UK Civil Space Strategy

2008-2012 and beyond

Current UK strengths and achievements in space

The new UK Space Strategy has been developed in order to build upon our acknowledged strengths and achievements:
the world’s most profitable global satellite mobile communications provider; the world’s first public-private partnership for secure military satellite communications;

Credit: STFC

Europe’s most successful satellitebased TV broadcaster; the world’s leading capital market for satellite and application financing; a satellite manufacturing industry that continues to deliver the world’s largest and most complex communications satellites; world-leading activities in software and control for satellites and ground-segment operations;

Credit: Eumetsat

the world’s leading small satellite company and through it, the global disaster management satellite constellation, DMC; world-class research in astronomy, solar physics and planetary science; scientific excellence in Earth science, climate understanding and world-class environmental forecasting including weather; a world-leading reputation for developing new and innovative service applications using satellite networks.

Credit: ESA

Credit: SSTL


Foreword – A leading role for the UK in space BNSC’s mission and organisation The role of space The vision Developing tomorrow’s economy Managing our changing planet Exploring the Universe Strengthening innovation from space Skills development and outreach for a high-technology future BNSC corporate initiatives Delivering our vision Thematic and corporate objectives Programmes Bibliography BNSC partnership

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UK Civil Space Strategy 2008-2012 and beyond 01

A leading role for the UK in space

I am delighted to present the UK’s strategy for civil space activities.
Space is increasingly important in all our lives. Applications from space underpin many of today’s major commercial sectors; they provide essential information to understand our planet’s environment, changing climate and weather; they enable great strides to be made in the scientific understanding of our Solar System and beyond; and they provide innovative tools for enhancing our quality of life. The UK is at the leading edge of all these activities.

Space currently contributes around £7 bn a year to the UK economy. This strategy sets out measures to increase the UK share of this growing international sector. These include developing the important role of Government as a customer for new space services, such as disaster relief, and establishing a new international space facility in the UK, which will focus on several strategic areas including climate change, space exploration and related technologies. In addition, we plan to establish a National Space Technology Programme to support the development of new, innovative technologies and services.

Awaiting image of Ian Pearson

Ian Pearson MP Minister of State for Science and Innovation

The Government is determined that the UK remains at the forefront of the evolving space scene

Artist’s impression of ESA’s wind profiling mission, ADM-Aeolus
ESA – AOES Medialab

02 A leading role for the UK in space

The space sector also creates a demand for highly skilled people, and the interest it generates provides an excellent platform for engaging the public on wider issues of science. We plan to increase our efforts in this area, with a range of programmes to improve science education and to encourage young people to consider careers in science and technology. The nature of space activity means that it is, in most instances, conducted through international collaborations. For the UK, ESA (European Space Agency) and EUMETSAT (European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites) remain the key delivery-partners, whilst the EU is becoming a major player. We are committed to playing our part in these European fora, as well as developing productive bilateral relationships with other spacefaring nations. For example, we are committed to play a leading role in space exploration through a major involvement in ESA’s planetary exploration programme Aurora and under international collaboration represented by the

Global Exploration Strategy. We will collaborate with other nations such as the US on, for example, lunar missions. In doing these things, we will build on our existing expertise and develop the new capabilities needed to take advantage of emerging opportunities. These coming decades promise to be even more exciting than the last. The Government is determined that the UK remains at the forefront of the evolving space scene. I am grateful to all who contributed to the consultation process in formulating the strategy. I look to the British National Space Centre (BNSC) to provide the strategic leadership across the UK to take it forward. Finally, I very much look forward to working with all sides of the space community in delivering our objectives.

The collapse of the Larsen B ice shelf between 1992 and 2002 was recorded by Envisat, ERS-1 and ERS-2
Credit: ESA

Ian Pearson MP Minister of State for Science and Innovation

The high level vision for UK civil space activities is to:
• • • • • win an increasing share of the global market in space systems, services and applications in the race to develop tomorrow’s economy; deliver world-leading exploitation of space systems for managing our changing planet; be a partner of choice in global scientific missions to explore the Universe; benefit our society by strengthening innovation from space, and stimulate the creation of new products and services for everyday use; develop a major channel for skills development and outreach for a high technology future, and improve public and political recognition of the value of space systems as part of the critical national infrastructure.

UK Civil Space Strategy 2008-2012 and beyond 0

BNSC’s mission and organisation

The British National Space Centre (BNSC) provides the Government mechanism for taking forward and implementing the UK civil space programme BNSC is a partnership of ten Government Departments, Research Councils and the Met Office which, as part of
This strategy document sets out the Government’s overall objectives and approach for working together to maximise the benefits from the UK’s investments in space – both across Government and in the private sector. It will also help individual organisations to make their own strategic decisions on their activities and investments. In developing the document, BNSC has consulted widely with industry, academia and the public. We have also taken into consideration the comprehensive report on UK Space Policy by the former House of Commons Committee on Science and Technology (July 2007)1. The strategy sets out goals for the period 2008-2012. A plan for implementing the strategy is being developed and will be published on the BNSC website. The strategy contributes to the Government objectives of: • • • • • underpinning successful UK innovation in products and services in an environment of intensifying cross-border competition; enabling improved quality of life for all sections of society in a period of demographic changes; developing state-of-the-art responses to security and foreign policy challenges; keeping the UK at the forefront of global scientific excellence, knowledge exchange and creativity; understanding and tackling pressures on our natural resources and global climate.

its wider policy remit, has a significant interest in harnessing space to deliver policies and programmes. The partnership co-ordinates UK civil space activities among its partners, and also with other government bodies with a space interest. It brings together academia and business to develop innovative and challenging programmes that benefit science, society and the UK economy. Reporting to the Minister for Science and Innovation in the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS), BNSC is the official UK voice in the development of international and European space policy, as well as promoting and publicising UK space activities.

See page 41 for a list of BNSC partners.

0 BNSC’s mission and organisation

The role of space

The world is increasingly dependent on satellite infrastructure
Fifty years after Sputnik – the first man-made object launched into space – we can look forward with certainty to a space-enabled future that will transform our economy, policy-making and our lives. The UK’s involvement in space-related activities will ensure that it remains at the heart of one of the most dynamic and strategic sectors in today’s world. The UK’s position as a leading nation will be influenced by our success in bringing space innovations to the marketplace, and by furthering collaboration with the increasing number of countries involving themselves in space activities. Space offers new ways of helping us to respond to the challenges of today and tomorrow – including issues created by an ageing population, climate change, emerging economies and subsequent pressures on scarce resources, and global security. The availability of rapid communications

and access to information enabled

Topsat image of London’s Dartford crossing
Credit: Topsat consortium, QinetiQ

by satellite networks enhances the potential for wealth creation. Satellites provide global reach, are robust and reliable, and must use energy efficiently. They also offer a unique platform for extending our scientific understanding of the Universe – and planet Earth. All major space-faring nations recognise that the challenge of developing compact, light and reliable space systems can be an important driver of wider technological advancement.

