SSTL Completes ISIC Ground Station Installation
[Satellite TODAY 05-08-11] Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL) has completed the installation of key ground station equipment for the Astrium-led Earth observation hub project at the International Space Innovation Center (ISIC) in Harwell, United Kingdom, SSTL announced May 6.
SSTL said the ISIC ground station can now be used to plan mission operations, communicate with satellites and downlink images and other information for a broad spectrum of missions. The station will initially be used to operate the SSTL-built TechDemoSat-1 satellite, which is being developed through a grant from the U.K.’s Technology Strategy Board (TSB). TechDemoSat-1 is scheduled for launch in 2012.
“Satellites are tasked from the Mission Operation Center using the Mission Planning System. For example, for an imaging mission, a user can program where and when an image should be acquired days, or even weeks, in advance. This ‘tasking’ of the spacecraft and the subsequent image acquisition is highly automated helping to reduce the cost of the operations,” SSTL said in a statement.