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Warwick students to power up European Space Agency moon orbiting satellite

Engineering students at the University of Warwick have begun to design and build power supply systems for a moon orbiting satellite planned for launch by the European Space Agency (ESA) in 2011.

The European Student Moon Orbiter Satellite (ESMO) project is part of ESA’s Student Space Exploration and Technology Initiative which runs a series of high-level, collaborative projects that culminate in a student-built satellite being launched via either a Soyuz or Ariane rocket.

The Warwick student team are designing and building the general power supply system that provides electrical power for the entire satellite. This includes Solar Panel technology to generate sufficient electrical energy whilst in flight, batteries to store power when the satellite is on the dark side of the moon (and to provide boost energy for firing electric propulsion thrusters), and the control and distribution of electrical supply to all the satellite’s devices, especially the propulsion thrusters.

The Warwick team will also work on a second ESMO project as a joint team with students in Southampton working on the satellite’s propulsion systems. There are 37 student teams working on parts of the project across Europe only 3 of which are in the UK.University of Warwick Researcher Dr Bill Crofts is providing academic guidance for the group said:

“This is literally an out of this world experience for our students. This is another example of the exciting opportunities open to engineering students. We now have engineering student teams building satellites, racing cars and robot footballers. These young people will build the technology and devices that will shape all our futures.”

The Warwick student teams includes: Sebastien Debandt (from Paris, France), Evguenni Penksik from Belarus and now Coventry, David de-Vilder (from London), Karan Goyal from New Delhi, India, Alexander Finch from Luxembourg City, Felix Fritz from Germany, Aiysha Jafri from Carmarthen, and Kennith Leong from London

The Warwick team has received generous support and assistance from: Thales Research & Technology in Reading, ABSL Power (the World’s leading supplier of Lithium-ion batteries for space application), Clyde Space (Glasgow based Solar Panel experts), Smiths Aerospace of Bishops Cleeve in Cheltenham
Full details on the ESMO mission can be found here:§ionid=19&id=38&Itemid=83

Peter Dunn | alfa
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