What do you have to consider when designing satellites? And what mathematics is involved?

This collection of resources aims to help students discover the answers to these questions and more. Each resource contains a range of student activities and teacher guidance, covering content most suitable for Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 students.


The Mathematics of Satellite Design - Packing Equipment

Satellites often carry communications equipment or experiments placed into modules. These are then placed in equipment cabinets. This challenge looks at the most efficient way of packing equipment modules into a cabinet. This is an open investigation that can be tackled in a variety of ways.


The Mathematics of Satellite Design - Communications Frame

Being able to develop cost-effective solutions is an important aspect of engineering and one that students investigate in this challenge. This challenge looks at the maximum volume of a satellite communications frame made from a fixed length of tubing. There is some guidance given to students through a series of...

The Mathematics of Satellite Design - Connecting Radiators

Connecting radiators

Radiators are used to keep the communications part of a satellite at an optimum temperature. This is necessary in order for the equipment to function correctly. Connecting the radiators together adds robustness to the system. In this challenge students investigate the...

The Mathematics of Satellite Design - Coolant tank, fuel tank and engine design

All the resources listed here are aimed at the age group 14 to 16, except for the "Space for Engine" resource. 

Coolant tank design

Making efficient use of physical space and of materials is a central theme of many engineering problems. In this challenge students...