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UCD and Taoglas collaborate for launch of Ireland's first satellite, EIRSAT-1
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UCD and Taoglas collaborate for launch of Ireland's first satellite, EIRSAT-1
by Clarence Oxford
San Diego CA (SPX) Dec 05, 2023

In a significant step for Ireland's involvement in space exploration, Taoglas, a leader in antenna and IoT solutions, has played a crucial role in the launch of the country's first satellite, the Educational Irish Research Satellite 1 (EIRSAT-1). This historic event took place on December 1, with EIRSAT-1 ascending aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, marking Ireland's official entry into the realm of space research.

EIRSAT-1, a 2-unit CubeSat, has embarked on its mission to enter low Earth orbit. This compact satellite carries three innovative payloads aimed at conducting scientific experiments in space. These include a gamma-ray detector, a space materials characterization experiment, and a spacecraft control testbed.

The challenging environment of space presents unique demands, especially for communication and navigation components. The team at University College Dublin (UCD), leading this project with support from the European Space Agency's Education Programme, required a robust GNSS antenna solution for EIRSAT-1. The antenna needed to withstand the rigors of launch, such as shock, acoustic vibrations, and the rapid pressure changes, and continue to function reliably amidst extreme temperature fluctuations and solar radiation in orbit. Taoglas' lightweight and low-volume GPS/GALILEO patch antenna was selected for its high gain, wide bandwidth, and resilience in these harsh conditions.

Dermot O'Shea, CEO of Taoglas, expressed pride in contributing to this landmark project. "We are immensely proud that Ireland's first satellite, EIRSAT-1, will have an Irish satellite antenna and cable solution on board. We jumped at the chance to contribute our cutting-edge technology to the students and researchers in UCD behind this project," said O'Shea. He emphasized the importance of aerospace as a frontier for GNSS antenna applications and the unique challenges it poses.

The choice of Taoglas' technology for EIRSAT-1 was driven not only by performance but also by the need for precision and reliability in space. "The quality of what you put into space is paramount - everything must be 100% QC tested and the absolute best quality," explained Dr. Ronan Wall, EIRSAT-1 Project Manager. He highlighted the need for an antenna that could withstand space's extreme conditions while accurately locating the satellite's scientific measurements in orbit.

Taoglas' contribution extended beyond antennas to custom cabling solutions. The cables provided by Taoglas, produced in their Enniscorthy facility, are engineered to endure space's vacuum and harsh environments while fitting into the limited confines of the satellite. This attention to detail and quality assurance was crucial in ensuring the reliability and success of the EIRSAT-1 mission.

You can watch Taoglas' video about their involvement in the EIRSAT-1 mission here

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