What we do:
The, relatively new, space industry offers us all enormous opportunities to make scientific discoveries and improve our knowledge of the earth.
But to make those advances, we first have a few engineering problems to solve. Putting satellites into space economically and getting them to function efficiently. And that's where OSS comes in.
Oxford Space Systems is developing a new generation of deployable structures for the space industry.
A deployable is a piece of engineering that unfurls from the side of a satellite once it is in orbit – things such as solar panels, antennas and boom systems.
The OSS approach is to use a new generation design techniques with a primary focus of developing innovative composite materials for the space environment.
One such development is a flexible carbon fibre OSS calls AstroTube. This new, highly flexible and foldable material uses origami techniques to fold down into a very compact unit.
Why we do it:
OSS engineers thrive on the challenges the space sector poses.
They are constantly pushing boundaries to create “deployables” lighter, less complex, more stowage-efficient.
Innovation means taking a non-obvious and often brave leap forward. Brave in the fact it will entail a company and financial risk.
Most OSS products are custom-built one-offs - with the huge investment cost and effort of launching a satellite they must work first time in space.
But when one is deployed miles above the earth, and works first time there is a real sense of satisfaction.
The People who do it:
OSS is a small, international, team of exceptionally bright engineers.
Education backgrounds are diverse but most are trained to PhD or Masters level typically in Mechanical Engineering, Computational Mechanics, Electronics, Information Technology, Robotics, Aeronautical Engineering, Space Technology, Astronautics and Material Sciences.
The team thrives by taking on new challenges which mean being adaptable in ideas and working closely with each other to make new designs work. No day is the same.
Into the Future:
Within the next decade or so 100s of large satellites and about 2,000 small satellites will be launched into Earth's orbit.
Satellites will continue to play a vital role in communications particularly as the world's mobility patterns change from driver-operated to autonomous vehicles.
Future satellites will focus on ocean data and monitoring the Earth's atmosphere.
Over 300 small satellites are expected to be put into low orbit for communications
OSS aims to be the leading global supplier of deployable space antennas and structures in this new space age.