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Oxford Space Systems is an award-winning space technology business that's pioneering the development of a new generation of deployable antennas and structures that are lighter, less complex and lower cost than those in current commercial demand

A UNIQUELY DIVERSE & TALENTED TEAM

about

Drawing on conventional wisdom, as well as fresh thinking, the Oxford Space Systems team is proud to be at the forefront of developments in the new space age. OSS is set on becoming the leading global supplier of innovative deployable space antennas and structures in the new space age. Contracts and collaborations are under way with leading satellite builders in Europe as well as emerging players in the microsat & nanosat markets in the US, Europe and Asia.

Founded by experienced entrepreneur & CEO, Mike Lawton, the quickly growing Oxford Space Systems team contains a diverse range of world-class expertise in the fields of RF engineering, aerospace, mechanical, electrical/electronic, and thermal engineering for the space environment.

Oxford Space Systems currently works in three principle areas of product development: deployable antennas, AstroTube™ composite boom systems and deployable panel systems. Combining proprietary with traditional materials, tighter with an agile ‘can do’ approach means OSS is delivering innovative, scalable structures that save significantly in both build & launch costs.

Based at the UK’s Harwell Space Cluster, OSS has excellent access to the expertise & facilities of RAL Space, the European Space Agency, the Science & Technology Facilities Council and the Satellite Applications Catapult. OSS is backed by significant private equity and enjoys the funding support of Innovate UK, the European Space Agency and the UK Space Agency.

OSS has numerous collaborations with leading industry players & academia both in Europe & beyond and welcomes the opportunity to explore mutually beneficial collaborative developments.  We welcome inquiries globally for collaboration, specific product developments as well as potential terrestrial exploitation of our technology.

OUR TEAM

PROF. ZHONG YOU

PROF. ZHONG YOU

Principal Collaborator

Professor of Engineering Science (University of Oxford)

Expert in deployable closed kinematic chain structures & origami folding

100+ journal & conference publications, 1 monograph and 6 patents

COLLABORATORS & SUPPORT PARTNERS

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OVERVIEW OF OSS DESIGN APPROACH AND PRODUCTS

Oxford Space Systems is developing innovative deployable antennas and structures that meet the challenges of the new space age. Our approach is one of agile development & validation where success is measured in proven hardware and customer commendations. Our strategy of ‘fast & lean’, combined with our unique proprietary materials, permits us to mature solutions at lower cost and a faster pace than our customers can achieve internally. This exemplified by the setting of two industry records with the successful deployment of the OSS AstroTube boom: from concept to orbit in under 30 months with the world’s longest retractable cubesat boom.

Beyond technical excellence from a highly experienced team, we’re differentiated by our core design philosophy: lowering costs by reducing complexity, mass and lead times. We’re proud of our rapidly growing reputation of being the UK’s ‘go to’ company for innovative deployable technology and frequently enjoy referrals and introductions from satisfied customers and co-development partners.

Our technology and products are co-developed with leading experts from academia and industry and in most cases supported by Innovate UK, the European Space Agency and the UK Space Agency.

Much of our work, which includes national defence projects, is performed under confidentiality agreements. But a selection of some of our developments in the public domain is profiled below.

UNFURLABLE REFLECTOR ANTENNAS

The Oxford Space Systems architecture has been highly commended by the European Space Agency. Currently being developed in collaboration with two major industry players under UK funding from NATEP.

  • ITAR-free
  • Significant reduction in complexity
  • Readily scalable architecture (2m – 12m deployed diameter)
  • High stowage efficiency
  • Novel reflector surface material under development
  • High frequency operation (up to Ka Band)
  • Cost competitive

Applications: Data Relay Systems (DRS), Earth Observation, Telecoms etc.

ASTROTUBE MAX TELESCOPIC BOOM

Updating a successfully flight proven design, the Oxford Space System’s AstroTube Max boom is a highly scalable, structurally stiff boom designed to enable a range of mid to high mass payload deployments.

