in Defence / Space

Dstl award QinetiQ £2.3m OGS contract

Posted 19 November 2020 · Add Comment

QinetiQ has been awarded a £2.3 million contract to build a relocatable Optical Ground Station (OGS) capable of receiving high-speed data transmissions from space.

Above: An SDML container.
Courtesy QinetiQ

Awarded by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) through the Serapis Lot 2 commercial framework, the OGS will support Dstl’s Space Programme by providing a solid platform on which to undertake research and experimentation into free-space optical communications (FSOC) from space.

The OGS will directly support the 'Titania' Capability Demonstrator that aims to develop the science and demonstrate the military utility of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Direct-to-Earth (DTE) free space optical communications. This supports the concept of Information Advantage (IA), by providing the ability to increase the rate at which data can be transferred from space, whilst also increasing resilience and protecting our data in Radio Frequency (RF) contested and congested environments.

Initial emphasis will be on rapidly transferring Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) data from satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to the ground. Additionally, this leading edge science will inform choices for future LEO programmes, and will be investigated as a communications technology for interconnected orbits and for the Skynet 6 programme.

James Willis, Group Managing Director Cyber and Information at QinetiQ, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for QinetiQ that continues to expand our world-class capabilities in free space optical communications for defence and supports our ambition to deliver enhanced communications capacity to UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) whilst enabling operations in RF denied environments.”

Mike O’Callaghan, Space Programme Manager at Dstl, said: “The use of space-based optical communications offers many military benefits: potentially large datarates, low probability of interception/detection, and freedom from spectrum management. The OGS will provide a solid foundation on which to conduct experimentation into FSOC and allow the science to be developed. The OGS will also allow the UK to develop interoperability and common approaches with our International partners. We are delighted to be working with QinetiQ on this highly innovative project and provide real impact for MoD.” 

Other Stories
Latest News

PM to announce largest military investment in 30 years

The biggest programme of investment in British defence since the end of the Cold War will be announced today by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Security & Policing 2021 registration opens for online event

Visitor and exhibitor registration is now open for the official UK Government global security event Security & Policing 2021, set to take place as an online event between 9th-11th March 2021, offering the opportunity to meet,

UK scientists step closer to revealing origins of our Galaxy

Astronomers have today taken a meteoric leap closer to discovering how our solar system began, unveiling the most detailed atlas of the Milky Way in history.

Team Tempest Strengthens Relationship across UK Industry

More than 70 key industry and Government representatives from across Northern Ireland have engaged with Team Tempest and the Royal Air Force on opportunities to help develop the UK’s next generation of combat air technologies.

Tech accelerator announces industry partnership with Steatite

Worcestershire’s commercial technology accelerator based at Malvern Hills Science Park, BetaDen, is offering a package worth around £50,000 to develop and commercialise new technology, including for aerospace, defence and

NP Aerospace launches new 4030 ELITE Bomb Disposal Suit

Global armour manufacturer, NP Aerospace, has extended its Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) portfolio with the launch of a next generation Bomb Disposal Suit targeting North America and other strategic global markets.

S&P SK1611110321
See us at
3CDSE BT0210030221RAF Museum BTSecurity & Policing 2021 BT