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Welcome to the SSBV Aerospace & Technology Group website

SSBV is a Dutch-led, technology driven company, active in the domains of (aero)Space and Defence & Security.

Based on in-house technology, engineering, assembly and test skills, SSBV has grown to a high-tech, product-based solution provider at unit, subsystem and system level. The company also provides services related to remote sensing & monitoring and communication.

The company was established as Satellite Services BV in 1985, and re-branded to SSBV Space & Ground Systems NL in 2010 as part of the overall SSBV Aerospace & Technology Group establishment. SSBV operates as a group of high-tech, SME-sized companies with operations and SSBV Group members located in The Netherlands, The United Kingdom, Poland, Ireland, Germany, Denmark and South Africa.

The SSBV headquarters and a number of other Group companies are located in the SSBV building in the Space Business Park in Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, whereas the largest foreign subsidiary company (SSBV Space & Ground Systems UK) is located in Portsmouth, United Kingdom.

Within SSBV and its group companies, a wide range of activities are supported. These range from the provision of ground based systems for simulation, test and communication to the provision of smallsat subsystems and components. SSBV is also actively involved in the development and qualification of a unique smallsat-capable mini-SAR (radar) instrument under the name PanelSAR.

For Defence & Security applications, SSBV provides products and solutions based on a cross-over from its aerospace product lines as well as specific products, originally developed for this market segment. Example of this are the ACRIDS Precision Airdrop System, a range of RF / Spectrum recorders for SIGINT / ELINT and compact, low-power Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) sensors.

Please refer to the About section for more details.
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SSBV at NIDV 2014

SSBV Defence & Security was in attendance at this year’s NIDV Symposium & Exhibition at Ahoy, Rotterdam. It was a busy day, with many visitors at the SSBV stand from both the governmental and commercial sectors.

Particular interest was shown in SSBV’s Precision Airdrop Systems, Communication Monitoring and RF data recording products, as well as the innovative SAR-based radar solutions for space and near-space applications.

Thumbs up for Rosetta and Philae

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Image copyright ESA

This morning the climax of a unique space mission lasting more than 10 years has started to unfold: The Philae lander was detached from the Rosetta spacecraft, to attempt the first ever landing on a comet (67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko). All of this taking place over 500 million kilometers away from Earth.

Rosetta and its Philae lander were launched in March 2004 following many years of development of the instruments, the spacecraft, lander and ground infrastructure to enable the deep space communications required to control and monitor Rosetta (amongst others).

For over 10 years, Rosetta has been travelling through space, performing precision navigation to rendezvous with a comet. This year marked quite some events regarding this accomplishment. In January 2014 Rosetta was ‘woken up’ following a 3,5 year hibernation, travelling through space on its own.  In August Rosetta actually got into an orbit around the comet and sent back unqiue images and scientific data regarding the comet. Between then and some weeks ago a landing spot was selected for the Philae Lander and ‘as we publish’ the lander has separated from the spacecraft, embarking on a 7 hour descent, to arrive on the surface in a time-slot centered around 17:02 CET today.

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Image copyright ESA

SSBV Space & Ground Systems NL (in those days operating under the name Satellite Services B.V.) was actively involved in the design and verification of elements of the spacecraft, its instruments/lander before launch.

Activities included the provision of equipment for the validation and test of Rosetta’s subsystems responsible for the “all-important” communication and Telemetry / Telecommand exchange, the RF Suitcase for ground-station compatibility testing and, furthemore, the SSBV team worked in close co-operation with almost all the international science teams that provided the instruments, cameras and sensors deployed on Rosetta and the lander. For this purpose SSBV developed and provided a ‘Rosetta simulator’ (ROSIS) which was used for early development, testing, spacecraft integration and post-launch support.

From the SSBV offices in Noordwijk The Netherlands, the team is anxiously following the events and crosses fingers for a successful landing of Philae. Thumbs up for Rosetta and Philae!

The European Space Agency (ESA) provides live coverage via several (social) media outlets. See www.esa.int/rosetta for more.

SSBV website: www.ssbv.com  Social Media: SSBVnews

SSBV Polska at Technology Picnic in Suwałki, Poland

A successful Technology Picnic took place last weekend at the Science & Technology Park (Park Naukowo-Technologiczny Polska-Wschód) in Suwałki, Poland, where SSBV Polska has its location.

