Science and Exploration

Science Missions & Payloads

Sentinel 5 Precursor

Surrey is part of a team developing the Sentinel 5 Precursor mission for the European Space Agency. This satellite will be part of the European GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) Program and will accommodate the TROPOMI imaging spectrometer.

TROPOMI (The TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument) is an Ultraviolet, Visible, Near-infrared, and Short-wave infrared imaging spectrometer which provides measurements of elements of atmospheric chemistry at high temporal and spatial resolution. It will also increase the frequency of cloud-free observations required for the study of the tropospheric variability. In particular, it is expected to provide measurements of ozone, NO2, So2, BrO, formaldehyde and aerosols. 


Science Payloads

University Payloads

 Through our alliance with the University of Surrey, we have had the privilege of hosting several groundbreaking science payloads developed within the Surrey Space Centre. 

  • Ozone monitor
  • CRE
Space radiation interests space physicists and is of concern to satellite engineers. By designing small, sophisticated radiation monitors and placing them on a number of microsatellite missions, Surrey scientists have built a global reputation for monitoring the orbital radiation environment and its effects on the commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) electronic devices used in Surrey satellites.

This long-term campaign of measuring cosmic particles and trapped radiation in a variety of orbits has also produced novel scientific results and increased the company's understanding of the dynamics of the radiation belts.

Following the acquisition of SIRA Electro-Optics in 2006, Surrey also offers high-precision optical instruments and subsystems from our Class 100 facilities at Sevenoaks, Kent.

Surrey's ultra-lightweight computer for planetary missions - OBC695B

2 x SSTL OBC695

In October 2008 the Indian lunar mission Chandrayaan-1 was launched from the Sriharikota spaceport by the PSLV launch vehicle. The mission carries a complement of payloads including a synthetic aperture imaging radar.

This payload was provided by NASA in association with the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) and US Naval Air Warfare center supported by an industrial team led by BAE Systems and including Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL).

This payload, known as MiniSAR, has at its heart a computer built in the UK by Surrey. The computer is known as the SSTL OBC695 and has been developed for use in Surrey’s high-performance missions as either a central on-board computer or a payload processor. The first version of the computer, the OBC695A, was developed between 2001 and 2005 and flew as a payload processor on GIOVE-A, launched 28 December 2005.

For the Chandrayan-1 mission a second version of the computer with higher radiation tolerance and lower mass and volume was developed between 2006 and 2007. This version, the OBC695B, is ideally suited to planetary missions where very high dependability requirements apply but mass and volume are at a premium due to the tough constraints of this class of missions.