We are taking part in this year’s Paris Space Week on 12-13th March 2024.

Send us a meeting request through the event platform to catch up with Richard, our Sales Director, and find out more about how we can help you develop your mission faster & cheaper and help it grow and evolve efficiently with our current and upcoming products and solutions.

With only a few weeks before the launch of our HELIX suite of products, it’s a perfect opportunity to get a interactive demo and find out what HELIX is, what sort of products are included and why it is going to re-shape the space software industry.

To arrange a meeting, either send us a request via the event portal or message enquiries@brightascension.com

A unique opportunity to meet us in Asia at the GSTC 2024 in Singapore

Richard, our Sales Director, and Andrew, our Commercial Director, are counting days to take part the trade mission to Malaysia and Singapore on 13th-16th February, organised by Scottish Development International.

As part of the mission, they will first visit Kuala Lumpur with a two-days mission to showcase Scotland’s space capabilities and latest innovations to the Malaysian Space Agency and local companies, match common business and policy, commercial interests, and advance R&D collaborations.

For the second part of the trip, the delegation will travel to Singapore to take part in the Global Space Technology Convention 2024.

We are always on the lookout for potential new partners and collaborations, especially in parts of the world that are further away from our offices. GSTC 2024 is a unique opportunity to meet our team in Asia and find out more about our well-designed Partnership Programme.

Send us a message on enquiries@brightascension.com to meet the team and learn more.

We are taking part in this year’s Space Suppliers Summit in Glasgow on 6-7th February 2024.

If you’re attending, drop a request to meet Richard, our Sales Director, to find out more about how we can help you develop your mission faster & cheaper and help it grow and evolve efficiently with our current and upcoming products and solutions.

With only a few weeks before the launch of our HELIX suite of products, it’s a perfect opportunity to find out what HELIX is, what sort of products are included and why it is going to re-shape the space software industry.

To arrange a meeting, either send us a request via the event portal or message enquiries@brightascension.com

Mission operations software serves as the nerve centre for satellite operations, playing a critical role in orchestrating, monitoring, and managing every aspect of a satellite mission. With many options available on the market from open-source satellite operations software to commercial modular and component-based or SaaS alternatives, selecting your ideal mission control software can become a challenging task in itself.  

We have put together a short and comprehensive guide to help you navigate the complex landscape of options available on the market to ensure you get the best-in-class mission control software to suit your unique mission needs. 

1. Define Operational Needs: 

Begin by defining your unique operational requirements. Consider factors such as fleet size, data processing demands, mission goals, ground station compatibility, and scalability for future expansions. This precision helps pinpoint software solutions that align precisely with your needs. 

We recommend considering concept of operations or CONOPS from the earliest stages of mission development and making it the main driver for your system design in terms of both software and hardware. Focus on what you want to achieve and how you want to do it – how you are going to fly and operate your spacecraft. To avoid serious issues later on in your mission, try to consider all aspects of operations, such as available data volumes, bandwidth, etc.  

2. Evaluate Key Functionalities: 

Assess software capabilities in line with your operational needs: 

3. Consider Scalability and Integration:  

Your mission control software should seamlessly integrate into existing space infrastructure and accommodate future satellite deployments. Ideally, you want a solution that allows for nearly automatic ground system configuration based on a machine comprehensible communication with the flight side of your space system.  

Ensure that your mission control software harmonises effortlessly (and preferably automatically) with diverse hardware components, ground stations, and other software systems that your mission relies on. 

Consider where this integration is coming from and how it can be maintained. Will you be reliant on the provider for the maintenance of any mission-specific adaptation, or can you own and maintain those adaptations yourself? For this adaptation, will the mission control software provider supply access to existing software modules, with heritage, which can provide a starting point for this adaptation? This is an area where you should look for the results of prior supplier experience and how that is reflected in the software offering. 

4. Choose User-Centric Interface: 

Intuitiveness is key to enable robust monitoring and decision-making. Opt for software with an intuitive interface, simplifying navigation and customisable dashboards for quick access to crucial data.  

5. Explore Support Options and Reliability: 

Reliability is critical in satellite operations. Choose software renowned for its uptime, reliability, and provider responsiveness in addressing technical intricacies. Examine support packages the provider offers and ensure they keep you covered.  

