Abstracts for the oral and poster presentations at this year's symposium are listed below.
#4 Music as a countermeasure in human spaceflights: Music psycho-physiological effects under hypergravity stressors (poster)Luis Luque, Tamás Nagy and Loïc Treffel
Music is often reported as inducing positive psychological and physiological effects in a similar manner to Guided Imagery, a technique often used by professionals in multiple settings such as sports, to reduce stress and anxiety, and improve focus prior to or during an activity, Listening to music has also been reported by trained spaceflight crews during their pressurisation checks of the vehicle prior to launch. Once launched they encounter hypergravity conditions that put physiological and psychological stress upon the body, however it is not documented the effect of this practice of listening to music acts to reduces stress. With commercial spaceflight tourism on the horizon, where a wider population will be exposed to these larger hypergravity stresses for longer periods of time, the potential for non-invasive countermeasures to reduce possible stress would be advantageous. The aim of this study was to understand if music could be used during hypergravity stress to induce a positive psychological state and reduce markers of physiological stress.
We adapted Using an according to a Short Arm Human Centrifuge protocol adapted from the principles of The Bonny Method (GIM) used in Guided imagery, a using music scientifical music selection was devised for use during a controlled hypergravity environment. Experiments were conducted on the selection according to the subjects psychocultural profiles instead of guided imagery. Short Arm Human Centrifuge (SAHC) at DLR, Germany. 11 subjects volunteered for the study and were split into two groups (with music [n=6] and without music [n=5]. Psychocultural questionnaires were utilised to determine and optimise the cultural music style of the subject. Psychological tests, and physiological markers including muscles tone (MyoTone Pro), and stress hormones cortisol/cortisone measurements were performed before, during and after each centrifugation and compared between groups.
In the Music group participants outcome showed a pleasantness tendency to prefer slower rhythmic and lower density music. Subjects that experienced hypergravity with music were less stressful or a least without significant differences in tension points and showed a tendency to decrease the psychophysiological stresses.
Hypergravity has affected all the psychological and physiological parameters. Music would improve the stress feeling in this extreme environment.
However, further studies under actual spaceflight permanent microgravity conditions, including the differences between listening to and playing an instrument measurements of the constant listening upon these markers are suggested and the practice of musical instruments in long-term spaceflight might be considered using an extended musical selection including all historical music periods and genres. The outcomes of such studies could reveal the potential of each music period/style and path to the selection and intervention with music as a psychophysiological countermeasure on astronauts extending concentration periods, precision during work hours consequently, symptoms of fatigue and sleep disorders in long-term spaceflight.
The experiment was kindly supported by the European Space Agency (ESA) Education Office and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) as part of the Spin your Thesis – Human Edition 2018.
#5 FLY A ROCKET CAMPAIGN! A UNIQUE ESA ACADEMY HANDS-ON PROJECT (poster)Davide Bellicoso
Being one of the twenty four students selected to take part into the ESA Academy hands-on space project “Fly a Rocket! Campaign” promoted by European Space Agency Education Office and Norwegian Center for Space-related Education (NAROM), I am willing to give an insight into high latitude rocketry educational activities pursued by National Agencies in Europe, highlighting their strengths and importance.
My lecture would be based on my experience gained as it follows:
The “Fly a Rocket! Campaign” gives me the opportunity to launch my rocket as a student from the Andoya Space Center in Northern Norway. Throughout winter 2018 I participated in an online course to prepare me for the launch campaign at the Space centre scheduled for April 2019. During the campaign I will build, verify and launch my own rocket, as well as attending several lectures and tours.
Being selected for the “Telemetry and Data Readout” team, my task will be to set up and operate the NAROM telemetry station, including tracking the rocket and downloading its data. When the telemetry part is done, I will move on to set up NAROM’s three decoders. After that, I will prepare a MATLAB script that read the data from the decoders and split them into variables.
During the 3rd Symposium on Space Educational Activities, I would present a lecture based on my experience as a student involved in a unique program promoted by European Space Agency, bringing visual material regarding all the phases of the project, with a special attention to the launch campaign in Norway.
I would focus on what I learnt and why this “Fly a Rocket! Campaign” had been such a relevant activity in my apprenticeship (as it would be for all students interested in space career), not only regarding the technical knowledge acquired, but also the international frame of cooperation I worked in and I am interested to work in the future.
- Day 1: Rocketry lectures, guided tours, MATLAB training, social gathering.
- Day 2: Visit to Spaceship Aurora, Ballooning lectures, release of PTU sondes, start of the work on the student rocket.
- Day 3: Continue working on the student rocket, highlight lectures.
- Day 4: Launch day.
- Day 5: Post-flight analysis and tour of ALOMAR observatory.
#6 Exoplanets @ School - an educational program about hunting and analyzing exoplanets – meets the FREI project (presentation)Alexander Küpper, Oliver Morawietz, Julian Schillings and Andreas Schadschneider
Since 2015, students (secondary level, grades 7-10) are able to conduct analogy experiments to explore how to detect and analyze exoplanets at the school laboratory of the University of Cologne. In detail, the experiments deal with various methods for the search for exoplanets (transit-method, direct imaging and astrometry), spectral analysis, the temperature of a star and the habitable zone, the greenhouse effect, the atmospheric pressure, the albedo, the influence of the solar wind and ultraviolet radiation on the probability of the existence of life. The experience gained has led to a continuous development of the experiments and the entire project.
In particular, the experiment illustrating the transit-method was revised in the so-called FREI (Fernsteuerung von realen Experimenten über das Internet) [Remote control of real experiments over the Internet] project, taking into account in particular misconceptions of the students. As a consequence, the experiment – located at the University of Cologne, Germany – can be integrated into regular lessons by teachers around the world, transmitting live streams and light curves over the Internet.
The lecture gives a brief overview of the individual experiments at the school laboratory and the gained experiences. In addition, the path from the transit-method experiment in the student laboratory to a FREI-experiment is described. Ideas for use in class are presented. The lecture ends with a demonstration of the current transit-method experiment via the Internet.
#9 First NANOSTAR preliminary space mission design challenge: winning student project (poster)Jorge Monteiro, Filippo Cichocki, Julio Posada, Mario Merino and Jose Antonio García-Souto
NANOSTAR is a network of universities and institutions in the Southwest of Europe that aims to provide students with a practical, hands-on experience in the development of nanosatellites. In the second semester of the academic year 2018-2019 the NANOSTAR consortium is running its first preliminary space mission design competition, where multidisciplinary student teams from Universities in France, Spain and Portugal must prepare a preliminary system design of a CubeSat Flyby mission to the Moon to perform a set of given observations with a predefined payload. Each student team must concurrently select their mission architecture and carry out justified system trades using NANOSTAR’s design methodology. Student projects will be reviewed by an international board of experts from the NANOSTAR network, and winners of the competition will be announced in May 2019. This paper will present the winning student design for the CubeSat Moon mission. Authors and title will change accordingly once the winners are announced.
#10 UK Analogue Mission Research: The Case for STEM Education and Outreach (presentation)Alex Owens, Konstantin Chterev, Dilan Kaplan and Thom Clark
With little access to practical opportunities within the space industry for UK students, we have founded the UK Analogue Mission (UKAM) to provide motivated students with the platform to develop their skills and knowledge for their future careers. We believe that by utilising our network and expertise, we can use UK-led space analogue missions to connect students from various disciplines and elevate the potential of the next generation of students.