The picnic attracted a lot of schoolkids, students and residents of Suwałki, who wanted to take advantage of the opportunity of a close contact with modern technologies.

SSBV Polska was present at the picnic with some examples of the SSBV technology, like a high-rate modem, reaction wheel, sun sensors, torquer rod and magnetometer.

The SSBV representative had a chance to tell visitors about the structure of a satellite and its components, discuss telecommunication technology and present some examples of the SSBV involvement in current projects.

At the SSBV stand, visitors could also take a look at a model of the first Polish satellite, PW-Sat, made available for the picnic by the Student Space Association at The Warsaw University of Technology.

In cooperation with Stiglass, SSBV presented 3D print of cubesat mechanical structure elements. These prototype elements are to be used in a project SSBV is also a part of.
The presentation was a part of the official opening of the Stiglass office at the Suwałki S&T Park.

First two Galileo FOC satellites to be launched

Today (22/8/14) at 14:27 CEST the launch for the first two Galileo FOC (Full Operational Capability) satellites is planned.

Galileo is the name for what is popularly called ‘The European GPS system’ and in it’s final configuration will be comprised of 30 satellites in a Medium Earth Orbit at 23.222 km above the Earth.

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Image copyright: ESA

Once fully operational, users world-wide will be able to use Galileo navigation signals for well-known existing (GPS) applications as well as a range of new applications including ones that for example combine GPS, Galileo and other navigation signals and signal sources.

The so-called FOC satellites are the first of a series of 22 satellites to be launched over the coming year(s) and will join the four Galileo IOV satellites that are already in orbit and used to validate the system and gain operational experience.

All FOC satellites are also tested after final integration at ESA ESTEC in Noordwijk, The Netherlands.

Image copyright: ESA

The Galileo (FOC) programme is managed and funded by the European Commission with ESA having the role of design and procurement agent. Galileo is the largest satellite constellation ever developed in Europe and also involves a Europe-wide industrial chain.

SSBV is extensively involved in providing equiment and systems used for  Payload and Platform Simulation, Test, Validation and Communication, both for the IOV as well as FOC versions of the satellites.

The launch will be performed by Arianespace using a Soyuz vehicle (Galileo FOC-1). Launch is planned for exactly 14:27 CEST on 22nd August 2014.

More information about Galileo can be found here:

- European Union Website

- ESA website

- ESA Galileo Launch Site

ROSETTA: One day to go before escorting a comet

We are one day away before the final climax on a mission that started over 10 years ago: ESA’s Rosetta mission.

If all goes well, tomorrow Rosetta will become the first satellite to ever orbit a comet  (67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko). If that is not enough, in November there will be another first: the landing of the Philae probe on the icy surface of the comet.

Since the #RosettaWakeUp in January this year, controllers at ESA-ESOC and the scientific / industrial support team have been working hard at maneuvering Rosetta into its final path to rendezvous (and escort) the comet.

ESA’s Rosetta Spacecraft nears final approach to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in late July 2014. This collage of imagery from Rosetta combines Navcam camera images at right taken nearing final approach from July 25 (3000 km distant) to July 31, 2014 (1327 km distant), with OSIRIS wide angle camera image at left of comet’s expanding coma cloud on July 25. Images to scale and contrast enhanced to show further detail. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM/OSIRIS/MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA   Collage/Processing: Marco Di Lorenzo/Ken Kremer

Image Copyright ESA

The SSBV team will be anxiously following the rendezvous event tomorrow and on behalf of the whole company, we wish the ESA team all the best in completing the final tasks before this historic event !

SSBV was actively involved in the verification of elements of the spacecraft and its instruments before launch. Activities included the provision of equipment for the validation and test of Rosetta’s subsystems responsible for communication and Telemetry  /Telecommand, Ground-station compatibility testing and close co-operation with almost all the international science teams that use(d) a ‘Rosetta simulator’ developed and provided by SSBV to develop and test the instrument interfaces and data exchange with the satellite platform.

For more information, consult the ESA website. You can also follow the special Rosetta Twitter account: @ESA_Rosetta

Remembering flight MH17

On the Dutch National Day of Mourning for those who lost their lives on flight MH17, our hearts go out to the families and friends of the victims. Our deepest condolences.

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