Space applications have the potential to provide significant contributions to society’s responses to 21st century challenges
The Space Economy at a Glance, OECD (2007)2

UK Civil Space Strategy 2008-2012 and beyond 0

The role of space

Developing tomorrow’s economy London’s financial markets and institutions are reshaping global enterprises, and are increasingly a source of private investment in space systems, applications and services. The UK already has an enviable record of innovation in this field and in reaching the marketplace with new developments quicker than others. Its long-held lead in satellite communications and broadcasting has helped to give the UK the edge in generating further businesses that have in turn generated more money from such applications than elsewhere. The UK has a vibrant interaction between research, technological innovation and targeted Government sponsored programmes, for example, risk reduction. Stimulating greater private investment for the development of commercial markets will deliver growing economic returns for the UK. A major target for the strategy will be the high value-added services and export opportunities that are increasingly being enabled by the development of the next generation of satellite networks.

The Greenland Ice Sheet is melting at rates far quicker than previously realised. This rate, as monitored by DMC, is an important indicator of climate change.
Credit: DMC consortium, UK-DMC, SSTL

Managing our changing planet Satellites are a crucial tool for understanding and monitoring Earth at a global level. Today, satellites help us to understand and monitor our changing climate and environment; tomorrow, they can help us to maintain our promises in managing the environment. Global satellite-based monitoring systems underpin our understanding of the health of planet Earth, alert us to dangers and speed up our responses. Satellites have a significant role in accurately assessing changes in sea surface height and temperature, the melting ice caps and the effects of solar activity on the Earth and its environment. The UK recognises the need for international efforts to monitor the effects of climate change; developing and exploiting space systems will give us the science and the technology to allow us to tackle its impact.

0 The role of space

Strengthening innovation from space Satellite systems have changed our lives, bringing us instant information via the telephone and broadcast media. Systems and services are advancing rapidly, and the UK is playing a pivotal role in improving the technology and developing new applications. Satellite data are already helping us to deal with many critical issues such as pressure on natural resources, climate change, global demographic changes and security. Transferable technologies continue to emerge as a result of the stringent demands of operating systems in the remote and hostile space environment. A major goal for the UK is, therefore, to put in place the mechanisms that maximise commercial benefits as well as our ability to tackle the new challenges facing society via solutions from space.

Exploring the Universe Observatories orbiting high above the atmosphere allow us to see the Universe more clearly and have given us deep insights into its evolution and structure. Spacecraft studying our nearest star, the Sun, have revealed how its dynamic behaviour affects the Earth, while planetary missions are helping us to understand how our own planet works and how it produced life. The UK is a leader in these fields, and the resulting advanced technology generated in UK institutes has also produced benefits in everyday life. These successes are preparing us for a new exciting phase in the international efforts to explore space, with space travel becoming increasingly accessible to more countries and individuals. The UK will build on its recognised skills in robotic exploration and develop the new capabilities necessary to enable it to remain a key player in this evolving scene.

Credit: ESA

From searching for life on Mars to saving lives in Africa The miniature mass spectrometer designed to search for life on Mars has been adapted by the Open University and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to provide a quick, accurate diagnosis of tuberculosis in Africa.

UK Civil Space Strategy 2008-2012 and beyond 0

The role of space

Skills development and outreach for a high-technology future The Government places great importance on developing and maintaining the skills base needed for the economy of tomorrow. Space is a key hub for training highly skilled scientists and engineers. Space also inspires young people and society at large. It can, therefore, be a useful tool in achieving the Government’s wider priority of increasing the take-up by young people of science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related subjects and careers. The priority is to enable a co-ordinated programme of outreach and space-related educational activities aimed at improving general awareness, and with links to the curriculum and teachers.

Credit: EADS Astrium

World class innovation in satellite telecommunications Inmarsat’s latest generation of telecommunications satellites was built by EADS Astrium with the key payload technology invented and manufactured in the UK. This technology enables the satellites to create a mobile telecommunications network from space at broadband speeds – the Broadband Global Area Network.

08 The role of space

The vision

The high-level vision for the UK civil space activities is to:
• win an increasing share of the global market in space systems, services and applications in the race to develop tomorrow’s economy; deliver world-leading exploitation of space systems for managing our changing planet; be a partner of choice in global scientific missions to explore the Universe; benefit our Society by strengthening innovation from space, and stimulate the creation of new products and services for everyday use; develop a major channel for skills development and outreach for a high technology future, and improve public and political recognition of the value of space systems as part of the critical national infrastructure.

The vision

• •

BNSC will provide the strategic leadership and co-ordination across traditional boundaries in Government, academia and business, for delivering the vision. During the period of the strategy it is intended to establish a Research Park, focused on the Harwell site in Oxfordshire, for space technology and applications, bringing together private and public sector involvement and a major international facility.

The UK played a major part in the successful missions to study the Sun-Earth connection, such as SOHO and Cluster, which have given us a better understanding of how extreme solar activity affects our telecommunications and power supply
Credit: ESA

UK Civil Space Strategy 2008-2012 and beyond 0

The vision Developing tomorrow’s economy

‘Space’ is a strategic economic sector
Space is increasingly a major force shaping the development of the global economy and the progress of many nations. It is a critical enabler for many key economic activities: satelliteenabled services already play a major role in our working lives. They connect us into a global network of information, communication and navigation systems. Our quality of life, commercial competitiveness and security are more than ever dependent on the global reach, resilience and efficiency of satellite networks. This benefit is delivered in several ways: • directly through the satellite and satellite service industries; • indirectly through the end-use of satellite services in other businesses; • through exchange of technology and know-how to other sectors. It is the breadth of impact – ranging from telecommunications, navigation and broadcasting, to weather forecasting, security and medical applications – that marks out space as distinctive and special. Investing in space makes good business sense for the UK.
Inmarsat Satellite Access Stations such as Fucino in Italy provide a very high degree of reliability
Credit: Inmarsat

The challenge By 2020, the global market in space systems and satellite-enabled applications is set to increase nearly tenfold from the present £62.5 bn to £543 bn (June 2006 exchange rates)3.The growth is being driven by significant changes in the economics of space arising from the emergence of ground-breaking technologies and new ways of doing business. These provide opportunities to introduce new space products and services.

10 The vision – Developing tomorrow’s economy

For example, media and communications satellites are many times more powerful and costeffective than their predecessors; new generations of small satellites are delivering more affordable services; and vastly improved instruments, software and control systems are being developed by UK academia and industry with Government support. Privatelyfunded human spaceflight and tourism will bring about further economic changes. These are opportunities that the UK cannot afford to ignore. Maintaining the UK’s global competitiveness means increasing our share of this rapidly growing market. Competitive pressure already comes from the rest of Europe, the US and the emerging economies such as India, Brazil and China. These countries are investing significantly in developing their industrial technology base through civil and military space projects. The challenge is to harness the efforts of the private sector to those of the public sector in research, technology development, knowledge-transfer and generation of skills to create an increasingly strong basis for economic growth. The BNSC partnership has a critical role to play in bringing this about.

The fuel tank of the military communications satellite Skynet 5 seen during assembly
Credit: EADS Astrium

Delivering the economic benefits: a partnership between public and private sectors The UK has a long tradition for innovation and reaching the marketplace with new developments more quickly than others. The Government’s strategy will focus on the pull-through of innovation from the science base to the stage where the private sector – and notably venture capital – is willing to invest. The private sector will play a major part in delivering the economic benefits from space, but Government has a crucial role in three areas: • supporting research and knowledge transfer, to help emerging technologies reach a commercially viable level of market readiness Private investors will then concentrate on addressing market risk, which may involve substantial amounts of investment over long periods before revenues are generated.