Much of the challenge comes from the fact that there are no guidelines, manuals or precise rules on how to design cutting-edge mission software. It requires years of experience and expertise, which you may not yet have. It makes sense to consider software that – alongside support – comes with advice or even mentoring services on the best practices and design solutions. 

6. Evaluate Cost Efficiency: 

Understand the pricing structure encompassing licensing fees, maintenance costs, and potential add-ons. Balance these against the software’s features, aligning with your budget without compromising efficiency. 

Additionally, it is important to think beyond the purchase point and take into account all the expenses, risks and benefits through to the final full-scale constellation – such as reliability, software infrastructure, integration capabilities, simpler and quicker onboarding process and a straightforward approach to scaling up as you move forward.  

Considerable cost can also be saved by opting for software that comes as part of larger offering and integrates seamlessly and nearly automatically with your onboard solution and other software systems, such as data delivery, processing and analytics.   

7. Review Industry Reputation: 

Explore the provider’s reputation and flight heritage within the satellite industry. Are you talking to a start-up that offers promising new technology but has not had a chance to test in on real missions? Or is it a well-established company with an impressive number of satellites that are operated through its software solutions? What has the provider seen in terms of diversity: always the same satellite and ground segment technologies or a wide range? Testimonials and case studies about previous missions offer valuable insights into user experiences, their challenges and solutions.  

8. Demo and Trial Your Chosen Mission Control Software: 

Prioritise hands-on experience. Take advantage of free trials and demos to assess functionality, compatibility, user-friendliness and support before committing.  

It also makes sense to contact your potential provider directly to schedule a call and assess your mission needs – with years of experience and expertise, they will be able to identify what’s best for your mission and if the solution on offer is the right fit.   

9. Choose Future-Ready Solutions: 

The satellite industry is booming like never before and there is no indication that this rapid and sustained growth will halt in the coming years. Inquire about the software’s development roadmap. Sustainable product development signifies a commitment to staying at the forefront of technological advancements.  

Consider where your own mission is heading – are you planning to grow and scale up? Is it likely to evolve into a larger constellation? Have you considered new emerging technology and satellite replenishment as your spacecraft reach the end of lifespan? There are a lot of factors that determine the success of a mission and ensuring that you have the right solutions at the right time and the right place can avert potential failures and open up new opportunities and revenue streams. 

10. Consider the Bigger Picture:  

Although operations, and mission control software, are at the core of your mission, this is still one part of a larger picture. To allow your mission to deliver to its full potential, the complete system must work together efficiently and effectively. This is not just about flight-ground integration, but also integration of operations with midstream delivery of the data or service to downstream applications and services for end users. However good an operations software solution is on its own, the real value is only available if the mission control software is able to provide a robust and open architecture which facilitates end-to-end system integration. 

In conclusion, the selection of mission control software demands meticulous evaluation, aligning precise operational needs with software capabilities. By following these steps, you’ll confidently find the right satellite operations software, ensuring that your mission operations are smooth and reliable, reaching new levels of efficiency. 

Going to Space Tech Expo 2023 in Bremen?

Make sure not to miss the brand-new demo version of our HELIX solution that we are bringing to Space Tech Expo.

Meet us on Stand D25 in Hall 4 on 14-16th November to be the first to demo our end-to-end upstream-to-downstream suite of space software products.

It’s your perfect chance to try it out, find out what HELIX is, what sort of products are included and why it is going to re-shape the space software industry.

HELIX is distinctly unique and offers benefits and advantages that cannot be rivalled by any other offering on the market. Join us on Stand D25 in Bremen to find out why!

We are thrilled to announce the successful acquisition of an additional £1.5m in funding through a bridging loan. This investment is an important milestone, ensuring the seamless development of our innovative HELIX suite of software products as it nears its eagerly awaited launch. The investment follows two successful fund-raising rounds completed by the company in August 2021 and January 2022, which raised £1.5M of equity.  

