Optical Surfaces Optics Help SSTL win prestigious award

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NigeriaSat-2, an Earth observation satellite incorporating a high-performance camera with key optical components manufactured by Optical Surfaces, has helped Surrey Satellite Technology (SSTL) win a prestigious award, the 2012 Sir Arthur Clarke award for Best Space Activity.

The awards, which have been held by the British Interplanetary Society since 2005, recognise notable contributions to the UK space sector.

NigeriaSat-2 is a 300kg-class Earth observation satellite manufactured by Surrey Satellite Technology for the Nigerian space agency (NASRDA). Benefiting from a high-performance camera with optical components manufactured by Optical Surfaces, the satellite has been able to capture 2.5m resolution images, enabling detailed analysis of ground structures, aircraft and vehicles.

NigeriaSat-2 carries two imagers: a 2.5m resolution panchromatic and a 5m resolution multispectral with a swath width of 20 kilometres. Using proprietary production techniques, Optical Surfaces' skilled craftsmen produced the 385mm light-weight primary mirror, and other optics in the Cassegrain camera, with a surface accuracy of lambda/20 p-v that has enabled the high-resolution images taken by the satellite.

Optical Surfaces has produced optical components and systems for more than 45 years and describes itself as one of Europe's leading manufacturers of high-precision optics for satellite deployment and astronomical research. 

Surrey Satellite Technology lays claim to being the world's leading small satellite company, delivering operational space missions for a range of applications including Earth observation, science and communications.

Since 1981 SSTL has launched 41 satellites as well as providing training and development programmes, consultancy services, and mission studies for its customers.

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