UK Civil Space Strategy 2008-2012 and beyond 11

The vision Developing tomorrow’s economy

• helping to create a beneficial business environment Government has an important role in helping business build a suitable environment for industry, covering both upstream (design and manufacturing of space systems) and downstream (applications and services) sectors. Issues include access to space, regulation and the willingness of private investors to engage. The burgeoning entrepreneurial climate needs to be supported by an appropriate regulatory framework. A key priority is, therefore, a fit-for-purpose regulatory regime, which balances the need to satisfy international obligations placed on the UK Government (for example, ensuring safety and proper space operations as well as managing potential Government liabilities arising from space activities) with that for transparency and the enablement of enterprise and industry. The range of applicable regulation will be examined. Important topics include allocation of frequencies for communications, regulatory arrangements under the Outer Space Act (1986), international policy on ownership

of (mobile) space assets and supporting financial instruments for space operations. A suitable regulatory regime is needed to attract the emerging sectors such as commercial suborbital and orbital tourism. These industries are rapidly developing in the US but with significant involvement of UK entrepreneurs. BNSC will work to establish a suitable regime in the UK.

Credit: ESA – J.Huart

Affordable communications for the developing world Alphasat is the next generation of telecommunication satellites. The mobile satellite communications company, Inmarsat, is developing the spacecraft with the UK arm of Europe’s largest space company, EADS Astrium. Alphasat will support broadband services that can be received by smaller, more efficient terminals, and will pioneer new broadcast and multicast services. Telephone services, particularly to Africa, will address the current lack of affordable communications.

12 The vision – Developing tomorrow’s economy

• acting as early adopter for potential satellite-based services and applications Government is a significant user of space-based services and data, in order to inform and deliver its policies – in the management of emergency response and disaster relief; monitoring of natural resources and the environment; secure communications; tracking of specific populations, such as offenders, enhancing the quality of life of people, such as the vulnerable; and in the planning and maintenance of man-made infrastructure. As a customer, Government can stimulate wider market uptake and enable service-providers to attract private investment.

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Real upstream turnover

Real downstream turnover

UK space sector: a valuable component of UK’s vital high tech ‘portfolio’3 Space is one of the highest value-adding industries in the UK. Nearly 60 per cent of its workforce have at least a first degree. Its productivity figure of more than £100,000 per employee is nearly three times the national average. It is also one of the most R&D intensive sectors, investing 12 per cent of its GDP contribution in R&D, making it six times more R&D intensive than the UK average. UK space-related turnover in 2004/05 was approximately £4.8 bn4. It is estimated that the UK share of the global market is around 7 per cent. Overall, taking indirect factors into account, the UK space sector contributes some £7 bn and 70,000 jobs to the economy.

UK Civil Space Strategy 2008-2012 and beyond 1

The vision Managing our changing planet

Tackling global environmental challenges to deliver societal benefits
Rapid economic and population growth is increasing pressures on natural resources, and human activities are causing unprecedented environmental changes. The scientific evidence on climate change is now overwhelming: it poses a serious global threat, and demands an urgent global response5. The priority is to support the development and use of Earth observation technologies, techniques and systems to deliver world-leading environmental science and operational services that provide a strong evidence base for policy-making. Satellite-based observations play a unique role. They help scientists to understand the processes that govern the Earth system, revealing, for example, accurate information on the clearing of the world’s rainforests, and the melting of the Greenland ice cap. Earth observation has revolutionised environmental forecasting and contributed to improve

Credit: ESA

Envisat’s ASAR tracks changes in sea ice In September 2007, the area covered by sea ice in the Arctic had shrunk to its lowest level since satellite measurements began nearly 20 years ago, opening up the Northwest Passage – a fabled short cut between Europe and Asia that has been historically impassable. This mosaic image, created from nearly 200 images, was acquired by the Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) instrument aboard ESA’s Envisat satellite. The dark grey colour represents the ice-free areas while green represents areas with sea ice. The most direct route of the Northwest Passage across northern Canada is highlighted by an orange line, while the Northeast Passage (blue line) along the Siberian coast remains only partially blocked.

1 The vision – Managing our changing planet

disaster response. Commercial organisations are using Earth observations for a wide variety of products and services such as mapping to agricultural services. Led by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and informed by the Met Office Hadley Centre, the UK is a prominent player in the international arena of climate change policy. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) recognises that satellites provide a major tool for global climate observations. The scale of the environmental challenges, we now face, is immense. Eighty per cent of natural disasters are weather-related, and during the 1990s, natural disasters killed half a million people and caused $750 bn of damage6. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has concluded that climate change will increase the frequency and severity of weather-related emergencies. To mitigate the impact of subsequent disasters, it is crucial to establish effective early warning systems. These will rely on satellite-based data, as well as operational services provided by organisations such as the Met Office. The UK will continue to engage actively in aligning the European Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative – particularly the Space Component Programme – with national and EU policy issues, including those on the climate change agenda. The ESA Earth science missions remain important and BNSC will continue to seek to influence the shape of these missions, as well as the European Union’s 7th Research Framework Programme. Within the UK, the BNSC partner organisation the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) is the lead agency responsible for developing new techniques for exploiting

Earth observation data, satellite instrumentation and for training specialists. Unravelling the interactions and feedbacks of the environment and climate systems is a central plank of its strategy ‘Next Generation Science for Planet Earth’7. Space systems have a key role to play in overcoming the historical difficulty of obtaining accurate, synoptic, continuous, and simultaneous measurements of the Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, ice sheets, land surface and interior. The UK will continue to use ESA as its primary means of procuring new Earth science missions, but may pursue selected niche opportunities on a bilateral basis with other partners where appropriate. Strong engagement will continue with the key relevant international programmes and initiatives, including the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) which bring together international partners.

Burn scars, shown in cyan, captured by NigeriaSat-1 following the forest fires in Greece in August 2007
Credit: DMC consortium, NigeriaSat-1, NASRDA

UK Civil Space Strategy 2008-2012 and beyond 1

The vision Managing our changing planet

A colour-composite image of Europe taken by a MeteoSat Second Generation (MSG) satellite

Looking to future technology requirements for satellite observations, BNSC intends to continue to support, through NERC and DIUS, a centre for new instrumentation. In 2008, NERC will establish a new, distributed National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO) aimed at unlocking the full potential of Earth observation to monitor, diagnose and predict climate and environmental changes, and to ensure that scientific advances translate into public good.

Earth observing satellites deliver crucial inputs to the Met Office’s monitoring and forecasting systems, including those for weather forecasting, climate prediction and tracking of atmospheric pollution. Studies show that the value of Met Office services to the UK vastly outweighs the cost of provision. We will continue to look to ESA for development of new operational meteorological capabilities in the space segment and will work jointly with other European countries to fulfil operational needs through EUMETSAT. Satellite data from non-European providers will also continue to be essential. In this context, Europe’s relationship with the US, through its National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, remains particularly important and strong.

1 The vision – Managing our changing planet

Government Departments such as Defra, the Ministry of Defence (MoD), the Department for International Development, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) are growing users of the data. For example, Defra’s agenda demands a transformation in how society produces and consumes its materials and goods: satellite data will make a vital contribution in monitoring carbon-trading mechanisms and their ‘avoided deforestation’ schemes. Defra will continue to exploit and improve its satellite-based activities such as the use of innovative communication tools. This will be pursued through national projects in collaboration with relevant BNSC partners – primarily NERC and the Met Office – and through active participation in European and international initiatives such as GMES and GEO/GEOSS. BNSC, working through DIUS, will work to increase the understanding and use of Earth observation data within Government, by continuing to support initiatives such as the ‘Government Information from the Space Sector’ (GIFTSS) and fostering effective knowledge exchange between academia and Government Departments and agencies.

