CLYDE Space, which has designed and manufactured Scotland's first satellite, has unveiled record sales figures for the first half of its financial year.

Craig Clark, chief executive officer of Clyde Space, announced the leap in sales as he prepared to ship the UKube-1 nanosatellite to Moscow in coming days for a launch aboard a Russian Soyuz-2 rocket on February 10.

Mr Clark, who founded Glasgow-based Clyde Space in 2005 and is the company's largest shareholder, said the company would record sales of £1.65 million for the six months to the end of October. He noted this was more than double the level of nearly £600,000 in the six months to October 2012.

And he revealed that, following investment of about £500,000 in the development of UKube-1 with about half of the company having worked on this project full-time, Clyde Space had been profitable since the May 1 start of its current financial year.

He said: "This financial year, we have been profitable since the beginning. We expect to make a decent profit this year, and continue to do so now we can ­capitalise on all that hard work and investment."

Mr Clark highlighted ongoing recruitment by Clyde Space, which would take its workforce from 22 to about 27 by the year-end. He also cited a need for Clyde Space, which is located at West of Scotland Science Park, to move into larger premises

He said: "We are looking at new premises at the moment. We are looking to expand. We are actually outgrowing our current premises as we are recruiting more people and doing more work. We are bursting at the gunwales here."

Mr Clark quipped: "There is talk of removing the pool table - I cannot believe we would consider such a thing."

He said he would "love" to stay in the science park, and added that the company would be in "new premises of some sort" by the end of next year.

He noted that the forthcoming Clyde Space satellite mission had its origins in a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Strathclyde University. Colin McInnes, professor of engineering science at Strathclyde University, has worked with Clyde Space on the project.

UKube-1 is a collaboration between the UK Space Agency, industry and academia, and is envisaged as the pilot for a full national "CubeSat" programme.

CubeSats are tiny, fully functional satellites with a typical mass of four kilogrammes and dimensions of around 100 millimetres by 100mm by 340mm. They typically piggy-back on other launches, as is the case with the forthcoming Clyde Space mission.

Clyde Space noted that the rapidly increasing capabilities of CubeSat-related technologies, commercial availability of these and low relative costs opened up a large number of possibilities for carrying out detailed space science studies.

Payloads in UKube-1 include the first Global Positioning System device to measure plasmaspheric space weather, and a camera that will take images of the Earth and test the effect of radiation on space hardware using a new generation of imaging sensor. Also included will be an experiment to demonstrate the feasibility of using cosmic radiation to improve the security of communications satellites and to flight-test lower-cost electronic systems.

UKube-1 will also carry a payload comprising five experiments with which UK students and the public can interact.

There is also an "outreach" payload, which will allow schoolchildren to interact with the satellite.

The UKube-1 project has been funded jointly by Clyde Space - in the role of mission "prime" or lead - along with partners including the UK Space Agency, the Science and Technology Facilities Council, and the Technology Strategy Board. Economic development agency Scottish Enterprise has provided support for development by Clyde Space of sub-systems for the satellite, thus helping the company create products for sale.

Mr Clark highlighted a new $200,000 order (£124,000) for a CubeSat platform from the National University of Singapore.

He said Clyde Space was halfway through a project to produce an attitude, determination, and control system (ADCS) for use by the US Navy. Mr Clark added that the ADCS was the "most complicated system" on a satellite. It had sensors which determined where the satellite was pointing and actuators to make it point in a different direction.

Clyde Space, which has private equity investors Nevis Capital and Coralinn as minority shareholders, is also close to unveiling the third generation of its CubeSat Electrical Power System.

Its customer base also includes Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the US Air Force, NASA, Selex and Raytheon, and a list of other companies in the UK, US, Europe and the Far East.