On 30th of September, Lens R&D supplied their first 12 flight standard BiSon64 sunsensors to SSTL.
Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) is a small satellite manufacturer based in Surrey (UK) known for their company slogan “Changing the Economics of Space” and breakthrough space engineering approach (www.sstl.co.uk). By purchasing the first Space grade Commercial Off the Shelf (SCOTS) sunsensors, they are to be considered early adopters of this approach which is promoted by Lens R&D. The BiSon64 sunsensors are small but highly reliable sensors specifically developed to provide a low cost alternative to common high reliability sunsensors as well as a high reliability alternative to common small satellite sunsensors.
Designed for high reliability and qualified to very rigorous levels, the sensors are to be considered capable of surviving all other equipment’s on board of a common satellite. This is a very desirable property for sensors that are commonly used during early orbit acquisition and safe mode operations only. Being optimised for automated production in larger series the sensors are ideally suited for recurring production and large constellation applications. As of November 2016 it is the intention to keep a minimum level of stock at Lens R&D, thus redefining commercial off the shelf to what the original meaning stands for. Adding to this the fact that the sensors are to be considered true space quality sensors the deliveries deserve the label Space grade Commercial Off the Shelf (SCOTS).