The sea surface temperature is continuously monitored by Envisat’s Advanced Along Track Scanning Radiometer (AATSR) to an accuracy of a few tenths of a degree. This is a false-colour representation of the results from AATSR.
Credit: ESA

UK Civil Space Strategy 2008-2012 and beyond 1

The vision Exploring the Universe

Satellite-borne astronomical observations have changed our view of the Cosmos and our place in it
The quest to understand the Universe around us, and how it has developed through cosmic time, is one of humankind’s most fundamental endeavours. Enormous progress has been made in the 50 years since the space era began, much of it enabled by access to deep space, and by the X-ray, ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths accessible only above the atmosphere. The UK has a proud record, with major scientific advances in studying the high-energy Universe, star and galaxy formation and cosmology, the nature of the Sun and its interaction with Earth, the planets and interplanetary space. UK instruments have travelled to comets, moons and planets in the Solar System, and formed the core of many world-leading, observatoryclass facilities exploring the Cosmos from above the Earth’s atmosphere. Many of the demanding requirements of these programmes have spawned new technological ideas that have then benefited other sectors, and have formed the backbone of commercial success in the space arena. Scientific aspects of this work are undertaken in academia, with support by the BNSC Partner responsible for leading space science and exploration – the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). The science is carried out by a large and vibrant community, and is underpinned by a strong technological expertise in UK industry and in university space science research groups and institutes. Space science is a truly international undertaking. The UK took a leading role in this field in 1962 with the first international satellite Ariel 1, in partnership with NASA, and since then has collaborated with the world’s major space agencies, with most initiatives realised through ESA. Knowledge and technology exchange between industry and academia is a valuable feature of the development of space instrumentation. In a scientific context, STFC has defined six key questions to be addressed where space activities have a major role: • What is the Universe made of and how does it evolve? • How do galaxies, stars and planets form and evolve? • What are the laws of physics in extreme conditions? • How does the Sun affect the Earth?
18 The vision – Exploring the Universe

Saturn’s moon Mimas is dwarfed by the planet’s rings
Credit: ESA

• What are the origins and properties of the energetic particles reaching the Earth? • Are we alone in the Universe? These provide a guiding structure to the UK space science endeavour and these questions are to be addressed through our programme of current and future missions. A cornerstone of the longer term strategy is the ESA Cosmic Vision programme, developing six major missions to fly between 2015 and 2025. The UK is taking a strong role in shaping this programme and is ambitious in its goals to be a major force in its execution and scientific exploitation. UK scientists will also take the opportunity to address particular scientific issues through bilateral and national programmes. In the medium-term, missions with UK involvement are already underway for launch before 2015 to study the Sun, Mercury, Mars, our own Milky Way galaxy and the Cosmos as a whole. The immediate future will be served by powerful existing facilities studying the Earth’s magnetosphere, the Sun, Venus, Mars and Saturn, comets and asteroids, and by several satellite observatories examining fundamental questions of the wider Universe. The multilateral Global Exploration Strategy provides a collective framework for exploration of the solar system, both robotic and human. The UK is a founder member of the International Space Exploration Co-ordination Group (which came into being in November 2007), and through this it aims to be a prominent player in this endeavour. In the short-term, the focus will remain on unmanned and robotic activity, with lunar and Mars exploration priorities established through the ESA Aurora programme

and collaborative opportunities with other space agencies when they arise. The UK will build on its worldleading position in developing costeffective, small satellite platforms and innovative technologies needed for robotic exploration. In developing UK plans for space exploration, a crucial aspect of this work will be to build support across the Partnership. This is because the benefits of involvement in space exploration will accrue not only to science, but also to knowledge transfer, commerce and society in general. In 1986, the UK chose not to participate in human space missions. The publication of the Global Exploration Strategy8 provides a suitable point in time to review this decision. BNSC will undertake a study of programme options drawing on the findings of the 2007 UK Space Exploration Working Group9, taking into account the scientific, technological and economic costs and benefits, and UK’s existing strengths in robotic exploration.

Credit: EADS Astrium

ExoMars ExoMars is the first European exploration mission, a visionary long-term programme of robotic and human exploration of the Solar System. Expected to be launched in 2013, ExoMars will search for traces of past and present life. A rover (prototype pictured above) will be deployed with a sophisticated drill and a comprehensive suite of instruments dedicated to exobiology and geological research. It will be complemented by a static lander to study the Martian environment. UK researchers are providing core instruments that can detect the signatures of life.

UK Civil Space Strategy 2008-2012 and beyond 1

The vision Strengthening innovation from space

Space technology is at the centre of everyday life
Today people from every corner of the world can share the experience of watching major sports or news events as they happen – a global village on a scale undreamt of when the BBC broadcast the first live transatlantic images by satellite. Since then, the UK has embraced the technological challenges and opportunities presented by space. Many of the satellites now beaming images around the globe are designed, built, operated, financed or insured in the UK, forming part of the UK’s growing space industry. Satellite systems, and the services that they enable, underpin many commercial and social activities, providing communications, navigation, weather forecasting, disaster mitigation and understanding of climate change. The direct benefits of space (whether economic or societal) are principally delivered through innovative ‘downstream’ applications and services. These downstream benefits can be many times the value of the direct investment in a particular space technology or mission. Investing for the future Space-related technology and services continue to advance. The UK has benefited enormously from its investment in space technology. An important objective of the strategy is to ensure that the UK builds on its technological expertise, and creates a fertile business environment in which ideas can flourish and find application in the marketplace. This requires the identification of strategic technologies and services, and the provision of support for initial stages of development and technology demonstration.

As in the case of other large infrastructure systems (eg. water, energy), government involvement is indispensable to sustain the overall space economy and to deal with strategic implications of such complex systems
The Space Economy at a Glance 2007 (OECD)2

20 The vision – Strengthening innovation from space

The Highways Agency is collaborating with SciSys to investigate the use of the SWORD (Surveillance World-wide with Rapid Deployment) system to monitor motorway traffic. Images can be captured in remote areas without fixed infrastructure and transmitted via satellite or mobile phone networks by using innovative solar powered electronic, global positioning and camera systems
Credit: SciSys

To ensure that the UK continues to benefit commercially from involvement in ESA missions, BNSC recognises that there is a requirement for a co-ordinated space technology programme with a national component, as well as for participation in the ESA technology programmes. BNSC intends to continue to co-ordinate the technology development processes across its partner organisations and industry, and to work with EU programmes and other international partners. Working with the MoD, a crucial opportunity lies in exploiting synergies between civil, security and military space technology requirements. BNSC will also work with regional agencies and the Technology Strategy Board to maximise synergies and collaborate on common requirements.

Current opportunities for investment to reduce risk and proofof-concept demonstration include: • Small satellite technologies, including ‘formation flying’ of constellations of affordable small satellites which can be used flexibly; • Future communications technologies, including highpower components for antennas and receivers, and encryption; • Satellite and spacecraft ‘payload’ technologies, including instrumentation, image gathering and the related signal-processing applications; • Systems for surveillance of space, to monitor critical space infrastructure for vulnerabilities from natural and man-made factors, for example Near Earth Objects, space weather and debris, and mitigate such effects; • Opportunities for exploiting low-cost, responsive, and commercial propulsion and launch capabilities.

