Space Missions

Space missions

Your mission, our design

We design every mission around your needs. Our comprehensive missions package includes everything from mission analysis to design, development and integration of innovative payloads to suit your application, to production and testing of your flight-ready platform. Optional services include unrivalled access to space, operations and data delivery.

This purpose-led approach combined with our industry experience, in-orbit heritage and extensive quality control, means we can quickly and reliably deliver a wide range of advanced small satellite missions.

Missions

We have developed expertise in the delivery of multiple space missions with bespoke requirements ranging from IoT to quantum technologies.

Eutelsat

Eutelsat

As part of Eutelsat’s ELO project, we are delivering two 6U CubeSats, for launch in 2021, which will enter commercial service as soon as they are delivered into orbit. The payloads for the spacecraft, built around a sophisticated Software Defined Radio, were developed in-house. These satellites will host the first propulsion systems onboard AAC Clyde Space satellites, enabling in-orbit manoeuvres. If proven successful, Eutelsat plans to expand the mission into a full commercial constellation of 25 satellites dedicated to IoT services.

See the case study

Orbital Micro Systems (OMS)

Orbital Micro Systems (OMS)

We’re delivering a 6U satellite as well as associated services such as launch and commissioning to OMS. This follows the in-orbit success of IOD-1 GEMS, a 3U satellite, produced by AAC Clyde Space carrying a payload from OMS, in a demonstration mission financed by the UK Satellite Applications Catapult. The 6U satellite will be included in the company’s commercial GEMS programme that will deliver accurate and timely weather information to businesses worldwide, helping to meet the needs of users in aviation, insurance, agriculture, commodities and several other industries.

See the case study

Horizon Technologies

Horizon Technologies

We’re delivering a full turnkey solution to Horizon Space Technologies, including two satellite launches, operations and data delivery. The satellites will become part of Horizon Space Technologies’ Amber™ constellation, which is dedicated to delivering Maritime Domain Awareness intelligence data. The mission provides a commercial service and may be extended to include more than 10 additional Amber™ CubeSats. The mission is a follow-on order from the Satellite Applications Catapult IOD programme (IOD-3 AMBER), for which AAC Clyde Space will also deliver a 6U CubeSat to the International Space Station in 2021, from where it will be deployed into orbit.

Eutelsat

As part of Eutelsat’s ELO project, we are delivering two 6U CubeSats, for launch in 2021, which will enter commercial service as soon as they are delivered into orbit. The payloads for the spacecraft, built around a sophisticated Software Defined Radio, were developed in-house. These satellites will host the first propulsion systems onboard AAC Clyde Space satellites, enabling in-orbit manoeuvres. If proven successful, Eutelsat plans to expand the mission into a full commercial constellation of 25 satellites dedicated to IoT services.

See the case study

Orbital Micro Systems (OMS)

We’re delivering a 6U satellite as well as associated services such as launch and commissioning to OMS. This follows the in-orbit success of IOD-1 GEMS, a 3U satellite, produced by AAC Clyde Space carrying a payload from OMS, in a demonstration mission financed by the UK Satellite Applications Catapult. The 6U satellite will be included in the company’s commercial GEMS programme that will deliver accurate and timely weather information to businesses worldwide, helping to meet the needs of users in aviation, insurance, agriculture, commodities and several other industries.

See the case study

Horizon Technologies

We’re delivering a full turnkey solution to Horizon Space Technologies, including two satellite launches, operations and data delivery. The satellites will become part of Horizon Space Technologies’ Amber™ constellation, which is dedicated to delivering Maritime Domain Awareness intelligence data. The mission provides a commercial service and may be extended to include more than 10 additional Amber™ CubeSats. The mission is a follow-on order from the Satellite Applications Catapult IOD programme (IOD-3 AMBER), for which AAC Clyde Space will also deliver a 6U CubeSat to the International Space Station in 2021, from where it will be deployed into orbit.

Saab & Orbcomm (VDES)

Saab & Orbcomm (VDES)

AAC Clyde Space, Saab AB and ORBCOMM Inc are collaborating on the next generation of space-based VHF Data Exchange System (VDES), marking the beginning of a new era in maritime communications. We’re building, launching and commissioning the first satellite in the project, and it is expected to be followed by a large constellation of satellites that will form a new part of the maritime communication infrastructure. The satellite will carry a VDES payload from Saab for two-way communication between satellite and the Earth’s surface. ORBCOMM will integrate the data in its distribution centre for maritime communications.

