EPSRC logo

Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/X014320/1
Title: Satellite Ground Station Research Facility
Principal Investigator: Goussetis, Professor G
Other Investigators:
Donaldson, Dr R J
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Sch of Engineering and Physical Science
Organisation: Heriot-Watt University
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 January 2023 Ends: 31 December 2025 Value (£): 1,042,525
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Optical Communications RF & Microwave Technology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
18 Jul 2022 EPSRC Strategic Equipment Interview Panel July 2022 - Panel 2 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The Experimental Satellite Ground Station Facility (SGSF) aims to accelerate the development and maturation of space and satellite technologies by providing cost and time efficient access to live over the air experimentation and validation as well as underpinning skill and talent development. SGSF fills a gap in the EPSRC equipment portfolio and represents a scarce facility globally.

The facility provides researchers working across a wide range of space and satellite technologies readily access to state-of-the-art infrastructure for experimentation with high altitude and spaceborne platforms in LEO, MEO or GEO orbits. It also allows the collection of astronomical data as well as the experimentation with astrophotonic and radiometric devices and systems. It comprises of 1) an experimental mm-wave terminal that can be flexibly configured to adjust the baseband processing, RF front-end or the antenna while performing live over-the-air measurements. This includes a tracking positioner that can emulate mobility and can be used for the validation of mm-wave tracking antennas; 2) a modular experimental optical terminal built along a similar philosophy to enable plug-and-play" access in research spanning from optical communications and quantum missions to astronomical imaging and component testing; 3) reference terminals that can be used to benchmark the performance of experimental setups or to provide telecommand and control as well as data download for experimental satellite missions; 4) support infrastructure, which includes a dedicated dark fibre connection to the Tayside 5G Hub established by the Scotland 5G Centre as well as the core network. This connectivity will enable e.g.; research that addresses the integration of non-terrestrial networks into 5G and beyond; using SGSF as a terminal station in larger experimental setups involving a distributed ground segment; exending the scope of quantum communication experiments.

SGSF is hosted at the Errol aerodrome, a favourable location for its quiet electromagnetic environment and wide field of view. The site benefits from an existing industrial satellite ground station and has recently been selected to host the EPSRC Quantum Communications Hub telescope, with which SGSF synergises. In order to ensure broad and fair engagement with users across academia and the industry, user engagement for SGSF is through the Scotland 5G Centre through a dedicated Busines Engagement Manager. In order to ensure ready access to the infrastructure and enable efficient setup for each experimental campaign, SGSF is staffed by an experienced Research Technologist. The facility is costed using the Transparent Approach to Costing (TRAC) and is widely accessible to all interested users.

Key Findings
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Potential use in non-academic contexts
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Description This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.hw.ac.uk