ENGLEWOOD, COLO., June 27, 2013—Today Colorado-based Surrey Satellite Technology US LLC (SST-US) announced that NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has selected SST-US for the flight of the Deep Space Atomic Clock (DSAC) payload under the sponsorship of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD). DSAC will fly on the SST-US-owned-and-operated Orbital Test Bed (OTB) satellite, the first spacecraft to be integrated at the new SST-US facility in Englewood, Colorado.
Under the agreement SST-US will provide a hosted payload flight opportunity for the NASA DSAC payload on its upcoming OTB mission, scheduled for launch during 2015. DSAC features a miniaturized, ultra-precise mercury-ion atomic clock which is an order of magnitude more stable than today’s best space-based navigation clocks. In-orbit demonstration of the precision timing and navigation capabilities of the DSAC instrument is a key requirement for NASA’s pursuit of deep space exploration missions which require higher-precision data collection and autonomous radio navigation for time-critical events such as orbit insertion or landing.
The SST-US-owned-and-operated OTB satellite, which is currently in design and manufacture, will qualify and demonstrate an array of payload equipment and subsystem technologies, in addition to the DSAC payload. SST-US will integrate the OTB spacecraft in its new facility in Englewood, Colorado.
SST-US CEO Dr. John Paffett said, “We are delighted to have been able to adapt our own mission to accommodate the JPL Deep Space Atomic Clock and to provide a much needed flight opportunity for this critical technology development. Working closely with the JPL team we’ve been able to identify a solution that fulfills all of our respective requirements—very much a win–win for both parties.”
Dr. Paffett continued, “Since our establishment in the U.S. in 2008, we’ve been aware of a number of developed, shelved, or orphaned payloads looking for flight opportunities, and therefore initiated the OTB concept to make available payload capacity to accommodate these third-party payloads.”
SST-US will take a similar approach to future missions—for both the company and its customers. Close to utilizing all of the available payload capacity on this OTB mission, SST-US is considering providing fight opportunities on future programs for other third-party payloads, subsystems, and equipment.
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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 41 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.”