See the case study

NSLComm

NSLComm

We’re delivering a full end-to-end mission for our partner NSLComm, from manufacturing, customer payload integration, launching, commissioning and operating the satellite to delivering a ground segment software solution. The spacecraft will demonstrate highly disruptive technology providing Ka-band communications from space. This ground-breaking dish-shaped antenna, which deploys itself once in space, is set to inspire a wide array of new IoT applications within the industry. AAC Clyde Space delivered a 6U satellite, NSLSat-1, to NSLComm in 2019. The new satellite, NSLSat-2, is the first satellite of an intended commercial constellation. NSLComm has also appointed AAC Clyde Space as “preferred supplier” in its planned satellite constellation.

See the case study

SeaHawk

SeaHawk

AAC Clyde Space are part of the Sustained Ocean Color Observations using Nanosatellites project, a collaboration currently in progress between the University of North Carolina Wilmington, Cloudland Instruments and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre, to design, manufacture, launch and operate SeaHawk-1, a 3U CubeSat with HawkEye Ocean Color Sensors. The aim of the project is to observe the changing biology of the ocean surface. Seahawk was launched in 2018 and is operated from AAC Clyde Space’s Glasgow Operations Centre, with instrument data downloaded to NASA Wallops facility, through the satellite’s X-band downlink. The data is integrated into NASA’s SeaWiFS Data Analysis System and distributed worldwide by the NASA Ocean Biology Distributed Active Archive Center. The data gathered by SeaHawk will enable greater understanding of the marine food chain, oceanic climate, fisheries and pollution phenomena. This information will be vital to our ability to monitor and support the health and sustainability of our oceans.

Saab & Orbcomm (VDES)

AAC Clyde Space, Saab AB and ORBCOMM Inc are collaborating on the next generation of space-based VHF Data Exchange System (VDES), marking the beginning of a new era in maritime communications. We’re building, launching and commissioning the first satellite in the project, and it is expected to be followed by a large constellation of satellites that will form a new part of the maritime communication infrastructure. The satellite will carry a VDES payload from Saab for two-way communication between satellite and the Earth’s surface. ORBCOMM will integrate the data in its distribution centre for maritime communications.

See the case study

NSLComm

We’re delivering a full end-to-end mission for our partner NSLComm, from manufacturing, customer payload integration, launching, commissioning and operating the satellite to delivering a ground segment software solution. The spacecraft will demonstrate highly disruptive technology providing Ka-band communications from space. This ground-breaking dish-shaped antenna, which deploys itself once in space, is set to inspire a wide array of new IoT applications within the industry. AAC Clyde Space delivered a 6U satellite, NSLSat-1, to NSLComm in 2019. The new satellite, NSLSat-2, is the first satellite of an intended commercial constellation. NSLComm has also appointed AAC Clyde Space as “preferred supplier” in its planned satellite constellation.

See the case study

SeaHawk

AAC Clyde Space are part of the Sustained Ocean Color Observations using Nanosatellites project, a collaboration currently in progress between the University of North Carolina Wilmington, Cloudland Instruments and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre, to design, manufacture, launch and operate SeaHawk-1, a 3U CubeSat with HawkEye Ocean Color Sensors. The aim of the project is to observe the changing biology of the ocean surface. Seahawk was launched in 2018 and is operated from AAC Clyde Space’s Glasgow Operations Centre, with instrument data downloaded to NASA Wallops facility, through the satellite’s X-band downlink. The data is integrated into NASA’s SeaWiFS Data Analysis System and distributed worldwide by the NASA Ocean Biology Distributed Active Archive Center. The data gathered by SeaHawk will enable greater understanding of the marine food chain, oceanic climate, fisheries and pollution phenomena. This information will be vital to our ability to monitor and support the health and sustainability of our oceans.

PICASSO

PICASSO

AAC Clyde Space delivered a 3U scientific CubeSat, PICASSO (Pico-Satellite for Atmospheric and Space Science Observations), an earth observation demonstration mission for the European Space Agency. PICASSO is monitoring sunlight filtered through the Earth’s atmosphere to check the health of our ozone layer and map ozone concentration profiles. Science missions such as PICASSO monitor in real time and send data back to Earth for analysis, making a vital contribution to our understanding of the ozone layer and ultimately to its preservation.

