The BLUEsat Group is a collection of undergraduate students at UNSW Australia dedicated to creating easy-to-access space technology. The mission of the group is to take on practical space engineering projects and in doing so, give undergraduate engineering students hands-on experience on space technology. The group is currently undertaking three projects –
- Development of a satrospheric balloon vehicle for scientific experiments
- Design of a CubeSat for entry into the Canadian Satellite Design Challenge (CSDC)
- Construction of a Mars Rover for entry into the European Rover Challenge (ERC)
BLUEsat was started in 1997 as the Basic Low-Earth Orbit UNSW Experimental Satellite (BLUEsat) project, aimed at designing, building and launching the first undergraduate satellite in Australia. With the completion and demonstration of our first prototype in early 2013, the Group expanded its operations to include research into emerging CubeSat technologies, off-world rovers and near space experimental platforms.
BLUEsat is part of the Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research (ACSER) at UNSW Australia.
The BLUEsat Student Satellites division is dedicated to CubeSat and satellite hardware development and research. Following the completion of the group’s first satellite in July of 2013, the team has adapted the Cubesat platform, and begun research into Cubesat navigation and on-board computer systems. The team’s long-term goal is to fly undergraduate-built hardware in orbit as part of missions flown by UNSW and partners beyond.
Drawing on students with interests in satellite technology, control systems, and microelectronics, the Satellite team offers BLUEsat members a chance to work hands-on to design, build, and test the critical systems that allow satellites to survive, navigate, and operate in one of the harshest environments to be found in engineering.
The BLUEsat Off-World Robotics group provides an opportunity for students to develop robotic systems with a particular focus on extra-terrestrial exploration. In the long term the group aims to develop a versatile rover, capable of performing a variety of tasks in an environment similar to what would be experienced on the surface of the moon or Mars.
After a successful testing expedition to Arkaroola in July 2014, the group is transitioning to a second design phase to create an updated version of the rover (pictured) which can handle the challenges of the harsh conditions more effectively and efficiently. This rover will be entered into the European Rover Challenge in September 2015
BLUEsat's stratospheric testing initiative sends high-altitude sounding balloons up to 30,000m with a suite of tracking and telemetry sensors to facilitate the near-space testing of flight hardware, as well as a state-of-the-art separation mechanism to ensure flight control. The flights are also used for high altitude experiments for academic groups within UNSW. Flights are flown out of Muswellbrook, NSW.
BLUEsat is the proud work of several generations of UNSW undergraduates, including mechanical, electrical, and software engineers, science majors, and even one commerce student. To give due credit to all these talented people would be impossible so we would like to extend our collected gratitude to those who have made BLUEsat what it is today. Thank you all.
The current team consists of roughly twenty electrical, software and mechanical engineering students, from all of the different years, working to complete the final assembly of the satellite. Our executive branch includes:
IAN STUART BARTLETT
Stuart is a third year student at UNSW, studying a combined Bachelor of Engineering/Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Physics. He aspires to work in the commercial space industry, with a particular interest in nanosatellite technology in beyond low Earth orbit environments.
CHIEF TECHNICAL OFFICER - SATELLITES
Tom Dixon is a 4th Year Aerospace Engineering and Physics student at the University of New South Wales. His interests include aerospace structures, attitude determination and control and off-earth resources. Tom's work at BLUEsat involves design management, stress and thermal modelling, and amateur radio.
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER - SATELLITES
Alice is currently in second year, studying Electrical Engineering at UNSW. In addition, she is aiming to complete a minor in Computer Science. Alice has been involved the electrical aspect of the BLUEsat satellite project since late 2013. She hopes to work with other team members in BLUEsat in the future cubesat project.
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER - ROBOTICS
Yilser Kabaran is in his second year studying Mechatronics Engineering and Computer Science at UNSW Australia, aiming to focus in automated systems and robotics. Outside of study, he spends his time designing and building small student group projects. Yilser has been managing the UNSW BLUEsat Robotics team since the start of 2014 and hopes to bring his team into NASA's lunabotics competition.
Dr Elias Aboutanios is a Senior Lecturer with the The School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications. He received his BE in Electrical Engineering from UNSW in 1997 and his PhD from UTS in 2002. His PhD research was on the estimation of frequency for the frequency tracking for communications with a low earth orbit satellite. Dr Aboutanios has been instrumental in the establishment of BLUEsat's Stratsopheric Balloon launches and the completion of the original Microsatellite.
SPONSORS AND ASSOCIATES
BLUEsat UNSW offers exciting engineering and unique undergraduate opportunities, with a heavy emphasis on inter-society mentorship and individual learning. With satellite systems engineering, payload design and robotics projects available, the BLUEsat group is open to students from a wide variety of engineering backgrounds and all year groups.
You can join us via email or just coming to Room 419 of the Electrical Engineering Building at UNSW. We accept any undergraduate students from all schools or faculties.