The University of the West of England (UWE) has wide-ranging space-related expertise. Key specialities include robotics, materials and manufacturing, space propulsion and access to space, mission design trajectory optimisation, space debris and renewable energy applications for space. Researchers are exploring in-space servicing, manufacture and assembly, including manufacturing techniques for producing novel alloys and robotics and cyber security for in-space autonomous manufacturing. In the field of propulsion, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling is being used for the design of launchers, nozzles and low-gravity liquid propellant management, as well as exploring air breathing propulsion systems.
Within the Engineering, Modelling and Simulation Group (EMSG) researchers are undertaking work in the increasingly important field of space debris, including detection, recognition, tracking and removal. Mission design activities are also being undertaken, using a range of techniques including model-based systems engineering (MBSE), for small and nano-satellite missions, as well as observation and remote sensing payloads.
The University is home to the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, a collaborative partnership between UWE and the University of Bristol and a globally renowned centre for multi-disciplinary robotics research. Space related robotics research includes:
· Self organising robots
· Robots for Hazardous Environments
· Robot vision
· Soft Robotics
· Verification and Validation for Safety in Robotics
The Big Data Enterprise and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (Big-DEAL) is a commercial innovation laboratory bringing together experts from academia and industry to develop cross-disciplinary innovative digital solutions to solve real-world problems. Research Areas include
· Artificial Intelligence: Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Knowledge-based Systems
· Big Data Analytics
· Immersive Technologies: Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
· Simulation, Mathematical Modelling and Optimisation
· Internet of Things (IoT)
· Building Information Modelling (BIM)
· Cyber-physical Security
· Quantum Algorithms
· Mobile Technologies
Further to this the Computer Science Research Centre has complementary strengths in Artificial Intelligence, Data Science and Cyber security, Expressive Computer Interactions and Smart Cities all relevant to existing and emerging upstream and downstream space technology areas.
Within the Centre for Print Research (CFPR) research with space related applications takes place around the broad field of digital manufacturing, with a particular expertise in the use of ceramic and glass. CFPR has a long track record of pioneering 3D printing with ceramic powder and is now also developing novel approaches to ceramic profile extrusion. The CFPR is also home to the Graphene Applications Laboratory CFPR researchers are exploring how graphene could be used to create composite materials that are more sustainable and which add functionality.