MRIC

MRIC

AAC Clyde Space delivered Mauritius’s first satellite, MIR-SAT-1, to the Mauritius Research & Innovation Council (MRIC) in June 2021. The satellite was launched and subsequently deployed into space from the International Space Station. The MRIC intends to use MIR-Sat-1 to build knowledge on satellite technology and on how to efficiently collect and process land and ocean data from space. This project is an important step in helping Mauritius to establish its own space infrastructure to tackle issues of national priority identified by its government.

KP labs

KP labs

AAC Clyde Space has been selected by KP Labs to deliver a 6U satellite for the mission Intuition-1. This mission for KP Labs and the Polish FP Space Consortium is a perfect example of ground-breaking applications that are being enabled by highly capable, very small satellites. The main payload, which is an advanced hyperspectral imager, will demonstrate next-generation imaging technology from space. The mission aims to offer the first satellite with processing capability to segment hyperspectral images in orbit. Traditionally used in the mining industry, hyperspectral imaging is increasingly being used in a variety of applications and KP Labs envisage future use for its technology in applications ranging from agriculture, forestry and mining to environmental protection and defence.

PICASSO

AAC Clyde Space delivered a 3U scientific CubeSat, PICASSO (Pico-Satellite for Atmospheric and Space Science Observations), an earth observation demonstration mission for the European Space Agency. PICASSO is monitoring sunlight filtered through the Earth’s atmosphere to check the health of our ozone layer and map ozone concentration profiles. Science missions such as PICASSO monitor in real time and send data back to Earth for analysis, making a vital contribution to our understanding of the ozone layer and ultimately to its preservation.

MRIC

AAC Clyde Space delivered Mauritius’s first satellite, MIR-SAT-1, to the Mauritius Research & Innovation Council (MRIC) in June 2021. The satellite was launched and subsequently deployed into space from the International Space Station. The MRIC intends to use MIR-Sat-1 to build knowledge on satellite technology and on how to efficiently collect and process land and ocean data from space. This project is an important step in helping Mauritius to establish its own space infrastructure to tackle issues of national priority identified by its government.

KP labs

AAC Clyde Space has been selected by KP Labs to deliver a 6U satellite for the mission Intuition-1. This mission for KP Labs and the Polish FP Space Consortium is a perfect example of ground-breaking applications that are being enabled by highly capable, very small satellites. The main payload, which is an advanced hyperspectral imager, will demonstrate next-generation imaging technology from space. The mission aims to offer the first satellite with processing capability to segment hyperspectral images in orbit. Traditionally used in the mining industry, hyperspectral imaging is increasingly being used in a variety of applications and KP Labs envisage future use for its technology in applications ranging from agriculture, forestry and mining to environmental protection and defence.

Space missions enquiry

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How it works

We’ve got you covered for everything from spacecraft design to satellite operations and data delivery. Our standard offering includes mission analysis and design, integration of payloads to suit your application and production and testing of your flight-ready platform. Clients are able to add additional services and customise their mission package to suit their needs.

MISSION ANALYSIS & DESIGN

Every aspect of your mission is carefully analysed, from payload and data requirements, customisation required at speed to schedule and cost, fully utilising our access to a wide array of high-end design software and world-leading partnerships. From design to delivery, we draw on decades of in-orbit heritage acquired over multiple successful missions. Our highly skilled team combines expertise from the aerospace, defence and commercial industries to deliver high-performance satellites and mission services.

PAYLOADS

We can design or find the best payload to suit your application. Our payloads are developed to provide high-quality, timely data for a range of applications from scientific, security to med-tech applications. Through AAC Omnisys, our capabilities in developing pioneering payloads to meet the needs of our customers have expanded. They bring experience in developing multiple pioneering payloads, from space-based weather data payloads to optical instruments enabling a better understanding of global wind patterns and temperatures. They designing and manufacturing instruments which measure spectra and continuum emissions to help find out if there are conditions for life in under the surface of Jupiter’s moons. Their innovative microwave-based sensor, designed for advanced space projects, provides weather data with superior quality to support radically improved weather forecasting and data for climate research.

MANUFACTURE & DELIVERY

We manufacture, test and deliver your satellite to the launch site. Our techniques enable rapid iterations in the design of highly capable satellite platforms, enabling quick turnaround for agile timelines. Our design-for-manufacture ethos extends beyond subsystems to our platforms, which are designed with efficient, scalable assembly, integration and testing in mind. AAC Clyde Space has five production facilities: Delft (Netherlands), Fairfax (Virginia, US), Glasgow (UK), Gothenburg and Uppsala (Sweden).

