17 February 2016 – COM DEV’s UK facility is celebrating the successful launch of ESA’s Sentinel 3A satellite on 16 February 2016, containing two key pieces of COM DEV’s ferrite switch networks. These systems provide fast, reliable switching of microwave power using world leading ferrite technology that has no moving parts.
The Synthetic Aperture Radar ALtimeter (SRAL) and MicroWave Radiometer (MWR) instruments on Sentinel 3A are key to providing scientists with near real-time altimetry data for ocean forecasting, sea-ice charting, and maritime safety services needing accurate and timely measurements of the state of the ocean’s surface.
COM DEV’s technology, from its facility in Aylesbury UK, has been used on many previous missions and with the support of the UK Space Agency has put COM DEV in a leading position for high quality space missions, leading to significant growth in export business and workforce. Previous equipment includes KA band hardware for the French-Indian programme SARAL, launched in Feb 2013 and Ku band equipment for the French-Chinese programme CFOSAT due to launch in 2018. For ESA, COM DEV was a key contributor to the CRYOSAT mission which has just exceeded its five year design life in orbit with every indication that many more years of valuable data will be provided. Also COM DEV provided a part of the scatterometer front end for the METOP programme using high power C band switches.
COM DEV is also a key contributor to the billion dollar Surface Wave and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission involving contributions from the US, France, Canada and UK. As part of this work a state of the art high power test facility at 35GHz has been installed in COM DEV’s Aylesbury facility.