Satellites and the services they provide

Ever wondered how you build a satellite and then launch it into space? Or considered how satellites in space provide internet access on Earth?

The answers to these and more will be revealed at a special event featuring leading experts from the space and satellite industries and taking place at the University of Aberdeen on Thursday (March 17).

Satellites in Space: Launching Internet for Everyone is the name of the interactive, free event which is part of National Science and Engineering Week and is being held at King’s College Centre at 7pm.

Dr Taj Sturman from Astrium Ltd will talk about the technology and engineering challenges of designing, building and launching satellites; Paul Febvre, Inmarsat Ltd, will outline the wider applications of technologies onboard satellites;Graham Peters, Avanti Consulting, Avanti Communications Ltd, will highlight the role of satellites in Internet provision and Dr Nick Race, Lancaster University, will describe the challenges of delivering internet provision, particularly in rural communities.

The session will be chaired by Gorry Fairhurst, Professor in Communications Engineering at the University, who also leads communications coordination and delivery for dot.rural* which has organised the event.

Dr Claire Thorne is Training and Outreach officer for dot.rural – *a Research Councils UK Digital Economy research hub at the University, investigating how digital technology could transform rural communities, society and business.

She said: “dot.rural is delighted to be involved in three National Science and Engineering Week events and this event is also an official launch of two of our exciting new research projects – Satellite Internet Rural Access or SIRA and Digital Advanced Rural Testbed or DART which are developing new broadband satellite technology and evaluating the social and economic impacts for rural users.

“The SIRA project explores the social and economic impact of next generation satellite broadband for rural users. DART is one of five Network Service Demonstrator projects funded the UK Technology Strategy Board to pilot new services and business models for next generation internet services.

 “Satellites in Space should be of interest to all the family as there will be some cool space and satellite images and videos of launches as well as an interactive question and answer session.

“It may also be of particular interest to younger people considering careers in the space and satellite industries or more generally in engineering.

“It will also appeal to people living in remote and rural areas who suffering from slow or poor internet connection.”

Book your free place at Satellites in Space on

National Science and Engineering Weekin Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire is coordinated by the British Science Association Aberdeen Branch and supported by BP and a Scottish Government engagement grant awarded to the University of Aberdeen.