LPRS Sponsor WUSAT Project

LPRS Sponsors Warwick University Satellite (WUSAT) Project

LPRS' eRIC modules excel under the extreme conditions of atmosphere re-entry in the CubeSat.

May 2015

LPRS Sponsor WUSAT Project

Low Power Radio Solutions (LPRS), Worldwide radio specialists supplying robust RF solutions where reliability is paramount, is pleased to announce itself as a new product sponsor in support of the Warwickshire University Satellite (WUSAT) programme.


The WUSAT Team

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: BA; MSc by Research; PhD (Warwick); MIET; MIEEE; Chartered Engineer, to complete six years of work as the electrical power subsystem team on ESA’s moon orbiting satellite (ESMO).


The CubeSat

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 0.1m wide, with a mass of less than 1.33kg) to launch into orbit. Their first project was WUSAT-1 where the team launched their first CubeSat to an altitude of 30km 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 project REXUS (Rocket Experiment for University Students) where WUSAT-2 was launched from Sweden’s Space Centre (Esrange) to an altitude of 87km.



RF eRIC Modules Withstand Harsh Atmosphere Re-entry

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. A major achievement for the team and for the LPRS components to work under such extreme conditions.

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

Dr Crofts commented in recent correspondence with LPRS,

“…the communications subsystem is always going to be a critical part of our satellites as we begin to work on our next mission – WUSAT-3.”

LPRS is very 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 are grateful to RS Components (uk.rs-online.com) for introducing the WUSAT team to eRIC.

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