UK Civil Space Strategy 2008-2012 and beyond 21

The vision Strengthening innovation from space

Innovative integrated applications This strategy recognises the increasing importance of integrated applications and the wider economic and societal benefits that they offer. Products such as satellite navigation and internet-based virtual globe products have increased public understanding and enthusiasm, while competitions such as the international ‘Galileo Masters’ have indicated the extent of the innovation possible. Integration of satellite and terrestrial services is an area in which a wide range of new products is expected to emerge, for example, in tackling traffic congestion.

A key objective will be to stimulate increased venture capital investment in new products and services. This is a market sector in which small and medium enterprises, and business startups, offer significant potential – and initial investment costs need not be substantial. The provision of new technology incubators to promote business start-ups is a priority. The overall aim is to deliver rapid technological development through government investment.

The Bioimaging Unit at the University of Leicester has applied space technology for medical uses. On the left, the Mini Gamma-Ray Camera, employing similar CCD detectors as developed for XMM Newton, is a low cost but high performance handheld device for imaging lymph nodes in the diagnosis of cancer. On the right is a high resolution autoradiography system using X-ray camera technology from the Chandra X-ray Observatory: one example is the imaging of brain slices used in the development of new drugs.
Credit: Leicester University

22 The vision – Strengthening innovation from space

Realising wider space-age benefits Operating in space sets demanding challenges requiring innovative solutions. Spacecraft must endure extreme and inhospitable conditions – extremes of vibration, temperature and radiation, using components and systems that are small, lightweight, energyefficient and supremely reliable. The new technologies and knowhow that emerge can be applied in other, often unexpected areas. Microchips and sensors developed for space are now used in many terrestrial applications. Miniaturised analytical equipment designed for space exploration are increasingly contributing to the development of portable instruments used in the health and homeland security sectors. Materials such as novel, highly efficient semiconductors for solar cells were first employed in space before finding application on the ground. Finally, future space missions will demand increasing levels of autonomy and robotic control. This depends on intelligent, mission critical software which also has potential applications in managing financial transactions and utility networks.

The UK, through ESA, funded a new type of passive imaging using the terahertz part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Safer than X-rays, it can detect both metallic and nonmetallic objects concealed on people. A spin-out company, Thruvision, was set up to market a terahertz scanner for security screening
Credit: Thruvision

UK Civil Space Strategy 2008-2012 and beyond 2

The vision Skills development and outreach for a high-technology future

Space activities inspire today’s children and create the skills for tomorrow’s world
The unique appeal of space to young and old alike offers an unrivalled platform from which to launch activities aimed at encouraging young people to take up careers in scientific and technical fields. We need to maintain and increase the level of awareness of the role of space in our everyday lives and of the UK’s expertise in these fields, and to ensure that the UK is well-equipped with the necessary high-tech skills for tackling future global challenges and contributing to economic growth. The space-related strategy for education and skills will concentrate on three areas: • ensuring space sector skills; • exploiting space for education; • raising general awareness of UK space activities and contributions. Ensuring space sector skills Space is one of the leading hightech, high-value sectors in the UK industrial portfolio. It has grown by around 10 per cent a year over the past five years, and its contribution to UK GDP is predicted to rise. However, this continued growth depends on a steady supply of high quality scientists, engineers and technicians. Whilst UK space activities, both in industry and academia, attract good quality personnel, the domestic supply is limited and an increasing number are from overseas who bring welcome expertise. We need to develop a robust estimate of UK skills requirements for space over the next 5 to 15 years, and a strategy for meeting those requirements. The BNSC partnership, with the new Department for Innovation Universities and Skills as lead partner, will: • build a picture of the key skills and expertise that will be vital for a healthy space sector in the future;
2 The vision – Skills development and outreach for a high-technology future
Children admire a model of Beagle 2 at the National Space Centre, Leicester
Credit: National Space Centre

• identify possible gaps in the skill base; • establish how any supply gap can be filled; • develop programmes aimed at promoting the key skills and tackling any gaps. Exploiting space for education An important Government priority is the encouragement of young people to take an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects and to consider related fields as careers. Properly harnessed, the appeal of space activities has the potential to inspire children, and to attract more young people into these subjects. Children are naturally curious about the world around them, and the inherent excitement and adventure of space and space activities provide many interesting contexts in which to explore and understand wider concepts and issues. Smallscale studies in Scotland and the East Midlands provide growing evidence that including space in the curriculum has a measurable impact on the average performance of children in STEM subjects. BNSC will provide the necessary strategic co-ordination on education across the partnership, with the newly-formed Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) as a key partner. From its position at the heart of UK space activities, BNSC will seek to harness the existing diverse array of space-related education activities, carried out by a variety of professional and enthusiast organisations across the UK. Scotland and Northern Ireland have

already made positive steps on this issue, resulting in improvements in the effective exploitation of space activities for wider education purposes by reinforcing the links between these education activities and the curriculum and educators. Raising general awareness of UK space activities Improving public understanding of science is a top-level government objective. The BNSC partnership will work to exploit the potential of space to contribute to this important objective, using the expertise of its members and their network of contacts in academia and business. Together, we will develop programmes to raise awareness of both the specific space issues and the importance of science in society.

The Exploring Space gallery, part-funded by BNSC, at the Science Museum, London
Credit: Science Museum – J. Hills

UK Civil Space Strategy 2008-2012 and beyond 2

The vision BNSC corporate initiatives

Critical to the successful delivery of the vision are two cross-cutting themes
Strengthening BNSC organisation Whilst retaining the partnership structure, BNSC will review its internal partnership arrangements and advisory body structure, bringing increased clarity to the roles and expectations of each partner. The importance of good quality independent advice is recognised, and the BNSC advisory structure will continue to involve partners, industry and academia. BNSC will also review the current arrangements to ensure that the structure reflects the changing priorities within the space sector.

Building national and international partnerships Building national partnerships In many areas space-based information enables better informed public policy decisions, e.g. environment, agriculture, coastal management and disaster mitigation. Exploiting fully the potential benefits requires active interactions between all players inside and outside Government. BNSC will continue to work with the MoD to maximise synergies from common technological and capability needs. A close relationship will also be formed with other parts of DIUS, for example in tackling the challenges of sustaining the skills base for high technology sectors such as space. BNSC will work to increase the awareness of the various applications of space and space-based data among other Government Departments, and regional and local authorities. This will be done through awareness raising events and joint proof-ofconcept projects to demonstrate improved ways of doing things using space.

BNSC’s public consulation event on the space strategy held in June 2007
Credit: BNSC

2 Delivering our vision – BNSC corporate initiatives

Building international partnerships A key tenet of UK space policy is the use of international collaborations to carry out projects and programmes. In Europe, ESA and EUMETSAT are vital delivery partners. More than 60 per cent of the UK Government’s civil space expenditure is invested in ESA activities. In addition to specific projects, updating and improving the transparency of the financial and management systems of these organisations is important. We will work with them to ensure that their current programmes of financial reform are implemented. Inward investment to the UK through the Harwell business campus is a specific goal. If achievable, a strategically focused UK-based ESA facility will bring mutual benefits. The UK is a full partner in EUMETSAT. Our priorities are to work with it to ensure sustained access to data from space-based observation systems serving operational meteorology, climate monitoring oceanography and associated areas in line with the EUMETSAT Convention, whilst ensuring best value for money for the UK as a whole. The joint EU/ ESA development of the European Space Policy, a framework for future European

Eurostar 3000 payload assembly
Credit: EADS Astrium

space activities, gives indication of EU’s growing interest in exploiting space for the benefit of society. UK has been influential in developing the policy and will continue to participate in defining its implementation. Outside Europe, BNSC partners are also exploring collaborative opportunities with existing and emerging space-faring countries such as Russia, China, India and Brazil, as well as with traditional partners such as the US. The Disaster Monitoring Constellation of small satellites (DMC) provides a good example of what can be achieved in terms of reinforcing old partnerships and creating new ones. BNSC will continue to identify and develop opportunities to enhance the wider international standing of the UK.

