Project Details


DISCOVERER, a 5.7 M euro Horizon 2020 project, is developing technologies to enable commercially-viable sustained-operation of satellites in very low Earth orbits for communications and remote sensing applications. Operating closer to the surface of the Earth significantly reduces latency for communications applications and improves link budgets, whilst remote sensing also benefits from improved link budgets, the ability to have higher resolution or smaller instruments, all of which provide cost benefits. In addition, all applications benefit from increased launch mass to lower altitudes, whilst end-of-life removal is ensured due to the increased atmospheric drag. However, this drag must also be minimised and compensated for. DISCOVERER is developing several critical technologies to enable commercially-viable operations in at these lower altitudes including aerodynamic materials, aerodynamic attitude and orbit control methods, atmosphere breathing electric propulsion and an in-situ environment monitoring payload. More details can be found at
Short titleR:EGZ Roberts DISCOVERER
Effective start/end date1/01/1731/03/22

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Advanced materials
  • Aerospace Research Institute


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