CDE themed competition: affordable space-based capability

Further information on this Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) competition for £1 million research funding.


Competition document: affordable space-based capability

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Total funding available for this competition is £1 million.

Competition closes on Tuesday 6 January 2015 at 5pm.


This CDE themed competition seeks proof-of-concept research proposals for novel technologies that could lead to a step change in UK military space-based capability or substantially reduce the cost of the systems.

This competition will fund exploratory studies and demonstrations to develop concepts and technologies required for delivering a UK space-based military capability. A smaller number of successful projects will be taken forward for further development.

Areas of particular interest include:

  • technologies providing wide-area surveillance combined with ways of detecting small objects of interest
  • technologies providing very frequent or persistent coverage to observe short-lived events
  • methods for detecting concealed objects
  • technologies to provide secure communications using hand-held terminals from hard-to-reach locations
  • secure use of existing commercial space infrastructures

We’re also interested in reducing build and operating costs. Cost reduction should be achieved without reducing reliability or assurance of systems. We’d particularly welcome proposals that investigate the use of:

  • novel platform technologies, including on-orbit propulsion and power systems, but excluding launch
  • novel payload technologies, including deployable structures

View the presentation slides that were briefed at the event. You can also watch the webinar recording. This webinar recording link is available until 24 December 2014 and you’ll need to enter your name, email address and company details.

Technical team email:

CDE briefing at competition launch event
CDE briefing at competition launch event.

Centre for Defence Enterprise

Building R103
Fermi Avenue

Harwell Oxford
OX11 0QX

Please email for the quickest response.

Published 14 July 2014
Last updated 24 November 2014 + show all updates
  1. Webinar recording link added (available until 8 December 2014).
  2. Link to briefing slides added.
  3. Competition document is now available.
  4. First published.