There is a rise in popularity and demand for analogue missions across the globe. Organisations in Austria and Israel  are using these initiatives to raise human spaceflight awareness to the public, as well as providing opportunities for students involving habitat design, experiments, and mission planning. These organisations are rapidly growing with Memorandums of Understanding (MoU’s) being signed and partnerships being created.
Our goal is to increase the UK's human space flight capabilities and collaborate on the global stage with our own British astronauts. The strength of this was demonstrated by Tim Peake and his Principia mission which invited hundreds of students to the Science Museum in London and spurred a new wave of interest into UK spaceflight activities. The UK Space Agency's (UKSA) Space Environments and Human Spaceflight Strategy  was further evidence of this, where David Parker argued that the UK should be “exploiting the unique opportunities for growth which human spaceflight and associated research programmes can offer”. Analogue missions provide a valuable niche and enrich the desire to go to space.
Setting aside the importance this platform has for students, analogue missions simultaneously benefits technology demonstrations to raise Technology Readiness Level (TLR) in preparation for future space exploration. Exposing students to these demonstrations is a great way to stimulate inspiration to develop current and future innovations for the advancement of the space industry.
With this ever-evolving industry and the continuous innovation of technology accelerating at a rapid rate, analogue missions provide a rich platform for students, young professionals, and organisations to come together for unique collaboration opportunities. Utilising resources and expertise across all disciplines, we will elevate the UK space industry onto the international playing field.
 Österreichisches Weltraum Forum (ÖWF). (2019). Österreichisches Weltraum Forum (ÖWF). [online] Available at: https://oewf.org/ [Accessed 4 Apr. 2019].
 D-mars.org. (2019). [online] Available at: https://www.d-mars.org/ [Accessed 4 Apr. 2019].
 UK Space Agency (2019). National strategy: space environments and human spaceflight. [online] Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/649976/Space_Environments_and_Human_Spaceflight_Strategyv2.pdf [Accessed 4 Apr. 2019].
#13 Novel Educational Activities for Geomatics (poster)Agata Lo Tauro
Educational Activities are implementing the involvement of the public in scientific research – whether community-driven research or global investigations. The Research unites expertise from educators, scientists, data managers, and others to power geomatics and to provide solutions leading towards sustainability. In particular non-traditional education will provides opportunities for individuals to continue their educational path on the field of geomatics and sustainability without the confines of a classroom and curriculum. Non-traditional education includes night classes, online classes, personal enrichment and lifelong learning, eEducation, independent study and more under multidisciplinary approaches. International Institutions will work towards development that is sustainable and capable of responding to the real needs of people, inspired by Geomatics and Open Data principles. This is a work in progress.
#14 Stratospheric muon detection – CADMUS BEXUS 24 (presentation)Guillem Megias Homar, Gerard Pascual Lopez, Ramon García Alarcia, Adam Teixidó Bonfill and Roger Bahí Buhigas
The decay of muons created from cosmic rays is strongly affected by relativity, as their half-life undergoes the relativistic effect of time dilation at a measurable scale. Assuming that there is a continuous beam of muons coming from space due to cosmic rays, it is possible to estimate which exponential curve fits better with the muon decay function so as to calculate their half-life, by measuring the muon flux at different altitudes in the atmosphere.
This experiment seeked to confirm that Special Relativity works for particles that travel close to the speed of light, by experimentally obtaining the half-time of muons. To do so we measured the flux of muons at a continuous rate, all through the atmosphere (from 0 to 30 km from the Earth surface) building a cloud chamber, a simple particle detector that, thanks to a supersaturated atmosphere of alcohol, can keep track of the charged particles that cross the detector.
This project was part of BEXUS24 and was developed by a team of 5 students at UPC - BarcelonaTech. It consisted in recording images of the chamber at a fast rate and tracking at which altitude each picture was taken, during the ascent phase and float of the flight (up to 30 km). The experiment was launched on the 18th of October 2017. Due to a technical problem at launchsite, data had to be taken during the descent phase of the flight, and consequently not enough quality data could be gathered in order to process it computationally and obtain substantial information on muon flux through the atmosphere.
#15 ALTERNATIVE TO AIRCORE FOR ATMOSPHERIC GREENHOUSE GAS SAMPLING BY TEAM TUBULAR ON BEXUS FLIGHT 26 (presentation)Núria Agües Paszkowsky, Kyriaki Blazaki, Emily Chen, Jordi Coll Ortega, Gustav Dyrssen, Erik Fargerström, Georges Labrèche, Natalie Lawton, Pau Molas Roca, Emil Nordqvist, Muhammad Ansyar Rafi Putra, Hammad Siddiqi, Ivan Zankov, Rigel Kivi, Pauli Heikkinen and Juha Karhu
Carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) are two main greenhouse gases emitted by human activities. Developing a better understanding of their contribution to greenhouse effects requires more accessible, flexible, and scalable air sampling mechanisms. A balloon flight is the most cost-effective mechanism to obtain a vertical air profile through continuous sampling between the upper troposphere and the lower stratosphere. The TUBULAR BEXUS experiment is a technology demonstrator for atmospheric research, supporting an air sampling mechanism that consists of two sampling methods on the same balloon payload. The first method is using a long tube for constant gas sampling throughout the atmospheric profile, while the complementary sampling method collects air at fixed flight altitudes. The benefit of the complementary method is that each sampling altitude is known and can be chosen and that more air can be sampled at each altitude. Running both sampling methods enabled a mutual validation of the end-results. By analysing CO, CO2 and CH4 concentrations in the samples a vertical profile of the atmosphere has been obtained for these gases.
The Team behind this project designed and launched this project as part of their Masters level university education at Luleå University of Technology in Sweden. After several design iterations and expert reviews, development of the experiment began in June 2018 and was completed by September 2018. Rigorous test plans were carried out until the launch campaign in October 2018. The TUBULAR experiment launched from Esrange on the 17th October 2018 onboard the BEXUS 26 flight.
The experiment was a partial success with the first sampling mechanism performing nominally and a failure with the complementary sampling mechanism. However, data from the first mechanism was of a good quality and a partial atmospheric profile was produced. The team has learnt a great deal from partaking in the REXUS/BEXUS programme, obtaining a deeper understanding of how to apply their interdisciplinary science and engineering backgrounds into practical experiments that support climate change research.
#16 Educational Test Bench for Attitude Control of 1U Cubesats (presentation)Antoni Bonilla, David Gonzalez, Jordi Voltas and Javier Gago
A deficiency in the teaching of spacecraft technology is the lack of hands-on practical sessions that quite often rely on computer simulations only. This approach offers to the students a limited understading of the complexity of the full system and miss some important aspects such as hardware related concerns (EMC, limited availability of power, physics time constants, communication latency, etc). In this paper, we present a test bench intended to test attitude control of 1U cubesats, which is mainly focused on educational purposes, although it could be also used for research. It is worth to mention the arrangement of the cubesat under test. Instead of lying on top of a platform with a limited range of movement, as is the most common case, the cubesat is fitted inside a sphere that “floats” on top of the airbearig. This arrangement allows a free rotation of 360º in all axis. However, if it is necessary, we can fit the EUT on top of a hemisphere, according to the most common arrangement.
