UK and Malta University Satellite Collaboration

Mock-up showing typical size of a PocketQube satellite

Mock-up showing typical size of a PocketQube satellite

The UK’s University of Birmingham, the University of Malta, the Malta Amateur Radio League (MARL) and the Italian Astrodynamics company, GAUSS Srl are collaborating on a project to send a PocketQube satellite with an amateur radio payload into space.

The Times of Malta newspaper reports:

The 5x5x5 cm device, referred to as a PocketQube pico-satellite, will be launched in 2018 into a sun-synchronous low earth orbit (LEO) and will be used to validate on-board equipment that will study the properties the Earth’s ionosphere.

This project will pave the way for a swarm of eight such satellites that will spread over a large geographical area and hence gain better coverage of changeable ionospheric conditions which affect radio communications.

The collaboration has brought together two Maltese post graduate engineering students – Darren Cachia in Malta and Jonathan Osairiis Camilleri (Ozzy), a Ph.D. student at the University of Birmingham – who have joined efforts and are developing the satellite platform and the scientific payload respectively.

The mission is expected to last about 18 months and will relay information back to Earth that will be accessible to anyone owning a simple ham radio set. Information will be made available in due course to allow schools and interested individuals to participate using inexpensive equipment.

Read the Time of Malta story at

Read the Independent newspaper story at

Martin Sweeting G3YJO gave a presentation to the University of Birmingham titled: Keeping Satellites in Space – Where Science and Engineering Meet

Malta Amateur Radio League (MARL)