Details about the ongoing work of Project SunSat.


Project Nova

Team members: 15

Current stage: prototyping

Scheduled lift off: June 2021

Project Nova

Nova is Project SunSat’s modular CubeSat being designed, built and flown this academic year. Nova is a 2U CubeSat expandable up to 3U if the experiment requires.

This summer, Nova will be loaded onto Project SunRide’s Vesna sounding rocket and launched at the Spaceport America Cup. Nova will be deployed at apogee (estimated at approximately 11km) and then will deploy a parachute and perform an experiment during its controlled descent.

Nova is designed with flexibility and modularity in mind which means that the same core systems can be used with a variety of experiments with little to no alteration, enabling fast mission turnarounds.

High altitude balloon

Team members: 8

Current stage: development

Scheduled lift off: ASAP

High altitude balloon

The ultimate goal of the SunSat high altitude balloon project is to develop and sustain a platform for space-orientated experiments to utilise the near space environment granted by high altitude ballooning.

During a typical balloon flight, the payload will be exposed to atmospheric pressures of less than a percent of those at sea level and temperatures of -50°C for mission times of over 90 minutes.

Not only does this project give the University of Sheffield a unique, in house, testing platform but Project SunSat wishes to open this platform to external stakeholders.

Project CanSat

Team members: 12

Current stage: research

Scheduled lift off: July 2021

A satellite above Earth

Two teams of six, consisting of first or second year engineering students, will enter the Mach 2021 CanSat competition. The competition will bring undergraduate students from multiple universities in the UK and beyond to a spaceport in the UK.

Student groups will design and build CanSats, a simulation of a real satellite integrated within the volume and shape of a soft drinks can, and then see them launched from Machrihanish airbase. These CanSats will be launched on small rockets to a couple of thousand feet this July.

The competition is a three day event with various rocket and satellite related workshops that students will be able to experience.

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