The University of Portsmouth is one of three institutions across Europe chosen to take part in a challenge to design a space mission within five days.
The European Space Agency’s Concurrent Engineering Challenge in 2024 will see 20 to 30 Master’s and PhD students participate using the University’s space mission design facility, which was completed earlier this year.
Students are tasked with designing a space mission using a concurrent engineering approach, which unites a multidisciplinary team to work together in the same room, at the same time.
Dr Lucinda King, Space Projects Manager at the University’s Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, said: “It’s timely to announce this during World Space Week 2023, which is themed around Space and Entrepreneurship this year.
"This is a great opportunity to put our Space Mission Incubator to use for students, test its hybrid capabilities and get our passionate students involved with another space project. They will have the opportunity to work on a mission design with ESA experts and other students across Europe.”
Students from all subjects are welcome to apply to take part.
Dr King said: “I’m really keen for the challenge to be interdisciplinary with no previous space experience required. I expect most of the students will come from physics, engineering and computer science, but there could be someone from creative technologies who’s very good with 3D software for example. The main thing we’re looking for is enthusiasm!
The students will gain hands-on experience in various facets of space engineering, including structures, configuration, power, mechanisms, thermal, payload, attitude and orbit control, propulsion, trajectory analysis, communications, and data handling.
The challenge is not about students competing against each other, instead its focus is on collaboration and knowledge-sharing. Participants will engage in daily video conferences and live message forums to exchange progress updates, address specific challenges and receive feedback from peers.
"This is a great opportunity to put our Space Mission Incubator to use for students, test its hybrid capabilities and get our passionate students involved with another space project. They will have the opportunity to work on a mission design with ESA experts and other students across Europe."
- Dr Lucinda King, Space Projects Manager
Each group will present their final mission design to the other teams at the end of the week.
Dr King added: “The challenge will provide a unique opportunity for students to immerse themselves in the world of space engineering and gain invaluable experience in concurrent engineering principles.
“The University of Portsmouth is committed to fostering innovation and collaboration within our student community and advancing space exploration and technology. We look forward to seeing the innovative solutions our students will bring to the table.”