Slipstream receives funding boost for space technology development


Slipstream Engineering Design is one of five UK organisations in the UK to receive a share of £1 million (US$1.2 million) funding through the Space to Innovate Campaign – Bravo Drop.

Space to Innovate Campaign – Bravo Drop is a collaboration between the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), the UK Space Agency and the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA).

It is the next step on from the Alpha Drop, where £1.6 million worth of contracts were awarded to eight UK organisations to support the identification of visualisation tools to enable space operators to exploit information gathered from multiple data sources, and novel methods for characterising objects in space and their intent.

The campaign format is unique from other DASA competitions and comprises space-related challenges that are released periodically.

Slipstream Engineering Design was £199,054 for the project which aims to produce adaptable radio hardware for space applications. The other companies awarded funding were AltaRange ( £199,054) Fraunhofer UK Research Ltd and Fraunhofer Centre or Applied Photonics (£318,152) Astroscale ( £ 96,466), and AVoptics (£195,920).

Dr Mike Roberts, Slipstream Engineering Design technical director and co-founder said, “Our solution is designed to improve the signal-to-noise performance of space-related communications and sensing capabilities.

“On CubeSats, where payload space is at a premium, having hardware that can carry out multiple communication and sensing operations would be a major advantage. Our aim is to produce an adaptable radio platform which is software configurable and can switch between different types of wideband radio waveforms.”

Bravo Drop is the second ‘challenge drop’, which invited innovators to submit technologies and solutions to help overcome specified challenges. Slipstream were in attendance at Farnborough International Air Show as a partner of Team Tempest, the enterprise working to create the UK’s Future Combat Air System (FCAS).

Commercial director Sarah Gregory said, “Team Tempest is a technology initiative aimed at advancing combat air technology, involving the Ministry of Defence and UK industry partners including BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, Leonardo UK and MBDA UK. It is a highly ambitious programme requiring the design and development of many ‘world firsts’ in aviation, with a flying demonstrator on track for delivery in five years’ time.”

Gregory said, “Through our work with Leonardo UK, we are contributing specialised digital radio frequency expertise to the project, allowing cutting edge technologies to be developed at speed.”

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