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Clyde Space adds satellite tracking ground station to Glasgow’s skyline

10 August 2017

Clyde Space, Europe’s leading manufacturer of NanoSat and SmallSat technology, has reinforced its reputation for innovation after the successful commissioning of their ground station at its Glasgow headquarters to control and track satellites for its customers.

GS Press Release ImageClyde Space has developed a highly adaptable software defined ground station solution in support of our customers’ missions, including; a fine accuracy rotator system enabling high data rate technology; bespoke networking permitting remote locating of antenna arrays; and a full RF front end based around space capable COTS componentry and a flexible modular architecture.

Clyde Space’s ground station solution has already attracted interest from customers in the Asian, European and American markets, with two ground stations being commissioning in the Middle East and the United States currently.

Clyde Space CEO Craig Clark said: “There’s been a big demand for us to operate our satellites as well as manufacture them. Our new ground station, built with the support of Scottish Enterprise, not only adds to the Glaswegian skyline but forms part of our satellite service package.  It’s one of many milestones for 2017, set to be our most exciting year yet…”

The addition of the ground station means Clyde Space is now a ‘one-stop shop’ with the ability to build sophisticated and complex satellites and then monitor them throughout their journey through space.

The installation means the company, which recently won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category and scooped the Sunday Times-Lloyds Banking Group’s prestigious SME Export Track 100 award for innovation, strengthens its pre-and post-mission service to its growing, global list of clients.

Built with the aid of a Scottish Enterprise SMART grant, the ground station antenna installation is on the roof of Clyde Space headquarters at Skypark in central Glasgow.

Its location provides an unobstructed sky view which will maximize monitoring of satellite pass times and it will be the control centre for future CubeSats built by the pioneering Scottish space technology specialists.

The key functions on the latest addition to the city’s skyline will be to control and operate the satellites, supporting each specific space mission and to develop understanding and knowledge for in-flight testing.

As every satellite is different because of orbit positioning or bespoke configurations for mission requirements, the ground station is highly flexible and will be able to track several satellites at one time. Communication with them will depend on their orbit cycles and the monitoring will be carried out by existing highly-trained Clyde Space staff.

Over the last few years, Clyde Space has invested in product and process development, put in place world class assembly and test facilities at its Glasgow headquarters and announced international expansion plans.

Clyde Space is the only dedicated CubeSat supplier in the United Kingdom and now supports, in some form, 40% of all CubeSat missions.

CubeSats, which are about the size of a whiskey box, offer an almost unbelievable range of capabilities including infrastructure monitoring, disaster management, weather and climate data, mapping and even the movement of fish across the oceans.

UKube-1, Scotland’s first satellite, was designed and built by Clyde Space in Glasgow and launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, in 2014 and continues to be a strategically important part of the UK Government’s Innovative Growth Strategy for Space

Clyde Space is backed by Scottish investment companies Coralinn LLP and Nevis Capital.