The UK Government has allocated a share of £1m in funding to five organisations to develop technologies that boost the nation’s space capabilities.

The announcement was made during the Farnborough International Airshow on 20 July.

This investment has been achieved through the UK’s Space to Innovate Campaign – Bravo Drop, which was launched in September 2021.

It is a joint effort of the UK Space Agency, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), and Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA).

Fraunhofer UK Research and Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics in Scotland won the highest share of funding, with £318,152.

AltaRange (Scotland) received a £117,700 share; Astroscale (Southeast) received £196,466; AVoptics (Southwest) obtained £195,920; and Slipstream Engineering Design (Yorkshire and the Humber) secured £99,054.

The projects that the five organisations will work on aim to improve threat assessments and intelligence gathering, as well as enhance spacecraft monitoring, to promote space resilience and operational effectiveness.

Bravo Drop invited the organisations to submit their solutions for challenges covering two significant areas.

It included novel sensing and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) technologies and novel approaches to improve signal-to-noise performance of space-related communications, sensing, identification or tracking capabilities.

The innovators now have up to 20 months to complete their projects and submit the results.

Dstl Space programme manager Dr Mike O’Callaghan said: “This is a hugely exciting time for Dstl with the launch of two satellite missions from the UK later this year.

“Accelerating the development of these technologies could enhance future space operations and contribute to improved space domain awareness, as well as more secure communications. We look forward to working with all the winners.”

In September 2019, the UK Government announced to invest £1.5m into shortlisted projects from Dstl to boost space capabilities.