We will use the new funds to complete the development of our next generation satellite software infrastructure, which will offer our customers an end-to-end software solution for space-based service provision from early development right through to delivery. The new product vision is directly liked to our participation in the ESA ARTES Pioneer programme, a multi-year project to design and develop a cutting-edge solution which will enable a wide range of companies to provide innovative satellite constellations at a significantly reduced cost and within a reduced timeframe.  

Bright Ascension has recently been selected to head onboard and ground software development for the 3-year OS2-VOLT mission, led by Craft Prospect Ltd. for the Telecom Directorate of ESA under the ScyLight programme. The project is designed to evaluate and test radical new real-time techniques and technologies in low Earth orbit. Our new HELIX suite is expected to form the foundation for the OS2-VOLT partnership and demonstrate full capabilities and advantages of an integrated software infrastructure from onboard and operations development to the downstream software platform, which will provide high-level tasking and monitoring of the space system at the level of delivering data and services to a number of anchor customers.  

“We are very pleased to have secured additional funding, a pivotal step in ensuring the smooth progress of the final stages of the initial HELIX suite release in preparation for its upcoming launch.”

Peter Mendham, CEO at Bright Ascension

“We know there is a strong demand in the market for an integrated all-encompassing solution that seamlessly bridges the gap between space- and ground-based software development. The forthcoming OS2-VOLT mission serves as a powerful testament to this demand and provides us with the perfect platform to showcase the remarkable capabilities and advantages of optimising integration between spacecraft development and the efficient delivery of data insights to end-users.”

More information on the upcoming HELIX suite, the full list of products and benefits can be found here:

We are thrilled to announce that we have been selected to join the UK Government-funded Scaleup Programme as one of the 25 participants, scouted across the entire country! The programme is designed to help us navigate our rapid growth stage over the next 6 months, which perfectly matches our HELIX roadmap.

The ScaleUp Programme is delivered by the innovation specialists Pexal in partnership with Barclays Eagle Labs and is funded by the UK Government. Factoring in the complex day-to-day situations that occur as part of scaling up, it will cover scenarios such as encountering an uncertain economic environment to maintaining company culture while increasing headcount.

So watch this space and see how we leverage the support of the programme to revolutionise the space software market with our end-to-end multi-vertical HELIX solution that connects the entire mission from the spacecraft right down to the end user.

More information on the upcoming HELIX suite, the full list of products and benefits can be found here:

Taking part in the Toulouse Space Week events this year?

Make sure to drop a request to meet Andrew, our Global Sales Manager, at the Toulouse Space Week on 2nd-3rd October. With only a few weeks before the launch of our HELIX suite of products, it’s a perfect opportunity to find out what HELIX is, what sort of products are included and why it is going to re-shape the space software industry.

HELIX is distinctly unique and offers benefits and advantages that cannot be rivalled by any other offering on the market.

To arrange a meeting, either drop us a request via the TSW portal or message enquiries@brightascension.com

2023/2024 academic sponsorship is now open to apply!

We are pleased to announce that our 2023/2024 Bright Start Sponsorship Applications are now open to student teams around the world!

Sponsorship includes a software bundle of our Flight Software Development Kit and Mission Control Software, provided free of charge and valid for a duration of 3 calendar years. Find out more about our Bright Start Academic Sponsorship.

Applying to be sponsored couldn’t be easier – all you need to do is fill out the application form online, tell us about your mission and we will select a team to sponsor with our innovative flight and ground satellite software.

Good luck!

In a landscape where there is a renewed interest in integrated mission software, it’s worth exploring the concept of HELIX.

What is Helix?

HELIX is a suite of nine products offered by Bright Ascension that cater for those who need an integrated end-to-end space software solution from flight software development, test and operations and right through to using space-based data and services to provide insights and analytics to end users.

All HELIX products are built around an innovative technology that is based on software components fused together with a model-driven approach where information about these components and their functionality is shared across different software systems both on spacecraft and on the ground. These components comprise the basis of the software product, and they are a complete unit with a unified purpose.

HELIX uses both pre-validated library components, which permit users to quickly cover the core functionality of the system and custom-made component, that focus on the development of bespoke functionality, unique to their specific mission.

What does HELIX do?

