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Modern small satellites, taking advantage of the dramatic advances in commercial ‘off-the-shelf’ (COTS) technologies developed for the industrial and consumer markets, have developed capabilities that are rivalling their conventional large satellite counterparts but at considerably lower cost and shorter timescales to launch. This is changing the approach to space and enabling new business models. This lecture saw Professor Sir Martin Sweeting OBE FRS, FREng, FIET, FRAeS, Executive Chairman at Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd and Director of the Surrey Space Centre, discuss the reality of small satellite missions and how far they can go.

About the speaker:

Professor Sir Martin Sweeting OBE FRS, FREng, FIET, FRAeS, Executive Chairman at Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd and Director of the Surrey Space Centre

Since 1981, Sir Martin Sweeting has pioneered rapid-response, low-cost and highly-capable small satellites utilising modern terrestrial COTS devices to 'change the economics of space'.

In 1985 he formed a spin-off University company (SSTL) which has designed, built, launched and operated in orbit 41 nano, micro, and mini-satellites – including the international Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC) and the first Galileo navigation satellite (GIOVE-A) for ESA. SSTL has grown to 610 staff with annual revenues exceeding £100M and exports over £0.5Bn – it is currently manufacturing 22 navigation payloads for the Galileo (Full Operational) Constellation, 3 high-resolution (1-metre) Earth Observation minisatellites and a low-cost medium-resolution SAR minisatellite (NovaSAR).

As Director of the Surrey Space Centre and a distinguished professor at the University of Surrey, Sir Martin leads a team of 90 faculty and doctoral researchers investigating advanced small satellite concepts and techniques, acting as the research laboratory for SSTL - real academic-commercial synergy.

Sir Martin has been appointed OBE and knighted by HM The Queen, elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and most recently has received the prestigious von Karman Wings Award from CalTech/JPL. He is also a member of the UK Space Agency Leadership Council.

Conferences and Events
24 March 2014