Nanosatellite to be launched into orbit

26th May 2015
Jordan Mulcare

Low Power Radio Solutions (LPRS) has announced that it is a product sponsor in support of the Warwickshire University Satellite (WUSat) Programme. The Warwickshire University Satellite Team, an undergraduate team now in its ninth year of operation, was in the beginning to complete six years of work as the electrical power subsystem team on ESA’s Moon Orbiting satellite (ESMO).

The WUSAT project, run by this team of Engineering Undergraduates, commenced in 2012 with the aim of producing a CubeSat (a nanosatellite which is typically in the form of a cube 0.1m wide, with a mass of less than 1.33kg) to launch into orbit. Their first project was WUSAT-1 where the team launched their first CubeSat to an altitude of 30km via a high-altitude weather balloon.

This project explored the harsh environment the CubeSat would be subjected to, an environment where the ambient temperature can fall as low as -50°C.

The team successfully achieved the second phase of this objective in April 2015 as part of the prestigious DLR/SNSB project REXUS (Rocket EXperiment for University Students) where WUSAT-2 was launched from Sweden’s Space Centre (Esrange) to an altitude of 87km.

The CubeSat was ejected from the rocket’s nosecone payload and returned to earth at speeds approaching Mach2. During descent, The CubeSat’s spectroscopy payload measured elements of the earth’s atmosphere and transmitted the data, via LPRS radio modules, to a ground station receiver. This was the first occasion that an ESA/Rexus launch device had successfully achieved stand-alone radio transmission on re-entry: a major achievement for the team and for the LPRS components to work under such extreme conditions.

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