Strategic Outcomes

Working through partnerships, the major outcomes anticipated by 2012 from the new strategy are:
• • • • • increased share of the international space market, measured by a biennial UK Space Industry Survey; clear definition and plan of how the UK will participate in the future exploration of space; improved understanding of environmental science and prediction of environmental hazards; increased breadth of UK space competencies in technology and services through the identification of niche and emerging technology opportunities; establishment of a Research Park (focused on the Harwell site in Oxfordshire) for space technology and applications, bringing together private and public sector involvement and a major international facility; increased public recognition that space is important to our economic success.
UK Civil Space Strategy 2008-2012 and beyond 2

Delivering our vision Thematic objectives

The key thematic objectives for the period 2008-2012 are:

Developing tomorrow’s economy Widen the exploitation of the science base with the aim of doubling the number of businesses interacting with the science base in space-related disciplines Facilitate risk reduction during the early development of key technologies with the ultimate aim of maximising leverage of private finance into the procurement of satellites and the services that use them Update the regulatory framework by developing an appropriate regulatory and fiscal framework for UK commercial space activities Grow UK space activity, its competitiveness and impact on the economy. The UK aims to grow its share of the global market for space products and satellite-enabled services by 2015. UK space industry will produce a strategy for delivery

Managing our changing planet Widen the use of Earth observation information in Government policymaking. Develop and implement a strategy to improve the understanding and use of information from satellite Earth observation across Government Deliver world-class environmental and climate science, broaden the use of Earth observation by the science community, maximise pull-through into operations, and place the UK at the forefront of Earth observation exploitation Align European activities with UK priorities and achieve best value for money for the UK tax payer by working proactively: • with ESA to deliver leading-edge scientific missions; • with EUMETSAT to operate and deliver operational missions and services in meteorology and environmental applications; • with the European Commission to define operational requirements for Earth observation in the context of European policies and, in particular, through the GMES initiative Ensure that the UK science and policy base is well-connected on the international stage through pro-active working in the global arena

Benefiting our society by strengthening innovation Bring better co-ordination to existing national efforts and establish a suitably funded National Space Technology Programme (NSTP) and establish two new technology capabilities per year Deliver proof-of-concept outcomes leading to commercially financed exploitation projects by 2012

28 Delivering our vision – Thematic objectives

Exploring the Universe

Skills development and outreach for a high technology future Investigate the critical issues in the future supply of essential skills for the UK space sector and, in consultation with employers, relevant Sector Skills Councils, and other key partners, look to find ways to support an employer-led ‘skills academy’ for the sector Establish a BNSC working group on education and skills drawing in key skills partners, as appropriate, to provide strategic leadership and develop its policy and programme Increase the profile of space-related education activities within DCSF’s STEM communications campaign targeted at schools Establish a Pilot European Space Education Resource Office in the UK (ESERO-UK) and through this implement a One Stop Website for information on space-related education activities Organise a campaign to raise awareness among young people of the benefits of space activities, UK’s expertise and career opportunities and to promote wider interest in science and technology subjects, starting by implementing a few space-related competitions with a view to developing a sustainable longterm activity Review current outreach activities and agree a co-ordinated programme across the BNSC partnership. In particular, establish an annual space conference to raise the profile of the UK space sector and its activities

Maximise the exploitation of past investments by operating (directly or indirectly via international agencies) existing space science missions which are scientifically viable and of sufficient priority within the UK science programme Maximise utilisation of ongoing projects to deliver, to time and budget, the programme of instruments and data system activities that are addressing key STFC science strategy issues Develop and implement the strategy for UK participation in the first phases of ESA’s Cosmic Vision Programme in the post-2015 period. This will include instrument and technology development during the competitive phases of mission assessment and definition Play a leading role in space exploration through involvement in the ESA Aurora programme focused on ExoMars and preparation for an involvement in ‘Mars sample return’ activities. Develop a costed action plan for UK participation in global efforts to explore space Over the period of the strategy, aim to increase the level of spending on space science instrumentation up to the European average, and further develop scientific capability to ensure UK leadership in exploiting future opportunities Develop a sustainable programme, in partnership with other agencies, of low cost robotic explorers, initially focused on lunar exploration, to achieve early, high profile science goals

UK Civil Space Strategy 2008-2012 and beyond 2

Delivering our vision Corporate objectives

The key BNSC corporate objectives for the period 2008-2012 are:

Strengthening BNSC organisation

Building National and International partnerships Widen the use of space in Government policy-making by introducing a spacebased solution into at least two new areas in the Government’s policy agenda Stimulate inward investment by establishing a UK-based international space facility to address emerging new application areas Increase UK returns on investment from ESA programmes: aim to achieve UK geographic-return coefficient of 1 or better Achieve continuity of core EUMETSAT missions in the most cost-effective way possible, seeking to ensure that these European activities contribute to the Global Climate Observing System in an optimal manner

Establish partner-wide agreement on strategic issues to be addressed Review the current BNSC Advisory Group structure to ensure the most effective way of obtaining advice Drive the delivery of the vision through a detailed Implementation Plan and track progress against set performance measures

International space exploration workshop Kyoto, Japan, 7-9 March, 2007
Credit: JAXA

A high-level meeting between BNSC and NASA officials in December 2007
Credit: BNSC 

0 Delivering our vision – Corporate objectives

Delivering our vision Programmes

The strategic objectives will be achieved through a combination of activities involving key national programmes, participation in international collaborative programmes and a set of strategic corporate BNSC initiatives. National programmes Strengthening the collective national effort is a key role for BNSC. There are a number of space-related programme areas within each partner, including grant giving mechanisms. The aim will be to bring these into an overall co-ordinated framework in order to maximise overall effectiveness. Key elements of the national activities are: The National Space Technology Programme (NSTP) The NSTP will be a national programme to support the development of common space technologies and new services. It will identify emerging technologies and opportunities, and use R&D grants and prizes to enable technology development and knowledge exchange between commercial, Government and academic organisations. It will address all stages of the innovation process up to largescale demonstrator projects. The programme will be divided into five elements: • technology ‘horizon-scanning’ studies, including requirements, benefits analysis, co-ordination and knowledge transfer opportunities;

• research & development activities to establish UK industry as the preferred supplier of specific capabilities in new technologies to ESA; • risk reduction exercises to establish the viability of candidate emerging technologies and systems for full development; • technology demonstrator programmes to provide opportunities for new UK products to be flight-tested and, through this, gain commercial advantage; • competitions and prizes to stimulate innovation and wider interest in the benefits of space. The programme will support proposals on the basis of their originality, value for money, and socio-economic potential. In addition, NSTP will act as a hub to attract investment from other sources, including private finance, industry, other Government Departments and regional agencies.

