PocketQube star tracker (16/26)

Company: Satellite Applications Catapult

Location: Harwell Oxford, Missions Team

The Satellite Applications Catapult is an independent innovation and technology company, created to foster growth across the economy through the exploitation of space. We help organisations make use of and benefit from satellite technologies, and bring together multi-disciplinary teams to generate ideas and solutions in an open innovation environment.

Based in Harwell, near Didcot, the Catapult was established in May 2013 by Innovate UK as one of a network of centres to accelerate the take-up of emerging technologies and drive economic growth. We are a not-for-profit research organisation which is registered as a private company limited by guarantee and controlled by its Board.

Student Specification

The successful applicant will be given the opportunity to develop a hardware for a star tracker to be fitted on-board a PocketQube. A star tracker is used by satellites to identify its orientation compared to a given frame. To do that, the star tracker takes a picture of the stars and try to match the patterns of stars with an inventory. The work will not focus on the software (algorithm) but on the hardware, including the choice of a baffle, camera, optics, and processing board.

The successful applicant will be given the opportunity to develop their knowledge of a star tracker, the most precise sensor used by a satellite to determine its position. Skills to be developed will be in hardware design, testing and integration.

You must be eligible to work in the UK.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Knowledge of space mechanics, satellite systems, mission analysis desirable.

Preferred Additional Requirements:

Target courses: Electronics/optics/computer science

The Nitty Gritty

8 weeks fixed term contract to be agreed with successful candidate but nominally with a start date around 27 June which is also the SPIN student induction day at Harwell. Salary is £1,500 per calendar month. (guide only)

Closing Date for Applications: 15 April

Applications will be through the online form attaching a CV, before the closing date. They will be checked for eligibility and forwarded to the employer.

Apply for this SpIN opportunity

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