21 November 2013 – Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) is delighted to announce that its unique space-based S-band radar system, NovaSAR, has won an Innovation award for Navigation and Surveillance Communications from The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).
NovaSAR, which won the IET award against four other finalists, is a ground-breaking, radar satellite system providing day/night and all-weather satellite imaging, primarily targeted at maritime surveillance applications. NovaSAR was developed through an intensive programme combining the expertise of SSTL on advanced small satellite platforms and radar payload skills from Astrium UK, resulting in a Synthetic Aperture Radar remote sensing service at about 20-25 per cent of the cost of more traditional systems.
NovaSAR will be equipped with an Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver, and will be the first satellite to provide direct visual ship detection imagery simultaneously with AIS ship tracking data. Combining radar imagery with AIS signals from NovaSAR will provide accurate data for identifying and tracking sea-going vessels, and will also assist with applications related to security, smuggling, piracy and oil discharge.
Although primarily targeted at maritime surveillance, NovaSAR’s operational modes are optimised for monitoring the environment, including ice cover, iceberg monitoring, pollution and bathymetry.
The joint SSTL and Astrium team attending the event were honoured to receive the award in front of a diverse range of skilled engineering and technology companies and academic departments.
Tony Holt, SSTL’s Engineering Director who collected the award at The Brewery in London, said: “The SSTL and Astrium team is thrilled that our joint efforts on NovaSAR have been recognised with this coveted award. As the first truly “low-cost” space radar system, NovaSAR will provide an innovative and affordable space system for the maritime domain.”