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The Astrionics Research Group of the University of Malta, led by Dr Ing. Marc Anthony Azzopardi, and Antonio Varriale, Blu5 Group CTO and Director of Blu5 Labs Malta Ltd, presented the fruit of a collaboration agreement signed two years ago.
The work was outlined at the Global Space Technology Convention (GSTC) in Singapore last week.
Sponsored by industry heavyweights such as Airbus Defence & Space, Thales Alenia Space, ST Engineering, ArianeSpace, and other technology leaders including Blu5 Group, the GSTC is the premier space industry event in Asia, where the industry descends annually to showcase their latest products and vision for the entire space industry.
To an intrigued audience, the Maltese delegation described their electronic miniaturization efforts in the Small Satellite sector that has overtaken the space industry by storm over the past decade.
In 2017, small satellites under 10kgs accounted for over 65% of all new satellites put into earth orbit and the exponential trend is seeing no sign of abatement, particularly in the lower cost segment. Malta is currently at the forefront of the picosatellite sector, and is actively developing a swath of new technologies for satellites weighing just a couple of hundred grams.
The growing team is developing miniature on-board computers, electric propulsion, solar panels, electrical power systems, attitude determination and control, and both ends of a sophisticated communications system that leverages Blu5 Labs SEcube™ system-on-chip that combines three powerful, but complementary, computing technologies in a tiny 9x9 mm Ball-Grid-Array (BGA) chip.