LAUNCH SERVICE

AAC Clyde Space provide a comprehensive launch and early operations service that takes care of all logistical, insurance and regulatory aspects. We offer unrivalled access to space, providing you with brokerage, licencing, on-site integration and flexible deployment slots.

OPERATIONS & DATA DELIVERY

Through our own ground station network and agreements with multiple ground network operators, we are able to facilitate command and control of space assets globally, regardless of their orbits or communications frequencies. Through AAC SpaceQuest, our ground station network now spans Sweden, the UK and the US (Alaska, Hawaii and Virginia). AAC Clyde Space provide a complete operations and commissioning service, from frequency filing to daily TMTC, ensuring reliable access to your data – all delivered via a secure online portal.

Constellations

Many medium or low Earth orbit satellites are needed to maintain continuous coverage over an area. A constellation of satellites can communicate with, or keep an eye on, the same places on Earth at all times. A single satellite covers only a small area, which moves as the satellite travels at the velocity needed to maintain its orbit. A web, or constellation, of satellites around the planet can provide access to many corners of the world, creating global or near-global coverage and connectivity. They are connected to globally distributed ground stations, and even via inter-satellite communication, and can enable communications in unserved and underserved communities, enhance global monitoring and observation, and greatly reduce the time needed to obtain science and technology results. The need to utilise and access space infrastructure in a timely and cost-effective manner, without the need or desire to understand it, is increasing. With shorter development times, risk distribution spread over multiple spacecraft, the benefits of lower latency to the reduction in economic space barriers for all types of companies and countries, the adaptability and flexibility offered by a CubeSats constellation is enormous.

Epic Spacecraft

These commercially focused solutions have demonstrated impressive space-based capabilities stretching across applications ranging from IoT and communications to Earth observation and weather. Our standardised CubeSat range, EPIC spacecraft, was designed with increased performance, versatility, and unrivalled operational up-time for users in mind. Underpinned by next-generation technology and flight-proven avionics, the EPIC offers unparalleled reliability for your mission.

EPIC come in a range of standard sizes from 1-16U. For sizes bigger than 16U we can build customised structures using the same components. EPIC spacecraft are supplied to our customers as a fully integrated platform, with optional services available, including launch, operations, and data delivery.

  • EPIC missions and services

    Comprehensive mission & services programme. Launch & operation services available.

  • Get on orbit fast

    Designed for manufacture. Multi Launch vehicle compatible.

  • Flexible form factor

    Available 1-16U

  • Optimised operations

    Powerful performance for 5-year lifetime.

  • Multi-mission

    Application and orbit configurable

  • EPIC-safe

    Always on operation capable.

Example Performance

Don’t just take our word for it that our space-based capabilities stretch across a range of applications, here are some of our EPIC capabilities demonstrated across an array of applications, customer missions and platform configurations.

Parameter IoT Hyperspectral EO Comms/ broadband SIGINT AIS
Size 6U 6U 6U 6U 3U
Payload volume 2U 2U 2.5U 1.5U 1.5U
CONOPS Nadir-pointing (except when using propulsion), 100% payload duty cycle Off-nadir imaging, LLA downlink, sun all other times LLA for payload ops, sun all other times. ~10% payload duty cycle Nadirsun, 100% payload duty cycle Nadirsun, 100% payload duty cycle
Peak power consumption 40W using payload 65W using propulsion 34W 52W 48W 25W
Orbit Average Power consumption 25W 11.5W 13.5W 48W 25W
Orbit Average Power generation 27.5W (worst case) 34.4W (best case) 15.8W (worst case) 16.5W (worst case) 22.9W (worst case) 22.5W (worst case)
Battery capacity 80Whr 100WHr 80Whr 80Whr 80Whr
Pointing accuracy 2 deg 0.1 deg 0.1 deg 1 deg 5 deg
Pointing knowledge N/A 0.1 deg N/A N/A N/A
Stability (if required) N/A Jitter: 66 mdeg/s Smear: 23 mdeg/s N/A N/A N/A
Comms frequencies S-band (TMTC) S-band (TMTC) X-band (payload data) VHF/UHF (TMTC) VHF/UHF (TMTC) X-band (payload data) S-band (TMTC and payload data)
Image quality (EO) N/A 4.75m GSD, swath 19.4km (at 500km) N/A N/A N/A
Mission Orbit and Altitude SSO, 600 km SSO, 550 km SSO, 580 km ISS, 405 km SSO, 645 km

FAQs