For several years CCLRC’s Space Science and Technology Department at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory has been developing compact, robust, low cost cameras to image Earth from space. The TopSat mission, a collaboration with Surrey Satellites and Technology Ltd and QinetiQ on a BNSC and MoD sponsored project, obtained colour images at a resolution of 2.8m over a 16km field of view. Individual buildings on the ground can be identified at this resolution.
MDA, the Canadian space and defence company, acquired 50% of the company’s share capital in 2007 (including the bulk of RSF’s holding) with a view to developing it as its European base. Rainbow made and IRR of 20% in less than 1 year.