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Warwick University successful launched its WUSAT-2 satellite earlier this month. The student-run project, which has now built and launched a small 10 x 10 x 10cm CubeSat satellite into space, relies on miniature connectors from Harwin to provide the vital interconnect used in experimental equipment carried by the satellite.

Overseen by the European Space Agency (ESA) and launched from the Swedish Space Centre as part of the joint German Aerospace Center (DLR) and Swedish National Space Board (SNSB) REXUS/BEXUS programme, the mission, according to Dr William Crofts, director of the Warwick Satellite Programme at Warwick University, went very smoothly: ‘The launch was almost on time, the nose-cone deployed exactly on time, the satellite ejected, the comms system powered up and we received data signals at our ground station.’

He added: ‘This is the first time that data has been successfully transmitted and received from an ESA/REXUS-launched unit on re-entry — an amazing achievement. We have a lot of data now to be analysed, and we are hoping to estimate the speed of the satellite via the Doppler shift of the radio signals.’

Crofts is hopeful of a full orbital launch for WUSAT-3 in the future. There is a real chance it may even be deployed from the International Space Station.

Key benefits of Harwin connector technology

  • Harwin’s Datamate, Gecko and M300 high-reliability connector systems are designed to withstand the severe shock and vibration and temperature conditions experienced by satellites on launch and during deployment.
  • They are also suitable for other demanding applications such as commercial and defence aerospace, oil and gas exploration, robotics, unmanned aerial vehicles, motor sport, military vehicles and other mission-critical projects.

Harwin

Harwin is a manufacturer of standard and custom interconnect components with an enviable reputation for high quality and exceptional customer service. Harwin has been successfully manufacturing electronic components for more than 50 years.

Harwin is a manufacturer of standard and custom interconnect components with an enviable reputation for high quality and exceptional customer service. Harwin has been successfully manufacturing electronic components for more than 50 years. Harwin’s sales and service extend worldwide via offices and manufacturing facilities in the UK, the US, Germany, Singapore and Taiwan and a worldwide distribution network. Products include high-reliability devices, RFI and PCB hardware and an extensive range of industry-standard interconnection solutions. The company operates a continuous product development programme and offers a custom connector design service.

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