Credit: ESA

Near Earth Objects BNSC works with international partners in monitoring NEOs (Near Earth Objects) and asteroids. In particular, STFC is working with a consortium of industry/ academic partners on a programme involving small ‘penetrators’, carrying scientific instruments. The objective is to impact them at high speed at the planetary body and bury them in the surface. A network of these penetrators around the body enables key scientific investigations to take place.

UK Civil Space Strategy 2008-2012 and beyond 1

Delivering our vision Programmes

Government Information from the Space Sector (GIFTSS) This is an important initiative to help Government Departments and agencies to recognise the benefit which space-derived information and services can deliver for policy making. ‘Sector Facilitators’, who have an indepth knowledge of their respective areas, work closely with individual project managers within Government Departments and agencies to investigate space-based projects aimed at adding value to their work. From a short list of activities, projects are selected and jointly funded with the relevant department. Centre for Earth Observation Instrumentation Funded by DIUS and NERC, the Centre for Earth Observation Instrumentation (CEOI) has been established to help identify and prioritise areas of UK science and technology for the future development of instruments. The Centre provides UK industry and scientists with underpinning support to help position them to win future international contracts. The Centre supports small risk-reduction technology projects, technology transfer particularly between academia and industry, and a series of Challenge Workshops from which UK priorities will be identified.

NERC National Centre for Earth Observation NERC will be launching a new, distributed National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO) on 1 April 2008. Led from the University of Reading, the Centre will aim to be at the forefront in exploiting Earth Observation to respond to the challenges of climate and environmental change. NCEO will build on the considerable expertise of NERC’s current suite of EO Centres of Excellence – which use data from Earth observation satellites to monitor global and regional changes in the environment in order to develop a detailed understanding for predicting future environmental conditions. NCEO will play a role in directing wider, national NERC Earth observation investments and activities such as mission support and technology development. It will also build on NERC’s considerable international investments, such as the UK’s subscription to a number of ESA programmes. Integrated Climate Programme (ICP) The ICP of the Met Office Hadley Centre combines the requirements of Defra and the MoD for information on climate change. 

2 Delivering our vision – Programmes

International programmes ESA Technology Programmes ESA has a vigorous technology development programme to underpin its space missions. The main objectives are to reduce the risk associated with the use of technologies in mission systems and sub-systems, and to ensure that technologies developed for other applications transfer successfully to the space environment. UK participation in ESA’s General Studies Technology Programme will be managed through the NSTP, and the balance between the level of funding allocated to each will be dynamic, reflecting evolving needs. Underpinning all the ESA activities is a general technology programme promoting work on the feasibility of longer-term technologies relevant to all types of missions. Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) The ARTES programme provides the main ‘vehicle’ within ESA to support development of the satellite communications sector. UK participation in ARTES has led to a thriving UK sector which has achieved a number of important commercial successes and export orders. Estimates indicate that the rate of return on UK investment in ARTES to the UK economy ranges between 7 and 40 to 1.

ESA Aurora Programme Aurora is an optional ESA programme with the UK as a major participant. Its overall objective is to create and implement a European long-term plan for the robotic and human exploration of the Solar System: Mars, the Moon and the asteroids. The immediate goal is to explore Mars, searching for evidence of past or present life, with ExoMars as the first mission to be launched in 2013. Other activities carry out technology studies for European participation in an international Mars sample return mission foreseen for launch around 2020, as well as preparation for exploration of the Moon.

The ‘Triton Range’ is an anechoic chamber used for the electromagnetic testing of satellites
Credit: EADS Astrium

UK Civil Space Strategy 2008-2012 and beyond 

Delivering our vision Programmes

ESA Science Programme The Science Programme is a mandatory element of ESA’s activities, and the UK is the second largest contributor to a programme running at some €390m a year. Instruments and data-processing systems for ESA missions are mostly funded by the national organisation responsible for space science which is STFC for the UK. Science teams make proposals for new projects to STFC which allocates funding using peer-review by the UK community to establish the priorities. The science long-term plan, Cosmic Vision 2015-2025, has three distinct domains: astrophysics, Solar System science and fundamental physics. Cosmic Vision builds on the tremendous success of previous missions. International co-operation is a growing feature of the new programme such as the close collaborations with NASA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and others. Major UK scientific and technological contributions to the exciting group of ESA projects have been approved: • Herschel, the largest ever space telescope; • Planck, exploring the echoes of the Big Bang; • BepiColombo, revealing the mysteries of the planet Mercury; • LISA Pathfinder, the gravitational wave technology mission;

• GAIA, measuring the position and motions of a billion stars; and • the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope, the successor to Hubble. ESA Earth Observation Envelope Programme (EOEP) This rolling programme, with 5-year slices, is the main instrument for implementing ESA’s ‘Living Planet’ strategy. It addresses understanding the Earth system and the impacts of human activity on it, with the core objective to ensure European eminence in Earth science and climate understanding. Missions currently in development include: • GOCE (The Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer); • SMOS (Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity mission); • ADM-Aeolus (Atmospheric Dynamics Mission); • CryoSat-2 (ice monitoring mission); • Swarm (multi-satellite mission to measure the Earth’s magnetic field); • EarthCARE (joint mission with Japan to study clouds, aerosols and radiation). The UK is a major participant in EOEP. This provides a platform for leadership in the science and the technology of Europe’s environmental science missions. It enables UK science and policy communities, as well as commercial service-providers, access to a variety of Earth observation data and others. 

Delivering our vision – Programmes

ESA/EU Global Monitoring for Environment and Security This is a joint EU/ESA initiative, which aims to deliver operational information and services to improve the development and implementation of environment and civil security policy in Europe. The Space Component Programme is led by ESA and has five elements or ‘sentinels’ foreseen namely: • land monitoring • marine monitoring • emergency services • atmospheric monitoring • security services.

Galileo Galileo is the European Union’s Global Navigation Satellite System project to build a new European constellation of navigation satellites. It is being developed through ESA. At the 30 November 2007 EU Transport Council, EU Transport Ministers agreed that deployment of Galileo would be funded wholly by the EU. The UK has been a significant industrial player in the Galileo Satellite Development Programme. UK industry has won contracts valued in excess of €200m. These include the successful construction by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, launch, and continued operation of the GIOVE-A technology demonstrator satellite. This was achieved despite very challenging timescales, on time and budget. At the 2008 ESA Council Meeting at Ministerial level the UK intends to subscribe to Phase 2 of the GNSS Evolution Programme at a level that is being negotiated within Government.

Artist’s impression of ESA’s CryoSat-2 satellite
Credit: ESA – P. Carril

UK Civil Space Strategy 2008-2012 and beyond 

Delivering our vision Programmes

EU Framework Programme Framework Programmes are the EU’s main instrument for funding research. They provide up to half (increasing to three-quarters for small and medium enterprises) of the cost of carrying out R&D projects. The Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) runs from 2007 to 2013 with an overall budget of €50.5 bn. It supports research in several key areas including space – the space programme has a budget of €1.43 bn. Participation offers the UK space community not only an additional funding source, but also opportunities to be part of pan-European consortia sharing knowledge, skills and expertise, to work on leading-edge projects, and access to new business markets.

BNSC participates in relevant EU discussions on the definition and roll-out of the space-related work programme in FP7. It consults widely with UK academia, industry and government organisations in preparing its inputs. BNSC will promote Calls for Proposals to the UK space community via Information Days and the web, and by providing advice in finding project partners, and preparing and submitting proposals.