Space software is essentially the “glue” that underpins everything and holds the entire system together – both on spacecraft and on the ground. Any space company needs to ensure that the software is quick to develop, easy to operate and maintain, robust and stable and helps to maximise the use of available resources.

But the key and currently unaddressed challenge is to keep up with inevitably changing requirements – such as new hardware, new software updates or new technology – and to make sure that all parts of the complex flight-ground software system work seamlessly. This challenge doesn’t just end during development; it extends as systems move on, become operational, and enter the commercial market. 

Many of the challenges in the downstream or service delivery sector stemmed from inefficient integration, communication, and a lack of understanding of the space-based aspect of the system, also known as the upstream sector.

It’s not enough to just make the ground side and flight side “talk” to each other. Technical and commercial drivers in the industry push towards a high level of heterogeneity. The real challenge lies in consistently providing services and maintaining this complex, often disjointed system over time as it naturally evolves and undergoes changes.

The HELIX suite of products is designed to bridge the upstream and downstream sectors through what is called the midstream. It covers and tightly connects three critical sectors in the space industry.

In the upstream sector, it makes sure space software is quick to develop, easy to integrate into the existing system and simple to operate with lower risk and at lower cost.

In the midstream sector, it helps to optimise and improve the delivery and management of space-based services through seamless integration with the space-based side.

And finally, in the downstream sector, it provides an easy-to-use access to space data that helps to make the most of space services for delivering insights and applications to end-users.

So, it’s essentially an all-encompassing solution that spans the entire spectrum of space operations.

Why is HELIX a great addition when planning a mission?

Satellite missions depend on software packages which can be costly and overly complex for no particular reason. HELIX is a great straightforward solution for those planning a mission or using space-based data for service delivery for a number of reasons:  

  1. HELIX saves significant cost across development/operations and visibly reduces total cost of ownership by at least a factor of 2.
  2. Given the main elements of the HELIX technology are reusable components optimised for endless combinations of software units, it offers a high level of innovation and creativity. These components function as building blocks which accelerate the production of more reliable and cost-effective software packages.
  3. On top of this, the component-based nature of HELIX means that existing software can be reused in future missions, saving time on future work and avoiding the need to start from scratch. Additionally, this framework is intended to be incredibly versatile and adaptable, giving users the freedom to combine many pre-made and custom software components quickly and reliably.
  4. There are always unforeseen circumstances when it comes to mission planning, and HELIX is perfect for responding to potential changes in the development process because its component-based structure offers flexibility and adaptability.  
  5. HELIX is an extremely scalable suite of products as relevant changes can be made in response to new requirements, functionality or hardware. This allows those planning a mission to support evolving space systems, as it is easy to extend or build new Helix applications. It is also exceptionally flexible to support extensive configuration or integration with third-party software.
  6. Component-based structure allows to develop the flight package rapidly, which means users can take advantage of early access to software for testing and integration or operations development.
  7. There is also less risk associated with this product because the components are authenticated with extensive flight-heritage and over 40 satellites in orbit.

HELIX manages to bridge the gap between current fragmented and flawed space software systems by creating the ultimate end-to-end single space system.

What’s included in the Helix suite?

There is a whole host of development kits, downstream platforms, and ready-made products that are offered to users under the umbrella of HELIX .

Development kits include a Flightkit, Groundkit, Appkit and Simkit, whereas ready-made products include Ops, Infinity, Test, Edge and Analytics. Downstream platforms include Infinity.


The Flightkit consists of components and services that can be used repeatedly for assembling complete flight software systems.


Groundkit is a library of reusable components and services for assembling complete ground software systems.


Appkit allows customers to develop mission add-ons as platform-agnostic apps, and these can be executed on the satellite, or by Ops or Infinity on the ground.


SimKit consists of reusable components and services for putting together complete operational and functional simulator systems.


In terms of ready products, Ops is a catalogue of applications for straightforward mission operations. They are scalable, from single satellites to multiple constellations are created to reduce the cost of operations.


Test is an all-encompassing, mission-focused solution that is operationally representative. It recognises and points out actionable intelligence, guarantees safety of system and operational procedures and enhances operational quality.


Edge is a platform-specific, pre-built flight software application which offers a basic payload interface and the inherent capabilities to run apps.


