GENSO call for proposals: European Operations Node

Radio set up
16 July 2009

ESA's Education Office is currently looking for a body or consortium of bodies with the desire and capability to take on the role of European Operations Node for the Global Educational Network for Satellite Operations (GENSO).

GENSO aims to increase the return from educational space missions by forming a worldwide network of education and radio amateur ground stations and education spacecraft which can interact via standard software installed in the ground stations and associated spacecraft mission control centres. This will fundamentally change the way that these missions are managed, dramatically increasing the level of communications access to operating educational spacecraft in orbit.

Once the GENSO software is ready for its first release in October 2009, a six-month enhanced development and testing phase is envisaged to prepare the second release in April 2010. During this phase, a handover of responsibility will take place from ESA and its contractors to the GENSO user community, represented by the European Operations Node. Additional operations nodes are planned to be subsequently set up in the USA and Japan and possibly elsewhere, in order to improve system latency, reliability and user support in those regions.

This handover phase is intended to be a bridge between the initial development phase managed by ESA and fostered by the International Space Education Board (ISEB) and a self-sustaining phase where GENSO is run by and for its user community, namely those institutions and individuals concerned with educational and amateur radio satellite communications.

The European Operations Node will play a prestigious role in the GENSO project, and will become established as a highly visible and important contributor to the educational satellite community. The European Operations Node will be responsible for the operations and maintenance of the central authentication server and related databases, administration of network usage, giving support to users, and coordinating the ongoing open source software development for future releases of the GENSO software.

The details on this opportunity can be found on the Call for Proposals PDF under documents.

Who can apply?

The call is primarily intended for universities and higher education establishments in the ESA Member States and Cooperating States.

Given that GENSO offers significant scope for student research projects, it is envisaged that the role of European Operations Node would suit a university with research interests in the space domain and graduate students with software skills.

Proposals and deadline

Proposals should be submitted to genso @ esa.int.

Please read the call for proposals PDF under documents for more details on the proposal and which elements it should include.

The deadline for responding to the call is 23 August 2009. The selected proposal will be announced on 7 September 2009.

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