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Open calls

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


Space Debris Training Course 2020
Status: Call for the applications open
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  Mitigation Principles and Guidelines
 Mitigation Context and Technology 
 The Future of the Environment 
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
 Tour of ESEC-Redu
Day 5: The Future  Design for Demise
 Active Removal


Concurrent Engineering Workshop – May 2020

Status: Call for applications open. 
Date: 26 –29 May 2020 


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 science, physical science and engineering fields, students appreciate the benefits of performing research at different g levels. Moreover, the students work within small groups to come up with potential ideas for future gravity-related experiment projects to be performed in platforms such as the parabolic flight, drop tower, centrifuge or the ISS.  

Preliminary schedule:

Day 1 Introduction to ESA, its programmes and opportunities
Introduction to ELGRA and SELGRA
Gravity and gravity-related research platforms
Gravity-related research overview
ESA Education Office and hands-on programmes
Develop a gravity-related experiment
Presentations by former student teams of ESA Academy’s hands-on programmes 
Gravity-related experiments demos
Team project introduction
Day 2 Gravity machines and animal models
Complex fluids in microgravity
Space motion sickness and vestibular adaptation in microgravity
Playing with gravity to modulate cells
Lecture title TBC
Multiphase thermal management research in microgravity
Team work
Day 3 Artificial gravity as a new space countermeasure
Technology demonstrations in microgravity
Use of microbes to support humans in space
Project management
Team work
Visit of ESEC-Redu
Day 4 Team work
Inspirational lecture
Day 5 Team project presentations


Earth Observation Remote Sensing Workshop 2020

Status: Call for the applications open.
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 Sentinels mission to show how raw data acquired by Earth Observation (EO) satellites are collected, calibrated and distributed to end-users. 

Preliminary Schedule: 

Day 1 Introduction to Earth Observation Missions at ESA
Basics of Remote Sensing
Image Visualization and Analysis exercise 
Day 2 Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) introduction 
Radar Remote Sensing Application
Radar Remote Sensing exercise
Day 3 Optical Remote Sensing Application
Optical Remote Sensing (Ocean & Land)
Analysis of Optical Remote Sensing Images exercises
Day 4 Introduction to Thermal Infrared Remote Sensing
Thermal Infrared, Radar and Optical Remote sensing exercises
Earth Observation Processing Workflow
Visit to ESEC-Redu site
Day 5 Spatial Image Analysis
Geographical Information Systems (GIS) applications exercise 


Concurrent Engineering Challenge 2020

Status: Call for university applications open.
Status: Call for student applications will open soon.

Date: last quarter of 2020

Description: The ESA Academy Concurrent Engineering Challenge features groups of up to 30 students, each one supervised by two system engineers in the four Concurrent Engineering Facilities (CEF) located in three European universities and the ESA Academy’s Training and Learning Facility (Belgium). Groups are given a specific mission to design in four days. Students in each group are divided into small teams of two to four people to cover the following disciplines: structures, configuration, power, mechanisms, thermal, attitude and orbit control, propulsion, trajectory analysis, communications and data handling. Students within each small team create a subsystem concept in order to achieve the mission parameters using the Concurrent Engineering approach. 

The groups are not competing against each other. Instead, they use video conferencing to share each day’s progress, raise any particular difficulties they are facing, and receive helpful input from the other participants. At the end of the week, each group presents their final design. Ultimately, students involved in the Challenge learn about the Concurrent Engineering approach and its benefits, the Open Concurrent Design Tool (OCDT) and how ESA performs the technical and financial feasibility of space missions.

The Challenge will last five days and take place during the last quarter of 2020 depending on the availability of the selected universities. Students for the different CEFs will be selected by ESA and the selected universities at a later stage.

Schedule of the Challenge: 

Day 1 Introduction to the Concurrent Engineering Approach
Get familiar with Workbooks and OCDT 
Presentation of each CEF
Mission overview and requirements
Day 2 System requirements and mission architecture
Mission phases and system modes definition
First iteration of the design including preliminary budgets
Each group results presentation
Day 4 Second iteration of all subsystems 
Product tree
Each group second iteration presentation
Day 5 Final design consolidation & any open issues
Each group final presentation
Conclusion and certificates distribution

Applicants are kindly requested to note that, depending on the evolution of the corona virus situation in Europe, and in line with the recommendations of ESA's Director General on travel restrictions for health and safety reasons, the ESA Education Office reserves the right to cancel this ESA Academy's training session, to limit potential exposure of participants or employees to the virus.

Closed call

Technology Transfer, Application and Innovation Workshop 2020

Status: Call for the applications closed.
Date: 24 - 27 March 2020

Description: During this workshop, the university students are introduced to the different disciplines related to Technology Transfer, Application 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 Technology Transfer, Application & Innovation
 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



CubeSats Concurrent Engineering Workshop 2020

Status: Call for applications closed.  
Date: 16 - 19 March 2020

Description: Students will be introduced to the concurrent design of a CubeSat mission. Guided by ESA experts, the students will learn to use the Open Concurrent Design Tool and identify design drivers. Divided into teams, they will first create a subsystem concept to later achieve an already identified mission concept, function tree and product tree, using concurrent engineering. The workshop helps to better prepare those universities that are planning to embark on a CubeSat project or are at the early stages of one. Teams wishing to participate do not need to be at an advanced stage in their CubeSat project. They can be at a conceptual and/or preliminary phase of their CubeSat design.

Preliminary schedule

Day 1  Introduction to Concurrent Engineering and Requirements Management
 Get familiar with Workbooks and Open Concurrent Design Tool (OCDT)
 Introduction to the Mission
 Student team CubeSat projects presentations
 CubeSat Architectures
Day 2  First Concurrent Engineering iteration
 Introduction to ESA, ESA Education and the Fly Your Satellite! Programme
Day 3  Finalisation of the first Concurrent Engineering iteration 
 ESA TEC CubeSats 
 Visit of ESEC-Redu
 How to increase CubeSat reliability
 Second Concurrent Engineering iteration
Day 4  Finalisation of the second Concurrent Engineering iteration 
 Final Presentations

Space Systems Engineering Training Course 2020

StatusCall for applications closed.
Date: 3 – 6 March 2020

Description: During this four-day training course, students will be given a 'crash-course' in systems engineering and its applications within the space industry, in particular within ESA. The course will provide an overview of the scope and context of systems engineering in general, before outlining the roles of a system engineer. The course will further explore some key system engineering roles, such as requirements capture, architecture definition and verification and validation, as well as the concept of concurrent engineering design. The full space system life cycle will be explored from a system engineering viewpoint. The course will be delivered by experts with a wealth of experience in ESA projects, in the form of interactive lectures and group exercises. By the end of the course, students will have an understanding of what systems engineering is, and what a systems engineer does throughout a space project lifecycle, as well as some of the key challenges they face!

Preliminary schedule:

Day 1: Scope and context of Systems Engineering
What is Systems Engineering?
How to represent a System
The Space Programmatic Environment
Tasks of a Systems Engineer
Day 2: Systems Engineering Process
System Requirements
How to define the architecture of a system, including trade-offs and specification
Design of a space mission including concurrent engineering 
Day 3: Design of a space mission including concurrent engineering (continued)
Development and Verification Approach
Day 4: System Engineering and Project Management
Challenges of System Engineering 
Application of a real space project
Launch and operations

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