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Past opportunities 2020

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ESA / Education / ESA Academy

Online ESA/ELGRA Gravity-Related Research Summer School 2020
Status: Call for the applications closed. Summer school delivered. 
Date: 22 June – 3 July 2020  
Description: During this ten-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:

Week 1 (22 - 26 June 2020)
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
 Team project introduction
Day 2-4

 Gravity-related research lectures

  • Gravity machines and animal models
  • Complex fluids in microgravity
  • Space motion sickness and vestibular adaptation in microgravity
  • Playing with gravity to modulate cells 
  • How engineering can improve health in microgravity
  • Multiphase thermal management research in microgravity
  • Artificial gravity as a new space countermeasure
  • Technology demonstrations in microgravity 
  • Use of microbes to support humans in space

 Project management
 Team work

Day 5  Team project topic pitch
Week 2 (29 June - 3 July 2020)
Day 6-9  Team work
 Team meetings with tutors
Day 10  Team project presentations


Online Space Debris Training Course 2020
Status: Call for the applications closed. Training course delivered. 
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


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