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  • Satellite Evolution

SSTL ships the THEOS-2 SmallSAT to GISTDA in Thailand

Updated: Mar 29, 2023

Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) has shipped the THEOS-2 SmallSAT, a 100kg Earth Observation satellite, to the Thai Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA) in Sri Racha, Thailand.

Manufactured in the UK under a 4-year customer training programme, the THEOS-2 SmallSAT is a one-metre resolution class Earth Observation satellite with both still and video imaging capability, an ADS-B aircraft identification payload, and a Thai customer-developed experimental payload. The ADS-B payload is specific for the THEOS-2 SmallSAT and is based on the newly developed SSTL Software Defined Radio which is configurable in orbit, and which has been designed to complement SSTL’s range of small satellite sensors.

The occasion was marked by a visit from the Thai Ambassador to the UK His Excellency Mr. Pisanu Suvanajata, who said “I am honoured to be invited to witness the progress on THEOS-2 SmallSAT project before it is shipped to Thailand, and to learn more about the work that has been carried out by GISTDA to build the satellite in collaboration with SSTL here in the UK. This ongoing collaboration represents an advanced and strategic partnership between the two countries which will deliver significant benefits for socio and economic development, such as its applications in urban planning, change detection, infrastructure monitoring and humanitarian disaster monitoring for Thailand.”

Phil Brownnett, SSTL’s Managing Director, said “We are delighted to work with our customer GISTDA to extend the latest small satellite technologies to a new generation of engineers, cementing a successful relationship between SSTL and GISTDA. SSTL’s training programmes are testimony to the international co-operation at the heart of the space sector, and we look forward to continuing to support our GISTDA colleagues with launch and in-orbit operational support.”

SSTL’s training programme for GISTDA was devised to enable the Thai engineers to design, manufacture, integrate and test similar satellites in Thailand in the future and was built under a knowledge transfer training programme involving a total of 48 customer engineers from GISTDA, with the training and mentoring taking place both in the UK at SSTL’s Guildford facility, and in Thailand. SSTL has also been working with GISTDA to develop and qualify their in-country space supply chain, a key element to advance in-country capacity building and achieve sustainable development of space activities in Thailand.

The THEOS-2 SmallSAT is based on SSTL’s CARBONITE series of earth observation spacecraft and will be operated by GISTDA from Thailand with support for early operations from SSTL.

The THEOS-2 SmallSAT programme was delivered as part of the THEOS-2 Earth Observation Programme in collaboration with Airbus Defence and Space, who are delivering a very high-resolution satellite and a comprehensive geo-intelligence system.

The THEOS-2 SmallSAT is SSTL’s 20th Know-how Transfer customer training programme and the second collaboration with Thailand; SSTL previously trained Thai customer engineers during the 1995-1997 Thai-Paht mission.


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