Microwave Journal

LPRS sponsors Warwick University satellite project

May 29, 2015

Low Power Radio Solutions (LPRS) is a new product sponsor in support of the Warwickshire University Satellite (WUSat) Programme in the UK.

The Warwickshire University Satellite Team, now in their ninth year of operation was, in the beginning, an undergraduate team created by Dr William E Crofts 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 0.1 m wide, with a mass of less than 1.33 kg) to launch into orbit. Their first project was WUSAT-1 where the team launched their first CubeSat to an altitude of 30 km 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 Rocket Experiment for University Students (REXUS) project where WUSAT-2 was launched from Sweden’s Space Centre (Esrange) to an altitude of 87 km. 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.

The WUSAT’s CubeSat radio transmission system uses LPRS’ easyRadio Integrated Controller (eRIC) modules for communication and in component prototypes. Donated initially by RS Components, the eRIC module is the latest in LPRS’ worldwide sub-1 GHz easyRadio range, which provides secure data transmission, on-board user programmable application memory and fully programmable low power options.

LPRS is excited to have the opportunity to assist engineers of the future in discovering the potential and new limits of wireless technology, and are consistently amazed by the projects and innovations they see via universities and academy’s – there seems to be no bounds to the imaginative use of technology. LPRS is grateful to RS Components for introducing the WUSAT team to eRIC.