Moreover, we have designed a 1U cubesat frame using a modular approach, in such a way that it is easy to replace the equipment on board. In this way, you can test flywheels or magnetorquers of both simultaneously. We have also designed some faces of the cubesat equipped with PV arrays. In addition, we have also designed some payloads as cameras or laser pointers.
The basic configuration of our model has 3 flywheels, a 9 DoF Inertial Measurement Unit (accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer), a wireless communication board, battery pack and 3 light sensors. The cubesat is controlled with an Arduino board. With this test bench it is easy to test several control algorithms for both attitude control or MPPT for PV the PV arrays. Control algorithms can be compared in terms of accuracy, energy efficiency, settling speed, operational range, etc. The wireless link allows to share the computing load between the on-board processor and “ground control”, thus introducing the variable of latency communication.
The model is entirely build using additive manufacturing technology and all electronics is COTS based, keeping the cost of the full assembly affordable. In addition to the real test bench, we have developed a MATLAB/Simulink model of the system.
As a conclusion, we present a cheap, modular and fully functional test bench that allows a more holistic approach to spacecraft technology teaching.
#17 QUEST on BEXUS 27 (presentation)Ric Dengel
The student project QUEST was part of the REXUS/BEXUS program and launched on BEXUS 27 in October of 2018. QUEST is the acronym for Quad-spectral Unaided Experimental Scanner of Topography. It was designed, developed, built, tested and operated by a team of 17 bachelor students from different German universities. It scanned the planet surface by analysing an array of four light sensors (RGB and IR) and two spectrometers. As a result, the system produced an overview image of the surface with marked areas depending on the type of the surface. QUEST distinguished between snow, water, plants, rocks and overlaying clouds. Not-recognizable areas were marked specially. The project has been a successful step to the designated target to build an autonomous system which could be used in interplanetary missions with demanding constraints on the bandwidth.
The ideas and concept is based on courses within our university studies. The project itself was not directly part of our studies, but supported by the university of Wuerzburg and therefore ran besides our courses. For our scientific goals, a reusable cluster algorithm was developed for the categorisation of distinct areas on a surface. It allows adjustments with different parameters for varying planet surfaces. Furthermore, the algorithm’s data base was generated and optimized before and during flight. Regarding to the hardware the system was built modular with standardized connectors, data lines and powering system to achieve an uncomplicated exchange of sensors for missions with distinct requirements. Also, a housekeeping system was integrated to get insight during flight. Furthermore, it was designed to safe all collected data for later analysis and parallel autonomous processing. The structure was designed for carrying all the environmentally sensible sensors and processing units in the harsh environment outside the balloon’s gondola. Besides the flight system, infrastructure in shape of a ground station was built to analyse and command the experiment.
The project was very successful in each objective. A lot of data from all sensors was taken and analysed on board. The autonomous differentiation of landscapes based on the collected data was also successful. The modular system worked without issues during flight and allowed a good flexibility on the selection of sensors. For us students the project was a gread experience and we learned a lot.
#18 From Space to School – Earth and Moon Observation in Immersion and Experiments (presentation)Christina Nadolsky, Arne Dröge-Rothaar, Johanna Hemp, Judith Holländer, Susanne Hüttemeister, Lisa Keune, Alexander Küpper, Claudia Lindner, Cristal Schult, Johannes Schultz, Klaus Trimborn, Carsten Jürgens and Andreas Rienow
The European Space Education Resource Office (ESERO) Germany was founded in May 2018 with the main goal to support primary and secondary STEM Education in Germany with space-related teaching resources and teacher workshops. It was implemented by a consortium of ten institutions led by the Geomatics Research Group at the Department of Geography at the Ruhr-University Bochum, working in close collaboration with ESA Education (funding institution) and the German Aerospace Centre (DLR). The talk will present the results of a so-called “Phase 0 Study” and the first resources on Earth and Moon observation. In comparison to other European countries, the educational system in Germany is structured by the states and not by the federal government. Thus, each of the 16 states decides on how to structure their educational system, which leads to multiple differences and a sum of nearly 450 different curricula in the STEM subjects. A strategy was needed to reach teachers and pupils in all federal states equally and motivate pupils for STEM subject. Therefore, a quantitative curriculum analysis was conducted by mapping the state curricula across the primary and secondary school education levels. As a result, ESERO Germany will focus on the competence orientation of STEM subjects and on the topics of the STEM curricula combined with applied space science. In doing so, it is possible to overcome the curricula heterogeneity and diversity in Germany and cross the state borders. By addressing independent working, inquiry-based learning and propaedeutic learning in the classroom resources the pupils’ competencies will be strengthened and their motivation for STEM subjects increased. Besides having material in conformity with the curricula, it should be structured in a modular way, editable and flexible at use in the classroom. As an example, our designed Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC’s) about Earth Observation will be shown in the presentation. These short videos combine geographic analyses and physical background information at the same time. As part of ESA’s Moon Camp Challenge, three teaching units were adapted/translated to be used in the German classrooms. The presentation finishes with a short outlook on upcoming teacher trainings, competitions and immersive classroom resources regarding the 50th Anniversary of the moon landing.
#20 Three Editions of Inter-University Studies on Space and Satellite Technology. Candidate and/vs Graduate, a Case Study (poster)Zbigniew Lubniewski, Przemyslaw Falkowski-Gilski, Marek Chodnicki and Andrzej Stepnowski
Currently, there is a growing demand for most up-to-date academic courses, that will fulfil the needs of modern society. Each candidate has to make choices and judgements carefully, in order to succeed on the market. This is particularly important when educating individuals with different backgrounds, especially on an inter-university course in the field of space sciences and technology. This paper describes a case study carried out on a group of candidates and graduates from different editions of Space and Satellite Technologies interdisciplinary master studies at Gdansk University of Technology as well as two maritime universities in Gdynia. The education process itself is realized in cooperation with business partners. The paper provides both qualitative and quantitative data, considering the whole group and particular individuals. In addition, some examples of individual achievements of outstanding students are presented.
#21 IMUFUSION: DEVELOPMENT AND EXPERIMENTAL TESTING OF THE FAULT-TOLERANT INERTIAL NAVIGATION SYSTEM (presentation)Mikael Steurer, Max Goretti, Johannes-Friedrich Knappe, Hannes Meyer, Johannes Müller, Matthias Viehmann and Klaus-Peter Neitzke
The IMUFUSION project was one of seven BEXUS experiments carried in two BEXUS balloons launched in 2018. BEXUS balloons are lifted to a maximum altitude of 30 km, depending on total payload, with a flight duration of about five hours. The idea was to calculate the trajectory of the balloon within the BEXUS campaign with the help of an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU)-based System. A typical application of an IMU is the sensor part of a mechatronic stabilization system of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. The project was focused on designing, the prototyping, and practical testing of the fault-tolerant inertial navigation system. Two Micro Controller Units (MCUs) with redundant memory modules, 3-axis gyroscopes, 3-axis acceleration sensors, and 3-axis magnetic field sensors are the central parts of the IMUFUSION system. The measurements of two Global Positioning System (GPS) modules are used as a reference for the evaluation of the computed results based on the core sensor data. During the experiment, the system recorded inertial data in a near space vehicle with a specially designed, robust and miniaturized system and computed the time-dependent pose of the gondola. The experiment objectives were: (1) record inertial measurement data in a near space vehicle with a specially designed, robust and miniaturized system, (2) estimate the flight trajectory including orientation by the recorded inertial measurement data, and (3) integrate a redundancy concept for higher reliability, diagnosis capability, and accuracy. This contribution describes the practitioner experiences and lessons learned after the test of the aforementioned embedded fault-tolerant inertial navigation system that incorporates redundant inertial measurement units, microcontroller units, and memory modules.
