20 February 2012
Clyde Space has been awarded funding for two advanced space technology development projects. The projects are joint developments; the first with the Advanced Space Concepts Laboratory at University of Strathclyde and the second with Mars Space Ltd in Southampton. These projects are part of the UK Space Agency's National Space Technology Programme (NSTP) where twenty-nine projects are receiving grant funding to develop commercial products and services using space technology or space-derived data and are part of the ‘Space for Growth' competition lasting between 6 and 9 months.
Our project with the Advanced Space Concepts Laboratory is titled; 'Feasibility of Novel Optimal Attitude Planning and Control algorithms for low cost spacecraft' and will involve optimisation of algorithms for control of CubeSat attitude, furthering the work already completed at Clyde Space on existing CubeSat ADCS product. the project will also see the development of a CubeSat ADCS test-bed to help to evaluate and calibrate novel attitude control concepts. We are very much looking forward to continuing to build on our excellent research and development relationship with the University of Strathclyde.
With Mars Space Ltd, we are continuing what has been a very fruitful development partnership in advanced, miniaturised electric propulsion systems for CubeSats and nanosatellites. This development project follows on from an ESA contract where mars Space and Clyde Space produced a prototype micro pulsed plasma thruster for CubeSats. The work proved that it is possible to double the orbital life of a CubeSat in a sub-International Space Station orbit. it would also be possible to alter the CubeSat orbit for the development of constellations. This technology will be essential to realise the potential of CubeSat constellations in future. This project will take the technology forward to a flight ready prototype. Clyde Space are responsible for the development and manufacture of the high voltage control electronics and Mars Space are the project lead and are responsible for the thruster head.