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Space South Central


Space South Central was formed in 2022 and builds on the combined efforts of the South Coast Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications and the Surrey and Hampshire Space Hub. We are a partnership between industry and academia focused on accelerating space business growth, fostering an environment of innovation, growing the reputation of the south-central region and contributing to national prosperity.

Our region, particularly the counties of Surrey and Hampshire, is already highly active across the whole spectrum of space activity from upstream to downstream; including customers, primes, manufacturers and academic institutions.

With over 50 years of rich space heritage, our region boasts significant capabilities in; satellite manufacture, launch technologies, next-generation communications, robotics and autonomous systems, as well as a full range of satellite data-enabled service capabilities.

See Space South Central’s digital brochure here.

Key Contacts

Keith Robson

Organisation: University of Surrey
Role: Chair of Advisory Board - Space South Central

Dr Louise Butt

Organisation: University of Portsmouth
Role: Director - Space South Central Enterprise Network

Daniel Smith

Organisation: University of Portsmouth
Role: Business Development Manager – Space South Central Enterprise Network

Tobias Marchant

Organisation: University of Portsmouth
Role: International Partnership Manager – Space South Central Enterprise Network

Dr Lucía F. de la Bella

Organisation: University of Portsmouth
Role: ESA UK Regional Ambassador – South East and East England

Facilities & Assets

  • Airbus Defence and Space

  • The Portsmouth site of Airbus Defence and Space offers a complete suite of Dynamic, Thermal, and Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) test facilities. The extensive range of facilities provides customers with a ‘one stop’ test house capable of handling products from mobile phones to spacecraft payloads. Airbus DS services cover a variety of environmental simulation tests (including thermal vacuum, vibration, and shock), as well as EMC tests.

    Find out more
  • Chilbolton Observatory

  • Chilbolton Observatory hosts part of the Atmospheric Measurement and Observation Facility (AMOF), with a particular focus on state-of-the-art radar instrumentation. The site is home to the world’s largest fully steerable meteorological radar, the Chilbolton Advanced Meteorological Radar (CAMRa).

    Other facilities include:

    • The Space Monitoring Facility, 25m antenna to track and characterize Earth orbiting satellites.
    • The RAL Space Satellite Ground Station which has 4.5m and 6.1m antennas at Chilbolton, in addition to further antennas at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.
    • LOFAR-UK, part of the Europe-wide LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR) radio telescope.
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  • Fluid Gravity Engineering Limited

  • Fluid Gravity Engineering (FGE) is a scientific consultancy specialising in computational physics. Their work mainly employs continuum mechanics in fields such as: fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, shock physics, reactive multiphase flow, constitutive material response, and electromagnetics. They have strong backgrounds in Physics, Mathematics, Computing and Engineering. They are unique in our theoretical and computational capabilities in problem solving for regimes that exceed the limitations of “off the shelf” computational software due to high speeds and energy densities.

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  • In-Space Missions

  • In-Space Missions Limited are world class experts who design, build and operate physical and digital customer missions, providing a valuable service to global customers keen to get their technology on orbit quickly.

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  • Mars Space (MSL)

  • Mars Space Ltd (MSL) is a SME established in 2007 and based in Southampton, UK, providing services and consultancy on space and plasma engineering and science. The main areas of expertise lie in space propulsion, in particular electric propulsion, and space environment. Since its incorporation, MSL has been involved in a variety of R&D activities in collaboration with several commercial partners and agencies carrying out the design, manufacturing, testing and modelling of different devices and prototypes.

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  • Surrey Research Park

  • A major centre of excellence in technology, science, health and engineering for all sizes of business from start-ups to multinationals.

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  • Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd

  • Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) pioneers audacious new satellite technologies, products and services and shares its know-how to enable advancement in Space. SSTL led the design, build, test and operation of small satellites and has been a world leader in the field for over 40 years.

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Partners & Academic Institutions

  • South Coast Centre of Excellence (to March 2023)

  • Supported by a large consortium of academic, industrial, government and third-sector partners, the mission was to promote the continued exploitation of satellite data and technology in order to allow the South Coast region to gain a competitive advantage in a global market. They were especially keen to embed and grow satellite applications in Transport & Logistics, Autonomous Systems, and Offshore Assets while utilising cutting-edge technological developments in Artificial Intelligence, Earth Observation & Navigation, and Communications.

    Find out more
  • Space South Central Advisory Board

  • The Space South Central Advisory Board represent a terrific cross section of organisations from across the whole South Central region, all committed to contributing their time an effort to help translate Space South Central’s objectives into actions relevant to the region, promote strategic regional coherence, set priorities and provide direction to ensure objectives are delivered. The underlying priorities are to increase economic growth, inward investments, private financial investment and the take up of skills relevant to the space sector. The Board will also help coordinate collaborative bids for funding, particularly bids aligned with the National Space Strategy and UKSA.

    Find out more
  • University of Portsmouth

  • Portsmouth University is home to ASTA Technology, the UK’s only ESA-accredited provider of space engineering training, was the lead partner of the former South Coast Centre of Excellence for Satellite Applications and is a founding partner of Space South Central.

    Find out more
  • University of Southampton

  • Space at Southampton offers multiple facilities including: Artificial Intelligence, Spacecraft Autonomy and Control; Biomechanics lab with ultrasound and myoton scanners; Electric Propulsion Laboratory;  Environmental Sensing : Field Spectroscopy and Spectrophotometer; G.T. Roberts Jet Propulsion Laboratory; IRIDIS 5 High Performance Computing System.

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  • University of Surrey

  • The Surrey Space Centre is a world leading Centre of Excellence in Space Engineering.

    Find out more

Technical Focus

(Where 0 is no focus/experience and 3 is established experience and flagship focus)



Market Focus

(Where 0 is no focus/experience and 3 is established experience and flagship focus)