Smiths Interconnect Secures £2m Grant for Space Innovation

November 28, 2023

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Smiths Interconnect Receives Funding for Space Qualification Laboratory

Smiths Interconnect, a leading provider of RF and optical components, has secured £1,907,065 in funding from the UK Space Agency's 'Space Clusters Infrastructure Fund' (SCIF). The funding will be utilized to enhance the company's Space Qualification Laboratory located in Dundee, Scotland.

The Space Qualification Laboratory in Dundee is dedicated to simulating the extreme conditions of space. It aims to create an unrivaled design, prototyping, and manufacturing capacity, along with an open-innovation space qualification testing lab. Julian Fagge, CEO of Smiths Interconnect, expressed his excitement about the project, stating, "Our work in Dundee aims to create unrivaled design, prototyping, and manufacturing capacity coupled with an open-innovation space qualification testing lab."

The laboratory has a wide range of capabilities, including simulating the extreme vibration and shock environment of launch, as well as surviving the extreme temperature swings experienced during space flight. With the funding received, Smiths Interconnect plans to invest in further enhancing these capabilities.

One of the key objectives for Smiths Interconnect is to reduce both the time-to-market and cost of manufacturing its RF and optical components. To achieve this, the company will develop new in-house digital manufacturing capabilities and scale up production through the automation of manufacturing processes, assembly, and testing of products.

RF and optical components play a crucial role in space exploration, providing critical communication and data transfer capabilities in deep space. The advancements made in the Space Qualification Laboratory will contribute to the development of more reliable and efficient components, ultimately benefiting space missions and exploration.

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