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  • Satellite Evolution Group

SSTL delighted to be selected as part of the UK-Australia International Bilateral Programme to deliver AquaWatch-AUK

Picture – left to right – Enrico Palermo, Head of the Australian Space Agency; Paul Bate, CEO of the UK Space Agency; Clive Oates, Head of Australia - SSTL
Picture – left to right – Enrico Palermo, Head of the Australian Space Agency; Paul Bate, CEO of the UK Space Agency; Clive Oates, Head of Australia - SSTL

Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) has been selected by the UK Space Agency (UKSA) and Australian Space Agency (ASA) to deliver AquaWatch-AUK, a water-focused space programme.


AquaWatch-AUK is a suite of activities that will improve water quality measurements and allow critical water resources to be managed more efficiently and effectively. These works – part of the International Bilateral Programme – will allow the UK to benefit from the activities Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, has already embarked upon, whilst Australia benefits from satellite technology cooperation and access to water in-situ monitoring sites. The exciting new programme will create a pathway to the sharing of satellite solutions which deepens the strategic relationship between the two countries – the UK-Australia Space Bridge - and addresses an important global need.


Led by SSTL, the AquaWatch-AUK core team includes key Australian and UK stakeholders with expertise ranging from Earth science and space infrastructure development to operational service provision. Australia is represented by CSIRO and SmartSat CRC. The UK participating entities include Assimila, RAL Space, Pixalytics and Cefas.  Further input from UK CEH, University of Stirling and Plymouth Marine Laboratory will be provided if key optional work packages to the program are funded.


Clive Oates, Head of Australia, SSTL, said “AquaWatch-AUK will build on SSTL’s strong commitment to the UK-Australia Space Bridge to help unleash the potential of disruptive space technologies and develop a world class integrated water quality monitoring and forecasting system for implementation across Australia, UK and beyond. Working with CSIRO and SmartSat CRC on a comprehensive spacecraft platform study will also help accelerate Australia’s capability in the design, manufacture and test of EO capabilities across both academia and industry”.

Alex Held, AquaWatch Australia Mission Lead for CSIRO, said “AquaWatch Australia uses data from both a network of water-based sensors and satellite data, with advancing data processing. It’s a system we’re developing for Australia, that can be adapted for other countries in need of national near-real time water quality updates and forecasts. Working with our UK partners on this global collaboration helps to enhance the system for everyone, and leverage Earth observation for impact.” 

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