Space West April Newsletter

30 April 2024

News from the cluster

Welcome to the April edition of our Space West Newsletter. With each newsletter, we aim to share the most recent discoveries, advancements, and stories from the world of Space in the South West.

About Space West

Space West is a regional consortium of academic and industry partners designed to accelerate growth and innovation in the space sector within the region and nationally. The Space West programme is hosted by the National Composites Centre, in partnership with West of England Combined Authority, the Centre for Modelling and Simulation, the University of Bath, the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England.

Space Cluster Impact Survey

BryceTech, on behalf of the UK Space Agency, is collecting insights and evidence into the impact and benefits space clusters have on organisations and the wider space ecosystem. As part of this research, you are invited to participate in a short 15 minute survey to provide your feedback.

To help provide further insights into the benefits our cluster provides, if we could kindly ask that you complete the survey using the link below by 3rd May 2024.

Your feedback will be analysed by BryceTech, and only anonymised or aggregated outputs of this analysis will be shared with UKSA and the space cluster.


Exploring the Space Symposium - A success for South West Space Partnership

The South West Space Partnership is delivered in partnership with the West of England Combined Authority, Cornwall Space Cluster, Cornwall Council, Space West and the UK Space Agency.

The South West Space Partnership made its mark on the global stage at the recent Space Symposium in Colorado. Representing our region on an inward investment mission, we went to the US with high hopes and returned with plenty of leads and collaboration opportunities.

On the Tuesday evening the South West Space Partnership hosted a networking event for regional stakeholders and international businesses seeking to access European markets.  A targeted guest list facilitated better conversations and stronger connections.  Not only did the event help us to develop leads with international organisations, the UK contingent turned up in support of our message and activity.  A big take home for me from this was that the UK space sector is small, but very collaborative and supportive.  There is a collective desire to see UK business succeed and they will come together to support initiatives in which they can see value.  Thanks to all of you who joined us.

The experience and atmosphere of innovation and exploration was truly vibrant. One standout highlight was our visit to the Space ISAC, a fantastic example of in managing space threats collaboratively. The Space West region contains a huge amount of capability that could be drawn on to replicate this type of facility, to deliver the scale of monitoring required to protect UK assets.

A big thank you to the hard work of Jessica Ratty and Georgia Jaggs from Halo PR. Their dedication ensured the success of the South West Space Partnership event on Tuesday evening, fostering connections and sparking dialogue that will move us forward and take the South West Space Partnership to even greater heights.

The South West Aerospace Network (SWAN) is coming back to Bristol in May!

Come and join us for an informal evening of networking on 23rd May at the Stag and Hounds, and meet with space professionals and enthusiasts. This event will provide a relaxed and informal opportunity for both professional and personal networking and a chance to get to know your local space and aerospace community.

South West Aerospace Network (SWAN) is a network that welcomes both enthusiasts and professionals sharing a passion and curiosity for the space and aerospace sectors. With a vibrant and continually growing presence, multiple hubs, and a bustling activity in the aerospace community throughout the South West and the West of the UK, we host regular networking events in various cities across the region.

We're looking for sponsors and supporters for this and upcoming SWAN events. If you would like to engage with the local space and aerospace community, sponsoring a SWAN event provides a great avenue for connection. Your sponsorship can vary from providing a simple refreshment per attendee to offering a non-alcoholic package that includes food or snacks. To explore this opportunity further and arrange a meeting, please contact us at [email protected]. or DM us on our social media platforms! 


ESA Harmonisation Presentation by Dr Konstantina Kanari

National Composite Centre’s Dr Konstantina Kanari presented the UKs feedback on European Space Agency's (ESA) Composites Harmonisation Document this month. Dr Kanari was invited to present at ESTEC on the state of the art in composites in the UK as part of ESAs harmonisation process.  The harmonisation process takes place on a ten year cycle and is aimed at enhancing coordination in space R&D across Europe.  Dr Kanari highlighted the need for closer international cooperation across programmes and activities which was welcomed by ESA.

International Conference on Energy in Space

Dr Timothy Pelham from the University of Bristol presented on his research area ‘LyceanEM: GigaScale Electromagnetics for Beamforming and System Planning’ and he shared his insights into the event.

