UK radar satellite NovaSAR-1 successfully launched

NovaSAR-1 built by SSTL and equipped with an Airbus SAR radar launched from India

Portsmouth, 16 September 2018 – The radar imaging satellite NovaSAR-1, carrying an Airbus S-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) built in Portsmouth, has been launched successfully on a PSLV launcher from India. The spacecraft was built under the leadership of Surrey Satellite Technology Limited, an Airbus subsidiary.

The innovative small satellite will be used to monitor the Earth day and night.  SAR instruments can see through clouds to enable uninterrupted imaging of the Earth below, which is key when monitoring changes of features on the ground.

NovaSAR-1 is the first SAR spacecraft to be manufactured entirely in the UK and is a technology demonstration mission designed to test the capabilities of a new low cost S-Band SAR platform. The satellite is owned by SSTL.

The UK Space Agency has invested £21 million in the development of NovaSAR-1 and will benefit from access to data from the spacecraft, significantly boosting the UK’s sovereign Earth observation capabilities and leveraging additional inward investment to the UK by creating highly skilled jobs in the UK space industry, and stimulating the growth of data analysis services.

UK Science Minister Sam Gyimah said: “The data from this satellite, backed by a £21 million investment from the Government, will help innovative start-ups develop new apps that could revolutionise the way we live.

“It’s a great example of how we are working with the space sector through our modern Industrial Strategy, ensuring we remain at the forefront of pioneering science and exploration.”

Colin Paynter, Managing Director of Airbus UK, said: “Congratulations to everyone involved – NovaSAR-1 can now start delivering high quality data for a myriad of users.”

NovaSAR-1 has a dedicated maritime mode designed with a very wide swath area of 400km to enable the monitoring of the marine environment, and will provide direct radar ship detection information simultaneously with AIS ship tracking data to assist with the identification and tracking of sea-going vessels.

In addition to operating in maritime mode, NovaSAR-1 is equipped with a range of imaging modes, including a 6m resolution imaging mode with 20km swath, a 20m resolution mode with 100km swath and a 30m resolution mode with 150km swath.  These will serve a wide range of applications.  The satellite has been designed to provide a high throughput of data, and can image in a variety of polarisation combinations to add additional information to acquisitions, in the form of ‘colour’.

Mission partners signed up for capacity from NovaSAR-1 include the UK Space Agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia, and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

The satellite is in a 583km polar orbit and has a design lifetime of seven years.


About Airbus

Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2017 it generated revenues of € 59 billion restated for IFRS 15 and employed a workforce of around 129,000. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners from 100 to more than 600 seats. Airbus is also a European leader providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft, as well as one of the world’s leading space companies. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide.


Media contacts

Ralph Heinrich

+49 (0)171 30 49 751

Email Contact

Jeremy Close

+44 (0)7766 536 572

Email Contact

Guilhem Boltz

+33 (0)6 34 78 14 08

Email Contact

Francisco Lechón

+34 630 196 993

Email Contact



Review Article Be the first to review this article

Featured Video
GIS ANALYST I.8030200 for Dallas County at DALLAS, Texas
Structural Engineer 2 (Engineer 2) for Los Alamos National Laboratory at Los Alamos,, New Mexico
Design Engineer (Engineer 1/2) for Los Alamos National Laboratory at Los Alamos,, New Mexico
Structural Engineer for Kiewit at Lenexa, Kansas
Architect for Hutton at Wichita, Afghanistan
Failure Analysis Engineer for Flextronics at Milpitas, California
Upcoming Events
IEC 61850 Global 2020 at Brussels Belgium - Oct 26 - 30, 2020
ACM SIGSPATIAL 2020 at Seattle WA - Nov 3 - 6, 2020
Health GIS: STAR (Spatial Thinking in Applied Research) at Online event Calgary Alberta Canada - Nov 18, 2020

© 2020 Internet Business Systems, Inc.
670 Aberdeen Way, Milpitas, CA 95035
+1 (408) 882-6554 — Contact Us, or visit our other sites:
AECCafe - Architectural Design and Engineering EDACafe - Electronic Design Automation TechJobsCafe - Technical Jobs and Resumes  MCADCafe - Mechanical Design and Engineering ShareCG - Share Computer Graphic (CG) Animation, 3D Art and 3D Models
  Privacy PolicyAdvertise