  • Low cost, low complexity design
  • Retractable or single shot deployment
  • Unlimited partial deployment
  • Footprint efficient
  • Scalable (0.5m – 15m)
  • Internal cable & gas feeds possible
  • Optional rotation
  • Based on a flight proven design (CFE-SAT 2007)
  • TRL 9 – outer CFRP telescope
  • TRL 9 – AstroTube actuator system

Applications: LDA deployment, Electric Propulsion Placement, high mass payload deployment

Icon of AstroTube Max Datasheet AstroTube Max Datasheet

ASTROTUBE BOOM

AstroTube is a highly scalable, low cost boom designed to support a wide range of microsat & cubesat applications.

  • TRL9
  • Low complexity, novel design
  • Retractable or single shot deployment
  • Very low shock deployment
  • Integrated HDRM
  • Unlimited partial deployment & retraction
  • Low mass
  • Highly footprint efficient (<\0.5U)
  • Scalable (0.3m – 3m)
  • Simple I2C interface

Applications: payload deployment & retraction, antenna systems, de-orbit structures, solar sails

AstroTube successfully validated on orbit in November 2016 (AlSat-Nano 3U cubesat mission)

ASTROHINGE
SCALABLE PANEL ARRAY

Building upon Oxford Space Systems’ expertise in flexible composites, OSS is co-developing a scalable, synchronised panel array. This is based upon its stored energy AstroHinge™ technology. A steerable variant is under development for LEO microsat applications.

  • Low complexity, proprietary design
  • Steerable
  • Mass efficient
  • Scalable
  • Programmable rate of deployment
  • Cost competitive

Applications: Patch antenna arrays, thermal radiators, solar arrays, SAR

LATEST NEWS

OSS Goes to the ’Oscars’!

05 June 2018: Oxford Space Systems is through to the final of this year’s Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert Award. Seen as the ‘Oscars of Engineering’, the Award is the UK’s longest running and most prestigious national prize for engineering innovation.  Since 1969, the Royal Academy of Engineering has presented the award to the engineers behind the UK’s “most exciting and impactful innovations”. Many previous winners are now ubiquitous in modern technology, including some that went on to win the Nobel Prize. Whilst the OSS team certainly isn’t expecting to ever win a Nobel prize, the £50,000 cash prize and the highest engineering accolade in the UK would suite the team just fine!

The winner will be announced at the Academy Awards Dinner, being held in the Tower of London on 27 June. Full details here: https://lnkd.in/eUuDezx

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OSS Does It Again…!

21 May 2018: We’re putting our trophy cabinet under further stress by winning two awards in the inaugural Vale4Business (V4B) Awards!  From advanced engineering companies to independent retailers, Oxfordshire, UK is home a vibrant mix of businesses. The V4B Awards bring together the achievements of businesses in the area, recognising, rewarding and promoting local success stories.

OSS is really proud to have picked up the Innovation Award and for Mike Lawton, CEO & Founder, to be recognised as Business Leader of the Year.  Further details on the awards online here: http://www.vale4business.com/

V4B Awards

Oxford Space Systems to provide innovative antenna for US-UK atmospheric mission

26 Jan 2018: Thales Alenia Space UK has selected Oxford Space Systems to provide a deployable antenna based on OSS’ proprietary novel materials. The UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) is the end customer for the mission to study the upper atmosphere due for launch in 2020. This low earth orbit mission, builds on the flight heritage of the OSS AstroTube boom currently on orbit on the UK Space Agency’s AlSat platform.

The mission, known as WISCER (Wideband Ionospheric Sounder CubeSat Experiment) expands on previous work carried out by Dstl and the University of Birmingham under fund from the UK Space Agency. WISCER, part of a joint programme with the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, will allow scientists to study the Earth’s upper atmosphere and evaluate the impacts on radio frequencies through the upper atmosphere.

OSS will design, build and test the deployable antenna at its new facility at the Harwell Space Cluster, Oxfordshire, U.K.

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Physically The Best!

18 Oct 2017: Oxford Space Systems picked up another UK national award from the Institute of Physics (IOP) in London last night – its Commended Innovation Award. This is in recognition of OSS’ successful, innovative application of physics in the achievement of two records for the space industry with the AstroTube™ deployable space boom technology.

