Surrey Satellite Technology
Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, or SSTL, is a spin-off company of the University of Surrey, now majority-owned by EADS Astrium, that builds and operates small satellites. Its satellites began as amateur radio satellites known by the UoSAT (University of Surrey SATELLITE) name or by an OSCAR (Orbital Satellite Carrying Amateur Radio) designation. SSTL cooperates with the University's Surrey Space Centre, which does research into satellite and space topics.
SSTL moved into remote sensing services with the launch of the Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC) in 2002 and an associated child company, DMC International Imaging. SSTL also adopted the Internet Protocol for the DMC satellites it builds and operates, migrating from use of the AX.25 protocol popular in amateur radio. The CLEO Cisco router in Low Earth Orbit, on board the UK-DMC satellite along with a network of payloads, takes advantage of this adoption of the Internet Protocol. SSTL is also developing a new Geostationary Minisatellite Platform-Transfer orbit variant (GMP-T) aimed at the telecommunications market under the brand name SSTL-900.
The University sold a 10% share of SSTL to SpaceX in January 2005. It then agreed to sell its majority share (roughly 80% of the capital) to EADS Astrium in April 2008. In August 2008 SSTL opened a US subsidiary.
SSTL was awarded the Queen's Award for Technological Achievement in 1998, and the Queen's Award for Enterprise in 2005. In 2006 SSTL won the Times Higher Education Supplement award for outstanding contribution to innovation and technology. In 2009 SSTL ranked 89 out of the 997 companies that took part in the Sunday Times Top 100 companies to work for.
On Wednesday 5 September 2012, one of SSTL's employees and his family were killed in a suspected contract killing in the Chevaline killings.
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