louThe new Business Development Manager at the South Coast Centre of Excellence for Satellite Applications, Louise Butt, reflects…

Being new to the Satellite Catapult family, I’ve spent the last month out and about visiting facilities and meeting some very knowledgeable people so that I can really understand the variety of support on offer to academia and business. What have I learnt? Well…the opportunities are vast!

Developing upstream satellite technologies? 

For those working in the upstream space sector there is a comprehensive range of facilities located conveniently in Harwell that will support taking a project from initial concept all the way to the validation of full-size prototypes. A great example is the Disruptive Innovation for Space Centre (DISC), which exists to cover all aspects of the design, manufacture and test process, and includes access to the near-field range with a 4 m anechonic chamber, and the 400 m far-field range, for full antenna characterisation.

Let’s also not forget the Ground Station based at Goonhilly, the primary terrestrial location for the Catapult’s In Orbit Demonstration (IOD) programme with each mission providing a critical in-space testbed.

Goonhilly Ground Station

Other resources include a Class 7 cleanroom, the Spacecraft Environmental Test and Verification facility to validate small spacecraft, and the SatComms Lab.

Perhaps satellite data is your thing?

Almost 2000 active satellites are currently in orbit, consequently there are many opportunities to be realised when access to the broad swathe of satellite data is enabled.

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In response to the growing need for data access, the Catapult and the UK Space Agency jointly funded the Sentinel Data Access Service (SEDAS). The SEDAS platform is an online data hub offering free and open access to EO data from the Copernicus Sentinel 1 and 2 satellites. More information on the Sentinel missions can be found here.

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The Data Discovery Hub (DDH)is another useful online tool. The DDH portal catalogs a huge number of EO and geospatial datasets and, where possible, makes the raw data available for exploration and download. For example, if you are interested in EO data for agriculture applications then there are over 50 individual satellite missions listed. Mission information includes revisit frequency and spatial resolution so that you, the user, can make informed decisions on the data source.

Looking to engage?

A useful mechanism to directly engage, network and access expertise is to utilise the co-working space available at Harwell. Co-location to develop collaborations with like-minded innovators is an attractive proposition and is provided by the Catapult. Flexible daily options at very low rates ensure that even those with limited budgets can benefit. With free parking and refreshments included, what’s not to like?

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Finally, let’s remember the support available via the regional centres located cross the UK. Each centre has dedicated teams available to work with you to help develop your ideas, find partners and secure funding. As part of the South Coast team, I’m here to help!