Aerospace Engineering Podcast

By Rainer Groh – Aerospace Engineer and Researcher


Conversations with Aerospace Pioneers
United Kingdom
18 episodes
since Sep, 2017


On this episode of the Aerospace Engineering Podcast I am speaking to Andrew Dunn who is an engineer at the satellite company Alba Orbital in Glasgow, Scotland. Alba Orbital is in the business of building PocketQubes, which are miniaturised satellites mainly used for space science, Earth imaging and space exploration. As the name suggests, PocketQubes are pocket-sized, usually around 5 cm (2 in) cubed and weighing no more than 180 grams. What is more, PocketQubes are typically assembled entirely from commercial off-the-shelf components, driven mostly by the miniaturisation of smartphone electronics, and this makes PocketQubes an ideal low-cost testbed for university labs and smaller startup companies. Traditional satellites of the last decades often took so long to develop that by the time they were launched into space, the technology was already out of date. Furthermore, their large size increased launch costs and most components were one-off designs that made them too expensive but for the largest companies. Alba Orbital is currently developing the Unicorn-2 PocketQube platform, which is a modular design that can host different payloads, such as optical equipment, deployable antennas or a radio module, but is built on a foundation of integrated electronics that can serve any need. In this episode, Andrew and I talk about: the unique features of PocketQubes their components and how they are manufactured and Alba Orbital’s future plans for the Unicorn-2 platform If you enjoy the Aerospace Engineering Podcast you can support it by leaving a review on iTunes or by supporting it directly on Patreon, where patrons of the podcast receive exclusive behind-the-scenes content and special episodes. Thanks a lot for listening! This episode is brought to you by AnalySwift. Do you work in the design and analysis of aerospace structures and materials? If so, AnalySwift’s innovative engineering software SwiftComp may be the solution you’re seeking. Used either independently for virtual testing of aerospace composites or as a plugin to power conventional FEA codes, SwiftComp delivers the accuracy of 3D FEA in seconds instead of hours. A general-purpose multiscale modeling program, SwiftComp provides an efficient and accurate tool for modeling aerospace structures and materials featuring anisotropy and heterogeneity. Not only does SwiftComp quickly calculate the complete set of effective properties needed for use in macroscopic structural analysis, it also accurately predicts local stresses and strains in the microstructure for predicting strengths. Find out how others in composites are saving time while improving accuracy, designing earlier in the process, and getting to market more quickly. For a free trial, visit SwiftComp: Right results. Right away. This episode is also sponsored by, which is an online hub for you if you are interested in aerospace stress engineering. provides world-class engineering services and online courses on the stress analysis of aircraft structures, as well as a free ebook and blog. No matter if you’re a junior or senior structural analyst, provides you with the skills and know-how to become a champion in your workplace. Selected Links from the Episode Alba Orbital Webpage Unicorn-1 Unicorn-2 Alba Orbital Twitter Alba Orbital profile in Wired Alba Orbital and Vector partnership
Disclaimer: The podcast and artwork embedded on this page are from Rainer Groh – Aerospace Engineer and Researcher, which is the property of its owner and not affiliated with or endorsed by Listen Notes, Inc.


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