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Past opportunities 2020

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ESA / Education / ESA Academy

Ladybird Guide to Spacecraft Communications Training Course 2020

Status: Call for applications closed. Training course delivered. 
Date: 18 – 21 February 2020

Description: Taught by an Advanced Operations & IOD Project Manager who works for the Operations Department of ESOC, the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany, the course is delivered through formal lectures without excessive mathematics or technical jargon, but with a heavy emphasis placed on the interaction with the students. 

University students learn about: 

  • the challenges of communicating with a spacecraft
  • an operator’s view on all the spacecraft subsystems both on-board and on the ground
  • ‘physiological’ traps to be avoided during operations and testing


 Day 1   Introduction
 The Challenge
 Group Exercise
 Day 2  Demodulation
 Group Exercise
 Day 3  Protocols
 Radio Frequency transmissions/reception
 Visit of ESEC-Redu
 Link Budgets
 Group Exercise
 Day 4  Real Ground Stations
 Conclusion of the Group Exercise


Clean Space Training Course 2020

Status: Call for applications closed. Training course delivered. 
Date: 11 – 14 February 2020 

Description: During this four-day course, university students 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 provide the necessary knowledge and tools to develop in teams a ‘clean’ satellite during the group project.


 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


Concurrent Engineering Workshop – January 2020

Status: Call for applications closed. Workshop delivered.
Date: 14 – 17 January 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 workshops, university students 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 first learn to use the Open Concurrent Design Tool (OCDT) and identify design drivers. They are then divided into groups of 2 or 3 to cover the several subsystems and, together with their groups, they create a subsystem concept in order to later achieve an already identified mission concept using concurrent engineering.  


Day 1  Introduction to the Mission and Concurrent Engineering 
 Get familiar with Workbooks and OCDT 
 Mission overview and Trade-Off 
 Mission and System Modes Definition 
Day 2  First iteration of all Subsystems. 
 Modify Workbooks 
 First Budgets 
 Presentations of the first results 
Day 3  Finalisation of the Concept 
 Product tree 
 Presentation of the second iteration 
Day 4  Final Design Consolidation & any Open Issues 
 Preparing the Final Presentation 
 Final Presentations 

Gravity-Related Experiments Training Week 2020

Status: Training week delivered
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.


 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