Space Systems Engineering

Research Overview

The Space Systems Engineering research group has a wide range of interests and expertise in the development of novel technologies and methods for space system design and state-of-the-art research in orbital and hypersonic aerodynamics. The group is also actively engaged in the development of nanosatellite missions for a variety of innovative applications and is leading the Horizon 2020 DISCOVERER programme which aims to radically redesign Earth observation satellites for sustained operation at significantly lower orbital altitudes.

Research focus

  • Space systems engineering and design methods
  • Orbital aerodynamics
  • Spacecraft propulsion systems
  • Hypersonics and reentry


  • Very Low Earth Orbit Space Platforms
  • End-of-Life Deorbit Sails
  • CubeSats for Aerodynamic Surface
  • Characterisation and Thermospheric Wind Measurement
  • Electric Micro-propulsion
  • Nano-satellite constellation deployment


  • Mach 4-7 High SuperSonic Tunnel (HSST) facility with 220mm diameter test-section
  • Dual-antenna satellite ground station capable of automated satellite tracking
  • Propulsion lab with instrumented thrust rig including high-speed and thermal cameras
  • In-house multiphysics analysis codes for hypersonic viscous flows and very low Earth orbit aerodynamics

Post-graduate projects

We welcome enquiries from anyone interested in studying for a PhD within this theme.

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