The centre of the UK's space industry is set to see a major technological upgrade.
The Goonhilly Earth Station in Cornwall has announced the launch of several new projects that will hopefully see the UK remain a key player in the space industry.
This includes a new state-of-the-art, green data centre featuring "unparalleled" connectivity, allowing data to be quickly and efficiently transmitted from space down to earth for analysis.
The data centre will be powered by solar farm on the centre's roofs, which, alongside the natural free-air cooling that comes from being on the Cornish coast, allows Goonhilly to keep costs down and minimise energy consumption.
UK space industry upgrade
Also planned are new deep space antennas that will be used to support the first private deep space communication network. Goonhilly is working with the European Space Agency (ESA) for this launch, having recently won an £8.4m ESA contract, with the new network set to be able to support commercial lunar and Mars missions from 2020.
Goonhilly is investing in a new electronics and software test and design lab aimed at using the expertise of its existing systems engineering team, who will look to spur on the development of products in diverse fields including communications and IoT (Internet of Things), autonomous vehicles, agriculture, mining and cargo management.
Goonhilly is also set to open its R&D and manufacturing facility both to benefit customers and encourage academic research by the end of the year, helping promote the South West of England as a hub for new business.
The upgrades were made possible following a £24 million funding injection by UK billionaire Peter Hargreaves in May 2018, with Goonhilly saying that along with the space and satellite industries, video service providers, enterprises and universities will all also be able to benefit from the updates.
“Many of the world’s leading space companies have already selected Goonhilly as a trusted partner," said Ian Jones, CEO and co-founder of Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd.
"As we enter into our next chapter of expansion, our aim is to be the preferred partner for organisations seeking to take advantage of our disruptive, entrepreneurial approach to business. We are always seeking opportunities to add value for our clients, so they can grow their businesses as we grow ours. We have the skills and facilities to deliver that growth as well as access to an unprecedented range of connectivity and technical options."