in Space

Bright Ascension selected for software development on ESA's OS2-VOLT mission

Posted 10 August 2023

Scottish space software tech provider, Bright Ascension Ltd., has been selected to head onboard and ground software development for the three-year OS2-VOLT mission for the European Space Agency (ESA).

Above: Andrew Nairn, Global Sales Manager, Bright Ascension and Murray Ireland, Head of Responsive Operations, Craft Prospect, making an OS2-VOLT announcement at the Small Satellites Conference, held in Logan, Utah, 5th-10th August.
Courtesy Bright Ascension

Led by Craft Prospect Ltd. (CPL) for the Telecom Directorate of ESA under the ScyLight programme, the project is designed to evaluate and test radical new real-time techniques and technologies in low Earth orbit.

OS2-VOLT is a circa €12 million project, aiming to demonstrate products and services within a Versatile Optical Laboratory for Telecommunications. Several capability demonstrations are planned both as a quantum key delivery and optical communications platform, and for assured, taskable hyperspectral imagery capture for climate resilience applications. Payload experimentation will be accessible through a secure reconfigurable high-performance computing system.

Bright Ascension is currently preparing to launch its highly anticipated end-to-end suite of software products called HELIX, that will form the foundation for its OS2-VOLT partnership. The ESA/CPL project will include an extensible and customisable downstream software platform to provide high-level tasking and monitoring of the space system at the level of delivering data and services to a number of anchor customers. The largest of these is expected to be Resilience Constellation, that provides data and insights on effective climate mitigation for conclusive decision-making by governments, financial institutions, businesses and civil society. Bright Ascension will also be leading software development for the upstream side of the mission, leveraging products for flight, test and operations software.

“The OS2-VOLT partnership is an exciting opportunity for us to demonstrate the capabilities and effectiveness our new end-to-end HELIX products that we are launching later in the year,” said Peter Mendham, CEO at Bright Ascension. “Over the past 11 years we have successfully validated our innovative engineering in the context of over 40 missions and we are now expanding our expertise and understanding of the upstream software technologies to downstream services to provide high-level tasking and software-defined flexibility to the complete space system, from onboard payloads to in-cloud data processing. This ability to connect and optimise integration between building/operating a spacecraft and actually delivering data in an easy to use and accessible way will open up new innovative opportunities for a large and very diverse number of customers.”




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