Space expo to showcase innovation and cutting edge technology

14/06/22 | Park News, Sector/Industry News

An exciting event highlighting the success of space-related industries at Westcott is being held in July.

The Westcott Space Cluster Expo will showcase the achievements of companies operating on-site alongside their pioneering products and services and their bold vision for the future.

The theme this year is enabling space innovation which will offer attendees a fantastic opportunity to watch technology demonstrations and take in the fascinating tours of new specialist engineering facilities.

This will see propulsion company Protolaunch unveiling its upgrade of the historic E Site testing facilities to develop smaller rocket engines for a new generation of spacecraft. It will be the official launch the new In-Orbit Servicing and Manufacturing Facility (IOSM), the Healthy Living Lab and Agri Living Lab, along with a new Drone Test and Development Centre (DTDC).

The IOSM is a purpose-built facility to verify, validate and demonstrate future in-orbit operations including manufacturing, servicing, inspection and assembly. Key features include state of the art in-orbit simulation robots complete synthetic virtual environments using augmented and virtual reality with the ability to build digital twining capabilities, and metal additive systems for large scale spacecraft and propulsion manufacturing.

The Living Labs have been developed to help drive further evolution in healthcare and agricultural sectors, enabled by 5G connectivity over satellite and terrestrial comms, sensor technologies, drones and improvement of this eco-system. It will be a unique and neutral demonstration space for the Healthy Living Lab and a real-world testing environment for the Agri Living Lab to enable their development of new services and capabilities for their respective sectors.

The Drone Test and Development Centre (DTDC) will be built to expand drone capabilities at Westcott. This will include the development of drone flight operations and innovation within the facilities that include purpose-built hangars for testing drone equipment and an external runway for flight simulation.

At the expo, delegates can engage with specialists from the fields of rocket and space propulsion, advanced manufacturing for space, satellite connectivity for healthcare and agriculture, intelligent transport, drones and much more. Live Q&A sessions and polls will take place both in-person at Westcott Space Cluster and virtually in a hybrid format.

Nigel MacKenzie, Development Manager said: “A huge amount of development has been completed within the Westcott Space Cluster since the successful launch of the Expo last year which takes our complex ecosystem to the next level.  

“In January we the completed construction of Building 4000 which houses the In Orbit Servicing and Manufacturing facility and a Living Labs facility along with Rapid Response Medical Services, a leading ambulance service. We’ve collaborated with propulsion company Protolaunch on the upgrade of E Site, bringing the old testing facilities back to life for its development of smaller rocket engines for a new generation spacecraft.

“International aerospace and defence company Nammo has taken on a new building at Westcott further enhancing its UK propulsion facilities. We’ve also brought a former WW2 runway back into use with the launch of the new Drone Test and Development Centre which further highlights Westcott as a great place to be to innovate and a great place to work.”

Mike Curtis-Rouse, Head of Access to Space at Satellite Applications Catapult said: “Space is the new frontier for manufacturing and industrial processes, we’re right on the tipping point where innovations in propulsion, materials and robotics are going to lead to new products being made in space, to use in space and on Earth. Westcott is going to be the UK’s engine which drives this innovation: taking UK industry beyond Earth.”

Richard Harrington, CEO of Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “We are delighted to support, for the second year, the Westcott Space Cluster Expo, that will showcase pioneering and cutting-edge companies within and across the space, health, agriculture, and drone technology sectors, based within the Westcott Enterprise Zone.

“Westcott is one of the most exciting innovation assets here in Buckinghamshire. The Local Enterprise Partnership first recognised the importance and potential of the site when we developed our Strategic Economic Plan almost a decade ago and we made investment into the site a priority within our Local Industrial Strategy.  Over the past five years we have helped start and grow the huge potential of the space sector and believe that future collaborations across sectors will continue to build a secure platform for UK innovation and growth.”

Launched in 2018, the Space Cluster was the result of a £30m investment at Westcott by government and industry highlighting how Westcott has come full circle in its importance as a research facility and developer of rocket propulsion.

The event takes place on Thursday 28 July from 9am-6pm. For more information and to register, please visit: westcottspacecluster.org.uk/wscexpo/


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