SECTORS: SPACE EQUIPMENT
Glasgow’s Clyde Space is capitalising on a flourishing British space sector thanks to the big market for thousands of small satellites
It is an exciting time for the British space industry, from the prospect of UK spaceports dotted around the country, to Major Tim Peake flying the flag for our space missions. This is a flourishing sector, and one which contributes £9.1 billion a year to the UK economy, growing at an average rate of 7.5 per cent per year.
This is showing no sign of slowing: the space industry in general is the hidden gem of the UK’s economy, and the domestic market is anticipated to be worth £40 billion by 2030. Clyde Space operates within the niche global nano-satellite market, which shows tremen-dous growth year-on-year.
Factors driving growth within this market are reduced mission costs, increase in demand for earth observa-tion-related applications of Smallsat, and the increase in number of application areas. Recognising the continued growth of the market, we have invested heavily in development over the past year, recruiting heavily, expanding facilities, and announcing our international expansion plans. We have more than 80 staff, and are growing at a rate of more than 50 per cent per year, a rate on par with our facilities. This increase is enabling Clyde Space to win more orders, and develop more than 70 satellites this year alone. With more than 80 per cent of our sales outside Europe, half of which are North American, our high volume manufacturing facility in Scotland contributes significantly to UK space exports, and is a hub for small satellite production.
THE POWER OF THE CUBESAT
Clyde Space is renowned for its extensive product heritage and products within the small satellite market, in particular in the area of tiny satellites. called ‘CubeSats’. CubeSats are tiny satellites; a 1U is a single unit weighing 1kg, and measuring 10x10x10cm, and the 3U is 30x10x10cm. Our solutions have high credibility within the industry and have been busy for more than a decade racking up an impressive space mission heritage. We designed and manufactured Scotland’s first satellite, UKube-1, the first of its kind to be commissioned by the UK Space Agency. Launched in July 2014 it has since successfully completed its mission. In our 12th year of operation today, Clyde Space has continually expanded its capability and is now supporting missions at all levels, from conceptual design, development, integration, testing, through to launch and on-orbit operations. We work with commercial, educational and government bodies and have supplied over 1,800 subsystems for small spacecraft ranging from 1kg to 250kg in size to customers including: MIT, US Army, US Navy, LuxSpace, NASA and JAXA. This list is set to expand further with some game changing orders in the pipeline for projects over the next few years.
To meet rising demand, we increased our manufacturing capacity, creating an additional 2,500 square feet ‘clean room’ in early 2016 for building and testing satellites. This is being extended further still. With heavy investment in our processes, we are able to produce high volume spacecraft with shorter development times, without sacrificing on quality and reliability. Our increased capabilities and capacity allow us not only to offer our products at market disrupting prices, but also enable us to mass-produce full platforms and assemble constellations of CubeSats.
Our success is owed in part to the world-class engineering education opportunities and high-tech manufacturing heritage available right here on our front door. This combined with the growth of the market has provided Clyde Space with a platform to flourish and the business is moving from strength to strength.
The small satellite market:
The global small satellite market is anticipated to be worth $22 BILLION for manufacture and launch
More than 3,600 SMALLSATS are expected to be launched over the next ten years, a significant increase compared to the previous decade