UK to Launch New Revolutionary Satellite Technology

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The mission called CarbSar entails two UK companies creating an innovative, low-cost satellite that will use radar technology to see through clouds and will even work at night.

According to the BBC, the two companies- Surrey Satellite Technology Limited and Oxford Space Systems- will start building the satellite this year and plan to launch next year. The mission has government support and will launch using an American rocket.

The funding comes partially from the National Security Strategic Investment Fund, which is known to back promising new technology initiatives that might be used for national security and defense.

The innovation of this project is the new OSS radar antenna, which is made using a tungsten wire mesh that’s folded for launch and will spring out once in orbit.

According to the BBC, the innovative structure is called a “wrapped rib” design. The gold-plated tungsten mesh is attached to a series of carbon-composite rods that can be wound radially against a central hub. Once released, the strain energy in these rods will naturally jump back into their straightened configuration, pulling the mesh into position.

The CEO of OSS, Sean Sutcliffe explains- “you need it to be as simple as possible because the more parts you have the more chance there is for something to go wrong.”

The revolutionary sensing technology will also be very useful in civil emergencies, such as monitoring floods or finding evidence of landslides.