Oxford Space Systems receives Institute of Physics award for outstanding innovative work

Alex Brinkmeyer with IOP Award

7 November 2017 – The Institute of Physics (IOP) has recognised Oxford Space Systems as part of its 2017 Business Innovation Awards for the development of the AstroTube Space Boom.

Oxford Space Systems has been awarded a Commended Innovation from the IOP, with representatives from the company receiving their award at a Parliamentary reception in London on 18 October 2017.

The IOP’s Commended Innovations are awarded to businesses for outstanding innovative applications of physics, which either push technological boundaries or provide bespoke solutions to market challenges.

The award is in recognition of the development of the AstroTube Boom, which addresses the challenges of mass, cost and stowage efficiency of deployable satellite boom systems, using a combination of advanced materials and a new, proprietary physics-based software tool.

The advanced proprietary materials developed include carbon-fibre-based materials that are thin enough to be rolled and stowed in a compact form, yet become fully rigid when deployed into their final configuration. Using these advanced materials, together with origami, allows for class-leading stowage efficiency and complexity reduction, meaning that deployable structures can be stowed more efficiently than ever before. This translates into significant savings in terms of launch cost due to the reduced volume and mass of the satellite.

The award was presented to the company at a parliamentary reception at Westminster, attended by MPs, Lords, policy makers, business leaders and leading physicists in the field.

President of the IOP Professor Dame Julia Higgins, offered her congratulations to the winners, and commended them on their fantastic achievements. “This year’s winners serve as tremendous examples of the many different ways in which physics can improve, save or protect lives and how it forms an invaluable part of the UK economy.

“Your successes have been made possible by investing in physics and in physicists. To continue to build on those successes, it is essential that public and private sector investors continue to invest in physics education, research and innovation.

“I would like to offer my warmest congratulations to all of this year’s winners. Companies such as these are the backbone of a high-tech economy and society.”

Mike Lawton, CEO at Oxford Space Systems, said of receiving the award: “This represents a fantastic stamp of recognition from the IOP on the record-breaking achievements of the OSS team and what the UK space industry is capable of.”