Advancing UK Aerospace, Defence, Security & Space Solutions Worldwide
  • Home
  • /
  • Defence
  • /
  • SSTL to launch TTP’s intersatellite data relay terminal

Defence Space

SSTL to launch TTP’s intersatellite data relay terminal

Cambridge based TTP has today announced the impending launch of a new data relay terminal into space with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL), which will enable on-demand near real-time data communications for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) small satellites (SmallSats).

Image courtesy TTP

The terminal, the first of its kind manufactured in Europe, can provide a constant link between LEO SmallSats and Earth through a geosynchronous satellite relay.

The low SWaP-C space-qualified terminal will be launched shortly in the US on Tyche, an Earth observation satellite for UK Space Command built by SSTL and will be used for defence applications.

Advertisement
ODU RT 2

The terminal provides a data link between a LEO SmallSat and GEO satellites using Viasat’s global L-band network. This enables constant on-demand ground contact for LEO satellites, rather than being restricted to the short windows that open when LEO satellites travel over ground stations. The terminal unlocks true intersatellite links and provides rapid response, near real-time Telemetry, Tracking and Command (TT&C) communications and data transfer.

The terminal’s antenna is omnidirectional, meaning it does not need to be steered to track GEO satellites to communicate with them. The satellite’s power can be purely focused on its primary operation and the link will be maintained automatically.

Lewis Davies, Satellite and Space System Architect at TTP, said: “In this ‘New Space’ age, we’re proud that our terminal, which uses commercial-off-the-shelf hardware, is soon to be space-borne. It builds on TTP’s heritage in the development of satcom terminals for a wide range of applications and is manufactured in the UK, a member of the Five Eyes alliance.

"The terminal’s compact size makes it suitable for small satellites, so it can quickly be applied to a range of use cases such as earth observation, active debris removal and IoT connectivity. Ultimately, we’re giving LEO operators greater telemetry capabilities and control over their satellites by enabling commands to be sent and received at any time.”  

Rob Goddard, Director of Engineering at SSTL, said: “LEO satellites have typically been limited in their ability to send data to Earth, only able to connect when orbiting past a ground terminal. SSTL are excited to be part of this innovation in space technology with TTP, jointly developing the data relay Inter Satellite Link (ISL) in the UK that can constantly and reliably provide a connection with Earth, via GEO satellites to enable on demand tasking and quick access to data in an accelerating world.”

Todd McDonell, Head of International Government at global comms company Viasat, said: “Persistent satellite connectivity is critical for defence and military operations. Using the strength of Viasat’s global L-band network, this new terminal from TTP will help unlock greater data relay capabilities for LEO operators than previously available. Whether it’s for disaster recovery, rapid tasking or monitoring remote mission environments, defence organisations need access to real-time data as military operators on the ground can’t afford to wait an hour for LEO satellites to pass over a ground terminal to receive data.”   

Advertisement
ODU RT 2

The terminal has a data rate of up to 200kbps, is 300x160x30mm and weighs 1.35kg. In receive mode (Rx) it has a power consumption of 8W, with a peak consumption of 38W.

Image courtesy TTP

TTP is a technology and product development services company based in the Cambridge (UK) technology cluster. For over 35 years, the company has been delivering science and technology-driven innovation to clients in a wide range of sectors, including aerospace. TTP’s focus areas in the space sector include user terminals and antennas for satellite connectivity (including for UAVs), 5G Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTNs), intersatellite links and space sustainability solutions. It has extensive experience in the development of terrestrial and satellite communication solutions – from system level down to devices, from VHF to V-band, from land-based equipment to aeronautical and space-based platforms.

Guildford (UK) headquartered Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) delivers customisable complete mission solutions for Earth observation, science, communications, navigation, in-orbit debris removal and servicing and exploration beyond Earth infrastructure. Since 1981, SSTL has built and launched 73 satellites for 20 international customers, as well as providing training and development programmes, consultancy services and mission studies for ESA, NASA, international governments and commercial customers. SSTL is well known for innovative missions such as the CARBONITE satellites, the NovaSAR S-band radar imaging satellite and the RemoveDEBRIS space debris removal technology demonstrator.

Advertisement
General Atomics LB General Atomics LB
Boeing continues autonomous flight trials in Wales

Defence

Boeing continues autonomous flight trials in Wales

19 July 2024

Boeing has completed a second phase of autonomous systems flight trials and carried out a representative Air Launched Effect (ALE) mission at Snowdonia Aerospace Centre in Llanbedr, Wales.

Babcock and Uplift360 partner to recycle advanced materials

Defence

Babcock and Uplift360 partner to recycle advanced materials

19 July 2024

Babcock has signed an agreement with Uplift360, a deep tech company developing chemical technologies, to explore recycling and repurposing of defence equipment.

Marshall extends French Air Force C-130 engineering support

Defence

Marshall extends French Air Force C-130 engineering support

19 July 2024

Marshall has received a £4.5 million contract extension to provide ongoing engineering support for the French Air Force’s fleet of 14 Lockheed Martin C-130H Hercules aircraft.

Babcock strengthens support to Ukraine

Defence

Babcock strengthens support to Ukraine

19 July 2024

Babcock has been awarded a contract extension by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to continue supporting urgent operational requirements for Ukraine’s military land assets.

Advertisement
Gulfstream RT July
Expleo to demo next-gen aircraft solutions at FIA2024

Aerospace Defence Security Space Events

Expleo to demo next-gen aircraft solutions at FIA2024

18 July 2024

Engineering, technology and consulting firm Expleo will be exhibiting at Farnborough International Airshow (FIA) 2024 from 22nd- 26th July, demonstrating innovative design and manufacturing solution for next-generation aircraft.

Respect The Range art installed in Wiltshire

Defence Security Events

Respect The Range art installed in Wiltshire

18 July 2024

Giant silhouettes of soldiers have been used to create a new public art installation in Wiltshire to inform and educate the public about the dangers of accessing military land.

Advertisement
ODU RT 2