Dstl demonstrates satellite operation capability

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Hermes ground station

In early November the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) welcomed broadcaster Forces News for an exclusive demonstration of its Hermes relocatable ground station and mission operations centre. Hermes represents the first time in nearly 20 years a UK government-owned and operated asset communicated with a satellite.

As the satellite passes over the ground station, the antenna locks on and the satellite transmits the data it collected during its journey around the Earth.

Hermes represents a significant investment in space R&D and increases the UK government’s space-related capabilities. Space technologies underpin our combat capabilities and can give the UK operational advantage over potential adversaries, for example with satellite imagery being used by frontline command.

The development and demonstration of Hermes occurred in collaboration with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, who provided control of a low-Earth orbit satellite, Carbonite-2, to Dstl for tasking validation and verification purposes.

Published 18 November 2020

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