Unmanned Systems Technology 023 I Milrem Multiscope I Wireless charging I Logistics insight I InterGeo, CUAV London & USA show reports I VideoRay Defender I OS Engines GR400U-FI I Ultrabeam Hydrographic Ultra-2 I IMUs

18 A s a 22-year-old physics, astronautics and space engineering graduate, Jenny Kingston joined the European Space Agency (ESA) in 1996, soon after the first Ariane 5 heavy-lift launch vehicle had exploded about 40 s after lift-off from Arianespace’s launch complex in Kourou, French Guiana. The agency’s misfortune provided an opportunity for Dr Kingston and her peer group of students and trainees – all members of an extra-curricular club at the ESA’s European Space Research and Technology Centre in the Netherlands – to design and build a satellite to ride the second Ariane 5 into orbit. The ESA’s regular clients were naturally reluctant to entrust their satellites to the new rocket until the bugs were ironed out, so the agency was planning to launch a pair of instrumented platforms, Maqsat H and Maqsat B, fitted with some basic sensors for demonstration purposes. The club members were already working on a satellite intended to fly on the Wake Shield Facility, an experimental science platform to be deployed by the Space Shuttle. Through this project, they were in touch with Dutch former astronaut Wubbo Ockels, who was closely involved with the ESA’s educational programmes. He got them the opportunity to fly something if they could put it together in time. The spacecraft they put together (in seven months), under the supervision of ESA programme manager Massimo Bandecchi, was known as TEAMSAT, an acronym derived from Technology, science and Education experiments Added to Maqsat. “We had help from many ESA staff and contractors, and were championed by Wubbo Ockels,” Dr Kingston recalls. “We managed to ‘acquire’ a number of bits of equipment, including some that Peter Donaldson talks to this senior academic about her research into autonomous space systems Lofting ambitions December/January 2019 | Unmanned Systems Technology The second launch of the European Space Agency’s heavy-lift vehicle, the Ariane 502, in October 1997 gave Dr Kingston her first opportunity to put her work into space (Courtesy of the ESA)