The IOP Business Innovation Awards are the only awards UK and Ireland that celebrate the innovative application of physics and the commercial exploitation of novel technology. The AstroTube is based upon a proprietary flexible composite material designed specifically to cope with the demands of the space environment. If was developed and flown in a record breaking time for the space industry.

Click here for details: https://tinyurl.com/y8zvv2ps

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OSS Wins a Global Award

14 Sept 2017: Oxford Space Systems won a significant space industry award in recognition for its disruptive innovation and future potential. The global competition saw a short list of twenty-two space sector start-ups brought together at the FinSpace Awards, Paris, France. The Awards, part of the Annual World Space Business Week Conference organised by Euroconsult, then saw five companies selected as joint winners.  OSS was the only UK based company to win, with other winners coming from the US and Germany.  Full details:  http://www.euroconsult-ec.com/14_September_2017_WSBW1

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OSS Invited to the Party!

13 Sept 2017: Oxford Space Systems was proud to be one of a small number of companies invited to a celebration of UK government support for science and technology. The London event, marking 10 years of support for innovation, saw a number of distinguished guests attend, including Lord Willetts the former Minister of State for Universities and Science. OSS’ CEO, Mike Lawton, attended as one of several ‘roving innovators’ demonstrating space technology and talking about the importance of the space industry to the UK economy. A glossy coloured brochure produced to support the celebration featuring a two page spread on OSS.

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Oxford Space Systems Provides Space Industry Secondee to India

18 July 2017: Shefali Sharma, from the Business Development Team at Oxford Space Systems (OSS), has been selected by the UK Department for International Trade (DIT), the UK Space Agency (UKSA), and the Space Growth Partnership (SGP) as the UK space industry’s secondee to India. The secondment which runs from July to October will assess the scope and scale of market opportunities for UK space companies to export to India, as well as assess the appetite for Indian investment in to the UK. Read more here.

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OSS Recognised As One of UK's Top Innovators

1 July 2017: Oxford Space Systems has been recognised as one the most innovative companies in the UK by making the Top 60 Innovations list in the July 2017 edition of Business & Innovation Magazine. The authors looked across the UK for innovations in all fields of engineering and design to compile their list of what they believed to be the most recent significant technological developments.  AstroTube™, the OSS proprietary flexible composite boom, developed and demonstrated on orbit in record-breaking time caught the magazine’s eye. “It’s the future potential of the material, whereby we can embed things like sensors and flexible printed circuit boards, as well making large sections that can be jointed on orbit, I think sets the mind racing with the possibilities”, CEO and founder Mike Lawton said.  Download Business & Innovation Magazine here: https://tinyurl.com/ycarrc52

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OSS COMPLETES OVER-SUBSCRIBED £1m INTERIM FUND RAISE

15 June 2017: Oxford Space Systems (OSS) has successfully secured over £1m in it’s interim funding round.  This has come predominantly from its existing institutional and private investors but also from new US investor, Space Angels.

Founder and CEO, Mike Lawton, explained the rationale behind the company’s interim fund raise, “On the back of the successful in-orbit demonstration of our AstroTube boom, we’re seeing a lot of positive volatility in the business, with enquiries coming in at a much increased rate. We wanted to ensure we had some clear water for the remainder of the year, ideally giving us breathing space to secure one or two of the lucrative flight contract opportunities we’re negotiating. Once we have clarity of these, we’ll be in a stronger position – than the great one we’re already in – for our third and more significant fund raise in early 2018.  Lawton went on to explain investor interest in OSS, “We targeted a raise of £800,000 (GBP) in this round but had such a good response from existing investors and the opportunity to bring Space Angels on board, that we ended up closing at £1.1m in new money”.

