Dstl announces 2022 satellite launch
The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) will launch its first satellites in 2022 in the next phase of growing the UK’s space research capabilities.
The satellites demonstrate further progress towards the government’s ambition that by 2030 the UK will have the ability to monitor, protect and defend our interests in and through space.
The two Prometheus 2 CubeSats will operate in low Earth Orbit, 550km above the Earth.
Built by In-Space Missions Ltd in Alton and designed with Airbus Defence and Space, the 2 tiny satellites (just 30cm x 20cm x 10cm), comparable to the size of a shoebox, will provide a test platform for monitoring radio signals including GPS, and sophisticated imaging, paving the way for a more collaborative and connected space communication system with our combat allies.
The mission is a collaborative project with Dstl’s international partners and Airbus Defence and Space UK who will share the satellite’s operations, with additional ground stations being provided by Dstl’s international partners and Airbus.
These satellites will support MOD’s science and technology activities both in orbit and on the ground through the development of ground systems focused at Dstl’s site near Portsmouth.
The satellites will host a wide array of payloads including a hyperspectral imager, Global Positioning System receivers, a wide-field-of-view imager and multiple software-defined radios.
Lessons learnt from this demonstration will be used to de-risk key technologies, generate the next wave of collaborative science and technology experiments, enhance international collaboration and Dstl’s own satellite operations capability as it looks to lead a growing number of space and ground demonstrator missions.