Low size, weight and power communications and sensor-based technologies for novel defence space concepts.

The rapid development of COTS-based nano- and micro-satellites called CubeSats has paved the way for affordable sovereign space-based solutions for persistent defence C4ISR applications. General Sir Richard Barrons, Head of UK Joint Force Command, in his "Warfare in the Information Age" paper recognised that larger numbers of small, low cost platforms (such as CubeSats) may start to compete with smaller numbers of larger, more expensive platforms in providing future military capability.

Although the satellites may be small, their operation in low earth orbit allows the use of highly integrated state of the art technology, providing capability disproportionate to their size in relation to conventional satellites, further increased by the ability to create large constellations in a relatively affordable way. Applications include:

  • Spectrum monitoring/electronic surveillance
  • Satellite communications
  • Weather monitoring
  • Optical earth observation, including target tracking and pattern of life analysis
  • Space situational awareness/debris identification and tracking

What We Do

Roke offers contract research and development and consultancy services in this exciting new field. In particular, our extensive experience in innovative low size, weight and power communications and sensor-based technology developments mean that we are ideally placed to develop new concepts to enhance the UK MOD's persistent C4ISR capabilities.

Our extensive R&D portfolio includes systems and network engineering and assurance, cyber protection (including anti-jam technology), specialist antenna and radio communications design, data fusion and big data processing. All this can employed in the creation of disruptive satellite solutions for military applications.

We work closely with the UK SME space community to identify offerings that allow us to offer highly innovative and timely solutions. For example, we have recently developed deployable antenna concepts for VHF & UHF electronic surveillance from space in conjunction with Oxford Space Systems.

Together with our UK-based partners we offer a complete service from conceptual studies right through to in-orbit demonstrations.

Case Studies

Severe Weather Tracking

A recent study for ESA in conjunction with Strathclyde University demonstrated the potential for the use of nano-satellite constellations for severe weather tracking to create a persistent and timely monitoring capability. [Read More]

Small Satellite Technology for Military Applications

We have worked with Dstl as their principal supplier of nano-satellite research, assessing the potential use of small satellite technology in a range of military applications. This work included the production of flight-ready CubeSat hardware. [Read More]

More Information

If you have a challenging problem where the answer may lie in the use of nano- or micro-satellites, or simply want guidance on future environments and technologies from a trusted independent source then please contact us to discover how our team can help you.