Background to the Project
The Satellite Applications Catapult, is an innovation and technology company fostering economic growth through the exploitation of space, with the aim of bringing the benefits of satellite technology to all businesses and organisations, regardless of their size.
The current size and weight of satellites means that they incur significant launch costs, but by reducing the size and weight there is scope for what is known as ‘constellation launches’ where up to a dozen satellites can be launched at one time. As a consequence, the launch costs can be reduced and then shared between different organisations making the benefits of this technology far more accessible to businesses and organisations, regardless of their size.
The Solution – PocketQube
Making satellite technology and the benefits it can deliver available to a wider audience is one of the goals of the Satellite Applications Catapult. Currently the smallest viable satellites are about the size of a loaf of bread but the Catapult has developed a prototype, the PocketQube that has the same functionality but is the size of a pack of butter and weighs only 180 grams.
What Was PCB Train’s Role in the Project
Newbury Electronics used its specialist production skills to supply the Catapult with 10 prototype circuit boards that measure 44mm x 44mm, slightly smaller than a credit card.
The boards were designed by two summer interns working at the Catapult and then passed to Newbury’s specialist team for production. Using their experience they were able to offer advice re the orientation of the boards and were able to accommodate the changing demands of the project as it evolved over a two-month period. Following an initial production of 10 boards, Newbury Electronics is producing a second batch for use by the Catapult in a series of public events being held later in the spring of 2015.
Feedback from the Client
“We couldn’t have achieved this without Newbury Electronics input and specialist engineering skills and it is great that there are UK companies with this world beating knowledge and expertise,” Chris Brunskill, Upstream Technologies Lead at the Catapult.”
For more information about the PocketQube, the Satellite Applications Catapult and its forthcoming programme of public events visit The Satellite Applications Catapult website.