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Companies based at Harwell Campus join forces to build revolutionary beam hopping satellite

11:11 08 June in Advanced Engineering & Manufacturing, Europe, News, Oxfordshire, Talent and Innovation

Following £32m funding from the UK Space Agency, space tech companies Astroscale, Celestia UK, and SatixFy Space Systems joined OneWeb through the European Space Agency’s Sunrise Programme to create a demonstration satellite, set to launch in 2022.

The beam hopping satellite, also named ‘Joey-Sat’, will allow satellites to change the areas of the world they cover. Joey-Sat will remotely direct beams to increase coverage in specific locations where the network struggles to cope with demand. The satellite is likely to be extremely beneficial in managing surges in commercial demand or responding to emergencies.

Elodie Viau, Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications at ESA, said:

“Joey-Sat will be used to demonstrate how next-generation 5G connectivity can benefit life on Earth. ESA is proud to support the space industry in Europe to bring such innovation to the competitive global telecommunications market. We congratulate all the partners involved.”


Science Minister Amanda Solloway said:

“From helping during a disaster to providing broadband on planes, this amazing technology will show how next-generation 5G connectivity can benefit all of us on Earth.

“It is fantastic to see some of our finest space tech companies joining forces on this exciting project which will put the UK at the forefront of satellite communications technology.”


This news is a fantastic testament to the innovative and ground-breaking advances in the Thames Valley space sector. It highlights the further opportunities that can be achieved in the region, specifically through Harwell CampusSpace Cluster which is part of the UK’s strategy to increase its share of the world space market to 10% by 2030.

To find out more about the space sector in the Thames Valley click here.

Read more here.