The project schedule is summarized as follows:
|A. Project proposals by candidate teams||15 November 2013||Project proposal from the teams||-|
|B. Review of proposals and selection of teams||30 November 2013||Notification of selected teams by ESA||-|
|30 April 2014||1st Progress report from the teams||ESA Lectures and 1st Review meeting at the two Universities|
|30 June 2014||2nd Progress report from the teams||2nd Review meeting at ESA facilities (3 students per teams sponsored)|
|D. Measurements||October 2014||3nd Progress report from the teams||Feedback from ESA experts through tele/video conference|
|E. Analysis/presentation of results to ESA||December 2014||Final project report||Presentation of results at ESA facilities (3 students per teams sponsored)|
|F. Presentation of results to the EO professional community||2015||Final project results||Presentation of results at one EO professional conference (3 students per teams sponsored)|
All project reports shall be submitted to student.transponders @ esa.int using the Project Report form.
A more detailed description of these project phases and milestones is given below:
A. Project proposals by candidate teams
The first step will be for the students to compose their team, find an endorsing professor or academic supervisor and start considering the different elements of the project (definition of tasks to be carried out, workload distribution, facility and equipment requirements, procurement of new components required for the transponder upgrade, challenges, schedule and work plan).
The students must consider in as much detail as possible how the project (modification of the transponder and measurements) will be realised. They will be expected to have sufficient knowledge of the related scientific theory, as well as a well-defined strategy for the implementation of their work plan.
The proposal should focus on the technological and scientific objectives of the project, as well as on the technical details for its implementation. Students should demonstrate that they have understood the purpose of the activity and that they have a solid implementation plan. Students should also show that they have a very good knowledge of the project topic, using references to bibliography and scientific literature in the field and giving details on the expected results.
Documents expected: Project proposal
Deadline: 15 November 2013
B. Review of proposals and selection of teams
The student team proposals will be evaluated by a review board composed of ESA experts. The best two proposals will be selected and the respective teams will be notified by the end of November 2013.
Deadline: 30 November 2013
C1. Transponder modification (phase 1)
Based on their proposed work plan, the selected teams will start to implement the first phase of the project, concerning the modification of the transponders. This will include appropriate circuit modification, change of the RF and other related adjustments, in order to make the transponders compatible with the Copernicus Sentinel-1 SAR.
The students shall perform the modifications, by taking into account the documentation provided by ESA, as well as by consulting the ESA contractor for technical matters whenever necessary. Covering of any possible costs (equipment, tools, materials etc.) related to the modifications required will be managed by the teams, either by using existing university facilities, laboratories and resources or by securing another type of sponsoring.
The students will have to deliver a Project Report. This document will eventually be part of the overall project report, which will serve both as a reference document through the execution of the experiment, as well as a final report once the project ends.
Lectures on relevant Earth Observation topics will be organised by ESA at the selected universities, in order to provide the teams with a broader overview of the related ESA activities and further assist the students in their project. These events will be of general interest and thus open to all students and Faculty. During the same period, a first review shall be organised at the university premises.
Documents expected: First progress report
Deadline: 30 April 2014
C2. Transponder modification (phase 2)
Towards the end of this phase, the students will have to deliver a second Project Report. In this version of the document they would have to describe in detail their transponder modification and the measurements they are planning to perform. At the end of the transponder modification phase, a second review shall be organized at ESA’s premises.
Documents expected: Second progress report
Deadline: 30 June 2014
This phase will be dedicated to conducting measurements with the Sentinel-1A satellite in orbit, using the modified transponders.
It is foreseen that the selected teams will realise their measurements between May-September 2014. This period may be subject to changes, due to the need for synchronisation with the commissioning phase of Sentinel-1.
Images from Sentinel-1 needed for the calibration experiment will be provided by ESA. Covering any other possible costs related to the execution of the measurements will fall into the responsibility of the individual teams. ESA will not provide any additional financial support in this respect.
After the measurement campaign, the teams will deliver a third Project Report with a summary of the campaign details, as well as any problems encountered, to ESA’s Education Office.
Documents expected: Third progress report
Deadline: October 2014
E. Analysis and presentation of results to ESA
The teams will analyse the results obtained during their experiments and send their final Project Report to ESA's Education Office. Three students from each team will be sponsored by ESA, in order to present their final results at a dedicated meeting in ESA establishments. Writing a scientific paper will be very welcomed.
Documents expected: Final project report
E. Presentation of results to the EO professional community
ESA will further support the teams to submit and present their paper at a European or international conferences; to this end, ESA will also sponsor the travel costs and the registration fee to such conference for a maximum of three students per team.