A small group of Members of Friends and their guests attended an exclusive Behind-the-scenes visit to one of the world's leading small satellite companies, Surrey Satellite Technology.

It was a most fascinating visit to this organisation who deliver operational space missions and build payloads for a range of applications including Earth observation, science, communications, navigation, and in-orbit servicing.

Seeing the facilities first-hand was so special.

We heard about the history of SSTL, formed in the late 1970s by a team at the University of Surrey, with first satellite, UoSat-1, launched in 1981 with the support of NASA.  Their first mission was a great success.  The team showed that relatively small and inexpensive satellites could be built rapidly to perform successful and sophisticated missions.

In 1985 Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd was formed as a spin-out company to transfer the results of research into a commercial enterprise.

What we witnessed now is that SSTL has over 30 years operational experience with more than 50 satellites launched, and an end-to-end capability to design, build test, procure launch and operate.
The event included:

  • a briefing by Rob Goddard, Engineering Director, covering the history of SSTL, design philosophy, space missions and future directions
  • a tour of the facilities and opportunity to ask questions
  • Satellite Operations Control tour to see how the team manages acquisition post launch and the automation of satellite control
  • a visit to the clean facility producing optics for earth observation
  • a viewing of the manufacturing, assembly, integration and test facilities

Images courtesy SSTL media hub.

If you would like to be informed if we have plans to run another of these events please register to easily book tickets or email Friends at [email protected]