Space engineering company expands to NETPark

28 April 2022
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RHEA Group's CCO John Bone

Internationally renowned security and space engineering company RHEA Group has recently opened a new UK office at IASP member NETPark, the North East Technology Park.

RHEA Group is a security and space engineering company providing services to the most respected organisations in aerospace, security, and defence across the world. The group has grown rapidly in recent years and now operates in 11 countries across Europe with its headquarters in Belgium, and has doubled in size in the last four years, now employing 700 people.

RHEA selected NETPark largely due to the emerging space and satellite sector in the North East. The North East Satellite Applications Centre of Excellence, based at NETPark, has been instrumental in supporting the growth of the sector. Today the sector is worth £88 million to the UK economy and in 2021 saw the number of businesses working in space increase by 50%.

Chief Commercial Officer John Bone commented: “There were many reasons we moved to NETPark: a better quality of life, excellent transport links and the growth of the North East space sector. But the thing that attracted us to NETPark, in particular, is the appetite for collaborative working. We have benefitted hugely from the support of The North East Satellite Applications Centre of Excellence (NESACoE). We are already working on collaborative projects with businesses we have met through NESACoE and I think that will continue for many years to come.”

NETPark Manager Janet Todd added: “We are delighted that RHEA has chosen to open another UK office here at NETPark. RHEA is a growing company, making great strides in space and satellite technology across the world. It is an exciting time to be at NETPark. Work starts later this year to add 270,000 sq ft of space giving growing companies like RHEA Group options to grow on the park when they are ready to scale up operations.”

One of RHEA’s biggest clients is the European Space Agency (ESA), and they provide over 250 experts to assist ESA with knowledge in mission design, thermal engineering, Earth observation, Space science and with operations specialists to ensure a successful mission from start to finish. RHEA also works with the UK Space Agency providing similar services and systems.

A key product for the company is their COMET software package that helps customers design complex space missions much more efficiently, enabling engineers and other personnel who come together in one room to design complex space missions and helping ESA reduce the time and costs of developing space missions by 40%. Other services include software to make sense of big data sent by satellites: one application for this is being investigated with a large water company to use Earth observation data to track pollution levels in rivers.

Looking ahead, RHEA has ambitions to continue to grow its business. Plus, with security and defence giants Lockheed Martin, announcing they are “exploring options for a new facility in the North East” and the flourishing North East’s space and satellite sector, mean there is no reason why that growth won’t take place at NETPark.

Read more about the park at https://www.northeasttechnologypark.com/.

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