The European Commission has found that UK plans to grant £21million support to Surrey Satellite Technology Limited(SSTL) for the research and development project NovaSAR are in line with EU State aid rules.
The project aims to develop, launch and demonstrate a low-cost, medium-resolution, space-based Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite including service demonstration and applications developments.
Part of the project will be carried out in collaboration with the research organisation Satellite Applications Catapult(SAC).
The UK government will obtain 15 percent of the imagery data for free with the aim of demonstrating effective data service delivery, experimentation and developing third party applications via SAC.
In case of success, additional three, privately funded satellites may be developed.
Spacecraft manufacturer SSTL, an EADS Astrium subsidiary, will receive a grant of £21million for carrying out the research and development activities that are necessary for the project realisation.