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Warwick students to send satellite into space

WUSATStudents from the University of Warwick’s School of Engineering are planning to send a satellite into orbit as part of the award winning WUSAT (Warwick University Satellite) project.

The project, WUSAT-3, will see students liaising with the European Space Agency (ESA) and attend programme review stages held by ESA experts at various venues throughout Europe – including the eventual launch and subsequent ground-station monitoring of the satellite in orbit.

WUSAT-3 follows 2015’s successful WUSAT-2 project, which saw a student built satellite, CubeSat, launch from the Swedish Space Agency’s space centre in Esrange. Ejected from the Orion rocket at 90km altitude CubeSat re-entered the atmosphere recording and transmitting readings of the density of atmospheric elements.

Commenting on the work WUSAT-3 student members will undertake Dr Bill Crofts, WUSAT Project Director, said:

“Initial design, modelling, simulation, and prototype work by this year’s team will prepare our submission to the European Space Agency to gain a launch place on their scheme.

“ESA have indicated that, if successful in our bid, their preference would be to transfer a flight-ready WUSAT-3 to the USA where it would be launched to the International Space Station (ISS). From there, WUSAT-3 would be deployed into Low-Earth Orbit via the on-board American Nanoracks CubeSat deployment system. WUSAT-3 will be designed to interface with this deployment system”.

The technical support team from the School of Engineering behind the Warwick University Satellite (WUSAT), comprising Huw Edwards, Graham Thacker, Ben McQuillan and Ian Griffith, were joint winners for the 2015 Papin Prize for Contribution to Teaching award at at the Higher Education Technicians Summit for M5 Universities.

Reflecting on the Contribution to Teaching award Ian Griffith, Electronics Technician from Warwick’s School of Engineering, said:

“Working on the prestigious WUSAT project was fun and intense but also extremely satisfying, especially given the successful launch of the satellite in March. To be part of the technical team nominated for the Papin ‘Contribution to Teaching’ award was unexpected and an honour.”

Commenting on the contributions of the technicians to the success of the WUSAT project Dr Crofts, said:

“Throughout the project, Huw, Graham, Ben and Ian have shown exceptional dedication, endeavour, and patience, not to mention an enormous amount of skill and hard-work, to help the team members realise their designs, overcome their difficulties, and eventually produce a unique piece of quality engineering.

“The very tight deadlines, and occasionally significant design changes required to meet the specification for space flight readiness would have been extremely difficult for the team to meet without their generous nature and the WUSAT team members are unstinting in their praise.”

Warwick may have a handful of places available in clearing for Engineering in 2015. Warwick’s clearing hotline number will be 024 7653 3544 and it will open at 8am on Thursday 13th August.

12 August 2018


Tom Frew - International Press Officer

Email: a dot t dot frew at warwick dot ac dot uk

Tel: +44 (0)247 657 5910

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