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The participants of FYT! 2017 and ESA Education representatives

Fly Your Thesis! 2019 open for proposals

20/04/2018 6398 views 12 likes
ESA / Education / Fly Your Thesis!

ESA Education is inviting university student teams to submit proposals related to designing, building and flying their experiment in a parabolic flight campaign, which is tentatively scheduled to take place in late 2019.  


DEADLINE: 9 September 2018 23:59pm CET.

Teams interested in participating in the Fly Your Thesis! 2019 programme should submit an accurately completed Experiment Proposal document detailing the description of the experiments that they intend to perform. Experiments are required to be a key part of master or PhD theses, and the subject of the experiments investigations must necessitate microgravity conditions.

ESA will short-list a restricted number of teams that will proceed to the next round of the selection process. The selection will be solely based on eligibility criteria of the teams, the microgravity relevance, the quality of the proposal, the educational return (e.g. number of students involved, relevance of the experiment for Master or PhD graduation theses of one or more team members, scientific merit detailed in the Experiment Proposal). 

Novespace’s A310 early in the morning before the flight
Novespace’s A310 early in the morning before the flight

The minimum number of students to be actively involved in each student team is 4, however an active involvement of more students is desirable. ESA strongly believes in diversity and equal opportunities in the workplace. Student applying to this call should also strive to implement these principles when forming their teams.  The proposals shall also clarify how the student teams intend to cope with a possible turn-over, in order to replace team members who might decide to leave the project.

The shortlisted teams will be given a week to complete a first draft of their Experiment Safety Data Package (ESDP, a technical document required from all teams that participate in ESA Parabolic Flight Campaigns), and will then be invited to a selection workshop at ESA/ESTEC to present their experiment proposals to a Review Board composed of ESA Education representatives, ESA Human and Robotic Exploration Directorate representatives, Novespace staff and members of the European Low Gravity Research Association (ELGRA). After this workshop, the Review Board will select the teams that will be offered the chance to fly on a parabolic flight campaign tentatively scheduled in November 2019.

It should be noted that, at the present time, the opportunity for student teams to access the parabolic flight campaign is not yet confirmed, and this Call for Proposals is released in anticipation of the confirmation on the execution of the campaign. The aim is to complete the selection of the student experiments by the time the parabolic flight campaign is confirmed. 

Students setting up their experiment before flight
Students setting up their experiment before flight

Typically, in order to execute the experiments on board parabolic flight campaigns, the students accompany their set-ups on three flights of 30 parabolas each. During each parabola, they will experience about 20 seconds of microgravity. The flights are performed in a specially equipped Airbus A310 Zero-G aircraft operated by Novespace.

All selected teams will be supported by the ESA Education Office, ESA and Novespace microgravity experts. The teams will also be offered mentoring by a member of the European Low Gravity Research Association (ELGRA) to help further develop their investigations. ESA Education Office will provide financial support to cover part of the travel and accommodation and the cost of some experiment hardware if necessary.

Interested teams should carefully read all the information given on this website.