Analytics is an integrated dashboard which can be used to outline status and upcoming passes, as well as facilitating aggregation, filtering, and assessment of live and historical data relating to Ops, Test and Infinity.


As a downstream platform, infinity is a white-label software solution that can be configured to allow clients to present their users with an easy-to-use web-based solution. It can be used to gain entry to their space-related services regardless of application domain.

What are the benefits of having an integrated mission software?

Integrated mission software is advantageous as it helps to reduce the likelihood of mistakes during a mission, it requires a lot less engineering effort to develop, test, operate and deliver on mission goals, which untimately makes it significantly more efficient and cost-effective.

Ready to experience the benefits of Helix?

Currently, there is high demand to produce space software quickly and at low cost.

With ready-to-use components and functions, Helix from Bright Ascension is the only choice when it comes to planning a mission.

To discover how our modular space software technology and integrated solutions can help you simplify and streamline your space mission development and operation, contact us today.

Visiting SmallSat this year?

We are thrilled to be returning to the SmallSat Conference in Utah on August, 5-10.

This year we’ve got all the more reason to be excited as we will be revealing substantial detail on our highly anticipated product suite that we are developing.

Our lips are sealed for now, but make sure to join us on Booth 194 to find out more!

We are pleased to confirm that another three of our flight software deployments were launched onboard the SpaceX Transporter-8 mission on 12th June, 2023, taking our current total to 44 spacecraft in orbit. We reach this milestone as we are gearing up to launch our highly anticipated end-to-end suite of space software products later in the year.

The three launched spacecraft, powered by our software, were designed and built by AAC Clyde Space in Glasgow and are follow-on missions to previously deployed satellites. The EPIC-HYPER-2 spacecraft, the second of three, is expected to deliver hyperspectral imaging data exclusively to Wyvern Inc, a Canadian Earth observation company, under a Space Data as a Service (SDaaS) agreement. The second of the Kelpie satellites, also owned by AAC Clyde Space and operated under an SDaaS agreement, will deliver data to the U.S. company ORBCOMM Inc., a global provider of IoT solutions.

We are now drawing closer to the launch of our greatly anticipated end-to-end suite of software products and the spacecraft on the Transporter-8 mission are an important milestone in expanding the our flight heritage ahead of the launch. Building a trusted reputation, backed by an impressive list of launched missions and in-depth understanding of space software development challenges, is crucial to the success of the upcoming product release.

We are developing an innovative end-to-end suite of highly integrated space software products, that will cover the entire mission development and management process from design, engineering, testing and through to operations and data or service delivery. It aims to make commercial space software significantly more accessible and easier to use for a large number of companies – regardless of whether they operate in the upstream or downstream sectors of the market.

“The upcoming product launch is extremely important to us, but it is equally important to continue building our flight heritage and demonstrable understanding of space software development processes and challenges.”

Peter Mendham, CEO at Bright Ascension

“There are not many companies in the New Space sector that have such profound knowledge and competence in optimising onboard software to simplify, automate and integrate software services on the ground and across the entire value chain. We have demonstrated our success over the past 11 years in space and in the context of 44 missions, which gives us undeniable credibility and in-depth expertise to take our technology further and tackle the unresolved market needs in space software development, management and operation.”

The third spacecraft powered by our software onboard the SpaceX rocket is an undisclosed mission, which the client does not wish to publicise at this moment of time.


Visiting Paris Air Show this year?

Drop by the UK Stand FG 171 in Hall 2b to meet our team and learn more about our innovative space software technology.

We are counting days to this year’s edition of Paris Air Show in Le Bourget, which will be held on 19th – 25th June. Come and meet the team to get a hands-on interactive demo of our flight and ground software products and learn more about the new suite of end-to-end products we are launching this year.

Paris Air Show is the world’s largest event in the aviation and space industry. The show is held every two years but was cancelled in 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions. As a result, an even larger crowd is expected to descend on Paris this year!

We were very fortunate to secure an exhibition space on the UK stand, thanks Scottish Development International, and will be showcasing our products along with other 90 British companies.

Join us in Hall 2b, Stand FG 171 or arrange a meeting today: enquiries@brightascension.com