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University of South Wales

University of South Wales
University of South Wales

Students: 23,200
Staff: 2,700

Contact for R&D Engagement:
Owain Kerton

Research Strengths:

– Control and communication
– Astronaut health
– Satellite communications

Location: Glynneath Building, Treforest Campus, Pontypridd

Space Research Areas:
– Satellite communications
– Communication and control
– Propulsion
– Earth observation

Point of Contact:
Dr Leshan Uggalla

Coming soon

Circa 7 academic staff, 2 PhDs

Facilities & Equipment:
– 4x Nanocube (5cmx5cm) satellites
– Satellite ground station – with SDERs radios for tracking the satellites
– On-campus facility for space surveillance in Treforest, with another planned in Brecon
Beacons dark sky area
– Designing and installing a test bed for outdoor rocket propulsion
– Developing sensors for monitoring landslides
– Test bed for millimeter wave radio propagation at 65GHz – 132 GHz. DSTL

Collaboration History:
CubeSats developed by SAC Harwell, agreement with B2 space to test payloads at 25km. Working with MoD Defence Science and Technology Laboratory group on high frequency for future communications. Working with the geology department on developing sensors for landslide monitoring. Collaboration with the Chilbolton Observatory in Harwell which houses the UK’s largest radar system. Industry collaborations include STFC, Thales Alena Space, and One Web (partners on a project in rural healthcare). Part of SUN (Space University Network) and Space Academic Network (SPAN).

Summary of Unique Capabilities:
This group is proposed as a mechanism to bring the University’s space research activities into one place, having proven the capabilities exist through multidisciplinary research. The strengths are in communications (space to ground and space to space), space surveillance, and rocketry (with plans to conduct launches up to 9,000 ft within the next year).

Upper Glyntaff Campus, Pontypridd

Space Research Areas:
– Astronaut health

Point of Contact:
Professor Damian Bailey


11 members, plus visiting professors, fellows,
and research students

Facilities & Equipment:

Biochemical analysis
– EPR spectrometry
– Ozone-based chemiluminescence
– Blood rheometer
– Lactate, haematocrit, and haemoglobin analysis

Vascular function
– Transcranial Doppler Ultrasound and Duplex Ultrasound
– Endothelial function and arterial stiffness

– 12 and 3-lead electrocardiograms (ECG)
– Near-Infrared Spectroscopy
– Body composition and underwater weighing • Bioelectrical impedance analysis
– Anthropometry

Exercise physiology
– Systems for ‘on-line’ and ‘off-line’ metabolic analysis
– Anaerobic performance (Wingate systems)
– Jump mats and photoelectric cells
– Electromyography (EMG)
– Strength assessment – iso-kinetic bench and free weights
– Force platform
– Treadmills, cycle, arm and rowing ergometers

Collaboration History:
The laboratory’s director, Professor Damian Bailey, was appointed Chair of the ESA Life Sciences Working Group, with plans to investigate the impacts of microgravity on astronaut brain function. He is also a member of the agency’s Human spaceflight and Exploration Science Advisory Committee (HESAC) which is the senior body on all matters concerning scientific exploitation of human spaceflight, microgravity, and exploration.

Summary of Unique Capabilities:
The group is involved in research into the vascular adaptations and control of cerebral blood flow which occurs at high altitude. This specialist research leads the way in the field – with the group having published results in some of the highest impact-factor journals in molecular-vascular science.

SERC Hydrogen Research Centre

Part of the University’s Sustainable Environment Research Centre (SERC), the Hydrogen Centre focuses on the development of renewable hydrogen production and novel hydrogen energy storage. The centre enables further research and development of hydrogen vehicles, fuel cell applications and overall hydrogen energy systems. It is the focal point for a series of collaborative projects between the University of South Wales and other academic and industrial partners. The hydrogen ecosystem is likely to become significant for the space sector in the next few years as alternative methods for spaceflight propulsion and the fuelling ground-based support vehicles are explored.


Wireless and Optoelectronics Research and Innovation Centre (WORIC)

WORIC focuses on commercially relevant research, with over 50 patents developed
by the centre for photonics, optoelectronics, optomechanics, and telecommunication applications. The facility is split into an optical lab (with optical tables, interferometers, non-linear waveguides, 3D printers, and 4-wave mixing setup) and an external lab which enables vibration-free metrology (including vacuum deposition coating machine, UV and tuneable lasers, device for on-production line metrology, environmental chamber, and high-performance workstations for finite element complex modelling). The research areas most relevant to space are communications, signal modulation, and sensitivity/positioning systems for satellites.


Cyber Security Research Group

The Cyber Security Research Group is concerned with data security, software, connections, and forensic analysis. Particular focus is on the interplay between computer networks
and defence or the development of tools and techniques for information sharing. The University’s work on cyber innovation was recognised by being awarded Cyber University of the Year for the past four years in a row. Cybersecurity and defence will most likely come to occupy a significant portion of the space sector as the need for secure satellite communication develops.


Geographical Information Systems Research Group

Geographical Information Systems (GIS) research is concentrated on two subgroups – the use of drone modelling and environmental GIS, and accessibility modelling and investigating spatial inequalities. Aerial surveillance and modelling could be supplemented with Earth observation data provided by satellite technology


Optical and Metrology Lab, WORIC, Treforest Campus
Optical and Metrology Lab, WORIC, Treforest Campus
Neurovascular Research Lab, Glyntaff Campus
Neurovascular Research Lab, Glyntaff Campus
Image credit: University of South Wales

Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Paradigms

The Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Paradigms team utilises computational solutions to a range of complex problems from areas including biomedical computing, security, business management, engineering, and medicine. The use of virtual reality, system modelling, and other visualisation methods could be valuable in overcoming problems which develop in the space sector.


George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling (GEECS)

GEECS is the first UK academic research centre devoted to the study of storytelling and its applications. Expertise includes digital storytelling, applied and community arts, folkloric studies, performance, oral history and storytelling in health and social care. Storytelling has potential as a significant tool for public engagement and education within the space sector. Storytelling can enhance inclusion, allowing groups to be reached which would not normally have any stake in space activities.


Strengthening the space sector in Wales

Space Research Areas

Welsh universities cover virtually the full range of space research areas

Supporting Organisations

Nine organisations that support space-related research in Wales


The RAD capabilities and facilities relating to the space sector in Wales


Contact information for the Universities in Wales with Space sector capabilities