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Catapult Home / Events / Conferences / May Satuccino
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May Satuccino


Reaction Engines raises £26.5m funding

This investment takes Reaction Engine’s total investment in the last three years to £100m, and will support the development of the company’s SABRE engine, (a combined jet and rocket engine).

Open Cosmos raises £7m in Series A funding

The British startup has announced £7m in a round led by BGF Ventures. Open Cosmos plans to use this money to double its staff to 50 and establish new satellite manufacturing facilities in order to produce 30 satellites per year.

Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd

Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL), Goonhilly Earth Station (GES) and the European Space Agency (ESA) have signed a collaboration agreement for Commercial Lunar Mission Support Services at the Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. This innovative commercial partnership for exploration between ESA, GES and SSTL aims to develop a European lunar telecommunications and navigation infrastructure, including the delivery of payloads and nanosats to lunar orbit.

Earth-i releases first commercial colour video of Earth’s surface

After launching their first satellite in January carrying an ultra-high definition camera Earth-i has now released videos and images from the satellite. Earth-i plans to launch a total of 15 small satellites to increase its coverage, and is investing in its data analytics systems including in machine learning.

Geospatial Insight

Another ESA BIC company, Geospatial Insight, which provides information and intelligence to clients via aerial and satellite imagery has attracted investment of £1.68m. Geospatial Insight uses expert analysis of imaging data to give companies an “information edge” over their competitors.

DSI closes Series A round with £3.5m

Asteroid mining company Deep Space Industries has raised £3.5m from private investors, this money will be used to develop the Meteor bipropellant engine for satellites, as well as the Xplorer deep space exploration platform to be launched in 2020.

In-Orbit Servicing Control Centre

ASTROSCALE has won a £4 million grant investment to help establish an In-Orbit Servicing Control capability through the Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, supported through the Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Extreme Environments Challenge.

Space debris is a major global issue, one that is damaging and destroying satellites, causing major commercial risks as well as to disruption here on Earth. This innovative new capability will be used to control ASTROSCALE’s ELSA-d mission which is comprised of two satellites, the Chaser and the Target. The Chaser will attach to the Target’s Docking Plate and de-orbit from the congested Low Earth Orbit and burn up upon atmospheric re-entry.

This project will establish a world leading capability in the UK at the Satellite Applications Catapult at Harwell to support space debris removal; in-orbit satellite servicing and other autonomous robotic applications both in space and non-space.

Catapult Updates

Catapult Update One – Introduction to Heather Garrick, Business Engagement Manager

Hi, I’m Heather Garrick the new Business Engagement Manager at the Satellite Applications Catapult. Previously, I was the Director of Operations at the FAB Accelerator in Oxford, and I run a company called Spyre Labs, which I founded a year ago. As the Business Engagement manger, I am the first point of contact for you to connect with the Satellite Applications Catapult. I am here to support your business and help it grow. I will also be hosting the Satuccino event from now on, so I look forward to seeing you again next month!

You can contact Heather at heather.garrick@sa.catapult.org.uk

Catapult Update Two – Lithium project – Nikki Henry, Project Manager

The aim of this Innovate UK funded project was to determine whether satellite derived geological and vegetation parameters can show where subterranean Cornish Lithium brines are.

We created a prospectivity map as a demonstrator to show the different layers that were created from the studies using satellite data. Each project partner provided complementing data and conclusions, including a ground truth campaign. Further study is being considered to explore the possibilities and opportunities of this study.

Keep an eye out for upcoming news on this project!

Company Pitches

Company Pitch One – Kevin Ramirez, Copernicus Programme Coordinator – Climate-KIC

Climate-KIC is the EU’s largest climate innovation community created by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) focused on climate innovation, working to create a prosperous, inclusive, climate-resilient society founded on a circular, zero-carbon economy.

Climate-KIC and Europe’s earth observation programme Copernicus are collaborating to accelerate the uptake of Earth Observation and Geo Informatics data, in an effort to step up the fight against climate change.

