PARIS — British small-satellite manufacturer Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL) on July 10 said it had contracted with the Algerian Space Agency (ASAL) to build the Alsat-1B Earth observation satellite in a transaction that includes substantial training and education of Algerians in satellite design.
Under the contract, which comes 12 years after the launch of the SSTL-built Alsat-1A, SSTL will design and build Alsat-1B but perform satellite assembly, integration and test at the new Center for Satellite Design to be constructed for ASAL in Algeria.
Eighteen Algerians will work with SSTL during the assembly and test phase, and 18 Algerian students will be given scholarships to pursue degrees at the University of Surrey, which like SSTL is in Guildford, England.
“One of the most important facets of this contract is the very high quality of training that ASAL will require,” ASAL said in a statement. “SSTL and the University of Surrey have a proven track record of delivering this.”
The contract follows a May memorandum of understanding on space cooperation signed by ASAL and the U.K. Space Agency. The agreement called for the development of a nanosatellite by Algerian and British teams.
Alsat-1B, whose launch date and launch service provider have not been determined, is expected to use the SSTL-100 satellite frame and to carry a 24-meter-resolution multispectral imager and an 12-meter-resolution panchromatic imager. Alsat-1A carried a 32-meter multispectral imager and before its retirement was part of the SSTL-coordinated Disaster Monitoring Constellation of satellites.
SSTL Chief Executive Matt Perkins said in a statement that Algeria “helped lay the foundation for the success of the consortium of nations that make up the Disaster Monitoring Constellation, pooling imaging data for the common good.”