Enhanced Earth Observation Satellite UK-DMC-2 Passes Test Readiness Review

Second generation DMC satellites set sights on Global Monitoring for Environment and Security

SSTL’s privately funded UK-DMC-2 has today passed its Test Readiness Review (TRR) at its Manufacturing Integration and Test Facilities in Guildford, UK.  Scheduled for build completion in September 2008, the new Earth Observation satellite will provide higher performance imaging capabilities to the Disaster Monitoring Constellation which is operated by SSTL’s subsidiary DMCii.

UK-DMC-2 will carry an enhanced version of the DMC (Disaster Monitoring Constellation) camera which will provide 600km wide multi-spectral images of the Earth at a ground resolution of 22-metres. This is an advance on the current 32-metre DMC imager, which has been successfully providing imagery in support of deforestation, disaster relief and agricultural monitoring for over five years in the current constellation of five spacecraft.

The TRR (Test Readiness Review) assesses the status of the fully integrated spacecraft and the ability of DMC-UK-2 to begin its EVT (Environmental Validation and Test) campaign.

SSTL Business Development & Sales Director Paul Brooks summarised, "This generation of SSTL DMC satellites will have ten times the capability of the first generation, at the same price only five years after the first generation was launched. This typifies SSTL’s continuous and rapid development of capability that has been so successfully used for environmental monitoring, communications and in the European Galileo navigation programme"

In addition to the increased resolution payload, SSTL’s new DMC spacecraft offers greater on-board storage and faster downlinks to provide more information, more quickly to the user . By operating with DMCii’s international groundstation network, the new DMC spacecraft offer up to ten times the capacity for data retrieval compared to first generation DMC satellites. These significant enhancements reflect SSTL’s unique approach to space engineering that provides state-of-the-art performance with minimal risk through a process of continual development.

The Spanish firm Deimos Imaging is also taking advantage of these new capabilities in Deimos-1, which is being built concurrently in the UK. Its large swath will allow Deimos-1 to undertake a double full coverage of Spain and Portugal every week, and a full coverage of Europe every 10 days.

DMCii Managing Director Dave Hodgson commented, "The improved resolution and capacity will enable the new DMC satellites to better meet European Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) program needs.  We will also be able to offer our imaging customers more effective packages in applications such as monitoring deforestation and forest fires."

About Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd
Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) develops innovative technologies to change the economics of space, delivering cost effective satellite missions within rapid timescales. The Company is a world leader in the design, manufacture and operation of high performance small satellites with experience gained over more than 25 years and 27 missions launched. SSTL employs almost 300 staff working on LEO, GEO and interplanetary missions, turnkey satellite platforms and space-proven satellite subsystems and optical systems.  The Company also provides know-how transfer and training programmes and consultancy services, and performs studies for ESA, NASA and commercial customers related to platform design, mission analysis and planning. Based in Guildford, UK, SSTL is owned by the University of Surrey (85%), SSTL staff (5%), and SpaceX of the USA (10%). www.sstl.co.uk