National Satellite Test Facility awards first contracts worth £19 million

Harwell Space Cluster is the gateway to the UK space industry with 800 people working across 80 organisations.

Contracts worth £19 million have been awarded for the first of several major facilities that will form the £99 million National Satellite Test Facility (NSTF), which is to be built and operated by the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s RAL Space at Harwell Campus.

The contracts, awarded to Angelantoni Test Technologie, NSI-MI Technologies LLC and Team Corporation, will see the development of a large space test chamber (see main image), vibration facility and the combined electromagnetic compatibility and antenna measurement system.

Sean Stewart, NSTF Project Manager, RAL Space commented, “Alongside the existing RAL Space assembly, integration and validation facilities, the NSTF will put all the test equipment needed by industry and academia in one place and accessible to everyone. Awarding these contracts is one of the early and hugely significant milestones towards building the NSTF.”

Satellite test facilities at this scale, in one location, do not currently exist in the UK. Once operational in 2021, the NSTF will provide the UK Space sector with all the major testing facilities it needs in one location, without incurring expensive international shipping costs. Located at the heart of the Harwell Space Cluster, this major national infrastructure will support the UK’s space sector as it seeks to capitalise on the estimated 3,500-10,000 satellites that are due to be launched by 2025.

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Image: Artist’s impression of the Large Space Test Chamber. (Credit: Angelantoni Test Technologies)