Cranfield students "over the moon" after space satellite design win

Engineer in the US said students were more "functional’ than a lot of teams in the industry

By Clare Turner
Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 12:41 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 12:42 pm

A team of space engineering students from Cranfield University have swept the board in a space satellite design competition.

The CranSEDS Vicinity team won all five categories to take home the overall competition prize at the annual UK Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (UKSEDS) Satellite Design Competition.

The Cranfield team won best CDR (Critical Design Review), best TRR (Test Readiness Review), best prototype, best presentation and best overall at the competition, which is sponsored by Airbus and SSPI.

The Vicinity team's entry

Maria Carrillo Barrenechea, who has just finished studying for the Cranfield MSc in Astronautics and Space Engineering, led the team to victory as its project manager.

She said: “We are over the moon to have won the competition, and are so grateful to the university for its support and for letting us access its facilities to help prepare our entry."

The UKSEDS Satellite Design Competition invites students to design, construct and operate a nanosatellite payload system with the objective of acquiring as much information as possible from an analogue lunar nanosatellite mission.

The Vicinity team were one of five finalists in the competition, during which they had to create a payload concept, trade off performance parameters, and pass a rigorous review led by a panel of space industry experts.

The team was mentored during the competition by Mark Muktoyuk, senior GNC systems engineer at Astroscale in the US.

He said: “The CranSEDS team have continually been organised, proactive and impressively ‘functional’ as a team – indeed, they have proven more ‘functional’ than a lot of teams I’ve seen in industry."