Oxford Space Systems in ground-breaking programme for innovative space solutions


Oxford Space Systems has announced an investment round, subject to final completion, of approximately £4 million to accelerate development of its existing deployable antenna product portfolio and develop new innovative products.

Alongside leading UK venture capital investors, this round has been supported by the National Security Strategic Investment Fund (NSSIF), which is the Government’s corporate venturing arm for national security and defence technologies, working closely with the Ministry of Defence.

The round unlocked a deeper collaboration agreement with the MoD, working closely with their research agency the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), on innovative cost-efficient antennas for Space.

The initial focus with the MoD customer will be a Wrapped Rib Antenna for Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) that enables high resolution imaging from small satellite earth observation missions, irrespective of weather conditions or daylight.

These antennas deploy carbon-fibre ribs from a central hub to form a parabolic dish of between 3m and 5m supporting a high performing metal mesh reflector surface. This UK developed antenna technology has a uniquely compact stowed configuration and achieves a highly cost-efficient performance when deployed in orbit.

Sean Sutcliffe (CEO, Oxford Space Systems) said: “This investment will allow us to accelerate our business plan and in particular our product development and production programme for the game changing Wrapped Rib SAR antenna. The involvement of MoD is a huge vote of confidence in the technology and the capability of Oxford Space Systems”

“We will be recruiting up to 50 new staff to double the size of the company over the next few years and will be working with our supply chain to support the delivery of these high-quality products”

The investment round was led by Longwall Ventures who have been the Company’s lead investor since its inception.

David Denny, Longwall Partner & Director, Oxford Space Systems, said: “We are delighted to continue our support for Oxford Space Systems in the next stage of the company’s growth. We are excited by the opportunities that the partnership with NSSIF will bring and are already seeing the positive impact this close collaboration will have on the Company’s development.

Oxford Space Systems is a venture capital backed, growth stage space technology business founded in 2013 with a vision to be the global leader in deployable antennas for Space.

The company continues to grow rapidly in response to commercial contracts secured even during the Covid crisis and currently employs around 50 staff.

Oxford Space Systems moved into its own custom-built facility on the Harwell Campus in October 2018. The building has been specifically designed to enable OSS to undertake volume production of a range of antennas.

In 2020 Oxford Space Systems established an in-house metal mesh manufacturing facility capable of producing bespoke high precision knitted mesh designs to suit a wide range of antenna requirements.