UofG selected for new national SPRINT Associate Membership programme

The University of Glasgow has been selected as one of eight UK universities to join the national SPRINT business support programme’s new Associate Membership initiative.
SPRINT (SPace Research and Innovation Network for Technology) provides unprecedented access to university space expertise and facilities to help businesses through the commercial development of space data and technologies.
The new Associate Membership programme aims to broaden the provision of space-related knowledge exchange across the UK.
Joining the University of Glasgow will be City, University of London; Durham University; Kingston University; University of Bristol; University of Exeter; University of Leeds and University of Strathclyde.
All new Associate Members will join founding members of SPRINT – the University of Leicester, the University of Edinburgh, The Open University, University of Southampton and University of Surrey.
The University of Glasgow has a broad range of space-related research across the College of Science and Engineering, grouped under the banner of Space Glasgow. Specialised research groups are focused on areas including gravitational waves, spacecraft construction, plume-surface interactions, and ground exploration.
Areas of research expertise with potential space applications across the University include:

  • New forms of connectivity based on developments in photonics; quantum optics and imaging; RF, antenna, internet of things and 5G communication technologies; and LIDAR, single pixel imaging, laser-based communications, and communications modelling techniques.
  • Earth information across a range of disciplines, including machine learning and data science, cyber security and information retrieval, and the analysis of satellite mapping data to develop our understanding of our planet and others in the solar system.
  • In-space robotics including planetary rovers, drills for planetary exploration, solar sailing, rocket exhaustor planetary atmosphere simulations, and the development of high-quality components for optical assemblies.
  • Low-cost access to space via technologies to help reduce the power requirements for satellite launches, such as developing small-scale launch systems for individual CubeSats, and comprehensive launch system analysis
  • Space technologies including research on orbital dynamics, trajectory optimisation, attitude control and mission design.
  • Space weather using a network of sensors on small satellites throughout space to measure the variation of the flux of solar or galactic energy and matter entering and affecting the Earth system.

In 2019, the University opened an Integrated Space and Exploration Technology Laboratory, which offers researchers access to facilities including a vacuum chamber, a clean room for delicate engineering projects, 3D printing facilities and a device known as a Helmholtz cage, which simulates the Earth’s magnetic field in orbit, making it useful for developing devices for use in space.
Dr Kevin Worrall, lecturer in aerospace sciences at the University’s James Watt School of Engineering, said: “We’re proud to be joining SPRINT as part of the Associate Membership programme.
“Space-related research is a key focus at the University of Glasgow, and we have a comprehensive portfolio of cross-disciplinary projects. Our partnership with SPRINT will help us find new ways to collaborate so we can build on the strong research base we’ve built and advance our contributions to the UK’s expanding space sector.”
Ann Swift, National Innovation Manager for SPRINT added: “The success of SPRINT is built on collaborative partnerships between businesses and academic experts from the programme’s higher education institutions.
“We are delighted to announce that the University of Glasgow has been selected for the Associate Membership initiative. Their involvement will undoubtedly help to extend the research, data and technology capabilities that we can offer to businesses across the UK.”

First published: 18 October 2021