Guidance

Space Programme

The Space Programme seeks to exploit the full potential of space for defence.

Space is pivotal to defence and security operations, providing critical services, such as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, precision navigation and timing, and communications.

As the UK increasingly operates as a joint force, an advanced space capability is essential to support the other defence environments: air, land, sea and cyber. The Space Programme seeks to exploit the full potential of space for defence.

Model of small satellite
Model of a small satellite with experimental de-orbit sails

The programme develops and maintains vital expertise and capabilities, but also explores novel future technologies and investigates important issues, such as understanding and protecting against the effects of space weather. It provides compelling evidence to help defence decision makers invest in the best space capabilities for the future and in support of current operations.

By researching cutting-edge space S&T and exploiting world-leading emerging technology, the Space Programme ensures the UK remains at the forefront of the latest space developments worldwide.

As well as working closely with the UK civil space sector, including the UK Space Agency and the Ministry of Defence’s Space Operations Centre, the programme leads UK involvement in key international space S&T activities. With these important partnerships, the UK is better able to respond to future opportunities and threats, with an enhanced and affordable defence and security capability.

The programme supports:

  • UK National Space Security Policy
  • Space Weather Preparedness Strategy
  • UK Prosperity Agenda

Key activities

  • Reducing the size, weight and power required for satellite payloads
  • Working with experimental satellites
  • Exploring protection against space hazards, both natural and man-made
  • Tracking and predicting behaviour of objects in space
  • Testing emerging concepts in space S&T
  • Providing evidence to decision makers in defence to inform future funding and capability requirements

In the news

Read some of our news stories from the Space Programme

Contact us

For more information about this programme, please contact us: centralenquiries@dstl.gov.uk

Published 5 January 2018