Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.

British National Space Centre DMC Microsatellite

SSTL developed the UK-DMC satellite for the British National Space Centre (BNSC) under a grant from the Microsatellite Applications in Collaboration (MOSAIC) programme. Through UK-DMC, BNSC became the anchor tenant for the SSTL-led Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC), accelerating the formation of a full international consortium.

UK-DMC is a satellite of the standard Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC) design, with added research and development payloads. Like all of the standard DMC satellites, it carries an optical imaging payload developed by SSTL to provide 32-m ground resolution with an exceptionally wide swath width of over 640 km. The payload uses green, red and near infrared bands equivalent to Landsat TM+ bands 2, 3 and 4. In comparison to the other DMC satellites, UK-DMC features increased on-board data storage, with 1.5 gigabyte capacity. Images are returned to the SSTL mission operations centre using the Internet Protocol over an 8-Mbps S-band downlink.

UK-DMC Under Construction UK-DMC Complete


UK-DMC also contains a commercial Internet router from Cisco Systems, which builds on the use of the Internet Protocol by the DMC satellites to experiment with Internet packet routing to and in space.

UK-DMC has also provided an opportunity for SSTL to test a new concept in remote sensing, GPS reflectometry. This technique, which measures the signals from the GPS navigation system after they are reflected off the sea, could revolutionise oceanographic remote sensing. If UK-DMC validates theories of GPS reflectometry, the technique could one day enable satellites to measure the height of waves on the high seas, providing important data to ship owners and operators. SSTL is using imagery from the UK-DMC to investigate the full range of uses for large-coverage images with medium spatial resolution and high temporal resolution. The UK-DMC satellite will also operate as part of a constellation providing images to disaster relief agencies worldwide in times of need.