Arabic orbit

September 29, 2000

Surrey University spin-off SSTL has won an Pounds 8 million contract from the Centre National des Techniques Spatiales of Algeria for an advanced Earth observation microsatellite. A long-term collaboration agreement has also been signed by Surrey's space centre for research and education to prepare Algeria for the development of a national space programme.

Algeria is the first country to join the international disaster monitoring constellation led by Surrey. It comprises five microsatellites in low Earth orbit to provide daily imaging worldwide for the monitoring and mitigation of natural and man-made disasters and dynamic Earth observation.

Algerian engineers started work at Surrey this month on Algeria's first microsatellite, AlSAT-1, working alongside SSTL engineers.

The programme includes the installation of a mission control ground station in Algeria and associated training. Algerian engineers will take MSc and PhD degrees at the Surrey space centre.

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