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SSTL Creating New LEO platform for Honeywell and UK Space Agency

By | July 20, 2016
      Vesta SSTL Honeywell exactEarth

      Digital rendering of a Vesta satellite. Photo: SSTL

      [Via Satellite 07-20-2016] Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) has signed a contract with Honeywell Aerospace to provide a variant of its SSTL 12 satellite platform for a technology demonstration mission. The platform, called Vesta, will test a new two-way Very High Frequency (VHF) Data Exchange System (VDES) payload for the exactEarth maritime satellite constellation. SSTL is providing the platform as part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Honeywell and the U.K. Space Agency.

      Vesta is a flagship project of the U.K.’s National Space Technology Program, funded through the U.K. Space Agency and managed via the Center for Earth Observation Instrumentation and Space Technology (CEOI-ST). The platform is a new configuration of the SSTL 12 bus, optimized for missions of between 3kg and 25kg. SSTL is manufacturing Vesta in its new NanoLab at the company’s Guildford facility under a rapid-build schedule to meet a 2017 launch date.

      The Vesta platform will have three-axis pointing capability, a Single Event Upset (SEU) tolerant on-board computer, VxWorks operating system, and an S-band transmitter and receiver. The design is compatible with a range of launch deployment systems for injection into orbit by Orbital ATK’s Antares, Russia’s Soyuz, Russia and Ukraine’s Dnepr, SpaceX’s Falcon 9, United Launch Alliance’s (ULA’s) Atlas and Delta, and Arianespace’s Vega rockets.