ESA’s Education Office has recently launched its second cycle of the ‘Fly Your Satellite!’ programme. The new cycle offers university teams engaged in the design of a CubeSat mission the opportunity to build, test, launch and operate their own satellite mission with support from ESA specialists.
After the deadline for applications in March 2017, a panel of ESA experts reviewed the proposals and shortlisted eight university student teams to visit ESA’s Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) as part of the Fly Your Satellite! programme’s Selection Workshop, taking place this week from the 1st to 5th of May.
Throughout this week, prospective teams have the exciting opportunity to meet other CubeSat teams from across Europe, to learn more about the industry standards and procedures for satellite mission development, and to tour the facilities at ESTEC before competing for a spot on the Fly Your Satellite! programme.
During the week, the university teams are presenting their CubeSat projects to the CubeSat Evaluation Panel. The final selection will be made based on these presentations as well as the teams’ original proposals, after which the successful teams will start their work as part of the Fly Your Satellite! programme and continue the development of their CubeSat project, supported by ESA experts.
The applications have seen many from universities new to the CubeSat field, with a range of mission concepts.
The teams invited to the Selection Workshop are:
- 3Cat4, University Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain, whose mission demonstrates capabilities of nanosatellites for Earth Observation using GNSS-R and L-band microwave radiometry as well as for Automatic Identification Services (AIS);
- CELESTA, University of Montpellier, France, who plan to monitor the LEO environment and perform in-orbit testing of a radiation monitor and a single event latch-up experiment;
- EIRSAT-1, University College Dublin, Ireland and Queens’ University Belfast, Northern Ireland, who aim to test a novel gamma-ray detector module and an experiment with thermal coatings for spacecraft;
- ENTRYSAT, ISAE-SUPAERO, France, whose CubeSat will perform in-situ measurements of the CubeSat environment during re-entry;
- ISTsat-1, Instituto Superior Técnico, Portugal, who will use their CubeSat to demonstrate an aircraft detection technology;
- LEDSAT, Sapienza – University of Rome, Italy, who plan to improve and test new techniques for tracking and measurements of LEO satellites using LEDs;
- OUFTI-2, Université de Liège, Belgium, whose mission will demonstrate the use of the “Digital Smart Technologies for Amateur Radio” payload;
- UoS3, University of Southampton, United Kingdom, whose CubeSat will obtain position and attitude data for the validation of atmospheric models and space object re-entry prediction software.
In the coming months, those teams selected for participation will prepare for the Critical Design Review, to demonstrate that the design is at a sufficient level of maturity to proceed to the final integration and testing of the spacecraft. In preparation of those tasks, experts from 17 different fields are offering lectures on topics ranging from engineering disciplines such as on-board data handling, power engineering, telecommunications, and more, to requirements management and space debris mitigation measures.
In the near future, this cycle of the FYS programme will be complemented by the Fly Your Satellite! Training courses which will offer the chance to teams with CubeSat projects at earlier stages to receive training in conceptual studies, preliminary design and detailed design of CubeSats.
More information about the Fly Your Satellite! programme can be found here