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Creating a new wave of space applications

01 August 2017

Clyde Space partnered with Teledyne e2v to deliver a world’s first in satellite technology using sensors to map changes in gravity across the earth’s surface.

Craig Clark MBE, Clyde Space CEO, said in conjunction with Teledyne e2v: “We will create a new wave of space applications.”

With a high-tech solution provided by Clyde Space, the project team led by Teledyne e2v working with research partner the University of Birmingham, is using quantum technology to provide a state-of-the-art technical solution capable of creating ultra-sensitive ‘cold atoms’ in space. 

Applications for instruments based on this technology include more accurate monitoring of changes in polar ice mass, ocean currents and sea level, the ability to monitor underground water resources and discover new underground natural resource deposits which are currently not detectable. The technology will also be used for deep space navigation and for providing higher precision timing sources in space.

Laboratory experiments have shown cold atoms can be used as ultra-sensitive sensors capable of mapping tiny changes in the strength of gravity across the earth’s surface.
That will now be replicated in space through the Clyde Space-Teledyne e2v partnership with the Cold Atom Space Payload (CASPA) mission, the world’s first free-flying on-orbit demonstration for cold atom based science missions. It paves the way for cold atom instruments to be used in space.

Craig said: “Pioneering innovative solutions is at the core of everything we do. We are always pushing the boundaries of what is possible with small spacecraft, as are Teledyne e2v with quantum technology. 

“Our customers have ambitious missions for an ever-expanding range of applications. It’s our job to enable the realisation of their pursuits, through the provision of highly progressive nanosatellite capabilities.

“We are delighted to provide our technical solution in support of Teledyne e2v’s vision for the commercialisation of quantum technologies. We are constantly innovating, it has been our focus since day one and it’s a big part of the reason for our success.”

The revolutionary technology is based on new developments in quantum technology which have resulted in the ability to cool atoms close to absolute zero making the cold atoms ultra-sensitive and capable of mapping tiny changes in the strength of gravity across the surface of the earth.

Trevor Cross, ?Group Chief Technology Officer at Teledyne e2v, commented: “Quantum technology is giving us new abilities in a wide range of markets and applications.

“Our partnership with Clyde Space is representative of the collaboration required to commercialise the technology and really maximise the benefits of Quantum in industry. We are so pleased that the new Clyde Space 6U platform is gaining further traction in the marketplace.”

The CASPA mission is the latest project to recognise Clyde Space’s CubeSat technology and the far-reaching impact it has had in making satellites more accessible and affordable.
Its success earned it the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation Category earlier this year.


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