Jimmy in Space

Jimmy in Space


· Royal Signals emblem, affectionately known as ‘Jimmy’ is being launched to the edge of space on the Corps’ 100th birthday on 28th June 2020.

· Students on a career development course were set the challenge of providing a picture of ‘Jimmy’ in space, actually a depiction of Mercury, messenger of the gods, that forms the Royal Signals badge.

· A test flight has already successfully reached 97000ft.

· The challenge illustrates the Royal Signals place as the British Army’s technological leaders, and the transformation that has taken place in its 100-year history.

To celebrate the centenary of the Royal Corps of Signals, students attending the Foreman of Signals Course were set a unique challenge: to take a photograph of the Corps emblem, affectionately known as ‘Jimmy’ from space.

The course prepares Royal Signals sergeants for a range of technical roles and is a key milestone in their career progression. The ‘Jimmy in Space’ challenge was a chance to display how the students, using their diverse engineering expertise, are able to understand a unique problem and provide a novel solution. Their answer was to modify a weather balloon, create a structure to hold the badge, and attach a Raspberry Pi computer programmed to provide guidance and photographic control.

A successful test flight was completed on 29th May 2020, when the balloon carrying the badge, a depiction of Mercury, winged messenger of the gods, to an altitude of 97 000 ft over Dorset, having been launched from the Royal Signals headquarters in Blandford Forum.

The main flight is planned to take place on 28th June 2020, exactly 100 years to the day that the Corps was formed by Royal Warrant, signed by Winston Churchill, then Secretary of State for Defence. Since then, the Royal Signals have fulfilled the communication and information systems role to the British Army, providing the vital link to every major operation worldwide. Now at the forefront of cyber warfare operations, the Corps is exceptionally proud of its technological and engineering capabilities.

Brigadier John Collyer, Commander 1st (UK) Signal Brigade, said: “The Jimmy in Space project is a typically impressive example of the excellence of our next generation of engineering leaders. The Foreman of Signals Course students are hand-picked for their proven ability to problem-solve, their enterprise and readiness to advance our competitive edge. These students will lead us as we modernise at pace and fight to win in the information arena. This project is a perfect expression of the students’ innovation and persistence – pushing all boundaries, challenging norms and solving the toughest of problems. Having been given the task, they completed their research, trials and tests and came up with an impressive solution. This is on top of an already packed schedule of training, all being delivered remotely due to the restrictions enforced by COVID-19. We’re incredibly proud of the teams and eagerly await the launch – suitably planned for the Corps’ birthday later this month. No pressure.”