Shetland Space Centre (SSC) has joined forces with telecom experts in the neighbouring Faroe Islands, to drive forward space industry developments in the two island groups and beyond.
Faroese Telecom, which provides Shetland and Orkney with access to high speed fibre broadband, is the preferred supplier of infrastructure supporting high speed fibre broadband and future 5G to the space centre.
It will also provide technical and commercial support for ground station activity and data download and storage in Unst.
At the same time the Shetland Space Centre will provide specialist support for the establishment of a Faroese ground station.
Frank Strang of SSC said: “The strategy is to create a network of satellite tracking stations, making the best use of our geography and locations.”
SSC is a privately-funded company that aims to establish a ground station in Unst, Shetland’s most northerly island, by late 2019, and has a Memorandum of Understanding with Lockheed Martin with whom it is developing this project.
SSC also intends to develop a launch site in Unst after it was identified in the Sceptre Report for the UK Space Agency as the best location in the country for sending rockets with small satellites in their payloads into polar and sun-synchronous orbits, free of overfly restrictions due to islands or oil and gas installations.
It is already working closely with a major player in the space industry on technical specifications for launch infrastructure and will make further announcements on this in the near future.