Smallspark Space Systems has become the only UK company to be the recipient of two rounds of funding from SPRINT; £100,000 to work with The University of Southampton on the development of its high performance AI tools & £50,000 to work with The University of Bath to investigate new additive manufacturing technologies for its propulsion systems.
Cardiff based Smallspark Space Systems has partnered with two of the UK’s leading universities to allow it to develop a number of cutting edge technologies to help take the nation into a leading position in space in the 2020s.
MooreAI, Smallsparks design tool will allow engineers to use artificial intelligence to assist in designing ultra-high-efficiency systems, minimising energy losses and improving performances in areas from control surfaces to gas turbines. Below can be found an early tech demo of one of MooreAI. Smallspark was awarded £100,000 from SPRINT to allow the project to commence, and the company is aiming to have its first commercial version out by the end of 2020.
Joseph Ward, CEO of Smallspark has this to say:
MooreAI is coming along incredibly well, we’re already gaining immense interest from a number of partners in the aerospace industry, and there is a lot more to come! We’re being very careful about what capabilties we show to the public currently- there are some incredible things we’re working on and when we’re ready we’ll be showing them. First to our partners, and then to the public.
In collaboration with The University of Bath, Smallspark is also working on exciting hardware for its next-generation engine, SIYBYL – currently being manufactured and due to be hot fired in Q3/Q4 2020. The Smallspark/Bath collaboration will bring new 3d printing technologies into its rocket engines in an approach to improve combustion chamber performance and reduce engine mass, an essential step in taking it towards flight readiness. Smallsparks engines are being specifically designed for the UK’s unique launch market, providing rapid availability to those who need it.
Ross Burgon, Head of the national SPRINT programme said:
We launched the SPRINT 2020 Open Competition to enable UK SMEs to access a wider university knowledge-base through SPRINT. It’s great to see Smallspark Space Systems eager to continue their growth journey, supported by university collaborations, with the University of Southampton and now, with the University of Bath. I look forward to following the company’s progress as they develop their innovative access to space solutions.
Smallspark will be launching its MooreAI design tools in Q4 2020, its Frost Micro suborbital launch vehicle in 2021/2022 and its Frost One orbital launch vehicle in 2025.