Student project successfully launches satellite

Overseen by the European Space Agency and launched from the Swedish Space Centre as part of the joint German Aerospace Centre and Swedish National Space Board's REXUS/BEXUS programme, Warwick University successfully launched CubeSat, a small 10x10x10cm satellite.

Travelling to an altitude of 100km, the light-spectrometer free falling probe was released to descend back to Earth to monitor and record the light frequencies of elements to help create a density map of element types against differing altitude levels.

Dr William Crofts, Director of Warwick Satellite Programme at the University of Warwick, said: "The launch was almost on time, the nose-cone deployed exactly on time, the satellite ejected, the comms system powered up, and we received data signals at our ground station."

Crofts added: "This is the first time that data has been successfully transmitted and received from an ESA/Rexus launched unit on re-entry. We have a lot of data to be analysed, and we are hoping to estimate the speed of the satellite via the Doppler shift of the radio signals."

Both Harwin, that supplied high-reliability connectors in the satellite, and RS, that provided components for the communications systems, congratulated the project team. The success of WUSat-2 will help the team to meet their ultimate objective, a full orbital launch for WUSat-3 from the International Space Station.