#22 Simplifying The Design Of Smallsat Space Missions Using Innovative Tools and Platforms: BeeKit and BeeApp (presentation)Lucille Baudet and Dani Sors Raurell
There are three main barriers in the space sector that slow down the development of space applications, science and technology: high costs, consuming paperwork and complex technology. Open Cosmos tackles these barriers, putting satellite technology in the hands of more people than ever before. This is achieved with beeKit, a payload hardware emulator platform, and beeApp, a cloud-based mission and system simulator platform. By using standardised interfaces and processes together with industry best practices, the entire development of a mission can be simplified, massively reducing cost and time to orbit and opening space access to a broader and more diverse audience.
The beeApp and beeKit bundle offers a seamless transition from payload concept to payload in space. beeKit replicates the mechanical and electrical constraints of a satellite platform while still being modular enough to enable payload developers to change the configuration and physical dimensions. beeApp enables full online mission with space simulation capabilities when the payload is assembled in beeKit. The Mission and System Design (MSD) module allows users to run simulations and optimise different mission parameters based on the payload requirements. The Hardware In the Loop (HIL) module interfaces with the payload through beeKit, enabling smooth interaction and testing capabilities from day one. These constitute a set of groundbreaking tools that simplify the process of sending payloads to space.
Open Cosmos supports the young community by making those tools accessible for education projects. In 2018, a team of master students from Oxford University, without any space-related background, was able to conduct a biological experiment design for a 3U satellite platform. For the mission analysis and simulation phase, beeApp was used to select the main mission parameters. A payload into a beeKit was then designed to host cell culture flasks to control and detect any events and to monitor the cell death evolution. This approach facilitates cross-industrial research, at a much lower cost, enabling any kind of organisations to conduct experiments in space.
Open Cosmos has recently established a program allowing universities from around the world to benefit from these innovative tools for free, supporting research activities and space-related education for students across the world. This set of tools is now being used in 13 different countries, in universities not only based in Europe but globally, including Space Emerging countries, enabling the development of new space technologies and supporting space education programmes worldwide.
#23 Development of an Active Thermal Louver for CubeSats Controlled via SMA Actuator (presentation)Dario Franchin and Florian Schummer
In recent years, CubeSats proved to be valuable resources both for commercial and scientific purposes, leading to a significant technological development in terms of payloads and on-board instrumentation. The employment of more advanced technology usually implies a higher power consumption, and a consequently increased amount of waste heat. The typical, passive thermal control systems currently employed on small satellites, such as paints and coatings, may not be sufficient to guarantee a proper thermal stability, and therefore more elaborate and efficient systems are required. Based on the actuator IRESA (Intelligent Redundant Spacecraft Actuator), under development at the Chair of Astronautics of the Technical University of Munich, a new design for a compact, reliable, active thermal control system for CubeSats is proposed. IRESA is a shape-memory-alloy-based, low-power-consuming, high-force-per-unit-mass actuator embedded on a PCB, compatible with the lateral panel of a 1U CubeSat. IRESA produces a linear displacement of 3.5 mm exploiting the contraction of redundant SMA wires heated efficiently through the Joule effect; the displacement can be converted into rotation, allowing the actuator to operate a variety of subsystems. The presented design for the TCS consists of an external louver moved by IRESA, capable of modifying the emissivity of a small radiator or regulate the power emission from the inner part of the satellite to space. The design of the louver was obtained studying the louvered surfaces employed over the last fifty years in larger satellites and adapting the geometry to the features of the actuator, with the general design driver of a minimum complexity for the assembly. Therefore, a configuration with a single blade was chosen and implemented; like its larger counterparts, it reaches and maintains every angular position between the fully closed and fully open states, performing a 90 degrees rotation; the linear displacement of the SMA wires is converted into rotation by a simple lever principle. The proposed subsystem meets the CubeSat Design Specification in terms of geometry and compatibility with a CubeSat of at least 2U. The subsystem was developed as a master thesis project at the Chair of Astronautics of the Technical University of Munich starting from October, 2018. A prototype was successfully integrated in March, 2019, and good results were obtained during the first functional, vacuum chamber and vibration tests, during which the louver proved to work properly and continuously during the opening and closing procedures, and maintained its structural integrity.
#24 Three main activities of the Department of Education of the Polish Space Agency for 2019-2020. (presentation)Cezary Specht, Andrzej Stepnowski and Sławomir Nichczyński
The Department of Education of the Polish Space Agency plans to organize a series of comprehensive ventures. It would be aimed to students of both higher education - primary and secondary school. A separate group of target audiences is society. It should be brought closer in an attractive form to the achievement of modern astronomy and astronautics, as well as to enable the understanding of satellite techniques affecting everyday life.
The first of the projects is a contest for students organizations to plan a scientific orbital mission with the use of the CubeSat satellite. The best teams will be rewarded in the form of cash or in-kind prizes, and their home universities will be equipped with professional E-Sat educational stations (virtual satellites). Students will be able to conduct laboratory classes with space and satellite technologies with subsequent one-year students.
The second activity is addressed to primary and secondary schools. We support and inspire ideas for the construction of school astronomical observatories. That will gather around them selected students who will join in future to a group of scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs in the broadly understood space industry. To this end, a study was prepared at DE PAK as an elementary introduction to the school astronomical observatory construction project, how to use it in space education, as well as technical issues regarding the equipment of the facility.
The third activity is the idea for cooperation with PAK as a cosmic ambassadors. We carefully selected co-workers, well-prepared, to conduct dissemination lectures and educational activities at a chosen place in Poland.
#25 Educational and Career Opportunities through the ASTRI programme: A Commercial Lunar Lander Project (presentation)Konstantinos Papavramidis, Alexis Barot-Froger, Christopher Grace, Kyle Hoult-Ellingworth, Francesco Margiotta, Björn Ordoubadian, Adam Welch, Sascha Wizemann and Nicolas Faber
The following paper describes a project conducted by a team of students and young graduates in the frame of the Advanced Student Team Research in Space Industry (ASTRI) programme. While the main focus is on the educational aspects, it also highlights the key technical features of the work performed, as well as lessons learned so far. ASTRI is a collaboration between universities and space industries in Europe. Started under the patronage of Jean-Jacques Dordain, the former Head of ESA, ASTRI provides a team of European students a structured transition between their academic curriculum and their entry into industry. OHB System AG and their daughter company Blue Horizon participated in the first round of the ASTRI programme with a project to develop a “Commercial Lunar Lander”, a lander which should be able to transport customer payloads to the Moon and to allow a soft landing. The main goal of the project is to provide a study of both a technically feasible and a financially sustainable commercial lunar payload delivery service. In addition to the study, side goals are to improve and establish new tools for communication and exchange due to the geographic distances between the team members and their mentors. The students will also get networking opportunities while developing their professional careers in a diverse environment to sharpen their intercultural competencies.
