Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) has signed a contract to develop an Earth observation satellite for Kazakhstan.
The Guildford headquartered small satellite manufacturer, owned by EADS Astrium, will assist its Kazakh counterparts to develop a new 50kg platform building on SSTL’s experience with platform and payload equipment design.
The SSTL-50KZ spacecraft will carry the company’s EarthMapper payload designed for commercial wide-area imaging and an innovative on-board computer. Separately, SSTL will develop a smaller ‘cubesat-like’ satellite equipped with instruments for studies of the Earth’s ionosphere.
The contract has been signed today by Sir Martin Sweeting, SSTL’s executive chairman and Amanzhol Jaimurzin, general director of JV Ghalam LLP – a joint venture of Kazakh Space Agency and EADS Astrium.
"We are extremely pleased to have been selected to work on this collaborative mission,” Sir Martin Sweeting commented on the announcement. “Innovation in the space business is extremely important and in our experience the opportunity to work with like-minded partners on space science and technology missions leads to significant benefits and success for all partners.”
EADS Astrium, headquartered in Paris, signed the first collaboration agreement with Kazakhstan in 2009 during a bilateral French-French Kazakh summit. In the framework of this contract, worth €230m, Astrium is building a high-resolution Earth observation satellite for Kazakhstan, while SSTL is working on a medium-resolution spacecraft. Both satellites being built under the 2009 agreement are scheduled for launches in 2014.
As part of the 2009 contract, 16 Kazakh Space Agency engineers worked at SSTL on the mission under a training and development programme.
Earlier this year, the UK Space Agency signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Kazakh space agency Kazcosmos, promoting collaborative missions recognising the synergies between the capabilities and strengths in the UK and Kazakh space sectors.