Welcome to the Bristol SEDS page! We are a society which unites Bristol students who are interested in Space. If you're an Engineer, Physicist, or in fact anyone who is interested in space and getting involved in some (incredibly rewarding) space related projects then Bristol SEDS is for you! From launching model rockets to producing high altitude balloons and tracking them as they float around the world, the projects we do are very exciting, interesting and challenging and we can offer you a very different experience compared to other societies!
Perhaps you want to be part of a community of like minded students who are interested in Aerospace and the UK Space Sector. We offer members a community where they can keep up to date about space events for students and also discuss space news and topics. We meet regularly, both for project work, and socially and we can even offer a discounted branch member price to attend the National Student Space Conference (NSSC) which happens every year with students around the country and leading figures, companies and organisation in the Space Sector.
We are the Bristol branch of UKSEDS (UK Students for the Exploration and Development of Space). UKSEDS is a national body for students interested in Space and we represent them in Bristol.
So, interested? Here are our current projects that you can get involved with!
The main project for Bristol SEDS in 2016/2017 acdemic year has been the UKSEDS Lunar Rover Competition. The mission was based on a real proposal by ESA to send a lander to a rim of Shackleton Crater. The objective for the competing teams was to design a 5 kg 30x30x30 cm rover that would be able to survive the vibrations of a rocket launch, drive over rough terrain and collect up to 500 g of dry ice.
The competition followed the procedures of a real space industry project. The teams were required to go through Preliminary Design Review (PDR) and Critical Design Review (CDR) stages, after which five best teams - Bristol SEDS among them - received the funding to build the rovers of their designs and come to RAL Space to prove their rovers’ ability to successfuly complete the mission.
Each rover was tasked to drive to the sample over the rocks and hills of the Mars Yard at RAL Space, collect the sample and return to the starting point. Points were awarded based on how close the rover got to the sample and how much sample was collected. Next, the each rover was put on a vibration table that simulated the structural loads it would experience during launch. After that the rover had to complete the first task again with double points awarded for each achievement.
At the end of the trials, Bristol SEDS was awarded a second place. You can watch a clip about the competition here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouL-cg1U0MI
The society is planning to participate in this year's competition as well and further refine the design of the rover.
For 2015/2016 Bristol SEDS produced two model rockets with scientific payloads, to compete with model rockets submitted by other UKSEDS branches as part of the National Rocketry Challenge NRC. Our scientific payloads enabled us to investigate the motion of the rockets using accelerometers. The launch took place on 5th of June at Fins Over Gwent Rocketry club in South Wales. You can launch a clip about the launch here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAhEq-clT7k
We aim to build another model rocket in 2017/2018 as well, incorporating latest technologies in its production like composites and 3D printing.
This is a fun and relatively short project to kick off the academic year. The aim for each team is to design a water rocket which will go higher and stay in air for longer than those of the competing teams with bonus points for design complexity and clever payloads. The competition is set to start in early October of 2017.
Year 2016 saw the University of Bristol's first CanSat competition organised by Bristol SEDS, University’s Aerospace Engineering Department and the Avionics Group. The primary objective for the five teams competing was to log the temperature and pressure data during the CanSat’s descent using the qbcan kits provided, and transmit it to a ground station over radio and present the altitude/time and temperature/altitude graphs. The teams were free to choose the secondary payload and there was a variety of ideas: from a camera to an onboard wind turbine. Despite a tight schedule - the teams had only one week to build their CanSats - everybody managed to achieve great results.
The second competition is set to take place in late October of 2017.
We have had much success in 2015/2016 with creating superpressure balloons that we have tracked some distance around the world! One of the balloons built that year – UBSEDS15 - has covered over 50,000 km in 47 days of flight and was tracked all around the world.
This achievement was later repeated by the UBSEDS18, which travelled for over 250,000 km.
Each of the balloons had a printed circuit board (PCB) with a GPS tracker shown below which emitted its position over radio. Solar panels were used and they worked very well in recharging flat batteries during daylight hours.
The latest balloon we have built – UBSEDS25 – tested a camera and hardware for image transmission (based on Raspberry Pi Zero) to enable us to take pictures of different places around the world from our future balloons!
For more detailed information on our projects be sure to check our website www.bristol-seds.co.uk
It's always important to have a good balance in life, which is why we are planning for 2017/2018 to mix in a good amount of socials for members from time to time. Expect society viewings of space themed films!
To join Bristol SEDS, log in and click ‘Join the Group’ button at the top of the page. The current price of membership for a year is £5.
To get fully involved:
Join our Facebook Group, the primary way of keeping involved and up to date: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1386263944996970/
Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/bristolseds
And most importantly check out our website with much more information on who we are and what we do: http://www.bristol-seds.co.uk
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