Oxford Space Systems (OSS), based at the Harwell Space Cluster near Oxford, is the latest SME business to sign up to the national SPRINT programme.
The SPRINT (SPace Research and Innovation Network for Technology) programme provides unprecedented access to university space expertise and facilities to help businesses develop new commercial products for space and other key sectors.
With support from SPRINT and programme partner, the University of Surrey, OSS will commercialise a new generation of deployable antennas and structures for the global space industry that are lighter, more stowage efficient, and more cost effective than existing alternatives. This will help OSS to achieve its vision of ‘becoming the leading global supplier of innovative deployable space antennas and structures for the new space age’.
The SPRINT project will aim to submit OSS’ new designs to various mechanical and thermal tests that simulate the space environment and measure the resulting performance of new antenna materials.
The new, £5 million SPRINT programme is supported by Research England. It is being delivered by a consortium of five of the UK’s leading space universities, led by the University of Leicester and including the University of Edinburgh, Open University, University of Southampton and University of Surrey.
Michael Lawton, CEO of Oxford Space Systems commented, “As small but rapidly growing team, it’s not possible to have all the skills, experience and facilities needed to undertake our commercially focused work internally. The SPRINT programme provides essential support to enable us to engage with the world-class expertise of the University of Surrey and thus ensure our satellite antennas and structures can take a lead position on the global stage.”
Ian James, Innovation Advisor – SPRINT programme at the University of Surrey said: “We are delighted to be able to support OSS in the development of their latest satellite antennae designs. OSS will benefit from the University’s extensive expertise in materials and structures as well as gain access to test facilities within the Advanced Technology Institute and the Surrey Space Centre.”
Dr Ross Burgon, Head of the SPRINT Programme at the University of Leicester added: “OSS is an ambitious company and ideally-placed to gain huge benefits from the space expertise and capabilities of our SPRINT partner, the University of Surrey. As commercial product development for the space sector gets increasingly competitive, reducing development times and costs can be a real game-changer for suppliers, so the support of experts and funding from the SPRINT programme can help businesses like OSS to become pioneers.”