Satellite Ground Station Facility
01 Jun 2016



The Satellite Ground Station and Control Centre, located at RAL, is used for both uplink commanding and downlink telemetry reception. It is currently receiving data from the ACE satellite.


​​​​12m antenna​

The RAL Space ground station comprises of four antennas positioned across two sites. The Rutherford Appleton Laboratory at Harwell has a 2.4m and a 12m antennae; located at Chilbolton, Hampshire are both 4.5m and 25m antennae. The two sites are separated by 40 km thus providing operational redundancy.

The ground station serves the scientific community and undertakes work for commercial clients.​
Following the establishment of the Satellite Applications Catapult at Harwell, the RAL Space ground station will provide services and facilities to Catapult.​


​General Capabilities: 

• Cubesat compatible (primary g/s for UKube-1 which is to be launched in early 2012)
• X-band downlink on 4.5m enables high speed data acquisition
• S-band uplink on 12m provides critical LEOP support, S-band downlink
• 25m antenna is suitable for weak signal reception (upgradeable to Ku-band)
• CCSDS compatible telemetry
• Generation of tracking data for all spacecraft
• High speed internet connectivity from both sites
• Latest computer systems
• State-of-the-art RF hardware equipment from Zodiac and SSBV
• Satellite Tool Kit software (full version)
• Flexible operations services

For more information please also see Satellite Ground Station Operations.

For more information please contact: RAL Space Enquiries