The Better Satellite World Awards

The modern world literally runs on satellite – from data networks and TV to Internet, agriculture, energy and transport – though far too few people know it.  The commercial satellite industry is now attracting a new generation of entrepreneurs and investors dedicated to lowering launch costs, downsizing spacecraft, servicing them in orbit and delivering ubiquitous connectivity at competitive prices.  The Better Satellite World Awards honor established companies and disruptive innovators for continuing to make our world a more prosperous, healthier, better-educated, more sustainable and inclusive home for all humankind.  They are produced by SSPI and its UK and Isle of Man Chapters. 

Awards Criteria

The Better Satellite World Awards are presented to three organizations or individuals who have demonstrated the use of satellite to make a significant contribution to human welfare, good governance, safety, peace and security, improved education and other measures of global good.  To gain an understanding of the intent of the campaign and the criteria used to evaluate nominations, nominators should visit

Nominations are Open

Nominations are now open for the 2020 Better Satellite World Awards! Click here to download the nomination form and submit your choices. Nominations are due by September 14, 2020.

2019 Recipients

The fifth Better Satellite World Award Recipients were announced on October 23, 2019:

BIRDS Satellite Project
The Joint Global Multi-Nation Birds Satellite (BIRDS) Project was initiated in 2015 by the Kyushu Institute of Technology, Japan with the help of over ten partner institutions. It was envisioned by Dr.  Mengu Cho, Professor at Kyutech, who became Principal Investigator for the Project. The BIRDS Project trains graduate students from many developing countries in using innovative and cost-effective systems engineering during the course of a two-year satellite project. Read More...

Geeks Without Frontiers
Geeks Without Frontiers (Geeks) is a platform for global impact. A technology neutral nonprofit, Geeks’ mission is to bring the benefits of broadband connectivity – health, education, poverty reduction, gender equality and the other UN Sustainable Development Goals ( SDG’s) – to the estimated 3.5 billion people who remain unconnected. Sponsored by government and private-sector stakeholders, Geeks has developed a commercially sustainable, satellite-based connectivity model, designed to help address forced labor and human trafficking in the commercial fishing industry. Read More...

UK Space Agency – International Partnership Programme
The UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme (IPP) is a five-year, £30M/year ‘space for development’ programme established in 2016, and currently the largest undertaking of its kind in the world. It focuses on utilising the UK space sector’s research and innovation capabilities to deliver sustainable economic and societal benefits to emerging and developing economies around the world. IPP has so far grant-funded 33 projects in 44 countries across Africa, Asia-Pacific and South America, which are run by a large variety of UK and international organisations across industry, academia and non-profit entities. Read More...

2018 Recipients

The fourth Better Satellite World Award Recipients were announced on October 25, 2018:

Crisis Connectivity Charter
The Crisis Connectivity Charter is a mechanism created between the satellite industry and the wider humanitarian community, which is designed to make satellite-based communications more readily available to humanitarians and affected communities thanks to pre-defined and pre-set solutions allowing immediate response at times of disaster. Read More...

DARA (Development in Africa with Radio Astronomy)
The DARA project (Development in Africa with Radio Astronomy) is led by the University of Leeds School of Physics and Astronomy and supported by Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd. as an industry partner, as well as partners including the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory, the South African National Space Agency and the Universities of Hertfordshire, Manchester, Oxford, Bristol and Central Lancashire. The project aims to develop high tech skills through training in radio astronomy in a number of African countries: Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia. Read More...

Kacific Broadband Satellites International
Kacific is a next-generation broadband satellite operator delivering broadband to the Pacific and Southeast Asia, providing in many areas, affordable capacity for the first time.  The company has built a digital platform and management ecosystem to provide satellite internet even to the most dispersed rural populations, allowing local service providers, telecom infrastructure providers, tourism industry leaders, local governments, regional aid programs and local companies to improve their operations and offer more services. Read More...


At the 2018 Better Satellite World Awards Dinner, the UK Chapter of SSPI also presented its third annual Satellite Personality of the Year Award to Greg Wyler, Founder and Executive Chairman of OneWeb. Learn more about the Satellite Personality of the Year Award.

2017 Recipients

The third Better Satellite World Award Recipients were announced on November 21, 2017:

The DStv Eutelsat Star Awards
The DStv Eutelsat Star Awards were initiated in 2010 by Eutelsat in partnership with its long-term African video client MultiChoice. The program is a pan-African competition designed to expose young people throughout the continent to satellite technology and its potential for advancement in Africa. During the contest, students aged 14 to 19 are encouraged to analyze the practical applications of the scientific principles they learn in school with the intention of envisioning new ways satellite technology can serve their continent’s specific needs.  Read More...

MEOLUT Next is Thales Alenia Space’s newest contribution to satellite search and rescue efforts to save more lives. It is a 2-meter compact phased array antenna that may be deployed on a rooftop without the need for additional heavy infrastructure. The MEOLUT Next is part of the Cospas/Sarsat free global search and rescue service, transmitting detected distress signals immediately to those who can help. Read More...

