Contracts awarded for novel software that will control future UK MOD satellites

The contracts will develop innovative software to provide a robust, secure and automated satellite control system for future UK MOD satellites

The awards, as part of Project Beroe, will underpin government control of future satellite constellations, further enhancing the UK’s multi-domain integration efforts.

Worth a total of £4 million, the contracts were placed with Rhea in Bath and Lockheed Martin’s Space Systems UK in Oxfordshire. They will aid the agile development of software for satellite system management, designed to capture and process onboard system data to control and monitor the performance of the satellite.

Commodore David Moody, Head of Capability at Space Command, said:

"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.

"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 MOD’s future satellite aspirations.

"These contracts also support the wider goals of enabling growth in the Space Sector to develop resilient space capabilities and services."

The contracts were placed by the Space Delivery Team at Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), the procurement arm of the UK MOD, and support the UK’s National Space Strategy, reinforcing innovation within the Space Sector.

DE&S project manager Melanie MacDonald, said:

"We are developing critical software that will provide the UK government with direct control of a range of future satellites. As well as supporting wider government access to diverse satellite data, this capability will support UK Armed Forces operations and provide them with the edge they need to protect the nation."

Nik Smith, Europe regional director for Lockheed Martin, said:

"We are delighted to have the opportunity to work alongside DE&S on this exciting project. 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."

The UK’s National Space Strategy is to build one of the most innovative and attractive space economies in the world, and for the UK to grow as a space-faring nation. Project Beroe is one of the many space capability development initiatives that deliver the National Space Strategy aim of using cutting edge research to inspire the next generation, and sustain the UK’s competitive edge in space science and technology.

Defence Equipment and Support