Launch of UK-Autonomous and Connected Earth Network Aims to Connect Communities via Space Technology

The UK has launched its second Satellite Applications Catapult, along with the Connected Capability Network (CCN), with the objective of bringing together communities throughout the country and enabling them to utilise the advantages of satellite data and space technology. The UK Autonomous and Connected Earth (UK-ACE) CCN will work to expand the influence and significance of satellite data and space technology across the UK, specifically highlighting the critical roles that connectivity and autonomy applications play on Earth.

The UK-ACE network will collaborate with stakeholders in the space and associated sectors by organising events and activities. These engagements will foster cooperation and promote investment opportunities using autonomy and connectivity technologies. The network will also champion the integration of satellite and terrestrial networks, a move that ensures seamless connectivity for all, regardless of location.

The network will support the Catapult’s Autonomous and Connected Earth Missions, using a strategy of mapping and engaging new partners and capabilities both within and outside the space sector. This approach will bring together expertise to drive innovation and explore new ways of working as a community, as well as identifying opportunities for collaboration.

Initially, the network will focus on the integration of space technology into a variety of connectivity and autonomy services. These include mobility, navigation and transportation, 5G/6G Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN)/Terrestrial Network (TN) Convergence, photonics and optical communications, quantum and artificial intelligence (AI), and satellite broadband.

The CCNs have been established by the Satellite Applications Catapult, which has played a significant role in promoting growth within the UK Space Ecosystem since its inception in 2013. The CCNs will be coordinated by space clusters across the UK and their partners, all working towards a shared objective.

The launch of the UK-ACE network follows the successful launch of the UK Earth Observation Network for Sustainability (UK-EONS) at the end of 2023. The UK-EONS brings together Earth Observation (EO) technology to address sustainability challenges.

The CCNs contribute to the growth of the UK Space Ecosystem by developing communities to support the implementation of the National Space Strategy. They facilitate the translation of research and development into commercial opportunities for the UK space sector and strengthen community activity throughout the UK.

The UK-ACE is part-funded by the Satellite Applications Catapult and is led by the Harwell Space Cluster – Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). It is delivered by a consortium of partners across Space Clusters on behalf of the UK Space Ecosystem, which includes the Arc for Space, Cornwall Space Cluster, North West Space Cluster, Northern Ireland Space, Space East, and Space North East England.

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