Bright Ascension started in 2011 to offer a fresh and innovative approach to engineering research and development in the space industry and other high technology areas. Bright Ascension offers on-board and ground software for satellite missions that is affordable and reliable.
Drawing upon the founder’s experience, the company is able to offer off-the-shelf products which can be tailored to the needs of a particular mission. The start-up also provides Mission control software, the interface between on the ground operators and the satellite.
Bright Ascension is different from other companies in the satellite software space in that it is highly agile: it provides a software product that allows its customers to build upon an established software framework and then customise as they need. This saves time and money and is putting the power of nanosatellites and CubeSats in the hands of people and organisations that would not have been able to launch their own satellite ten years ago. This is opening up exciting new scientific, commercial and educational applications to universities, research institutions and innovative Space start-ups.
Bright Ascension also provides software for the Outernet non-profit organisation, which is helping millions of people in the developing world receive information through satellites. This information ranges from weather forecasts to the price of commodities. It is particularly helpful for farmers in rural and developing regions.
Bright Ascension developed the on board software for UKube-1, a nanosatellite launched on the 8th of July 2014, as part of the UK CubeSat programme. This CubeSat, which is about the size of a loaf of bread, includes six different experiments such as science instruments, amateur radio, technology demonstration and outreach. One of the experiments was a school engagement programme where students were able to connect with the satellite as it passed overhead.