Lockheed Martin UK Aims to Advance Space Ground Systems Tech

Lockheed Martin UK aims to advance space ground systems tech

April 12, 2024

Nik Smith, director of Lockheed Martin Space UK, is committed to advancing the UK’s space industry.

How? By reinforcing the importance of robust and innovative ground level communications to operate missions successfully in space. 

According to Smith, this concept has resonated with Lockheed Martin’s partners and customers across the globe.

He recently served as a keynote speaker at the February 2024 GovSatCom conference held in Luxembourg, where he spoke to an international audience of satellite communications experts.

“The future of satellite operation is virtual, agile and responsive,” Smith said during his presentation. “Space is only good if you’ve got a decent ground element to access those systems.”


Nik Smith


While Lockheed Martin is synonymous with building world-leading satellites, the company is sharing its vision for a state-of-the-art operations centre that allows customers to run multiple missions at the same time, controlling a range of satellite types.

This means that operations can happen anywhere, controlled virtually through a fully automated hardware and software system.

Smith also highlighted the importance of resilience and assured space systems, noting the current geopolitical situation. To achieve that assurance, it is imperative to think about the entire system: ground, link and space.  


It doesn’t matter what you put on a single spacecraft — we need to think about the resilience built into the whole architecture. It’s only by taking this approach we will we be able to mitigate these sophisticated threats.
Nik Smith
Director of Lockheed Martin Space UK

“We can’t forget about the ground segment when we consider the overall architecture,” he added. “Our integrated, multi-mission ground architecture is taking our heritage of designing multiple systems and turning them into accessible and open systems to create a scalable ground architecture.”

Lockheed Martin has recognised that “we can’t do all of this alone” so are “working with partners, SMEs and global companies” to achieve these aims.

To help its UK customers stay ahead of ready, Lockheed Martin is prioritizing ground operations tech development to build a solid foundation for the UK space industry.