Ground Station Facility
01 Jun 2016



RAL Space Ground Station provides services to the scientific community and undertakes work for commercial clients. We also welcome academia/industry collaborations.

RAL Space's 12m antenna

​​RAL Space 12m antenna at dusk​

Credit: STFC RAL Space
​​RAL Space has a proven track record, recognised internationally, in the areas of satellite mission planning and payload science operations. We provide​ ground-station services and software for the precision control of a wide variety​ of telescope systems. Being involved in many high profile projects such as ALM​A and VISTA has shown that RAL Space is able to perform and deliver at the highest level on many different sorts of jobs and operations.

Supported by our Radio Frequency (RF) experts, scientists and software engineers, and with the access to the broader RAL Space expertise in data processing, curation, archiving and exploitation, the Ground Station is able to offer and develop innovative technological solutions tailored to accommodate customers’ needs.

Our services and products include:
  • Low-cost TT&C services;
  • Low-cost data downlink services;
  • Processing, analysis and archival of payload data including calibration and validation;
  • LEOP support;
  • Creation of low cost customizable ground segments for cubesats and small satellites;
  • In-flight validation;
  • CCSDS compatible telemetry;
  • Generation of tracking data for all spacecraft;
  • Provision of Ground Segment and RF consultancy;
  • Provision of Ground Segment facility and operator training;
  • Customized solutions.
The RAL Space Ground Station comprises of a suite of infrastructure, computer hardware and software, mechanical, electrical and RF equipment to support the ground station antennae positioned across the two sites at RAL and Chilbolton Observatory. This degree of separation enables site redundancy.  Our current capabilities include support for S-band (Rx,Tx) and X-band (Rx) communications. The 12m antenna system is located at RAL, and the 4.5m and 6.1m antennas are located at Chilbolton Observatory. The UHF/VHF system at Chilbolton is cubesat compatible.  

The Ground Station is equipped with the state-of-the-art RF hardware, latest computer systems and software. There is high-speed internet connectivity from both sites. The Ground Station offers flexible operations and on-call services.​

For more information please contact: RAL Space Enquiries