Surrey Satellite Technology US LLC (SST-US) today announced plans for a second Orbital Test Bed (OTB-2) ride-share mission dedicated to carrying demonstration payloads, subsystems, and equipment into low-Earth orbit aboard a flight-proven satellite bus. Targeted for launch in the second quarter of 2016, OTB-2 will fly SST-US’s own experimental optical payload alongside third-party payloads.
“The Surrey hosted payload business model is unique in the industry and continues our tradition of providing cost-effective access to space,” said Doug Gerull, chief operating officer of SST-US. “The ride-share concept appeals to organizations that need to test satellite components or payload concepts in space with low risk and at a fraction of the cost of dedicated missions.”
The news comes just two weeks after SST-US made public the completed flight manifest for its OTB mission now scheduled for launch in 2016. The first spacecraft to be integrated at the SST-US satellite facility in Englewood, Colo., OTB will carry five experimental payloads for Surrey, NASA JPL, Air Force Research Laboratory, and academic institutions.
Similar to OTB, OTB-2 is based on the SSTL-150 platform developed by SST-US’s parent company in the U.K. and flown on numerous scientific and operational missions. In addition to the primary SST-US payload, the baseline OTB-2 design will have capacity to support payloads up to 50 kg and 50 W, although SST-US can adapt the design to accommodate larger payloads if required.
“As soon as we closed the OTB manifest, we opened discussions on payload ride-sharing contracts for OTB-2,” said Gerull. “Many government and commercial organizations are developing advanced satellite technologies that need to be rapidly space-qualified before they can fly on operational satellites.”
SST-US will manufacture OTB-2 at its facility in Colorado where engineering personnel adhere to Surrey satellite development, integration, and test processes refined during 43 successful missions spanning three decades. SST-US will own and operate both OTB satellites.
About Surrey Satellite Technology US LLC
Surrey Satellite Technology US LLC (SST-US), a wholly owned subsidiary of Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL), is a Delaware-registered company with its principal offices located in Englewood, Colorado. Since its incorporation in 2008, SST-US has been addressing the requirements of the United States market and its customers for the provisions of small satellite solutions, applications, and services for Earth observation, science, technology demonstration, and communications. The activities of SST-US draw extensively on the heritage, background, and capability of all elements of the Surrey group, with a proven track record in provision of high-quality, rapid, cost-effective small satellite solutions, applications, and services.
Since 1981, Surrey has launched 43 satellites as well as provided training and development programs, consultancy services, and mission studies for NASA, the United States Air Force, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and other institutional and commercial customers with its innovative approach of “changing the economics of space.”