A team of engineering students from the University of Surrey has achieved a triple success in competitions to design, build and launch rockets and satellites. The Peryton Space team succeeded in three national competitions run by UK Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (UKSEDS).
‘I think we did so well because we’re dedicated, worked well as a team and ensured close collaboration between mechanical engineers and electronic engineers,’ said the leader of Peryton Space, Tommy Richards, an undergraduate studying an MEng in aerospace engineering. ‘And it certainly helped being able to use the fantastic Surrey Space Centre facilities, which space businesses come in to use too.’
First, they won the Mach-23 Rocketry 1.5 Category, which involved designing, building and launching a rocket that had to get as close as possible to a maximum height of 1.5 kilometres, as well as releasing a payload from the rocket.
Next, they won the Best Satellite Award in the Satellite Design Competition, which challenged the team to design a small CubeSat to measure the speed and size of small pieces of space debris. After being selected as among the top five, the team went to the Airbus Defence and Space HQ in Stevenage, where they completed several tests, including solving a mystery room and conducting vacuum chamber tests.
Most recently, the team achieved a special mention in the National Rocketry Championship. They achieved two successful launches with their rocket, Geiger Nova, which contained a 100-gram payload holding a Geiger counter to measure radioactive material in the air.
‘Peryton Space has truly excelled,’ said Surrey Space Centre’s Chris Bridges, who supported Peryton Space. ‘The skills they developed through the competitions are exactly the ones needed in the space industry, which is much stronger than many people realise in the UK; it generates more than £3billion of income in Surrey and Hampshire alone. The University of Surrey is well known for successfully preparing its students for employment in the sector.’
Ieuan Carney led the team’s winning Satellite Design Competition entry. He completed an MEng in Electronic Engineering with Space Systems this summer and is now doing a space-related PhD at Surrey. ‘I’ve always been fascinated by space, stars and the underlying science behind them,’ he said. ‘Joining Peryton Space at the start of my final year allowed me to use some of the technical and practical skills that I had learned about throughout my degree in a real-world setting, as well as building my leadership skills.’
On Saturday 7 October, space researchers from the University of Surrey will take over Guildford town centre. Together with its event partner the Institute of Physics, the university will offer activities for children and adults to try in the Tunsgate Centre and on the High Street. Find out more here.