2020-2021 Satellite Design Competition: Nanosatellites
New Space is based on a philosophy of creating less expensive satellites in shorter periods of time, thanks to falling costs and technological developments of miniaturisation spacecraft equipment. Nanosatellites have demonstrated that cheaper, off-the-shelf technology still allows for large amounts of scientific return, while maintaining good quality results. Nanosatellites have been a key contributor to the commercialisation of space, where forecasts predict that by 2022, up to 75% of all nanosatellites are forecasted to be in orbit for commercial reasons.
The 2020-2021 Satellite Design Competition invited students to design, construct and operate a nanosatellite payload system with the objective to acquire as much information from an analogue lunar nanosatellite mission. Students created a payload concept, trading off performance parameters, and passed through a rigorous review process with panels of experts within the space industry. The competition aimed to reach out to students from multiple scientific fields, including, but not limited to, electrical engineers, mechanical engineers and computer science engineers.
The competition aimed to:
- Challenge students to perform a complex, systems engineering task of the development of a payload to a set of real space mission requirements
- Gain exposure and experience of the typical design processes and protocols in industry projects, including multiple project reviews
- Enable students to apply taught technical skills and learn new ones relevant to a job in the space industry in an applicable project environment
- Provide students with an opportunity to develop and practice other important and transferable skills, such as teamwork, leadership and project management
The CranSEDS team from Cranfield University took first place in this year’s competition, with second place going to the StrathAIS team from the University of Strathclyde, and third place going to the SatXTeam from the University of Leicester.