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SSTL installs new ground station in Svalbard

(24 June 2015) SSTL is now downloading data from its newly installed ground station in Svalbard, which will maximise contact with the company’s polar-orbiting satellites.

The Svalbard ground station, uniquely located close to the North Pole, will enable satellite contact every 90 minutes – up to 14 passes a day.

With 14 satellites already monitored and controlled from its Guildford-based Satellite Operations Centre and four more to be launched next month, SSTL has increased it ground network capabilities with the addition of a high latitude ground station to supplement its existing UK capabilities, which receive up to 6 passes a day.

Under an agreement with Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT), SSTL has installed one of its ground station mini racks at KSAT’s Svalbard facility. This has been successfully commissioned and is now operational. A high speed data link between Svalbard and the SSTL Satellite Operations Centre in Guildford completes the new system.

James Northam, Head of Ground Systems and Missions Services said: “We are very pleased to be working with our colleagues at KSAT. This new facility will significantly enhance our operational capabilities for both our customer’s and our own missions. With four new satellites to be launched next month, the increased contact time provided by the high latitude location will allow us to spread the loading efficiently across the ground stations. This will reduce commissioning times and enable us to bring these new missions into service quickly, which will benefit our customers.”

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

Since 1981, SSTL has built and launched 43 satellites – as well as providing training and development programmes, consultancy services, and mission studies for ESA, NASA , international governments and commercial customers, with an innovative approach that is changing the economics of space.

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

(source: SSTL)