The aim of the technical work is to produce a phase 0/A feasibility study on an 18-month timeline. Within this timeline, the team members work in the project as Master Thesis students during the first six months while located at their respective universities. During the last twelve months the team members continue to work on the project at the companies themselves as regular employees. This natural transition makes ASTRI a versatile programme which combines the quality of a thesis outcome to a specific subject, which can act as an input to a broader real-world project, with the company experience that a Young Graduate programme provides to entry-level engineers.
The actual lunar lander concept is based on providing access to the lunar surface to customers that are looking to perform scientific experiments and technology demonstrations, preferably with a commercial aspect such as resource prospecting. Finally, the concept aims to come up with a solution that would support ESA’s Lunar Village vision of a permanent human lunar settlement, while bringing space closer to the public to further inspire the next generations.
#26 Supporting a University Satellite Engineering Team via Inclusivity and Initiative (presentation)William Crofts and Julia Hunter-Anderson
Any university-based satellite engineering team that hopes to design, build, launch and operate even the most modest of satellite missions is likely to encounter enormous resourcing difficulties. Unless you are fortunate enough to receive support from, e.g. a well-funded research group, it is normally extremely difficult to raise the amount of funding needed. In a research-led university, such a ‘practical’ project rarely has the ‘currency’ of research publication output even if it carries potentially very high profile exposure for the department/university.
The University of Warwick Satellite (WUSAT) Engineering Programme has found ways to overcome this ongoing problem ever since its inception in 2006. This paper describes how resourceful and inventive the Directors and students have had to be in order to facilitate the achievements that the team has made over the past thirteen years.
What is described in this paper is not just a mechanistic approach in ‘how to get things done on a tight budget’, it is also a description of how to develop an attitude and a culture that makes a wide range of individuals and organisations feel that they are part of the wider ‘WUSAT Team’. It is an illustration of ‘thinking on your feet’ when an opportunity arises for you to offer something to someone else rather than just thinking about what you want from them. The reward for the team will come in the payback that almost inevitably comes from organisations/individuals whose trust and respect you have earned.
This paper describes many examples of such relationship-forging events. These include examples involving,
• Partner companies,
• Warwick University staff/resources,
• The inclusivity and diversity of the wider WUSAT team,
• Other external agencies.
Of course, this doesn’t exclude the need for direct financial support altogether, but the culture and approach described in this paper is at the heart of why the WUSAT Programme has been successful, and why it has become widely recognised within the Higher Education Space Engineering community.
#27 BiSKY Team, an aerospace-focused interdisciplinary student project (presentation)Sofía Llorente, Pablo Bedialauneta, Ángel Gil, Sofía Garaizar, Laura Burgos, Maria Carrillo, Daniel Lázaro and Pedro Luis Arias
BiSKY Team is an aerospace-focused student team from the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) born in 2018 that is developing the technology to design, manufacture and launch suborbital rockets. The group is currently the only entity involved in the research and construction of hybrid engine rockets in Spain. The primary objective of the team is to enable young science and engineering students to acquire expertise in the aerospace field, alongside several other transversal skills, by constructing space vehicles. Further purposes include promoting science and engineering among high school students and children and to also reduce the existing disparity between male and female involvement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Besides, the project makes its contribution to space science by providing researchers with the means to test their experiments in zero gravity and high-altitude vacuum.
BiSKY Team is divided into several specialized groups: i) Aerodynamics and Recovery, ii) Propulsion, iii) Avionics, iv) Control and Flight Simulation, v) Business and Management and vi) Structure. This interdisciplinary project makes the collaboration among all groups crucial. In this regard, the team stands for respectful cooperation between all its students. BiSKY Team is an example of a multidisciplinary student project that implements innovative technologies allowing not only its members, but also members of other student research groups and training centers, to enter the competitive sector of aerospace engineering and space science research. Even if this is a university student-developed and managed project, vocational training schools’ involvement is also considered. Close contacts with research and technological institutions as well as industrial companies are pursued looking for technical advice and financial support.
Within the operations of the team, several phases are being undertaken in order to acquire the expertise necessary to design, manufacture and launch a hybrid engine rocket that reaches an altitude of 100 kilometres, also acknowledged as the Karman Line. The phases include the development of two engine test stands, a flight simulator and the complete avionics for the rockets and test stands. The expertise gained through the implementation of the mentioned technology is being applied in the hybrid engine rockets of the so-called Cosmox family, whose primary mission is to reach space and allow the research experiments to be carried out. The design of the Cosmox and future families of rockets is iterative, giving continuity to the project by allowing next generation students to get involved.
#28 Insight into the benefits of ESA Education activities: an overview of the next European space-related workforce (presentation)Federica Angeletti, Chaggai Ganani, Lars Pepermans, Timo Ruhl, Christopher Willett, Ferran Quiles, Francesco Latini, Mattia Reganaz, Laurentiu Nicolae, Javier Viana and Andreas Steinleitner
Growing efforts are currently being addressed by ESA to support the next-generation of space professionals and researchers. The development of highly skilled individuals provides an invaluable asset to foster the growth and success of the European space sector. ESA’s Education Office is successfully creating a network of individuals sharing and promoting dedication to space technology on the basis of the values of trust and cooperation. In this framework, students and early-career researchers can rely on experienced tutors and professionals to improve their area of expertise effectively.
This paper provides a detailed insight of the utterly positive return on the careers of who had first-hand experience of ESA’s Academy activities, both through training courses and hands-on projects (as REXUS/BEXUS program). The authors have contributed in many different and unexpected ways to the advancement of their fields of study and/or work. Accordingly, the outcome of this paper is a vivid and varied patchwork of people from various professional backgrounds reflecting on their experience and thus depicting the actual situation of the young European generation in the space sector.
What links the authors of this paper together is their participation in the five-day didactic training course “Concurrent Engineering Workshop” held in May 2018 at ESA ESEC facility. During the workshop, the students worked as a team to develop a mission architecture for a satellite impacting the Moon surface, surviving and deploying a scientific rover: LIAR mission (Lunar Impactor And Rover). The concurrent design study offered a realistic environment to work within, amidst different scientific backgrounds and expertise, thus leading to a challenging and rewarding learning opportunity. This paper will also discuss the Concurrent Engineering development cycle, by giving an overview of main carried out activities to present the most important lessons learned.
During their involvement in ESA’s educational programs the participants had been given a precious perspective on the tools and strategies behind ESA’s space missions. Moreover, they have been strongly motivated to contribute to the progress of modern space activities and put into practise their vivid enthusiasm for the space field. One year later, the participants are still in contact and committed to fruitful collaboration aimed, among other things, at creating a space start-up. The example highlights that educational support constantly proves to be the key to a successful and prolific future of space sector by encouraging and technically challenging passionate students.
#29 Fly a Rocket! (poster)Agnieszka Polak and Kim Regnery
On the 8th of April, the student rocket was launched from the Andøya Space Center, as part of the ESA Education, NAROM and and the Norwegian Space Agency programme, Fly a Rocket!. The aim of this exciting campaign was to give hands-on experience in the rocketry field to bachelor students. The rocket was built and programmed by the group of 23 young scientists and engineers. Following the successful launch, data from several sensors has been thoroughly analysed. Being part of this group was an incredible experience, and we were all very thrilled to have the opportunity to participate in this project.
