UK Students CubeSat Project

Warwick University WUSAT-2 CubeSat

Warwick University WUSAT-2 CubeSat

The Coventry Telegraph newspaper reports on students at Warwick University who are building their own satellite WUSAT-2.

Lucy Lynch writes that eight engineering students are designing their own satellite which will be sent into space. In February or March 2015 they and the project director Dr Bill Crofts will don winter woollies and take their creation to a launch site in northern Sweden, near the town of Kiruna.

It is the second student satellite designed at the university. The first one, last year, was sent up from mid Wales in a high altitude weather balloon.

Once the current satellite has been launched the next step is to create a satellite capable of orbiting the Earth.

Dr Crofts said: “This is a stepping stone to a full orbital launch.”

Read the full article at

Twitter @WUSAT_Team

UK Students Fly CubeSat to 30km



Warwick WUSAT2 CubeSat on the BBC



Bill Crofts was interviewed on the BBC about the WUSAT2 CubeSat being built by engineering students at University of Warwick.

The CubeSat is planned to launch on a sub-orbital rocket from Norway in March/April 2015. The interview was broadcast on BBC Coventry and Warwickshire in the Vic Minett show on Thursday, January 30 and can now be heard on the web at

Fast forward to 11:15 into the show.

Further information on WUSAT2 is at

April 2013 – UK Students Fly CubeSat to 30km

WUSAT on Facebook

UK WUSAT2 CubeSat to launch 2015



A team of University of Warwick engineering students are designing and building a CubeSat WUSAT2 which will be launched 100 km into space in 2015.

The third and fourth-year engineering students beat off stiff competition from undergraduate, post-graduate and PhD teams from all over Europe to be selected among the nine student projects to be taken into space by a European Space Agency (ESA) rocket in 2015.

The team, who are aged between 20 and 22, are building their own satellite known as WUSAT2 (Warwick University Satellite Team ) complete with electronics, communications and sensor systems which they are also constructing themselves.

As well as gaining the chance to work on cutting-edge technology and collaborate between various engineering disciplines, the students believe the process of building and launching the satellite will give them practical skills valued by employers once they have completed their courses at Warwick.

The satellite, which measures just 10 x 10 x 20 cm, will be launched by the ESA rocket REXUS, due to take off from Esrange (Swedish National Space Centre) in spring 2015.

Engineering student and WUSAT team member Chris Hanbury-Williams, from Andover in Hampshire, said: “As far as we are aware we are the only solely undergraduate team to have been chosen to launch their own experiment into space with ESA.

“Now we’ve been selected, our work has only just started. We have to design and build the satellite and all its electronic and communication systems – no mean feat seeing as the final satellite will measure just a few centimetres.

“But we’re all hugely excited about the launch as it’s not every day you get to take part in a space mission.”

Director of WUSAT Dr Bill Crofts said: “Being selected for the ESA launch is a great achievement on behalf of all the students in the group.

“We want our engineering students to get hands-on experience of working on the kinds of projects they will be working on when they go out into the working world after graduation.

“Students from different engineering disciplines – such as manufacturing, electronics and mechanical engineering – all work together as they would in a real-life working environment.

“It’s this experience, as well as the engineering knowledge the students are gaining, that is very valuable to employers.”

Professor Nigel Stocks, Head of the School of Engineering, said: “This is a remarkable achievement that reflects the talent and commitment of the School’s undergraduate students and outstanding leadership by Dr Crofts.

“The School of Engineering’s integrated approach to education enables multidisciplinary teams such as WUSAT2 to develop exciting and highly ambitious projects that few UK University’s can match.”

The launch gives other departments within the university the opportunity to carry out experiments as the satellite descends from its launch altitude of 100km back down to Earth above the Arctic Circle.

For the 2015 launch, WUSAT will carry an experiment suggested by a team of physicists at Warwick who hunt for planets outside our solar system and analyse their atmospheres.

