Surrey Satellite Technology (SSTL) signed an agreement with Antrix Corporation, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), for the launch of NovaSAR-1, a small Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite; and SSTL S1-4, a high resolution Earth observation satellite; into a 580 km Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO). The two satellites will launch on PSLV-C42, due to lift-off in September 2018.

NovaSAR-1 is a technology demonstration satellite mission designed to test the capabilities of a new low cost S-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) platform. The spacecraft was designed and manufactured by SSTL, with an S-Band SAR payload developed by Airbus Defence and Space in Portsmouth, and an Automatic Identification Receiver (AIS) receiver supplied by ComDev to track ships at sea. NovaSAR-1 will be operated from SSTL’s Spacecraft Operations Centre in Guildford, U.K.

The U.K. Space Agency has invested 21 million euros ($23.9 million) in the development of NovaSAR-1 and will benefit from access to data from the spacecraft, significantly boosting the U.K.’s sovereign Earth observation capabilities and leveraging additional inward investment to the U.K. by creating highly skilled jobs in the U.K. space industry, and stimulating the growth of data analysis services.