Teledyne e2v
Teledyne e2v’s visual image sensors have played a key role in helping us learn more about the long-term health of our planet, embedded as part of many Earth observation satellites, including those of the Sentinel and Earth Explorer programs. The sensors deliver highly detailed images for resource, disaster and ocean monitoring, and land mapping. This data can then be used to inform government and private industry environmental policy to help protect Earth’s future. Read More...


At the 2017 Better Satellite World Awards Dinner, the UK Chapter of SSPI also presented its second annual Satellite Personality of the Year Award to Mrs. Magalie Vaissiere, ESA’s Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications. Learn more about the Satellite Personality of the Year Award.

2016 Recipients

The second Better Satellite World Award Recipients were announced on November 17, 2016:

DigitalGlobe is the world’s leading provider of high-resolution Earth imagery, data, and analysis. The company has also become a leader in providing humanitarian aid by supplying local, national, and international authorities and media with imagery and information products that support response and recovery activities in the aftermath of earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. Read More...

Disaster Tech Lab supported by Globalstar
Disaster Tech Lab (DTL) is a volunteer-based organization that provides internet access to reconnect disconnected communities in disaster zones across the globe. Established in 2010 after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, the organization has grown to over 200 volunteers in eleven countries. Since its founding, DTL has deployed teams to almost every major disaster area across the globe. Read More...

Global VSAT Forum
Since 1998, the Global VSAT Forum has provided a platform for satellite regulatory issues and professional training in VSAT technologies for organizations around the world. In addition to promoting market liberalization, licensing reform and spectrum access, GVF has established an online training and certification program for VSAT terminal installers and operators, which has enrolled more than 13,000 professionals. GVF has also worked for nearly 20 years to establish a more effective and sustainable paradigm for global disaster preparedness. Read More...

Syed Karim, the founder of Outernet, describes it as “a universal information service available to all of humanity.” Founded in 2014 as a private company headquartered in Chicago, Outernet now provides a global data delivery service over three Inmarsat I4 global beams. The company provides a content delivery service which focuses on making the most useful knowledge from the Internet available to those in areas with no connectivity.  Read More...

The UK Chapter of SSPI also presented its first ever Satellite Personality of the Year Award in 2016 to Catherine Mealing-Jones. Learn more about the Satellite Personality of the Year Award.

2015 Recipients

The first ever Better Satellite World Award Recipients were announced on November 17, 2015:
Afghanistan Village Networks, by Globecomm in partnership with Afghan Telecom
Since 2004, companies such as Globecomm have been providing satellite & terrestrial services to build the much-needed communications infrastructure of Afghanistan.  It is a quiet success in what is one of the most challenging environments in the world. Read More... by SES
The system is a global VSAT-based, multi-layer communications platform that immediately fills the gap at the onset of large-scale disasters. In addition to a global VSAT network, it provides the prepositioned equipment, always-available satellite capacity, rapid deployment from air rescue jets and a suite of applications to provide humanitarian responders with connectivity as well as communication and coordination facilities. Read More...
Established originally as an international treaty organization (nonprofit) with a singular mission to create a global network providing emergency communications for ships at sea, Inmarsat enabled significant growth in seaborne trade and facilitated operator and worker safety in the offshore energy industry. The organization has grown and its aeronautical data service is the world's only source of reliable information of its kind.  Read More...
Peter B. de Selding
Peter B. de Selding, the Paris bureau chief for SpaceNews, is the dean of space and satellite reporters.  The sheer volume of his output, his integrity, reputation and authority continues to influence leaders, decision-makers in government and finance, and the course and understanding of the industry in substantive ways. Read More...

About the Better Satellite World Campaign

Mobile phones have satellite inside. So do TV programs and computer networks, weather reports and military operations, public safety and transportation systems, retail payments and the world’s financial markets. Satellite professionals know the immense contributions our technology makes to human welfare, commerce, government, security and safety.

And it is time we told the world about it – because too many people think of satellite only when they see a news story about a launch failure or a natural disaster where satellite is the last resort for communications. That lack of awareness has tangible results: regulatory assault on our spectrum, lack of government funding for satellite solutions to the digital divide, the customers in new markets who will never give satellite a try.

SSPI has begun writing a new story. Working with partner associations and the leading companies in our business, we have a launched a campaign, How Satellites Make a Better World (, to change the global conversation about satellite. It won’t be easy or quick – but a successful campaign will help level the playing field between satellite and its competition and expand the opportunities available to our industry.


The Better Satellite World Awards are presented at an elegant dinner at One Whitehall Place in London, which is made possible by the underwriting support of our sponsors. Contact our Membership Director for a sponsorship prospectus.

Annual Awards Dinner

The Better Satellite World Awards Dinner takes place in London on 7 December 2020. More details.