Over the week, we got the chance to listen to several lectures and gain knowledge that was directly useful to making and launching the rocket. We spent several days calculating, programming and soldering all parts of the payload. Even though we were given general instructions, we were rather free to explore and make our own suggestions to the payload design. During the launch itself, we assumed the roles of the rocket range staff. From the Principle Investigator, to Head of Operations, we got the chance to experience what it is like to work in a space centre. Due to some of the sensors not working, we had to find new ways to analyse the data that we obtained, so that we could fulfil our science goals with a limited data set. Insights from different students allowed us to do this by combining different data sets.
The whole experience was incredibly inspiring, and the chance to be at a space centre and speak to ESA and NAROM professionals was an experience we will never forget. It made us more excited to proceed with our studies, as we now know what we’re actually aiming to do in the future with respect to the field of rocket science. We feel as though we went home richer in memories, experiences and like-minded friends from all across Europe. The Andøya Space Center was a perfect environment to be inspired and allowed us to have a week we will always look back on fondly.
#30 Touring space science: the HABIT Tour experience (presentation)José Antonio Gordillo Martorell, Javier Martin.Torres and Maria Paz Zorzano Mier
HABIT is a scientific space intrument developed by Group of Atmospheric Science (GAS) of Luleå Tekniska Universitet. It has been selected by the Russian Space Agency Roscosmos to be one of the 2 European instruments on board the ExoMars’ Surface Platform (the Russsian contribution to the mission) in ExoMars 2020 mission. The main scientific goals of the instrument are:
1. To provide environmental information at the Landing Site.
2. To demonstrate liquid water formation on Mars.
3. To test an In-Situ Resource Utilization technology for future Mars exploration.
Therefore, by following the water, HABIT will face directly the accurate assessment of the habitability of the landing site with relation to the pertinent environmental parameters and in accordance with one of the main broad goals of the ExoMars Programme. It will open ways to start planning future manned missions to Mars by serving as a first step in the development of the technology to get from water some of the resources which a prospective crew will need to explore the planet.
Usually space technology and all the science around it, is seen as a “black box” by the audience. It is something distant, maybe curious but incomprehensible, strange, difficult to understand, something done by experts only for experts, something that you can see on TV or internet only as mere spectator without no chances to meet, to touch, to use as a learning tool.
Our main goal with “HABIT Tour” is to break this people's perception, developing a low-cost, practical, friendly and portable resource to share cutting-edge spatial S&T with different kind of audiences such as university and high school students, families, children, journalists, space fans, maker communities, companies etc... HABIT is an amazing space science story that so far has being told in places as Umevatoriet, The Uppsala SciFEst, Vetenskapens Hus in KTH University, astronomy parties in Lysvik and Skellefteå, or The International Science Festival in Gothenburg.
In our presentation we will introduce some interesting results of the HABIT Tour interaction with different kind of audiences in terms of engagement, curiosity improvement and informal learning. We will discuss some specificities we have found in some target audiences as teachers, Preschool, Primary, Secondary, High School and University students, space fans, makers, or astronomy amateurs etc... and we will explain some key points of the “post-experience” continuation in a kind of HABIT community bottom-up movement.
#31 Gamma-Volantis on BEXUS 28: From the first sketch to the launch campaign (presentation)Elisabeth Berka and Nils Hensch
It is hard for students to get hands-on experience in the field of aeronautics and to apply knowledge learned in university to actual projects, since space missions are complex, expensive, and take a long time to complete.
Therefore, a group of students at the Technische Universität Dresden[c1] (TU Dresden) formed the group “Studentische Arbeitsgruppe Raumfahrt[c2] Dresden” (STAR Dresden), which focuses on giving students from different study fields the chance to work on space related activities, by taking part in various competitions and student projects, and even hosting events in Dresden.
Currently, STAR Dresden is participating in the Balloon Experiment for University Students (BEXUS) , which is organised by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), the Swedish National Space Agency (SNSA) and the European Space Agency (ESA). One of the teams selected for BEXUS cycle 12 is Gamma-Volantis, which is implementing a setup for experimental ozone and humidity sensors developed by TU[c3] Dresden’s Institute of Aerospace Engineering (ILR).
The balloon flight carrying the experiment will take place in October. Until then, the students will be able to work on subsystems typical for space flight missions and will learn how to write an student experiment document (SED)[c4] . This document is the scientific documentation of the experiment. They will also gather experience of presenting their work, giving presentations in front of the BEXUS board during design reviews such as the preliminary design review (PDR) and the critical design review (CDR), and even in front of potential sponsors. Due to the tight schedule provided by the launch date, the students will also have to learn to cooperate and communicate between the different subsystem teams, and to be organized in order to achieve the desired goal.
This paper will present the Gamma-Volantis experiment and the methods used by the students to acquire further knowledge and experience on space flight missions. It will contain the difficulties arising from the experiment’s requirements and the given circumstances under which the project is supposed to operate. The paper will also discuss the different approaches used by the students to solve the problems and how they interact with different parties such as the BEXUS experts or other student teams from Europe. Overall it will summarize the lessons learned by the students and how they expanded their knowledge during the BEXUS project.
#32 How cooperation between student groups and universities opens new possibilities for both the students and institutes (presentation)Rico Nerger
There are many factors that present difficulties for potential student-run space related projects. Although there may be much willingness to work or commitment towards the subject, the long-term nature and complexity of space programs, together with the high costs, generally pose a barrier. Universities give their students many opportunities to get scientific experience but are limited by their specializations and the projects they have funds for at the time. This leads to a situation, in which students generally cannot easily create new projects, at least not integrated in established structures. Many students i.e. want to participate in projects like REXUS/BEXUS but struggle to find like-minded peers, and so their ambitions fade away amidst university stress.
To tackle this problem of discrepancy between project idea and motivation on one hand and the existing structures at universities on the other, a group of students in Dresden wanted to lay the groundwork for working on their own projects in their own way, and thus decided to establish a student-led base for space education at the “Technische Universität Dresden”.
The result was the forming of STAR Dresden. “STAR” (STudentische Arbeitsgruppe Raumfahrt) is the German acronym for “Student Working Group for Astronautics”. The purpose of STAR is to provide a foothold for engaging in space projects of any kind, or even to host similar projects on their own, with an emphasis on independence from university bureaucracy.
Taking as an example the projects of STAR and especially the OOXYGEN experiment, this paper shall demonstrate the importance of student-run projects and groups in universities. A group like STAR Dresden provides a great degree of freedom for both students and universities. A freedom which cannot be offered by the traditional modalities of introducing students to scientific work at university.
OOXYGEN on BEXUS is a collaboration between STAR and the Institute for applied Physics of TU Dresden. This project shows, ho a collaboration between a student-led group and an institution of a university can benefit both.
