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DSEI 2023: UK Space Command displays Tyche satellite mock-up

UK Space Command displays Tyche, an EO satellite being built by SSTL, at DSEI 2023. (Janes/Olivia Savage)

UK Space Command has displayed a scale model of the Tyche satellite at DSEI 2023 held between 12 and 15 September in London.

Tyche is a 150 kg concept demonstrator satellite being built by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) under a GBP22 million (USD27.4 million) contract.

The system is based on the company's Carbonite family of electro-optical (EO) satellites and is scheduled to launch in 2024.

The primary purpose of Tyche is to deliver representative data to UK Space Command so that it can learn how best to use this information for the benefit of defence and security, dual-use, and any other purpose that may evolve, Commodore Dave Moody, head of Space Capability at UK Space Command, earlier told Janes.

In addition to this, the satellite will have an in-orbit processing capability, he said.

The satellite is being built as part of the Minerva project, an operational concept demonstrator that will underpin the wider GBP970 million ISTARI programme, which seeks to deliver a multisatellite intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) constellation.

Tyche will be the first in a network of satellites being built under the Minerva project, with an invitation to tender issued in April 2023 for the design and manufacture of an EO satellite called Juno. A total of GBP40 million was earmarked for the three-and-a-half-year support project.

Oberon – a cluster of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites – and Titania, which is exploring the military utility of low Earth orbit (LEO) direct-to-Earth free-space optical communications (FSOC), are also part of Minerva.

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