"The International Conference on Energy from Space was a great opportunity to hear from technology experts, industry, Space Agencies, and members of Parliament about the challenges and opportunities of Space-Based Solar Power. As we develop the scalable electromagnetics required to model full size space based solar power systems it was encouraging to hear the appetite for the climb as we get closer to Gigascale modelling. "

Space Census

Join Space West in supporting the launch of the 2024 Space Census. 

Organised by the Space Skills Alliance, the census is for people working in the space sector, engineers, marketers, academics and PhD students, recruiters, and more. Participation in the census will contribute to shaping a more inclusive and dynamic space sector. Let's work together to drive positive change.


UKSA Grants Consultation Request for Information - Closing date 13 May

The UK Space Agency plays a major role in delivering the government's National Space Strategy.

As a delivery-focused government agency, we want to ensure our future offering is best in class and better supports the needs of our unique sector. To meet these ambitions, we are consulting on a range of flexibilities we could consider deploying as part of our future grants offer. This is an early-stage consultation to gather feedback and this Request for Information exercise makes no commitment to pursuing any of these options.

If you believe this opportunity will be of interest to you or your organisation, please review the RFI document available here: and complete the questionnaire, returning by email by 00.00 on Monday 13th May to [email protected].

Spotlight on Riskaware 

Riskaware is a leading incident modelling solutions provider. We excel at delivering actionable insight on environmental, human and security challenges worldwide. With over 20 years’ experience working with global government departments, and science-led R&D partners – we provide organisations with the intelligence necessary to safeguard lives and protect environments globally.

One of the key focus areas for Riskaware is that of Space Domain Awareness and the safe use of the space environment, how threats to space assets can be analysed, and how these are translated into risks to the services they provide.

Our SpaceAware programme provides information and intelligence to those organisations that rely of services from space to fulfil their operational requirements. 

SpaceAware is a tool that can be used in several contexts. As an orbital analytics tool SpaceAware is used to assess threats to spacecraft operations and to plan appropriate mitigations. As a planning tool SpaceAware is used to determine the current threat level to terrestrial operations and to support decision makers in determining the correct course and action. As a communication tool SpaceAware is used to communicate risks and threats to government and industry stakeholders to enable the safe coordination of assets and responses.

SpaceAware Protect: is a comprehensive multi-tier decision support tool that ingests multiple data sources and calculates combined probability of impact to satellite systems and impact on spacecraft operations.

SpaceAware Detect: is a next generation multi- object tracking and classification system that can determine the nature of an object and its intent, determine changes in state, and monitor pattern of life behaviour. 

SpaceAware Resilience is a business planning tool that enables users to identify second and third order impacts from degraded space effects by providing risk and threat analysis to identify the key space assets and analyse the potential impact on the operations from service degradation.

Research in Focus 

Professor Cathryn Mitchell is an academic at the University of Bath and a Royal Society Industry Fellow with Spirent Communications on “the Future of Position, Navigation and Timing (PNT)”.  She is a member of Bath’s Space, Telecommunications and Atmospheres Research Group (STAR). 

STAR conducts theoretical, computational and experimental research which has a range of science applications from space weather to climate monitoring and study of the solar-terrestrial environment, including the Earth’s ionosphere, atmosphere and oceans.  STAR’s research also has important practical applications for communication, surveillance radars and navigation systems. The group was originally established in 1998 and has delivered research and technology products for many companies and sponsors in the UK and overseas including for research council and industry and collaborate closely with UK research laboratories, including projects for the defence and commercial sectors. 

Professor Mitchell’s interests and expertise include GNSS navigation and timing, tomography (data assimilation), HF communications and radio propagation. Thevulnerability of GNSS signals to ad-hoc and military jamming threatens the reliability of critical national infrastructure and PNT-reliant systems and it is critical to inform users and help them to test their systems and adopt alternative solutions.  Professor Mitchell’s research with Spirent Communications is focussed on complementary PNT technologies; LEO Navigation; Space Weather and the Future of Space Navigation.

Further information can be found at:

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