THE UK Space Agency has announced that a tech partnership is developing a new 'beam-hopping' satellite.

The technology allows satellites to switch broadband to different parts of the world, in order to manage surges in demand or respond to emergencies such as natural disasters.

The agency has given more than £32m to the industrial partners, led by global satellite communications network OneWeb - the money is for a demonstration satellite due to launch in 2022.

The satellite, nicknamed ‘Joey-Sat’ will be able to remotely direct beams to boost coverage in certain locations where the network is struggling to cope with demand.