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MoD company announces satellite software contracts


Mark Say Managing Editor

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The space delivery team at Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) has awarded two contracts for software for the management of government satellite systems.

The company – owned by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) – has placed the awards, worth a total of £4 million, with Rhea Group and Lockheed Martin Space Systems UK, as the latest stage in Project Beroe.

The companies have been chosen for the Spiral 2 phase of the project on software research and development, after having been among six firms that carried out initial work under the Spiral 1 phase.

Part of the UK’s National Space Strategy, Project Beroe will provide the control for a range of low Earth orbit satellites as part of the MoD’s ground segment architecture.

The ministry said the companies will develop software to capture and process onboard system data to control and monitor the performance of the satellites.

Pivotal for defence

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.”

Supporting armed forces

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.”

The MoD also cited the National Space Strategy as an initiative to build one of the world’s leading space economies in the world, and for the UK to grow as a space-faring nation.

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