RS Components sponsors Warwick University nano-satellite team

RS Components is sponsoring the development of a nano-satellite, part of the students' space mission at Warwick University.

In a bilateral agency agreement between the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Swedish National Space Board (SNSB), the REXUS programme was realised, and the Warwick University Satellite Team (WUSAT) was selected to be given payload space on the rocket under this programme back in 2013. The team has been working on a CubeSat, codenamed WUAST 2, a cubic nano-satellite that is 0.1m wide with a mass of less than 1.33kg.

WUSAT 2 is due to launch on the REXUS rocket from Sweden on 17th March. Travelling to an altitude of 100km, a light-spectrometer free falling probe will be 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.

RS has donated equipment and products to help in the development of WUSAT 2, such as Easy radio modules, a key component in the satellite's radio transmission system, electronic components used for prototyping, testing and building the printed circuits, and communications systems. It has also donated heavy duty cases to ensure the safe transportation of WUSAT 2 to events.

The distributor has been working with WUSAT since 2007, supporting the long-term objectives of launching a satellite into a low Earth orbit to develop a specialist research capability in the field of satellite engineering, and promoting the topic of space engineering and potential careers in the space industry to students.

Dr William. E. Crofts, Director of Warwick Satellite Programme at Warwick University, said: "This is the ninth year of operation for our satellite team. We began with no knowledge of satellite technology and no laboratory to work in. However, through dogged persistence we have kept the team going through six years of designing the electrical power sub-system for ESA's moon orbiting satellite (ESMO), and now three years of designing/building our own satellites."

A total of 15 students of different engineering specialisms have worked on WUSAT 2 over the last two years, forming a multi-disciplinary team capable of tackling all of the engineering requirements of this level of satellite design and build. A typical WUSAT team would comprise a mix of mechanical, electronic, systems and manufacturing engineers.