#33 CLIMB - A 3U CubeSat to Van Allen Belt (presentation)Emmeric Vitztum, Kaarel Repän, Alexander Nemetz, Martin Eizinger, Carsten Scharlemann, Alexandros Sousanis and Ekin Ecem Baspinar
CLIMB is a 3U CubeSat whose goal is to reach the Van Allen Belt with the help of an advanced propulsion system. Usually, the Van Allen Radiation Belt is avoided by spacecrafts due to its high radiation levels. CLIMB will aim exactly for this region to conduct various measurements. The spacecraft’s subsystems need to be designed in a way to cope with this rough environment and in case of failure or loss of the spacecraft, it still shall deorbit within 25 years, as required by the Austrian Space Law. Some of the systems of CLIMB have already flown and proven with the previous Austrian mission PEGASUS.
The primary mission objective is the education of students. In addition, there are 3 primary technology objectives. Firstly, the use of an Indium Field Emission Electric Propulsion Microthruster which is operated for the full mission duration (>1 year). Secondly, the implementation of a deployable solar array. Thirdly, development of an in-house S-band transceiver and antenna. For the science case, the mission CLIMB shall provide essential input for future CubeSat missions which intend to leave Low Earth Orbit. Even though the main focus of CLIMB will not be on magnetic field measurements, it can be seen as a precursor mission for a larger mission which would incorporate a constellation of CubeSats. CLIMB shall allow assessment of the influence and the impact increased radiation levels has on electronic elements. Also, CLIMB mission will utilise reflectors which can be used to describe the orbit with much higher accuracy to better time the propulsion manoeuvres.
The first two mission phases, Launch and Early Operation Phase and Commission Phase, include the deployment of the antenna and solar arrays, boot up and check all systems of their functionality. If the operation parameters are within allowable range, the mission is allowed to proceed. In the next phase, the propulsion unit will push CLIMB to a higher apogee. When CLIMB reaches the apogee of 1000 km, the official science mission will start. The science phase contains measurement of the magnetic field and radiation dose in the Van Allen Belt. After the science phase, CLIMB will start to actively lower its perigee into the more dense areas of the atmosphere. The mission ends after re-entering earth.
#34 Inertial Attitude Verification for ADCS Test Beds by Single Camera Image Processing (poster)Michael Rössler and Lennart Kryza
Test beds for attitude determination and control systems (ADCS) are an essential tool during the development and qualification phase of satellites which are often tested under simulated mission conditions. The surrounding magnetic field and lighting conditions can be simulated for verification of the attitude determination algorithms. One major challenge is to verify a complete ADCS with its sensors without introducing noise to these sensors with testing equipment. Active sensors might interfere with magnetic field sensors, sun sensors or the optical instruments of the satellite.
This paper introduces a cost-effective approach which was developed in the scope of a student project. It determines a satellite’s inertial attitude inside a test bed by only using images from a single or multiple commercial cameras. The software utilizes so-called ArUco markers which need to be physically affixed to the satellite and test bed itself. The attitude estimation for verifying the satellite’s own attitude determination can then be done with help of a software package developed by the authors. This software utilizes the open-source ArUco software library for detecting the markers, their position and orientation in the camera coordinate frame. Since it only uses images to do so, there is no interference with sensors or instruments of the satellite. By differentiating between space-fixed and body-fixed markers, it is possible to estimate absolute poses of objects in a frame defined by the space-fixed markers.
The software package is designed to work independently and offers several configuration options to adapt to different use cases. Another potential application are robotic systems which need to orientate themselves in unknown environments and in cooperation with other robots. In this case, the ArUco markers can be utilized in order to identify objects, entities or for navigation. Consequently, a wrapper was developed which integrates the software into the Robot Operating System (ROS) and its usage was demonstrated on rover systems.
In an evaluation of a scenario comparable to an ADCS test bed, attitude estimation was determined to be as accurate as to less than 0.1 degrees. The error of position estimation followed a characteristic curve which can be subtracted out to gain an accuracy of less than 1 cm. With these results, this approach is suitable to be used for space-related projects.
In the future, the authors are planning to add new features to the software package, such as rotation rate determination, and to publish it as open-source software.
#35 In-situ observation of ionospheric plasma aboard ESEO (presentation)Viktor Qiao, Tamás Kőnig, Zsolt Váradi, József Szabó, Antal Bánfalvi and Árpád Kis
This paper presents the first results of the Langmuir Probe Experiment (LMP) aboard the European Student Earth Orbiter (ESEO). ESEO is one of ESA Academy’s currently ongoing projects, the goal of the project is to provide hands-on experience to university students by involving them in the design, manufacturing and operation of a small satellite mission. The project involved teams of students and teachers from ten universities and research institutions of eight European countries. The teams provided scientific and technological experiments, and the satellite platform was developed and produced by Sitael, an Italian company. The satellite was launched into orbit on the 3rd of December 2018 and it is currently in the early phase of its operation. 
LMP is an in-situ plasma diagnostic instrument developed by the team of the Laboratory of Space Technology from Budapest University of Technology and Economics. LMP applies the Langmuir probe principle: a metallic electrode is dipped into the plasma and the instrument records its current-voltage curve. The curve changes according to changes in the electron density, ion density and electron temperature of the surrounding plasma. This makes it possible to characterize the plasma by analysing the recorded current-voltage curves.
ESEO is situated at an altitude of approximately 575 km , which places it in the F layer of Earth’ ionosphere. Ionospheric plasma is created by ionized particles of the atmosphere that are trapped by the Earth’s magnetic field. The source of ionization is mostly the solar radiation and to a lesser extent cosmic radiation. The properties of ionospheric plasma are sensitive to changes in the amount of received sunlight, solar activity, solar wind and the behaviour of the magnetosphere, thus seasonal and diurnal changes are known to occur. In addition to regular changes, anomalies are also present, such as the South-Atlantic anomaly. LMP’s objective is to monitor these variations in the ionospheric plasma. LMP will be active for approximately one month during the 6-month expected lifetime of the satellite. and the sun-synchronous orbit of ESEO makes it possible to fully map the Earth’s surface during this time.
In our oral presentation we would like to present the results of the preliminary in-orbit tests, which are scheduled to take place in the spring or early summer. Full activation of the experiment is expected later in 2019, if nominal operations of LMP have begun by the date of the conference we would include them in our presentation as well.
 2018. About ESEO - The European Student Earth Orbiter: https://www.esa.int/Education/ESEO/About_ESEO_-_the_European_Student_Earth_Orbiter
 A. Gubicza, R. Kiraly, P. Bencze and A. Banfalvi: “Investigation of cosmic ray variations due to ionospheric irregularities”, 2nd International Conference on Space Technology, Athens 2011
#37 AIM (Artery In Microgravity): An ICE Cubes Mission by University Students (presentation)Olivia Drayson, Nicolò Bernardini, Amina Bakkali Abderrahaman, Luca Cerquetani, Alessandro Cipolletta, Blanca Dalfó Ferrer, Federico Falcone, Stefano Gabetti, Michele Genoni, Elena Torta, Federica Vagnone, Manuela Aguzzi, Chloé Audas, Matthieu Compin, Jean-Jacques Favier, Stéphanie Lizy-Destrez and Umberto Morbiducci
The ICE Cubes Facility is a capable experiment platform on board the Columbus Module of the International Space Station that offers flexibility to host many different experiments. The ICE Cubes Facility is suited for any scientific research and technological demonstrator that requires the study of the effects of microgravity and radiation exposure in a pressurised volume. The ICE Cube Service is also open to different schooling levels (primary, secondary, universities) and to different STEAM curricula and offers University students (Master and PhD) the opportunity to design, develop, test and operate a real experiment for the ISS under the supervision of experts from the ICE Cube Service.
