SMART Cymru supports B2Space Ltd to undertake Proof of Concept for a High Altitude Small Satellite Launcher.
B2Space Ltd is facilitating low-cost access to space and creating foundations for the emerging industry of small and micro-satellites.
This Experimental Development (ED) phase project is key to developing the technology and capabilities of a high-altitude launching vehicle for small and micro-satellites (the “Colibri” programme). Since October 2019, B2Space has been engaged on an Industrial Research (IR) phase to design this launching platform, in a previous project funded through the SMART Cymru programme.
The main objective of the ED phase will be to conduct the Research and Development required to build a small scale prototype of the final design of the launcher platform. At culmination of this phase, B2Space will perform a launch test to prove the main systems and capabilities of the prototype.
The high altitude launching concept they are developing is based on the rockoon concept (balloon + rocket). It consists of a stratospheric balloon, used to lift a self-operative platform to a height of 35km, from which a rocket is launched to low earth orbit to deliver payload to orbit at lower cost than using a conventional ground launched rocket.
The “Colibri” launcher represents a new disruptive service in the launching market. If development of the prototype launch platform is successful, they anticipate their workforce to grow at their Newport head office. B2Space’s medium term benefits would see a substantial further increase in their workforce and will become one of the first companies in providing access to space from UK soil. The project will assist in establishing this early stage technology company and help to secure further private sector funding to support the commercialisation of the technology. Spill over effects would range from academia and national security to new inventions, investment and tourism in Wales.
B2Space Ltd was founded in June 2016 by four professionals from the aerospace industry with the main objective to develop a flexible, reliable and low-cost launching system for small and micro satellites.