Making space accessible

Making space accessible

Firms with sights on satellites can now take off more easily, thanks to the In-Orbit Demonstration Programme, run by the Satellite Applications Catapult.

The Satellite Applications Catapult is an independent innovation and technology company, created to foster growth across the economy through the exploitation of space.

The In-Orbit Demonstration (IOD) Programme offers a low-cost opportunity for firms to test their service or technology on a CubeSat mission launched from the International Space Station (ISS).

IOD will help businesses 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.

The primary uses of satellite technologies by businesses are communications, and earth observation.

Innovate UK’s £1.5 million IOD investment will give businesses flight-heritage on one of four missions.

They are offering:

  • a CubeSat platform from Clyde Space including assembly, integration and testing
  • a launch opportunity with NanoRacks from the ISS

IOD is open to any company or consortium who can clearly demonstrate the commercial potential of a service and a route to market.

The programme is looking for commercial services and technologies in areas such as:

  • climate applications
  • agriculture and maritime
  • environmental monitoring
  • internet of things
  • location-based services
  • communications applications
  • logistics and fleet management
  • smart cities

They can help firms to:

  • Build a business case and define a mission
  • Find a technology or service partner
  • Deliver mission operations
  • Access data processing facilities to test service prototypes
  • Develop the commercial potential of the service or technology

IOD is open now. The four missions have flexible dates with the aim to launch the first mission early 2018.

If you have any questions regarding the IOD programme you can contact the team at