Engineering students aiming to take space tech into ZERO-G

Five University of Brighton Engineering students are bidding to take their ground breaking space research project into zero-gravity next year.

The students who are all undertaking Master’s degrees in either Aeronautical or Mechanical Engineering, have reached the final stage in the European Space Agency’s ‘Fly Your Thesis’ selection process. The competition, which is open to students from across Europe, gives teams the chance to test their projects in a zero-gravity environment aboard an aircraft that simulates the weightlessness of outer space.

The team’s project is seeking to become the first in the world to test a novel passive heat management system in a nanosatellite. This system allows sensitive components to be cooled and temperatures to be managed without the need for a power supply or moving parts – a crucial factor in keeping down weight and size in nanosatellites that can weigh as little as 1kg.

Speaking about the competition, team member Georgie Crewdson, who is studying for a MEng Mechincal Engineering said: “It is a huge honour to be selected to present our project proposal to the European Space Agency at the final selection workshop in the Netherlands next month. We put a lot of work into our submission and now have a lot more to do in preparing our presentation and supporting technical paper.”

Congratulating the team on reaching the final selection panel, Dr Nicolas Miche, Course Leader for Aeronautical Engineering in the University’s School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics, said: “Getting to the shortlist stage is itself a fantastic achievement. The team are now hard at work getting their presentation into shape. The University of Brighton’s Advanced Engineering Centre has already taken an experiment up on zero gravity flights and we will be keeping our fingers crossed for our Masters’ students.”

The final selection phase takes place in Noordwijk (Netherlands) on the 11th and 12th October 2018. We’d like to wish the team – Liam Ardagh (Aeronautical Engineering MEng), Matteo Pontecorvo (Aeronautical Engineering MEng), Georgie Crewdson (Mechanical Engineering MEng), Alexander Evans (Mechanical Engineering MEng) and Thomas Critchley (Aeronautical Engineering MEng) – good luck for their presentation.

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