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AAC Clyde Space  

United Kingdom

AAC Clyde Space provides rapidly manufactured spacecraft, services and solutions, designed with quality and innovation in mind for the Small Satellite market. They specialise in advanced nanosatellite spacecraft, mission services, and reliable subsystems. Providing market-leading New Space solutions and services for government, commercial, and educational organisations.  Their extensive commercially focused satellite solution range includes Space as a Service; a complete end-to-end mission service, providing customers everything from constellation design to satellite operations.

 Press Releases

  • AAC Clyde Space AB, SAAB AB and ORBCOMM Inc. have announced the development of the next generation of space based VDES system, marking the beginning of a new era in maritime communications. AAC Clyde Space AB will receive 17.0 MSEK in total, of which 12.2 MSEK is in the form of a grant from the Swedish Transport Administration, to finance the building, launch and commissioning of the first satellite in the project. This is intended to be the first satellite of a future constellation to provide a VDES service.

    The EPIC 3U satellite is planned to launch in mid-2022 and will be the first satellite assembled at AAC Clyde Space's new integration facility in Uppsala. The satellite will carry a VDES (VHF Data Exchange System) payload from Saab for two-way communication between satellite and ground. ORBCOMM will integrate the data in its distribution centre for maritime communications.

    "Today's announcement is a significant milestone for our company, with an important new satellite contract and a collaboration with two impressive players in the field. This also marks the first satellite to be built at our new satellite assembly facility in Sweden. We are very excited to be part of a team delivering a new capability to seafarers worldwide, improving safety and efficiency for maritime users. I would like to thank Saab for having selected AAC Clyde Space to be their partner in space, and I look forward to further strengthening our very successful relation with ORBCOMM", said AAC Clyde Space CEO Luis Gomes.

    The first demonstration satellite is expected to be followed by a larger constellation of satellites that will form a new part of the maritime communication infrastructure. The addition of a space-based capability will increase VDES range from the shoreline to anywhere in the ocean, converting what is currently a predominantly coastal system into a global maritime system. With up to 32 times more bandwidth than the currently widely used Automatic Identification System (AIS) communication, VDES can be integrated with e-navigation systems, enabling savings in fuel and emissions of up to 25 percent, aiding navigation, and increasing safety.

    The three parties have formed a consortium in equal terms to develop services based on the new infrastructure. The project will start in October 2020 and the in-orbit demonstration is planned to end in the first quarter 2023.

    After demonstrating its VDES capabilities, the first satellite will also deliver AIS data to ORBCOMM.

    Both ORBCOMM and Saab are leading AIS specialists: ORBCOMM offers AIS communication services to the maritime industry worldwide, whereas Saab is a leader in AIS equipment. AAC Clyde Space has previously been commissioned by ORBCOMM to manufacture satellites dedicated to AIS communication.

  • The Arianespace's Vega rocket scheduled for launch on Sunday June 21 from French Guiana will launch a variety of hardware built by AAC Clyde Space, including two satellites built at our Glasgow factory. 

    Vega was originally designed to loft satellites ranging from 300 to 2,500 kg. The coming flight will be the first to demonstrate a new technology for "ride-sharing" enabling more and smaller satellites to use the rocket to reach orbit. It will launch 53 micro and nanosatellites, of these seven microsatellites ranging from 15 kg to 150 kg and 46 smaller CubeSats.

    "Sunday will be an exciting day for us when a lot of the hardware we built during the past couple of years will be sent into space. And this launch will mark the start of a very exciting chapter for the European space industry, firmly establishing Vega as a reference for the launch of small satellites. As a manufacturer of Cubesats we are delighted to be part of this important step in the development of this launcher" said AAC Clyde Space CEO Luis Gomes.

    Vega will carry two satellites manufactured by AAC Clyde Space. PICASSO, a 3U CubeSat built for the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BISA) and the European Space Agency (ESA). The satellite is an earth observation mission that will demonstrate a scientific capacity for atmospheric remote sensing with VISION (a hyper-spectral imager) and in situ measurements with the Sweeping Langmuir Probe. The launcher will also carry TARS, built for Kepler Communication. TARS will offer communication services for Internet of Things (IoT) and data backhaul applications.

    Moreover, AAC Clyde Space has supplied key avionics to other spacecraft ride-sharing on the launch. Among these a Power Control and Distribution Unit (PCDU) and solar panels on Lux Space ESAIL satellite.

    '"The launch of PICASSO is a very exciting moment that marks the beginning of a new era in the study of the Earth's atmosphere. Indeed, PICASSO will soon bring experimental evidence that CubeSats, and more generally small-sats, are now genuine scientific tools available to the Earth Observation community. Thanks to their small cost, which enables them to be deployed as a fleet, they will provide scientific-grade data with a high repetition rate and an unequaled ground coverage" said BIRA-IASB Project Manager Didier Pieroux.

    "Kepler is looking forward to the successful commissioning of TARS and having its capacity added to our satellites already on orbit. All three of our pathfinder satellites have been built with AAC Clyde Space, and their success has enabled us to continue to execute against our Mission of building the internet in space." said Kepler Head of Satellite Programs & Launch, Jared Bottoms.

  • AAC Clyde Space has been selected to supply batteries to the Nova-C lunar lander mission led by the U.S. company Intuitive Machines. The agreement broadens the scope of its original order (see press release here) from power systems to also include batteries that will enable Intuitive Machines to optimize the mission's power generation and storage in the most cost-efficient way. The value of the extension is approx. 7.0 MSEK (USD 730.000).

    AAC Clyde Space will deliver engineering services, engineering model and flight model battery systems to support launch in 2021. The Swedish-Scottish company has previously been contracted to supply the mission its most powerful and cost-efficient power system for advanced space mission, the Starbuck Mini power system.

     "The extension of our engagement in the Intuitive Machine's lunar landing mission clearly illustrates the advanced capabilities of standardized New Space equipment. We are very proud to contribute high-performance equipment with proven flight heritage to this new era in lunar exploration," said AAC Clyde Space CEO Luis Gomes.

     In 2019, NASA awarded Intuitive Machines the first mission task order under the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) contract for a robotic landing on the Moon as part of its new era of lunar exploration. The Nova-C mission is Intuitive Machines' effort to develop a commercial Lunar Payload and Data Service (LPDS) which provides transit to lunar orbit, payload delivery to the lunar surface, and data communications and power services to assets both in lunar orbit and on the lunar surface. It is planned to launch from a Falcon 9 rocket for its first robotic landing on the Moon in the second half of 2021. On its maiden mission, Nova-C will carry 5 NASA CLPS payloads to the lunar surface and transmit scientific data back to Earth during 13.5 days of activity on the moon.

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