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Government-backed Project to see 10 New Satellites Built in Glasgow

Ross Kelly

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AAC Clyde Space

Businesses will be able to use the constellation for a wide-range of applications, including satellite communications, Earth Observation and remote sensing.

AAC Clyde Space is set to build 10 new satellites the size of a shoebox through a partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA).

The three-year project, named xSpancion, will see AAC Clyde create an innovative satellite constellation that businesses can use for a range of applications, such as communications and remote sensing.

€19.7m in funding for the satellite constellation comes from the ESA Pioneer Partnership Projects programme, which aims to support businesses in taking up new and advanced technologies and services in space.

The UK Space Agency, through the ESA, will co-fund the project with €9.9 million.

This constellation can then be used by businesses to fulfil their space-data needs with a one-stop-shop, providing data from a single point of contact while cutting out the need to carry out any space activity themselves.

Commenting on the project, UK Space Agency Chief Executive, Dr Graham Turnock said: “This game-changing project will see AAC Clyde Space develop cutting-edge technology, including communication between satellites to increase data performance, and help keep the UK at the forefront of the global small satellite market.

“Building satellites quicker and in higher volumes is not only vital to meet the increasing demand for services we all rely on, it also supports the launch of small satellites from UK soil in the coming years.”

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As part of the project, AAC Clyde Space will team up with the University of Strathclyde, the Satellite Applications Catapult, Bright Ascension and D-Orbit UK to design and launch the 10 satellites.

AAC Clyde Space specialise in providing advanced small spacecraft, mission services, and spacecraft solutions for government, commercial, and educational organisations around the world for an range of space-based applications.

Luis Gomes, chief executive of AAC Clyde Space said: “It will allow us to significantly reduce the cost of every message collected, every image captured, supporting those business cases that to date have not been able to justify the capital expenditure to have hundreds of sensors in orbit.

“Fundamentally, our customers will no longer have to worry about how to access space, they can focus on how to enhance their core business. This project, named xSpancion, will catalyse a new generation of applications not previously possible.”

UK Government Minister for Scotland Iain Stewart added: “It is fantastic to see more UK Space Agency funding being awarded to Scottish companies, highlighting the UK Government’s commitment to become a global leader in the space industry.”

Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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