For more on the article, please see: https://goo.gl/HxA2Y6

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OSS INTERVIEWED BY WOMANTHOLOGY

20 April 2017: Shefali Sharma featured in leading digital magazine Womanthology.

Read Shefali’s words of inspiration and wisdom as she discusses opportunities in New Space and what led her to pursue a career in the industry. She also sheds light on the gender gap in space sector and the importance of inspiring young-individuals at home and at school-entry levels.

Check out the interview here: https://goo.gl/jShLAa

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OSS INTERVIEWED BY SPACEONEERS

18 January 2017: How do we most effectively send satellites into space? And how do we make the best use of the volume we have in rocket launchers?

Spaceoneers spoke to Mike Lawton, CEO and Founder of Oxford Space Systems. With their novel unfurlable technology such as their AstroTube™ boom, OSS are providing highly scalable, stowage efficient structures targeted at the global satellite industry.

In the interview, Mike talks about the challenges of the space industry, how ESA can be more entrepreneurial in its approach to SMEs, and the record-breaking first in-orbit demonstration of OSS’ AstroTube™ technology.

For more on the interview, please see: http://spaceoneers.io/2017/01/18/mike-lawton-oss

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OSS SETS SPACE INDUSTRY RECORD!

02 November 2016: Oxford Space Systems has set two industry records in the last month with the successful launch and deployment of its novel AstroTube™ boom. Launched on the UK-Algerian Space Agencies’ AlSat-1N cubesat on 26th Sept 2016, OSS has gone from product concept to orbit in under 30 months.

Mike Lawton, founder & CEO, explained: “To our knowledge, no one else has formed a new company, developed new materials and a product and then got to orbit so quickly. I’m really proud of the OSS team for this achievement – a truly agile development without compromising reliability.  Thanks must go to Innovate UK and the Algerian and UK Space Agencies for providing the opportunity and co-funding to come in alongside that of our investors. Special mention must go to ESA’s ARTES 14 NEOSAT programme.  This provided essential funding and expertise which permitted us to formally evaluate a range of novel composite layups targeting geo-stationary telecoms platforms. Although we’re not currently part of the programme, work completed under NEOSAT underpinned this successful on-orbit deployment”.

The next OSS AstroTube boom is due for launch on a commercial mission in summer 2017 and OSS is currently in negotiations with a number of overseas satellite primes for much larger variants of AstroTube and AstroTube Max.

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OSS SETS SPACE INDUSTRY RECORD!

26 September 2016: Oxford Space Systems has gone from company formation to material design through product design, test and launch in under 30 months.

The 3U Alsat-1N cubesat was successfully delivered to an orbit of 689km via the PSLV launcher from India this morning.  A healthy beacon signal was detected in South Africa when anticipated around 90 mins after separation of the satellite from its launch cradle. After a few weeks of health checking and payload checkout, Alsat-1N will deploy the OSS boom – the world’s longest retractable cubesat boom and thus setting another record for OSS!

Alsat-1N is a joint undertaking between the UK Space Agency and the Algerian Space Agency (ASAL), and is designed as an educational mission to be delivered by Surrey Space Centre (UK) for Algerian graduate students.

OSS is using the mission as a flight opportunity to validate a number of predictions made for its proprietary flexible composite material in the demanding environment of low earth orbit.  This data will underpin development of OSS’s commercial boom systems, including the much larger AstroTube™ Max boom as well as that of its AstroHinge™ deployable panel arrays.

Mission details can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/h9qugvq

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OSS INTERVIEWED BY INSTITUTE OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS

16 August 2016: Institution of Mechanical Engineering (IMechE) recently interviewed Oxford Space Systems’ Founder & CEO, Mike Lawton, as a part of their Innovation Campaign. Oxford Space Systems is one of the companies supported by IMechE’s Stephenson Fund.

In the interview, Mike talks about company’s vision, the role of engineers in the UK and what innovation means to him.

For more on the interview, please see: www.imeche.org

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OSS COVERAGE IN SATELLITE FINANCE

2 May 2016: Oxford Space Systems CEO & Founder, Mike Lawton, was interviewed by Satellite Finance. Mike says that the UK newspace is tied down by ESA funding regimes.

