Future opportunities

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ESA / Education / ESA Academy

Clean Space Training Course 2020

Status: Call for the applications to be launched.
Date: 11 – 14 February 2020 (to be confirmed)

Description: During this four-day course, university students will familiarise with approaches to consider the environmental impact of the entire life cycle of a space mission. The course focuses on technologies to design a satellite which will not generate more debris, that will remove the ones already in orbit and that will be environmentally friendly. The lectures will provide the necessary knowledge and tools to develop in teams a ‘clean’ satellite during the group project.

Preliminary Schedule: 

 Day 1   Clean Space Overview
 Space Debris Mitigation Requirements & Implication in the Spacecraft Design
 Life Cycle Assessment & EcoDesign
 Group Project Session 1
 Day 2  Reentry Strategies
 Design for Demise: why and how?
 Passivation: Propulsion & Power
 Group Project Session 2
 Day 3  On-Orbit Servicing
 Close Proximity Operations
 Active Debris Removal Overview
 Guidance, Navigation and Control for Capturing
 Robotics for Capturing
 Group Project Session 3
 Day 4  Visit of ESEC-Redu
 Space Debris Mitigation for CubeSats & Small Satellites
 Design for Removal
 Groups Final Presentation


Gravity-Related Experiments Training Week 2020

Status: only opened to students of ESA Academy Hands-on Space Projects. 
Date: 28 - 31 January 2020

Description: The aim of this Training Week is to better prepare selected university student teams for their participation in the ESA Academy’s Fly Your Thesis!, Drop Your Thesis! and Spin Your Thesis! Programmes, by providing them with the information and basic knowledge that is required to design, develop, test, and perform a gravity-related scientific experiment or technology demonstration. The idea is to optimise the transfer of know-how and expertise from the experts in the field to the students, before their experiment campaigns, through lectures, workshops and meetings with the experts. Hence, the objective is to increase the quality of collected data and the success rate of the students’ hands-on projects.

Preliminary Schedule: 

 Day 1   Introduction to ESA, ESA Education programme and opportunities
 Student teams presentations
 Overview of research in altered gravity and experiment demonstrations
 Social event 
 Day 2  System Engineering and Requirements Definition
 Documentation Process
 Former student projects
 Presentation of the facilities
 Meet your experts (session 1)
 Day 3  Meet your experts (session 2)
 Introduction to ELGRA and SELGRA
 Project and Risk Management
 Visit of ESEC-Redu 
 Day 4  Automation Workshop
 CAD Workshop
 Communication and outreach Workshop
 Inspirational lecture


Technology Transfer, Applications and Innovation Workshop 2020

Status:Call for the applications to be launched.
Date: 24- 27 March 2020 (to be confirmed)

Description: During this workshop, the university students are introduced to the different disciplines related to Technology Transfer, Applications and Innovation. Students learn about various domains such as patenting, technology transfer and applications, and entrepreneurship. These lectures are complemented by a case study based on an actual ESA patent. The students implement their newly gained knowledge to help ESA to find a suitable application, working on a simplified business plan proposal in Group Assignments. 

Preliminary Schedule: 

 Day 1   Introduction to TTA&I
 Introduction to Patenting
 Group Assignment 1: From Fiction to Reality
 Day 2   Technology Transfer Programmes
 Technology Applications
 Practical case examples
 ESEC-Redu Visit
 Group Assignment 2: From Patent to Applications
 Day 3   Entrepreneurship and Business Incubation
 New Ventures and Business Model Canvas
 Start-up, from idea to business
 Group Assignment 3: From Application to Business 
 Day 4   Group Assignment 4: Technology Transfer Workshop
 Final Presentations

Watch the 2018 workshop video


Earth Observation Satellite System Design Training Course 2020

Status: Call for the applications to be launched in January.
Date: 21 - 24 April 2020 

Description: : The aim of this training course is to provide university students with insights on the entire development of an Earth Observation satellite, from the definition of the initial requirements to the final in-orbit verifications, including risks assessment and ground operations, and with an emphasis on the sizing of the Earth Observation instruments. Taught by current and former ESA experts and external experts, this course is delivered through formal lectures, which are complemented by a group project, where the students design a simple Earth Observation satellite, and illustrated by interesting videos in the evenings.

Preliminary Schedule: 

 Day 1   Introduction to Earth Observation (EO) and EO Satellite Systems
 From Observation Requirements to System Requirements
 Orbit Selection and Launcher Alternatives
 Group Project
 Day 2   Introduction to Remote Sensing Techniques
 Electromagnetic Wave Theory and Antennas
 Radar Remote Sensing
 Microwave Radiometry
 Group Project
 Visit of ESEC-Redu
 Day 3   Basics of Space Optics
 Passive Optical Payloads
 Space Lidars
 Risk Management and Technology Development
 Group Project
 Day 4   Satellite System Design
 Payload Accommodations
 On-ground and In-orbit Verifications
 Launch Campaign
 Group Project
Day 5  Developments of Applications based on EO Data
 Group Project Presentations


Earth Observation Remote Sensing Workshop 2020

Status: Call for the applications to be launched in February.
Date: 11- 15 May 2020

Description: The aim of this workshop is to introduce university students to the various types of Remote Sensing (RS) images and how they can be used and analysed with the help of the tools used in the space industry. The students learn about remote sensing data analysis, radar, optical and thermal infrared image generation and processing. Technical lectures are complemented by exercises and practical sessions, using the example of PROBA-V and other space mission to show how raw data acquired by Earth Observation (EO) satellites are collected, calibrated and distributed to end-users. 


