by Sir Martin Sweeting, Executive Chairman of SSTL, and Mme Wu Shuang, President and Chairman of 21AT, and witnessed by the UK Secretary of State, Dr Liam Fox.

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SSTL-S1 satellite under construction at SSTL’s Guildford UK site. (courtesy: SSTL/Kathryn Graham)

As the manufacturer and owner of the SSTL-S1 satellite, SSTL will lease imaging payload capacity to 21AT for the lifetime of the satellite, designed to be in excess of 7 years. The SSTL-S1 satellite will contribute sub-one metre resolution image data into 21AT’s existing TripleSat Constellation service, comprising three SSTL DMC3 satellites launched in 2015. The addition of the SSTL-S1 satellite will enhance both the revisit capability of the TripleSat Constellation and its efficient global high resolution remote sensing satellite data acquisition and operation services that support a wide range of existing successful user applications by 21AT’s domestic and overseas customers.

SSTL’s Sir Martin Sweeting commented “I am delighted to be here today to sign another contract that extends SSTL’s 15-year long-term UK-China partnership with 21AT and consolidates the success of the TripleSat Constellation service. Adding capacity to the Constellation with a new satellite demonstrates the high fidelity of the imagery and the success of 21AT’s business model.”

The design of the SSTL-S1 is identical to the present three satellites in the TripleSat Constellation that were launched in 2015. It 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 by SSTL and will provide sub-one metre resolution images in panchromatic mode and sub-four metre resolution images in multispectral mode, with a swath width of about 24km.