The satellite will be carrying a simple way of looking at gases such as oxygen and sodium by measuring the brightness of sunlight at some very specific colours and at different heights as the satellite falls back to Earth.

This kind of data is useful in studying planets that are outside our solar system (known as exoplanets) as it will help astronomers better understand the composition of their atmospheres and potentially decide whether they are possible candidates to house life.

The Warwick Satellite Team is a long-running project within Warwick’s School of Engineering which has seen successive teams working on the design and build of satellites over the last eight years.

The team spent six years designing the electrical power supply system for ESA’s ESMO satellite – designed to orbit the moon – and they are now in their second year of designing and building Warwick’s own WUSAT satellite.

Last year’s team of students succeeded in launching a similar satellite (WUSAT1) 30 km above the earth’s surface using a balloon launch.

The industry sponsors of the WUSAT project are Chemring Group, Lyncolec, Solidworks, Thales, National Instruments, ESATAN-TMS, Harwin and RS.

For further information please contact

Dr Bill Crofts on w.e.crofts at

WUSAT on Facebook

Warwick University Satellite Team Win Rocket Slot

REXUS-BEXUS Student Experiment Programme LogoThe Warwick University Satellite Team (WUSAT) have won a place on the sub-orbital Rocket Experiments for University Students REXUS 1718 campaign. The team say:

We are delighted to announce that we have been successful in our bid for a slot on the REXUS 1718 campaign!

We will now be looking to expand our team to tackle the increase in workload primarily looking at 3rd year engineering students.

Thank you everyone for your support and REXUS/BEXUS for the excellent advice, we will continue to update you on our progress towards the project’s most ambitious target yet!

WUSAT Warwick University Satellite Project



REXUS/BEXUS (Rocket/Balloon Experiments for University Students)

UK Students Fly CubeSat to 30km

Warwick University Satellite Team (WUSAT) Radio Interview

WUSAT Team with CubeSat ready to launch - Image credit Warwick University

WUSAT Team with CubeSat ready to launch – Image credit Warwick University

The team behind the WUSAT CubeSat project will be interviewed on Radio Warwick – RaW 1251AM – the show will also be available world-wide on the web.

The team have already flown a CubeSat to an altitude of 30 km and aim to send their WUSAT CubeSat into Low Earth Orbit.

The interview takes place on Wednesday, April 24 between 4 and 5 pm BST (1500-1600 GMT) in the RaW News Insight show. You can listen to it live at

Radio Warwick



WUSAT – UK Students Fly CubeSat to 30km

WUSAT featured in Hawin Connector post

UK Students Fly CubeSat to 30km

WUSAT Team with CubeSat ready to launch - Image credit Warwick University

WUSAT Team with CubeSat ready to launch – Image credit Warwick University

On Saturday, April 6 students from the University of Warwick sent a CubeSat 30km into the stratosphere.

Starting from near Welshpool, the CubeSat travelled high into the stratosphere, to over 30km above the Earth’s surface, where the balloon popped and a parachute safely carried the CubeSat back to Earth. The prototype was successfully recovered from near Banbury following the 2 hour flight. The CubeSat carried three cameras and a radio communications link to transmit data and images. The tranceiver used was a XBee-PRO 868 (315mW) operating in the licence exempt 868 MHz band (the UK amateur radio licence prohibits aeronautical operation).

Picture taken by WUSAT - Image credit Warwick University

Picture taken by WUSAT – Image credit Warwick University

The Engineer reports:

The successful test launch – and recovery – is said to pave the way towards a longer-term plan to put a small satellite, built almost entirely by undergraduate students in the School of Engineering, into low-earth orbit at around 2,000 km.

The eight students have been working for the past year on the Warwick University Satellite (WUSAT) Project, which has been building a 10cm CubeSat capable of carrying equipment including cameras and sensors.

Read the article in The Engineer at

WUSAT Warwick University Satellite Project



WUSAT Winter 2013 Newsletter

The Engineer