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DE&S awards satellite control contracts to Lockheed Martin and Rhea

Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) has placed contracts with Lockheed Martin’s Space Systems UK in Oxfordshire and Rhea in Bath, to develop innovative software that will provide a robust, secure and automated satellite control system for future UK MoD satellites.

Above: The UK MoD’s Bereo programme will assist the MoD to understand how best to control its future ISTARI constellation of low orbit general purpose Earth observation satellites, further enhancing the UK’s multidomain integration efforts.
Courtesy DE&S / Copyright Lockheed Martin

The contracts were awarded by the Space Delivery Team at DE&S - the procurement arm of the UK MoD - as part of Project Beroe and will underpin UK Government control of future satellite constellations, further enhancing the country's multidomain integration efforts, its National Space Strategy and reinforce innovation within the space sector.

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Worth a total of £4 million, the contracts are for undertaking the agile development of software for satellite system management, designed to capture and process onboard system data to control and monitor the performance of the satellite.

Lockheed Martin's research and development contract is for providing a secure, open source, ground-segment software solution to task, monitor and control the MoD's future space capabilities.

DE&S project manager Melanie MacDonald, said: “We are developing critical software that will provide the UK government with direct control of a range of future satellites. As well as supporting wider government access to diverse satellite data, this capability will support UK Armed Forces operations and provide them with the edge they need to protect the nation.”

Nik Smith, UK and Europe regional director for Lockheed Martin said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to work alongside DE&S on this exciting project. Working collaboratively we were able to identify a solution that is a modular, flexible mission control system – based on commercial off-the-shelf open source software – which we’ve already proven on many of our military and commercial space missions.”

Commodore David Moody, head of space capability, UK Space Command said: “This is a pivotal moment for UK Defence and the UK Space Sector as we develop software capabilities and strategic partnerships that will determine the future of how we manage our activities in space.
 
“This project will help define and understand how we will control and optimise the use of our satellites in a safe and sustainable way, while also supporting the wider goal of enabling growth in the Space Sector to develop resilient space capabilities and services.”

Flexible, agile space asset ground control
Lockheed Martin’s Bereo solution leverages the investments made developing the company’s Integrated Multi-Mission Ground (IM2G) product. It is designed to support diverse space missions, orbital regimes and constellation sizes with mature, reconfigurable components and technologies within a hardened ground system.

At the heart of IM2G is the Lockheed Martin’s proven Compass Mission Planning and Horizon Command and Control (C2) software, which allows single satellite or entire constellation management, supporting fleets of similar or entirely different missions and satellite types.  

For the Bereo programme’s multiphase procurement, the MoD is using its Rapid Agile Prototyping, Scaled for Operations (RAPSO) commercial framework, including a series of Agile software development releases, to be completed and demonstrated in 2025.

Lockheed Martin UK, the UK arm of Lockheed Martin Corporation, has operated in country for nearly 80 years and employs 1,700 people at 22 sites. This new project aligns with one of Lockheed Martin UK’s core commitments, as part of its role as a key player in growing the UK’s space economy. The company plays a vital part in both the protection and defence of the UK, providing its expertise to the UK Government’s Space Defence Strategy as well as creating new jobs in the space industry.

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The UK’s National Space Strategy is to build one of the most innovative and attractive space economies in the world and for the UK to grow as a space-faring nation. Project Beroe is one of the many space capability development initiatives that deliver the National Space Strategy aim of using cutting edge research to inspire the next generation, and sustain the UK’s competitive edge in space science and technology.

 

 

 

 

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