Climate-KIC provides a ready-made network of public and private organisations that are already taking action on climate change. Together with the European Union’s Earth observation programme Copernicus, Climate-KIC has established a collaborative programme to accelerate the use of Copernicus satellite data and information by entrepreneurs, universities, cities, regions and other stakeholders.

For more information, please contact copernicus@climate-kic.org

Company Pitch Two –  Dr. Marco Pavan, Business Development Manager – SteamJet Space Systems

SteamJet Space Systems is developing a safe, compact, incombustible propulsion system for orbit control of CubeSat satellites. By rapid heating of a non-toxic, non-flammable, non-corrosive working fluid, water, the SteamJet propulsion system provides the DeltaV your satellite needs to reach and maintain its final orbit, also ensuring de-orbiting requirements.

The compact design allows to contain the whole system within a CubeSat unit (1U), taking also benefit of the “tuna can” extra volume offered by many CubeSat deployers. Bespoken configurations are also possible to meet specific requirements.

For more information about our technology, services and upcoming missions please visit our website or contact marco.pavan@steamjet.space.

Company Pitch Three –  Alan Thompson, Director – Eureco

Based on the Isle of Wight, Eureco Technologies Ltd (EURECO) has completed an Innovate UK co-funded project that has validated a Technology Readiness Level of TRL4 for the “eureco® EM-bridge™”, a unique disruptive technology solution that can deploy antenna panels and provide extremely efficient radio frequency connectivity for SAR, SATCOM & Radio Astronomy applications.

The UK IPO has granted a patent for the invention and patent filings have been made in the jurisdictions of Europe, the United States, Australia, Canada, India, Japan, Singapore and South Africa. EURECO is now seeking strategic licensing partners to help with the commercial exploitation of the invention.

Company Pitch Four – Arnaud Le Carvennec, Senior Software Architect – RHEA Group

The Rhea Group is a major provider of engineering expertise and solutions to the space sectors, offering innovative engineering and software solutions to leading organizations ranging from ESA to ADS.

Rhea’s Harwell team is leading a consortium of UK companies in a UKSA funded project to develop DFMS, the Drought and Flood Mitigation Service. DFMS will provide Ugandan farmers with more accurate and timely weather and hydrological forecasts, allowing them to better manage their water resources and take better informed decisions about sowing and harvesting crops as well as Earth observation derived information combined with ground data for monitoring and additional insight.

DFMS Senior Software Architect Arnaud Le Carvennec will present how the DFSM system, built using the Open Data Cube technology, assimilates inputs from multiple data sources and uses cloud technologies for flexible deployment and processing.


Extra Shot Pitches

Extra Shot Pitch One – Aidan Thorn, Business Development Manager – NOC

The Marine Robotics Innovation Centre and the National Oceanography Centre has almost 30 member companies working alongside NOC unmanned marine vehicle and sensor development teams. These companies range from large multi-national end-users of Marine Autonomous Systems (MAS) to SME’s developing technology for integration into MAS.

MAS face a number of challenges when at sea that require interaction with satellites these include, platform to platform and platform to operator comms, navigation and data transfer. We would be keen to talk with anyone interested in discussion around the challenges of working in this remote and challenging environment and how satellite technologies can support this work.

Extra Shot Pitch Two – John Shimmel, Managing Consultant – Polaris

Polaris is a fully independent SME providing evidence-based decision-making support to the UK Government and industry. The Company specialises in the delivery of Operational Analysis (OA), Cost Analysis and Business Case Approval. Polaris also provides innovative R&D and concept development in the areas of Modelling, Optimisation and Data Analytics. Polaris was founded in 2001, and since that time has built a reputation for delivering innovative, timely and practical solutions. As well as delivering solutions using staff and expert associates, Polaris has strong links to other companies with complementary skills, and has a track record of working with leading universities to develop innovative ideas and concepts. Polaris specialises in analysis to aid human decision making and has delivered several Innovative technology development projects in recent years, particularly via the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA).  Our Technology focussed projects have included:  Machine learning support to Intelligence Analysis; Machine Learning Supported Firearm detection; and Optimised Autonomous platform navigation. This last technology is of particular relevance in this sector, as we are keen to utilise satellite derived data to inform our navigation system.

