UK Space Conference 2019: Firms to watch – Orbital Micro Systems and TISICS

by | Sep 30, 2019 | Satellites, Science, Seradata News, Technology

The UK Space Conference 2019 had its fair share of current players in the space market very much on display. However, there were other companies there who were looking to break into the space market and which could be major players in the future. Here are two that Seradata tips as ones to watch:

Orbital Micro Systems

Orbital Micro Systems (OMS) is planning to launch a 48-satellite weather observation constellation based in a 450-550 km low Earth orbit. It is designed to give a near real-time observations of weather and will be attractive to shipping companies and airlines. With offices in Colorado and in Harwell, Oxfordshire, the firm, which has already tested radiometry hardware in orbit (MiniRad on IOD-GEMS), is raising funds for at least 12 satellites in its 6U Cubesat constellation. These will provide an initial operational capability offering a minimum viable product (MVP). The satellites will use a variety of orbital inclinations up to polar, with most lying in the one that best serves the main population areas in terms of revisit times. Once the full 48-spacecraft constellation is in place, OMS hopes to achieve a 15-minute refresh capability for data.

Artist’s impression of Orbital Micro Systems’ planned cubesat weather observing constellation. Courtesy: Orbital Micro Systems


William Hosack, CEO of Orbital Micro Systems, said his firm was competing with several other start-ups. Some that had failed to deliver previously had messed up the chances of better outfits including his own. “Our problem is that other entrants did not deliver what they originally promised.” Still, given that the firm only needs an initial investment of less than US$20 million, this should be one to watch.

OMS is yet to select is main manufacturer from three candidates. Not unexpectedly, Hosack said: “We are trying to get the best deal.”



Based in Farnborough, TISICS manufactures structural tubes and tank structures. While it has been involved in space before, including structural research for Reaction Engines Limited (this writer is a small shareholder in REL) and tank design for SSTL, the company is now looking for other space outlets for its light and strong product line, which employs ceramic fibre reinforced titanium or aluminium alloys.

TISICS’ website shows what it can make. Courtesy: TISICS


TISICS claims this allows mass savings of up to 40 per cent compared with conventional structures. Optimised for shape, the weight saving can be up to 70 per cent. It has received interest from several start-up launch vehicle firms and is now looking for investment to expand its operation.

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to

Related Articles

Rocket Lab’s Electron launches 34 sats but helicopter snag/landing of first-stage only partially works

On its launch from the Onenui Station on Mahia peninsula, New Zealand on 2 May 2022 an Electron KS rocket Read more

Satellite 2022: Some launch providers looking forward to this year, others into next

  During the Satellite 2022 conference we were provided with plans for this year from some American launch providers. Rocket Read more

Interview: Exotrail CEO Jean-Luc Maria discusses plans for the future and OTV aspirations

When Seradata was offered an interview with Jean-Luc Maria, Co-founder and CEO Exotrail, we were intrigued, not least because we Read more

Further fallout from Russo-Ukraine war on aerospace industry

While the main effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine have already become apparent, most noticeably by the cancellation of Read more

Northrop Grumman’s Space Logistics outlines plans for MRV satellite servicing mission in 2024

SpaceLogistics, a subsidiary of American manufacturer Northrop Grumman, announced its plans for launching its  MRV satellite on 21 February. The Read more

NASA launches DART asteroid deflection mission

Hollywood’s disaster movie genre has long been keen on the theme of the Earth being threatened by the imminent impact Read more

NASA gives Intuitive Machines contract to carry rovers and scientific payloads to lunar surface

NASA has awarded the Houson, Texas-based firm Intuitive Machines a US$77 million contract to deliver scientific and rover payloads to Read more

ESA confirms selection of SSTL for second Scout mission, HydroGNSS

ESA selected the HydroGNSS satellite from British company SSTL as its second Scout mission in March. However, its was not Read more