The main control room at ESA’s European Space Operations Centre
Credit: ESA - P. Sebirot 

Delivering our vision – Programmes

EUMETSAT Programmes EUMETSAT and ESA work jointly to ensure sustained access to operational weather, oceanographic and environmental satellite data. ESA is responsible for the development of the first satellite in each series. EUMETSAT is responsible for satellite launches, developing the subsequent satellites, ground segments and all operational activities. Collaboration spans the following programmes: • Meteosat: These satellites are the primary European source of geostationary observations over Europe and Africa. The current Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) satellites will deliver observations and services at least until 2018. Planning of the follow-on Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) system has commenced so that it will be available by 2015. • European Polar System (EPS): Europe’s first polar orbiting operational meteorological satellite system and the European contribution to the Initial Joint Polar-Orbiting Operational Satellite System (IJPS). A comprehensive set of instruments provides data supporting weather forecasting, environmental and climate research and oceanography.

Jason The Jason series of Ocean Surface Topography satellites monitors the oceans by measuring sea levels and wave heights to high accuracy, serving the climate and oceanographic communities. The Jason-2 satellite is scheduled for launch in June 2008 and will provide the operational service until 2012/13. World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) WMO is a specialised agency of the United Nations. It is the UN’s authoritative voice on the state of the Earth’s atmosphere, the interaction of the atmosphere with the oceans, the climate impact, and the resulting distribution of water resources. Responsibilities include the planning and co-ordination of the space and ground-based Global Observing System. Co-ordination Group for Meteorological Satellites (CGMS) CGMS provides a forum for the exchange of technical information on geostationary and polar orbiting meteorological satellite systems.

UK Civil Space Strategy 2008-2012 and beyond 

Delivering our vision Programmes

International Space Exploration Co-ordination Group BNSC has taken a leading role, with 13 other space agencies, in the creation of the Global Exploration Strategy: The Framework for Co-ordination (published in May 2007), which sets out a shared vision for the human and robotic exploration of the Solar System. This set up the International Space Exploration Co-ordination Group, of which BNSC became a founder member in November 2007. Its aims, include sharing plans, negotiating multilateral agreements, ensuring inter-operability of space systems and agreeing common standards (for instance, for planetary data). The UK intends to play a major part in this new group in order to help gain maximum benefit from national investment in this area – for example, by sharing costs with other nations, avoiding duplication of activities and seeking new opportunities to exploit UK strengths.

Group on Earth Observation The Group on Earth Observation (GEO) is a high level voluntary group with Ministerial support, having a membership of 76 governments, 46 intergovernmental, international, and regional organisations, and the European Commission. GEO has been established to co-ordinate international efforts to monitor the health of our planet using Earthobserving systems. It is developing the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) – a 10-year plan running from 2005 to 2015. The UK has supported GEO from its inception.

Credit: ESA

GERB The Geostationary Earth Radiation Budget (GERB) instrument makes accurate measurements of the Earth’s radiation budget from a geostationary orbit. NERC funded the instrument launched on ESA satellite Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) on 28 August 2002. The first GERB was produced and funded by a European consortium led by the UK, with three additional follow-on instruments funded through EUMETSAT. Within the consortium, Imperial College provides instrument calibration and science, and the ground support is provided by the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. NERC’s Environmental Systems Science Centre uses GERB data with surface radiation measurements to provide direct estimates of the divergence of solar and thermal radiation across the atmosphere and to improve numerical weather prediction models. 

8 Delivering our vision – Programmes

Committee on Earth Observation Satellites The Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) is a voluntary organisation that helps to co-ordinate Earth observation missions around the world through international co-operation. CEOS has a membership comprising 26 space agencies, including the UK, and 20 international organisations. The UK is a proactive member and contributor. Bilateral programmes Developed as appropriate bilateral missions enable the UK to participate in projects with partners outside ESA. Recent examples of collaboration include NASA’s Swift spacecraft – a mission to investigate high-energy emissions in the Universe called gamma-ray bursts, for which UK researchers provided two of the key instruments; and the JAXA mission Hinode, a mission observing the Sun, where the UK provided one of the core instruments on the spacecraft – an extreme ultraviolet imaging spectrometer.

Looking to the future, the growing importance of China and India in the space arena will provide opportunities for UK scientists to participate in new scientific missions, particularly if these also serve a strategic national policy. Currently, UK researchers are developing instruments such as the C1XS X-ray spectrometer on the Indian Space Research Organisation’s first lunar mission Chandrayaan, and a suite of instruments for the KuaFu mission, a multilateral mission led by the China National Space Administration to look at the Earth’s magnetosphere and ionosphere. A joint study is being undertaken with NASA on low-cost robotic missions for scientific exploration of the Moon, which will also contribute to establishing an infrastructure for future, more extensive exploration activities.

Credit: Oxford University

HIRDLS NERC has invested significantly in an instrument on board the AURA satellite – the High Resolution Dynamics Limb Sounder (HIRDLS). Launched in July 2004, HIRDLS measures temperatures and atmospheric composition, including ozone, water vapour and aerosol particulates in the upper layers of the atmosphere to understand processes affecting climate change. These measurements are at an unprecedented high spatial resolution, revealing processes that are virtually unobservable by current satellite instruments. HIRDLS was developed and is operated in partnership with NASA. NERC’s funding is now targeted on postlaunch support activities and exploitation of the data, through a number of key associated science project activities.

UK Civil Space Strategy 2008-2012 and beyond 


1. 2007: A Space Policy, Science & Technology Select Committee, July 2007 2. The Space Economy at a Glance 2007, OECD, November 2007 3. Case4Space Summary Report, UKspace, October 2006 4. Size and Health of the UK Space Industry, BNSC, March 2006 5. Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, HM Treasury, October 2006 6. Living with Risk: A global review of disaster reduction initiatives, International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, 2004 7. Next Generation Science for Planet Earth: NERC Strategy 2007-2012, November 2007 8. Global Exploration Strategy by 14 space agencies including BNSC, May 2007 9. Report of the UK Space Exploration Working Group, September 2007

One of the antennas at the Paradigm Oakhanger site that provides state-of-theart Skynet 5 communication services
Credit: Paradigm 

0 BNSC partnership

BNSC partnership

NERC MoD Met Office





(Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform) ‘The voice for business’ across government; helping to create the conditions for business success and increasing productivity



(Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills) The host organisation for BNSC; working for a world-class UK research base, strengthening innovation and increasing the supply of people in science, technology, engineering and mathematics

Met Office

Exploitation of satellite data for weather forecasting, climate research and environmental monitoring and prediction


(Department for Children, Families and Schools) Education, promoting interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics in subjects and careers


(Ministry of Defence) Military/civil interface, synergies between military and civil space technology and capabilities

(Department for Transport) All modes of transport; lead Government Department for Galileo



(Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) Climate change, agriculture, environmental issues


(Natural Environment Research Council) Earth observation for environmental science (Science and Technology Facilities Council) Astronomy, space science, space exploration and technology

(Foreign and Commonwealth Office) Bilateral and multilateral issues in particular international promotion of UK science and innovation and collaborations

UK Civil Space Strategy 2008-2012 and beyond 1

British National Space Centre Kingsgate House 66-74 Victoria Street London SW1E 6SW Tel: +44 (0) 20 7215 5555 e-mail:

Printed in the UK on recycled paper containing a minimum of 75% post consumer waste. Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. First published February 2008. Crown Copyright. Pub 8657/1k/02/08/NP. URN 08/583

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