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Space Heritage

Interconnects for Space

Space Space Missionsqualified Passive RF & Microwave products have been designed and manufactured in Dundee since 1993 and supplied to customers on every continent. Originally based on a core expertise in Ferrite Isolators & Circulators the capability and product range has expanded over the years to include Couplers, Loads & Terminations and products operating to over 52 GHz.

Since Smiths Interconnect’s first flight model was delivered in 1994 over 160,000 FMs have been delivered to some 33 customers and have been/will be used aboard an estimated 774 payloads across the spectrum of terrestrial orbiting applications (LEO, MEO & GEO) including GNSS, broadcast services, telecommunications, earth observation; defence and security, resource planning and disaster management and interplanetary/ deep space missions. Details of most of these are included in our Space heritage document and available to select existing and prospective customers. The following table was updated for flight models supplied to 31st December 2016.

Topology Coaxial Microstrip Waveguide Stripline Total
Quantities of FM supplied 47463 54372 12601 40683 163502

The assemblies below are a selection of the applications TRAK has supplied FMs to.

W3C Ku Band IMUX filter and Diplexe Artes-4 Output Butler Matrix
W3C Ku Band IMUX filter and Diplexer Assembly – Image Courtesy of Thales Alenia Space © Artes-4 Output Butler Matrix – Image Courtesy of Thales Alenia Space ©

The following are examples of the range of scientific missions that Smiths Interconnect has participated on, and is involved with, engaged in investigating our own and other planets and bodies that make up our solar system.

Program Comment Date
CASSINI Planetary observation mission 1994
SOHO Space-based observatory to study the sun (together with NASA) 1995
ERS 2 An earth-observing satellite, the successor to ERS-1 1995
CLUSTER 2 A group of four probes studying the magnetosphere 1996
NEAR Near earth asteroid rendezvous 1996
MARS PATHFINDER Mars rover mission 1996
HUYGENS A space probe to Saturn’s moon Titan 1997
ARD A test bed for re-entry technologies 1998
XMM NEWTON X-ray observatory satellite which participates in the Cosmic Evolution Survey 1999
ARTEMIS Europe’s most advanced telecommunication satellite 2001
PROBA 1 Technology demonstration mini-satellite, the first satellite in the PROBA series 2001
INTEGRAL The first space observatory that can simultaneously observe objects in gamma rays, X-rays and visible light 2002
ENVISAT The world’s largest and most complex environmental satellite 2002
SMART 1 A lunar space probe testing new propulsion technology 2003
MUSES-B (HAYABUSA) Comet ltokawa rendezvous mission returning to Earth in 2010 2003
ROSETTA Space probe that will explore comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014 2004
VENUS EXPRESS A space probe to Venus and arrived in orbit around Venus in April 2006 2005
GIOVE A Experimental satellite launched Dec 2005 as forerunner for the Galileo positioning system 2005
METOP A The first polar orbiting satellite dedicated to operational meteorology. A satellite to study temperature and humidity, wind speed and direction, ozone and other trace gases on Earth 2006
COROT A space telescope for detecting rocky exoplanets larger than Earth. Launched Dec 2006. A project led by the French space agency CNES. 2006
ALOS-1 ALOS will be used for cartography, regional observation, disaster monitoring and resource surveying 2006
SOLAR-B (HINODE) Three-year mission to explore the magnetic fields of the Sun 2006
SELENE (KAGUYA) Japan’s first large lunar explorer 2007
GIOVE B The second Galileo in-orbit validation satellite launched on April 2008 2008
CHANDRAYAAN-1 Instruments on Chandrayaan-1 – Indian space probe to the Moon launched on October 2008, functional until August 2009 2008
PROBA 2 Second satellite in the PROBA series, launched together with SMOS 2009
SMOS Earth Explorer mission launched on November 2009 designed to measure Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity 2009
GOCE A mission designed to measure the Earth’s gravity field, launched on March 2009 2009
HERSCHEL A space telescope observing in the far-infrared 2009
PLANCK Cosmic Microwave Background explorer, after COBE & WMAP 2009
GOSAT (IBUKI) It measures densities of carbon dioxide and methane in the Earth’s atmosphere 2009
CRYOSAT 2 A three-year radar altimetry mission to determine variations in the thickness of the Earth’s continental ice sheets and marine ice cover; built to replace Cryosat after launch failure 2010
PLANET-C (AKATSUK) AKATSUKI (PLANET-C) is the next planetary exploration project for the Martian orbiter NOZOMI 2010
JUNO Mission to the Jovian moon 2011
METOP-B The second satellite in the EUMETSAT Polar System (EPS), launched in 2012 2012
GAIA Cataloguing and astrometry of starts in our galaxy 2013
PROBA V New satellite in the PROBA series to observe the ground vegetation on the global scale 2013
SWARM Mission to measure Earth’s magnetic field 2013
SPRINT-A (HISAKI) Used to study the composition of the atmospheres and the behaviour of the magnetospheres of the planets of the Solar System 2013
SENTINEL 1a The first component of the GMES Space Segment, carrying a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) in C-Band, that will provide all-weather, day and night radar imaging for land and ocean services 2014
EARTHCARE Collaboration with JAXA to improve understanding of the cloud, radiative and aerosol processes that affect the Earth’s climate 2014
ALOS-2 (DAICHI) The Advanced Land Observing Satellite-2 (ALOS-2) is follow-on mission from the “DAICHI” 2014
LISA PATHFINDER AKA Smart-2,  technology demonstrator for the LISA mission 2014
GALILEO Satellite positioning system 2014
ADM AEOLUS Will measure global wind profiles 2015
BEPI COLOMBO Space probe to Mercury (togethr with JAXA) 2015
ASTRO-H ASTRO-H enables high sensitivity observations of celestial sources across a wide energy range, from X-rays to gramma-rays 2015
EXOMARS Mars spacecraft and rover to be launched 2016. 2016
SOLAR ORBITER An orbiter to examine the polar regions of the Sun. 2017
SOLAR PROBE PLUS A robotic spacecraft to probe the Sun’s outer corona. 2018
EUCLID An ESA mission to map the geometry of the dark universe. 2020
 NASA Mars Perseverance Rover Mars rover designed to explore the Jezero crater on Mars as part of NASA's Mars 2020 mission 2020
COSMO-SkyMed Programme  Second Generation constellation is a satellite system designed to ensure operational continuity for the synthetic aperture radar (SAR) observation services supplied by the satellites in the first generation of COSMO-SkyMed. 2020
NASA Orion esigned to lead the return of humans to the Moon, on to Mars, and visit new destinations in the solar system 2020
SES-17 Thales Alenia Space’s newest geostationary Ka-band satellite 2022
Chandrayaan-3 space craft Smiths Interconnect and OHB Italia explore Dark Universe together with Euclid Space Telescope 2023