On 5 September 2014, the UK-based satellite manufacturer, Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) – an autonomous subsidiary of Airbus Defence and Space, and the satellite services company, Kypros Satellites (Kyprosat), have signed a cooperative turnkey construction agreement to build a low-cost geostationary telecommunications satellite for the firm. The as-yet-unnamed spacecraft will use SSTL’s small GMP-T geostationary satellite platform with the orbital slot assets and asset management services provided by Kyprosat.
The deal between a notional satellite leasing company/seller and constructor is innovative. The Kyprosat-SSTL collaborative solution encompasses the satellite and mission design, manufacture and test, launch, in-orbit and ground segment service management, licensing and regulatory management, financing, and insurance services, offering a cost-effective and less complex approach for in-orbit satellite ownership, and opening up the telecommunications market to new players. In other words SSTL and Kyprosat will offer new satellites in slots to emerging players in an already built condition.
SSTL’s GMP-T platform is a flexible small satellite design which delivers up to 5.5kW of power and is designed to be able to be stacked in pairs for launch, thus reducing launch costs.