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Space for the Defence and
Security Environment

The role of space in modern warfare, sovereign security and humanitarian assistance/disaster relief is critical.

Whether providing accurate global position, ubiquitous and secure communications or delivering decision advantage using earth observation for imagery intelligence, nations across the globe recognise the strategic importance of space-related capability.

Space 10

We anticipate some key shifts in the Space sector in the next 5 years that create new opportunity and risk:

  • A far greater take-up of capability and services by a wider span of Government departments, and commercial and private entities;
  • An uptick in contest in space-related activity, from a security perspective but also commercially (on orbit, in cyber and electromagnetic environments, for capacity and services, and related to increased threat to space operations);
  • More blended enterprises that include space capability (and therefore more reliance on Space sector resilience);
  • Greater proliferation of sovereign capabilities, driven by a need to assure national interests, but ironically causing more congestion and risk to those sovereign capabilities;
  • Space-based capability becoming a key component of meeting climate and population related challenges.

We believe a lot of the potential benefit will come from setting up enterprise-level collaboration, and we offer a strong catalytical surface through our network, which includes close links to frameworks, partners, and unique facilities.

On our Space Team bench, we have a full spectrum of experts to help clients realise advantage and navigate challenges.

We can assist by:

  • Offering advice on enterprise capability requirements, planning, integration, and management
  • Helping vendors develop new opportunities and customer bases, identify compelling use cases, and refine offers
  • Designing and delivering concepts, doctrine, education, and training
  • Optimising ISR Operations and analysis of space-derived data
  • Considering security and resilience

Space for the Business, Defence and Security Environments

Download our brochure to discover more about our Space domain services.

UDSS provides expertise and support to military, government, industry, and academic organisations looking to develop their space strategy and operational capability.

The company's vast military and security experience has been enhanced by industrial space expertise, making it an ideal partner for those seeking to understand current capability and future technology development. This includes the role of military and commercial assets within a dual-use environment, the application of space technology within defence and security organisations and how companies can apply satellite technology to meet their business requirements.

UDSS_SpaceBrochure 220523

Meet Our Experts

Peter Hewitt
Peter L R Hewitt JP FCSI FRSA UDSS Director Space Lead
Peter is the Co-Founder with General Sir Richard Barrons of UDSS. He has been Chairman or Director of 13 UK Public Companies over the last 25 years and was a founding director of 8 of these.

He is currently Chairman of Vordere Ltd; Blackfinch Spring VCT PLC and Scampton Holdings Ltd; and a non-executive Director of Terra Mater Renewables Investments AB. In 2018 he stepped down after a 6 year term as an Alderman in the City of London where he sat on numerous committees including City’s Finance, Investment and Property Committees (£6bn under management) and was the inaugural Chairman of the City's £20m Social Investment Fund. Peter is an Honorary Group Captain in 601 (County of London ) Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force.

Peter is a past member of the Governments Taskforce on Retail Social Investment and is a former member of the Associate Parliamentary Group on Wholesale Financial Markets; a UKTI Catalyst member and advisor to the Financial Services Organisation of the UKTI, writing a number of papers on overseas investment opportunities.

He has been very involved in charitable and pro bono work having been on the Finance Committee of ABF the Soldiers Charity; an Appeal Patron of the Sea Change Sailing Trust; and the founder of Raleigh 400. He is a past Master of the Worshipful Company of Woolmen and a founding freeman and Past Master of the Company of Entrepreneurs.

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Air Commodore Steve Thornber
Air Commodore Steve Thornber CBE UDSS Defence Space Lead
Steve retired from Regular Service in 2021 but has a continuing role in the RAF Reserve as Deputy Director in UK Strategic Command’s Integrated Cyber Electro-Magnetic & Effects Directorate.

Air Commodore (Ret'd) Thornber has had tours in strategic imagery analysis, tactical reconnaissance, intelligence-collection management, instructing, on exchange with the US, contingency planning, and in an outer office. His operational experience spans tours in the Afghanistan, Balkans, Kuwait, Iraq, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey supporting air and land ops at tactical and joint operational level.

In 2003, he took command of the RAF’s Tactical Imagery Intelligence Wing (now 1 ISR Wing) before returning briefly to Shrivenham as ACSC Directing Staff in 2006. He was promoted to Gp Capt in 2007 as Director Joint Narcotics Analysis Centre and deployed to ISAF Joint Command as Deputy Director Intelligence (Operations) for a year in 2009. He took command of the Joint Air Reconnaissance Intelligence Centre in 2010, moving it to Wyton in 2012 to form the Defence Geospatial Intelligence Fusion Centre. In 2013, he was posted to Supreme Allied Command HQ as Head Knowledge Management, before being promoted to Air Cdre in 2015 and returning to UK as ACOS J2 at the UK’s Permanent Joint HQ. He became a Commander in the Order of the British Empire in 2014.

In 2016, he was posted to US Central Command as Deputy Director for Intelligence (Operations) as 1* lead for ISR, Targeting and Intelligence Plans and Ops, for which he earned the US’s Legion of Merit (Officer). He returned to the UK in 2018 to Defence Intelligence as Head of Assessment for Middle East and Africa in close support to Ministers and Service Chiefs, and then in 2019 became Head of Defence Intelligence Operations.

He retired from Regular Service in 2021 but has a continuing role in the RAF Reserve as Deputy Director in UK Strategic Command’s Integrated Cyber Electro-Magnetic & Effects Directorate. He is also an independent Defence and Security consultant in financial and technical sectors, is Chair of the RAF Intelligence Association, and President of the Medmenham Association.

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Michael Holden
Dr Michael Holden UDSS Space Team
Dr Holden’s expertise and insight into the space domain is extensive, having provided consulting services across several key UK aerospace projects.

This includes working on the Skynet 6 Service Delivery Wrap and Enduring Capability, organising top-level UK Space Symposiums and close collaboration with the Ministry of Defence.

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andy wells
Andy has enjoyed a 30 year career applying geography and geospatial technology to meet the opportunities and challenges of both industry and government – globally.

Describing himself as a geographer from birth, an initial love of the subject formed at school was continued at university via a degree in geography (joint honours with physics and electronics) and, thereafter, a PhD in remote sensing / terrain analysis.

Following a brief period in academic research, he has spent the last 30 years in business development, management and board positions across start-up’s, SME’s and multi-nationals - always focused on how geography (often in partnership with satellite technology and earth observation) can provide business intelligence to make better decisions. From supporting elections in Nigeria to deployable geo-intelligence for the MoD, agricultural production in the UK and marine environmental protection in Malaysia, he has enjoyed working in 20+ markets, across 15+ countries.

More recently, much of his work has focused on climate and nature positive activity (driven by global need, governmental policy and commercial interest). Using satellite technology integrated with IoT sensors, mapping, databases and modelling, he is currently focused across GHG emission monitoring, verification of carbon offsets, renewable energy planning, electric vehicle charging, net-zero project planning / implementation, asset risk analysis and land optimisation.

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Ed Stringer
Ed is a specialist in defence policy, the command and management of military operations, cross-government coordination and government-level crisis management.

Former Director General of Joint Force Development and the Defence Academy (DG JFD), the director of military operations (ACDS(Ops)), and the effective deputy chief of the RAF in MOD (ACAS). He has been on the boards of the RAF, CAA, and Defence Nuclear Enterprise. He is a trustee of the Imperial War Museum.

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