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Catapult Satellite Applications

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In-Orbit Demonstration (IOD)

In-Orbit Demonstration (IOD)

The In-Orbit Demonstration (IOD) Programme offers you a fast-track, low-cost opportunity to test your service or technology on a CubeSat mission launched into low Earth orbit.

IOD will help you accelerate to ‘proof of concept’ stage by providing an affordable in-orbit testbed and a range of operational and business support services to exploit the commercial potential of the mission.

Image shows the Northrop Grumman Antares CRS-11 launch which carried IOD-1 GEMS, the first satellite in the IOD Programme, into orbit. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

In-Orbit Demonstration (IOD)

Our Missions

Open for applications


IOD-4 is open for applications! This mission offers a 3U CubeSat platform and launch opportunity for an organisation demonstrating a new service capability. Click the button below for more information and get in touch with us to discuss your application.

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Future Missions

If the technical specifications for our open missions aren't quite right for your service capability or business plans, contact us to find out more about the potential for future IOD programme missions.

Ask us about future missions

Missions in progress


IOD-1 GEMS was launched to the International Space Station onboard the NG-11 Cygnus spacecraft. This mission is being carried out with Orbital Micro Systems who have expanded their operations from the United States due to the capabilities the UK has to offer. The service demonstrated by this satellite will look to improve weather observing and forecasting.

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IOD-5 TARS is in the early build stage in partnership with Kepler Communications as a final prototype to their GEN1 constellation for IoT services. The mission follows on from the successful launches of their first two demonstrators, KIPP and CASE.

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Announced on 18th April 2019, IOD-3 AMBER will adapt Horizon Technologies’ existing FlyingFish™ signals intelligence (SIGINT) system for a 6U CubeSat platform. The satellite is currently expected to launch in 2020.

Read More

Applications under review


IOD-2 is now closed for applications and is in the process of being awarded. Keep an eye out for an announcement coming soon!


IOD-6 is now closed for applications and is in the process of being awarded. Keep an eye out for an announcement coming soon!

The Programme

How could you benefit?

The Offer

For each mission we offer:

  • A CubeSat platform, including integration and testing
  • A launch opportunity
  • Business and operational support

Our Support

We can help you with many areas of preparing for and delivering the mission, including:

  • Building a business case and defining the mission
  • Finding a technology or service partner
  • Delivering mission operations
  • Access to data processing facilities to test service prototypes
  • Developing commercial potential of the service or technology

Who Can Apply

The IOD Programme is open to any organisation or consortium who can clearly demonstrate the commercial potential of a service and a route to market. We are happy to provide support with applications to ensure you are as ready as possible for the process before applying, so if you are unsure on any areas please get in touch with us.

Contact Us


If you would like to apply for one of the missions, please select the one you wish to apply for above and ensure you have read any details or supporting documents. Applications can be submitted by email and will be reviewed by the deadline given on the mission page.

Apply for the IOD programme

The IOD programme is run by the Satellite Applications Catapult as a collaborative research initiative.
Each successful applicant will need to contribute according to the scope and scale of the mission. Support is available to help identify potential sources of funding.

// Get in touch

Please get in touch with us to discuss your application at any point, or to clarify any questions you have.

Chris Brunskill
Head of Access to Space
IOD@sa.catapult.org.uk +44 (0)1235 567999
Dr Chris Brunskill is an electronics engineer specialising in small satellite systems and mission design. He obtained a Masters of Engineering degree in electronics and satellite engineering from the University of Surrey and a PhD in space robotics from the Surrey Space Centre. His work focuses on the development of new satellite applications that utilise small satellite platforms for demonstration of novel technologies and new mission concepts. Chris is passionate about open, innovative technology development in the space sector.
See Bio
Graeme Taylor
Space Missions Analyst
IOD@sa.catapult.org.uk +44 (0)1235 567999

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