In addition, Polaris has a significant role in helping the MoD acquire the next generation of military satellites, Skynet 6.  The Company has a team of more than 10 consultants working with MoD, delivering a range of specialisms to ensure the successful delivery of this multi-£Bn programme.  Polaris is providing technical assurance for the specification of the Secure Telemetry, Tracking and Control (TT&S) for Skynet 6; leading the analysis of options for Skynet 6; and providing guidance on the satellite market, procurement, financial analysis and Business Case approval.

Extra Shot Pitch Three – OneLine


Cluster Updates

Cluster Update One – Ben Whitaker, Innovation Partner – MoD’s Defence and Security Accelerator

The Defence and Security Accelerator’s mission is for the UK to have the most innovative defence and security capabilities in the world. The Accelerator achieves this by finding and funding innovative ideas and seeking to rapidly bring them into use across defence and security. We are interested in anything that helps defence and security work better and faster, helps our people be more efficient, or safer, or gives the UK a strategic advantage. The Accelerator runs an ‘Open Call for Innovation’ that allows anyone with a good idea to apply for funding at any time. The Accelerator provides easy access to government customers in the UK, ranging from the military to security services and the police.

Cluster Update Two – Maria Kalama – Innovate UK

Always look out for the next funding Opportunity on the Innovate UK website:

Competitions currently open and related to space:

The competitions are changing! Innovate UK are evolving and simplifying our foundation/sector funding to better suit business needs by being more open. This will create more opportunities to apply, moving to more flexibility on scope, greater flexibility on the grant requested, making larger grants available for single company applicants, and making our funding available to companies when it best suits their business cycles.

The first of the new style open competitions is now live on GOV.UK. It opens on Thursday 10 May and closes on Wednesday 11 July! It has different eligibility rules than before for our sector/open competitions so make sure you read through all supporting material!

You can also apply for with round of Innovation Loans (closes 6 June 2018) by clicking here.

Cluster Update Three – Tony Forsythe – UK Space agency

The UK Space Agency will be opening calls inviting the submission of project proposals for National Space Technology Programme (NSTP) grant funding.

NSTP offers support by funding industry, academia and other (not for profit) government institutions which are developing technology and building new capabilities for the UK Space sector. Industry-industry and industry-academia collaborations are encouraged and there is no restriction on which type of organisation can lead.

Cluster Update Four – Tony Sephton, ESA Business Applications – ESA

You are warmly invited to participate at “Ocean x Space”, the 8th edition of ESA’s annual Business Applications workshop. This event is jointly organised by ESA, Spaceport Norway and the Norwegian Space Centre, and will be held on 22-24 May 2018 in Stavanger, Norway.

The workshop aims at promoting space-enabled services with a focus on maritime business applications.

Why attend:

  • Find out about the latest developments in Satellite Applications
  • Attend more than 40 talks on space and maritime applications, business and innovation from ESA, NASA, UNOOSA, Statoil, KSAT, Kongsberg Seatex, SINTEF, Norwegian Government and many others.
  • Learn about ESA funding, support and other investment opportunities
  • Come to meet and hear Paolo Nespoli, currently Europe’s most experienced astronaut with 313 days in space
  • Attend our social event, a special cruise and dining experience on the spectacular Lysefjord


Do you have an innovative idea for a space-enabled service in the maritime sector? Apply now to our competition

Deadline for entries is 7th May 2018.

More information on the event and registration can be found here.

Next month’s event – Wednesday 6 June – Register here

Pre-Satuccino Workshop: Defence and Security Accelerator – Register here

More Information

If you would like to know more about Satuccino, or to get in touch regarding Business Support at the Catapult, please email us at marketing@sa.catapult.org.uk or call us on 01235 567999.

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Satellite Applications Catapult
+44 (0)1235 567999
We help organisations make use of, and benefit from, satellite technologies, and bring together multi-disciplinary teams to generate ideas and solutions in an open innovation environment.

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