UK-based aerospace business QuinetQ has won a contract to build and operate an European Space Agency (ESA) satellite which will test and de-risk new space technologies.
The ESA’s EU Horizon 2020’s IOD/IOV (In-Orbit Demonstration and Validation) programme will provide affordable access to space demonstration and validation for new space technologies and capabilities. It aims to support technological innovation, de-risking and concept testing for public agencies and commercial enterprises in Europe.
The QuinetiQ satellite will feature the latest generation of its PROBA platform, the P200, which can carry up to 28 payloads and is compatible with a range of launch rockets. It also has simple electrical interfaces, standard protocols and optional specifications for a diverse array of payloads. The brief for this task is to host up to 13 on-board experiments.
Frank Preud’homme, business development director of QinetiQ’s space business, said: “The new satellite funded by the European Union will play a catalytic role in helping to bring exciting and significant new innovations to market and maximising European progress and competitiveness in the burgeoning space sector. It is particularly pleasing to be working on a programme that will open yet another chapter in the long and impressive in-orbit testing heritage of our PROBA satellite platforms and will also capitalise fully on our recent investment in new production facilities.”