THE Scottish division of a global space firm is set to receive a multi-million pound investment to scale up its operations.

Smiths Interconnect's Dundee lab, which allows satellite and rocket components to be tested in a simulated version of deep space, will receive £3.8 million to upgrade the lab's capabilities.

Half of the funding will come from the UK Space Agency, while the other half will come from Smiths Interconnect.

The lab simulates the vacuum of space and the shifts in heat a spacecraft can endure while underway, allowing it to ensure that components do not fail after launch.

It can also simulate the radiation emitted from the sun, and replicate the shock and extreme forces associated with space launches.

Julian Fagge, president of Smiths Interconnect, said: “Our work in Dundee aims to create unrivalled design, prototyping and manufacturing capacity coupled with an open-innovation space qualification testing lab, serving a key market need and strengthening our national space capabilities further."

Since opening in 2019, the lab has played a part in 45 space missions, and tested more than 50 space components.

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The firm also has a microwave division in the city, previously an independent firm called TRAK Microwave, which produces components for Earth to satellite communications.

Dr Paul Bate, chief executive of the UK Space Agency, said: “It’s exciting to see the emergence and growth of vibrant space clusters across Scotland and the whole of the UK.

"Smiths Interconnect’s Space Qualification Laboratory in Dundee is a significant facility, capable of simulating the extreme conditions of space, cutting costs for manufacturers, and speeding up the time it takes to get new products and components to market, and into space."

Smiths Interconnect is one of several space firms in Dundee, with space software firm Bright Ascension and spacecraft computer company STAR-Dundee also based in the city.