In the interview, he points to a disconnect between the space agency’s ‘failure is not an option’ mentality and the ‘fail fast, fail cheap’ approach
taken by VC investors who have an appetite for risk on the back of rapid progress.

For more on the interview, please see: oxfordspacesystems.tumblr.com

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OSS COVERAGE IN SPACE NEWS

18 January 2016: Oxford Space Systems gets great coverage in the space industry’s leading weekly newspaper – Space News.

The article in the US based publication, covers the UK Space Cluster at Harwell, Oxfordshire, UK – home to OSS – and why we’re based here.

For more on the article, please see: oxfordspacesystems.tumblr.com

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OXFORD SPACE SYSTEMS WINS BRITISH ENGINEERING EXCELLENCE AWARDS GRAND PRIX 2015

29 October 2015: Oxford Space Systems won the Grand Prix ‘winner of winners’ trophy at this year’s UK British Engineering Excellence Awards in London.  OSS was also awarded the Start Up of the Year trophy.

What the judges said: “OSS demonstrated everything you could plan and hope for from a start up; a viable range of innovative products and demand for its technology from the global space industry.  It’s a huge success story for UK manufacturing plc and an example to other companies of how to identify and exploit a market opportunity.”

For more on the event, please see: www.beeas.co.uk

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Awards

  • EUROCONSULT FINSPACE AWARD 2017The Most Promising Start-Up
  • INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS (IOP) BUSINESS INNOVATION AWARDS 2017Commended Innovation
  • BARCLAYS ENTREPRENEUR AWARD 2017Start-up Entrepreneur of the Year
  • THE OXFORD TRUST ENTERPRISE AWARDS 2016Start-up Entrepreneur of the Year
  • UK BUSINESS ANGELS ASSOCIATION (UKBAA) 2016One to Watch – Best Investment in Disruptive Tech
  • BRITISH ENGINEERING EXCELLENCE AWARDS (BEEA) 2016Start-up of the Year + Grand Prix Award
  • OXFORDSHIRE BUSINESS AWARDS 2016The Oxford Science Park Innovation Award
  • UK BUSINESS ANGELS ASSOCIATION (UKBAA) 2015Best Investment in a High-Growth Manufacturing Business
  • OXFORDSHIRE BUSINESS AWARDS 2014The Oxfordshire LEP New Business Award
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EUROCONSULT FINSPACE AWARD 2017

The Most Promising Start-Up

INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS BUSINESS INNOVATION AWARDS 2017

Commended Innovation

BARCLAYS ENTREPRENEUR AWARD 2017

Start-up Entrepreneur of the Year

UK BUSINESS ANGELS ASSOCIATION (UKBAA) 2016

One to Watch – Best Investment in Disruptive Tech

THE OXFORD TRUST ENTERPRISE AWARDS 2016

Best Pitch Hard Tech

BRITISH ENGINEERING EXCELLENCE AWARDS (BEEA) 2016

Start-up of the Year + Grand Prix Award

OXFORDSHIRE BUSINESS AWARDS 2016

The Oxford Science Park Innovation Award

UK BUSINESS ANGELS ASSOCIATION (UKBAA) 2015

Best Investment in a High-Growth Manufacturing Business

OXFORDSHIRE BUSINESS AWARDS 2014

The Oxfordshire LEP New Business Award

JOIN THE TEAM

We’re looking for people that aren’t afraid of significant commitment and responsibility.  We’re looking for people that share our hunger in defining what’s possible in NewSpace.  We’re looking for people that strive to find solutions – not reasons why things can’t be done. There’s no ‘passengers’ at Oxford Space Systems.  In return for your hard work and ability to deliver you’ll enjoy a unique, flexible working environment where you’ll work alongside some of the brightest & most motivated minds in the UK space industry.  Please only apply if you’re up for the challenge of a lifetime…..

 

We are currently looking for talented people to join us in the following positions:

 

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WHERE TO FIND US

Discover the future at:

Oxford Space Systems
Electron Building
Harwell Space Cluster
Harwell OX11 0QR
United Kingdom

t: +44 (0)1235 567 999

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