 Day 1   EO Mission Introduction
  Remote Sensing Basics
  Exercise: Image opening, visualisation and analysis
 Day 2   Radar Remote Sensing Basics
  Radar Remote Sensing Applications
  Exercise: Radar RS
 Day 3   Optical Remote Sensing Basics
  Optical Remote Sensing Applications
  Exercise Optical RS
 Day 4   Thermal Infrared Remote Sensing
  Data processing workflow
  ESEC-Redu Visit
  RS Data Fusion
 Day 5   RS Data Fusion Exercise
  RS Data Fusion Applications 


Concurrent Engineering Workshop – May 2020
Status: Call for the applications to be launched in February.
Date: 26 – 29 May 2020 
Description: Concurrent engineering is a method of designing and developing products in the space sector where all subsystems are designed simultaneously making the process more efficient. During this four-day workshop, university students will learn about concurrent engineering and its benefits, taking advantage of the use of the ESA Academy’s Concurrent Design Facility (CDF). Guided by ESA experts, the students will first learn to use the Open Concurrent Design Tool (OCDT) and identify design drivers. They will then be divided into groups of two or three to cover the several subsystems and, working together, they will create a subsystem concept in order to later achieve an already identified mission concept using concurrent engineering.  

Preliminary schedule:

Day 1  Introduction to Concurrent Engineering 
 Get familiar with Workbooks and OCDT 
 Introduction to the Mission
 Study Background and Mission Requirements
 System Requirements and System Modes Definition
 Visit of ESEC-Redu 
Day 2  Inputs and Outputs Definition
 First iteration of all disciplines
 First Budgets
 Presentations of the first results 
Day 3  Second Iteration
 Finalisation of the Concept
 Product tree
 Presentation of the second iteration 
Day 4  Final Design Consolidation and any Open Issues 
 Preparation of the Final Presentation 
 Final Presentation


Space Debris Training Course 2020
Status:Call for the applications to be launched in March
Date: 8 – 12 June 2020 
Description: During this five-day training course, the university students are provided with an introduction to the concept of space debris, why it is necessary to address this issue and how the mitigation policies set by ESA apply to missions. The students do not only learn about the space debris environment and mitigation technologies, but also about how it affects spacecraft’s operations and the issues and solutions foreseen in the future. Taught by ESA experts, mainly from the ESA Space Debris Office, as well as external experts from the sector, the course is delivered through formal technical lectures, which are complemented with hands-on exercises based on a real-life case study. 

Preliminary schedule: 

Day 1: The Environment  Introduction
 Forces acting on a space object
 Space Debris Environment
 Legal Environment
Day 2: Mitigation  Mitigations Principles and Guidelines
 The Future of the Environment
 Mitigation Context and Technology
Day 3: Operations  Space Surveillance 
 Collision Avoidance 
 Operations in the Space Debris Environment 
 Protection and Shielding
Day 4: Re-entry  Aerothermodynamics
 Atmospheric Break-up
 On-ground Risks
 Visit of ESEC-Redu
Day 5: The Future  Design for Demise
 Active Removal


ESA/ELGRA Gravity-Related Research Summer School 2020

Status: Call for the applications to be launched in March.
Date: 22 – 26 June 2020  

Description: During this four and a half day Summer School, university students are introduced to gravity-related research by ELGRA and ESA experts from across Europe. Throughout stimulating lectures about the current research under microgravity and hypergravity conditions in life and physical sciences, students appreciate the benefits of performing research at different g levels. Moreover, the students will work within small groups to come up with potential ideas for future gravity-related experiment student projects, also with the benefit of the existing ESA Educational platforms such as the parabolic flights, the human centrifuge or the ISS.  

Preliminary schedule:

Day 1  Introduction to ESA, ESA programmes and Opportunities
 Introduction to ELGRA and SELGRA
 Introduction to Gravity-Related Research
 ESA Education Office and Hands-On Programmes
 Develop a Gravity-Related Experiment
 Former Student Teams of the ESA Hands-On Programmes Presentations
 Team Project Introduction
Day 2  Life Science Research (Part 1&2)
 Physical Science Research (Part 1&2)
 Human Physiology Research (Part 1&2)
 Team Work
Day 3  Life Science Research (Part 3)
 Physical Science Research (Part 3)
 Human Physiology Research (Part 3)
 Project Management
 Team Work
 Visit of ESEC-Redu
Day 4  Team Work
 Life Cycle of a Gravity-Related Experiment
Day 5  Team project presentations