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Satellites, The Tiny Spacecraft Revolution

10th October 2018 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm


Prof. Craig Underwood is Deputy Director of the Surrey Space Centre at the University of Surrey. He has over 30 years’ experience of small-satellite design, development and research.

Craig graduated from the University of York in 1982 with a BSc in Physics with Computer Science. After gaining a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from York in 1983, he began a teaching career at Scarborough Sixth-Form College where he developed satellite activities.

In January 1986, Craig joined the University of Surrey as a Research Fellow/Engineer developing space education programmes and working on the UoSAT series of spacecraft, where he was responsible for the generation and maintenance of software for the UoSAT Satellite Control Ground-Station, mission analysis, thermal design and radiation environment and effects analysis and mitigation. In 1993, Craig became a Lecturer in Spacecraft Engineering advancing to Senior Lecturer in 1999, Reader in April 2003, and full Professor in April 2012.

Craig heads the Sensors and Platform Systems Group within the Surrey Space Centre, which has the remit of developing the instruments, systems and data processing techniques needed to investigate the Earth and other planetary environments from space. A particular focus of the group is on the development of low-mass, low-volume and low-power “micro-instrumentation” suitable for use on micro/nano-satellite and UAV platforms, as well as the development of bus technologies for such platforms.

Craig is author or co-author of some 200 scientific papers and teaches undergraduate and postgraduate courses on Spacecraft Engineering, Launch Vehicles and Propulsion and Electric Machines and Power at the University of Surrey.

“The Tiny Spacecraft Revolution”

The University of Surrey and its spin-out, SSTL, are world leaders in the design, construction and operation of micro-satellites. Recent technological advances have made it possible to construct even smaller satellites, at an order of magnitude less cost. These “nano-satellites” open up many new possibilities for space exploration. In 2000, Surrey launched its first 6.5 kg nano-satellite: “SNAP-1”, which demonstrated remote inspection and autonomous orbital manoeuvring using advanced miniaturised technologies. Since then, the advent of the international “CubeSat” standard, has enabled whole new classes of space mission to be undertaken by Universities, commercial enterprises and Space Agencies, such as NASA. Soon, such spacecraft will be exploring the Moon and solar system, beyond. This talk will present the state of the art in highly miniaturised spacecraft and discuss the Surrey’s pioneering role in these developments, including its CubeSat missions: STRaND-1, AlSat-1N, InflateSail, RemoveDebris, AAReST and LUCE VMMO.


10th October 2018
8:00 pm - 10:00 pm


Bracknell Methodist Church
Agar Crescent
Bracknell, United Kingdom
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