UK to Build Defense Satellite Constellation Control Software

The UK has invested 4 million pounds ($5 million) to develop “critical software” for the Ministry of Defence’s satellite constellation control systems.

The funding will deliver a “robust, secure, and automated” platform to manage upcoming satellites that will support British military operations.

Technology planned for the project will incorporate capabilities to collect and process onboard system data to track and control the satellite functions.

The UK’s military procurement arm, Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), will work with Bath engineering company Rhea and Oxfordshire-based Lockheed Martin Space Systems UK to execute the software development.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to work alongside DE&S on this exciting project,” Lockheed Martin UK Regional Director Nik Smith stated.

“Working collaboratively we were able to identify a solution that is a modular, flexible mission control system – based on commercial off-the-shelf open source software – which we’ve already proven on many of our military and commercial space missions.”

Supporting National Space Strategy

According to DE&S, the satellite software program will also support the UK’s broader National Space Strategy to spearhead the country’s “innovative and attractive” space economy.

This framework will leverage modern innovations and research campaigns to sustain the government’s “competitive edge” in the global space sector.

“This is a pivotal moment for UK Defence and the UK Space Sector as we develop software and partnerships that will determine the future of how we manage our activities in space,” UK Space Command Head Cdre. David Moody explained.

“This project will enable us to define and understand how we will control and optimise the use of our satellites in a safe and sustainable way and is an important part of [UK Ministry of Defence’s] future satellite aspirations.”

“These contracts also support the wider goals of enabling growth… to develop resilient space capabilities and services.”

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