The UK-based manufacturer, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) which is part of EADS, and JV Ghalam LLP. a joint venture between JSC “National Company Kazakhstan Garysh Sapary” (KGS) and EADS Astrium, have agreed to jointlly develop the “SSTL-50KZ” platform and payload equipment including an SSTL EarthMapper payload designed for global commercial wide-area imaging.
The new platform will be designed to provide over 50W Orbit Average Power to a 50kg payload mission. It is intended that the platform and some of the new technologies will be used on future Kazak missions. Additionally, a cubesat carrying a payload for ionospheric research will be developed by SSTL, Ghalam LLP and the Surrey Space Centre at the University of Surrey.
As part of a collaboration between SSTL and Astrium, SSTL is currently manufacturing a medium resolution imaging satellite for the Republic of Kazakhstan which is due for launch in 2014. This spacecraft is an updated variant of the SSTL-150 platform developed for the RapidEye constellation, and includes many recent developments that improve agility and data capability. As part of this contract, 16 engineers from KGS worked at SSTL on the mission under a training and development programme.
Earlier in the year, the UK Space Agency signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Kazak space agency Kazcosmos, promoting collaborative missions recognising the synergies between the capabilities and strengths in the UK and Kazak space sectors.