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Aug. 22, 2022

University of Glasgow students win national design competition

University of GlasgowA team of students from the University of Glasgow have won a national satellite design national competition and as a result the satellite they designed will be sent into space.

The LaunchUK Nanosat Design Competition is run by the UK Space Agency and Department for Transport, and the GU Orbit team was announced as the winner at an awards event at Farnborough International Airshow last month.

The University of Glasgow students beat 40 teams from across the UK, with the judges praising their entry for identifying a clear way to tackle climate change and test new technologies.

Their design, called OirthirSAT, is a nanosatellite which aims to monitor shorelines and coastal vegetation from orbit using images taken in the visible and near-infrared portions of the spectrum. This satellite, capable of monitoring climate change from space, will now be built and could be launched from a UK spaceport as early as next year.

Speaking about this fantastic achievement, one of the student leads of the OirthirSAT team, Joe Gibbs, explains, “The whole team are delighted to have been selected as winners of the competition and to move one step closer to launching the OirthirSAT platform. OirthirSAT will generate important data on the UK coastline that will be invaluable to shaping UK policy on climate change, and I look forward to being a part of the student team developing the platform.”

The Science Officer of the team, Freya Muir, adds, “Going through the competition and designing the mission helped show us that there is a real desire and need, both in industry and in research, for up-to-date information on how our coasts are changing with rising sea levels and increased storm activity.”

She continues, “We’re really excited to be one step (or giant leap!) closer to being the first UK group and first international nanosatellite to provide these regular satellite observations of the coast.”

Dr Kevin Worrall, of the James Watt School of Engineering, has mentored the team through the process of developing OirthirSAT. He says, “It is fantastic that the OirthirSAT team are winners. This is a great reward for the hard work and dedication the full team has put in. It has been a pleasure working with the team and I wish them luck for the next stage of the competition.”

The OirthirSAT team is made up of postgraduate and undergraduate students from across the James Watt School of Engineering, the School of Computing and the School of Geographical and Earth Sciences. They are:

  • Nektarios Chari, MEng Mechanical Engineering     
  • Ozgur Civan Dogan, Computing Science
  • Joe Gibbs, PhD, Aerospace Sciences
  • Diego Hidalgo De Las Heras, MEng Aeronautical Engineering
  • Natalia Ibagon, MSc Robotics and AI
  • Gregor MacAskill, MEng Aeronautical Engineering
  • Ignacio Serrano Martín-Sacristán, BEng Aerospace Engineering
  • Freya Muir, PhD in Geographical and Earth Science (Coastal Modelling)
  • Theodoros Serghiou, MEng Electronics and Electrical Engineering
  • Georgios Titas, MEng Electronics and Electrical Engineering

Find out more about postgraduate study at the University of Glasgow.

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Content added on 22nd August 2022. 

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