The Artery In Microgravity (AIM) project is a 2U ICE Cubes experiment cube and the first experiment to be selected for the Orbit Your Thesis! programme of ESA Academy. The cube is expected to be launched on SpaceX-20 in early 2020. The project is being developed by an international group of students from ISAE-Supaero and Politecnico di Torino.
The experiment will investigate coronary heart disease, the most common form of cardiovascular disease and the cause of approximately 9 million deaths every year. In view of the very long duration missions to come, such diseases may also affect healthy astronauts in space. The AIM cube is a test-bench for investigating haemodynamics in microgravity and will study the effects of microgravity on blood flow in the coronary artery with and without an implanted coronary stent and the impact of augmented radiation levels on metallic ion release from coronary stents.
The experimental setup consists of a closed hydraulic loop containing two models of a coronary artery in series. An electric pump and reservoir will control the flow of a blood-mimicking fluid through the system. One model of the coronary artery will contain a coronary stent. The pressure of the fluid will be studied along its path using a series of pressure sensors and a camera will visualise the flow. Ground tests will be conducted concurrently in order to perform a comparison between the on-ground behaviour and the behaviour in microgravity.
The paper will showcase the design and development of the AIM experiment cube, the results of testing and the educational applications of the ICE Cubes Facility. The full data and results will be available after the completion of the mission which is expected to be between March and June 2020.
#38 THE IMPLEMENTATION OF ASTRONOMY AS A TEACHING-LEARNING TOOL AT HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN MANAUS (presentation)Luis Pereira, Ingrid Celeste and Igor Tavares Padilha
Brazil is a country with low emphasis in astronomy education in the Public Educational System. At a very early age, students of the Public Education System have a very poorly introduction in science, the teachers are badly equipped to teach and the problems in our system lead to low qualified professionals and an aversion to science in general. Our work aimed to teach, encourage and inspire high school students that lived and studied at slums and low-income neighborhoods to put science in their lives through astronomy classes and also try to multiply the amount of people that can multiply that knowledge through the world.
We went to some schools that really needed support and started a weekly basis class with students that wanted to learn astronomy as they did not have that kind of class growing up. As the classes progressed, the students seemed more interested with the classes at school and more willing to learn what was being taught at school, and as a result they were more inclined to join our University and start learning more about Engineering, Astrophysics, Programing and more. We aim with this work to start a new era of Education in our country were science has a stronger focus in young students, and in the process, creating people that can help build a new, better and well-structured country.
#39 The Sheffield Space Initiative - Introduction, motivations, and impact assessment. (presentation)Roisin Clear, Yun-Hang Cho, Sagar Shah, Joycelyn Fontanilla, Marwan Taher, Vishan Birakasan, Georgios Rontogiannis and Viktor Fedun
In the rapidly changing landscape of ‘New Space’ and ‘disruptive innovation’, the University of Sheffield has identified the need for bespoke and focused training for students wishing to enter the space industry. The Sheffield Space Initiative (SSI) is a group of student-led projects at the University of Sheffield. Its purpose is to provide highly motivated and passionate students with the opportunity to participate in space related projects and work within multidisciplinary teams to address real-world challenges in space engineering.
There are five active projects within the SSI: SunbYte, SunrIde, SunSat, Marsworks, and Avalon. The projects cover a broad range of upstream and downstream applications from pushing the boundaries of scientific discovery with SunbYte’s solar telescope, to SunrIde’s new launch capabilities, space exploration vehicles like Marsworks and Avalon, and flexible satellite platforms with SunSat. Over the course of these projects students apply the knowledge from their degree programs, acquire new skills, work as part of teams, and experience all aspects of a science and engineering mission from conception, to design, manufacture, integration, testing, and operation, as well as exposure to the financial and regulatory problems which are not encountered in normal curricular projects.
This feeds into SSI’s secondary goals, which are to help address the widely reported skills gap in engineering and space engineering in the UK, and to encourage school students to study STEM subjects. Each SSI project dedicates a significant amount of time and resources to outreach and educational activities, in order to inspire and train the next generation of engineers to continue and build on the successes of the projects, and to prepare them for careers within the space industry. To help to achieve this, SSI members have created the ‘SSI Academy’, which delivers a series of lectures and workshops at the beginning of each academic year, in which experienced SSI students share their knowledge and expertise with students and members of the public that are interested in space. SSI projects have had engagement with international space agencies like ESA and NASA, as well as major industrial companies, which presents unique advantages and employment opportunities for the members. This presentation will assess the impact that the SSI has on former students as well as the wider outreach impact. It will present the lessons learned, and explore its potential use as a model for other institutions to follow.
#40 Research practice regarding earth observation science in developing countries: the present scenario and expectations in Bangladesh (poster)Md. Abu Saleh
To strengthen the environmental monitoring and research, most of the developing countries have already established their satellite systems capable of remote sensing applications for the real-time monitoring of their lands. While the number of space agencies and the satellite programs is 93 according to the statistics of Observing Systems Capability Analysis and Review Tool (OSCAR) by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Among the list, the United States has the most contribution which is 12 among the total programs which are an independent operation and providing services to the government and industrial sectors for a variety of benefits. Environmental monitoring is highly significant so that the government can identify and be warned of the upcoming disastrous syndrome in nature and undertake appropriate measures for the preparedness against it. This study is a survey based work that includes the opinions of young and experienced researchers in the environmental sectors with the understanding of satellite operations about how does this technology contribute to the environmental research sector. The survey had been performed where the total respondents were 183(=n) from the various organizations and universities whereas the 79.32% of researchers were experienced in earth observation science and they provided their opinion suggesting that the scope(78.92%), opportunities(81.29%), international trainings(91.54%) and sufficient instrumentational funding(85.31%) and other comments(3.02%) regarding the satellite data analysis and prediction based of mathematical modelling should be available and accessible to the most of the university students and researchers who’re conducting study in environmental science. But the conclusion of their comments was to increase of space education to compete in this competitive world of development as Bangladesh is lagging behind in this field.
#41 PW-Sat3 – third iteration of CubeSats developed at Warsaw University of Technology. Mission definition and feasibility study process description. (poster)Marcin Pulik and Aleksander Kipiela
The first CubeSat project at the Warsaw University of Technology started in 2005, when a group of students from the Students’ Space Association decided to build a satellite, which in 2012 became the first ever Polish satellite launched into space. From that time, CubeSats are in constant development, conducted by students gathered in the Space Association. In December last year, the second satellite was launched and at the same time Students started to work on the third one.
This continuity and flow of knowledge is typical for the organization and enables every generation which joins it to go further and develop more sophisticated missions, not only in the field of satellites, but also in rocketry, robotics and balloon projects. Students who finish their studies and leave the Association often join the polish space sector. At this point the Association is one of the biggest suppliers of high-qualified engineers, who have specialized knowledge and experience in the field.
For PW-Sat3, numerous tools and solutions were taken from the previous project. The knowledge gathered by the team members during the CubeSat Concurrent Engineering Workshop 2019 let them start the feasibility study, after the mission definition, with the Team’s own approach described broader in the paper. The assumed completion time of phase A is January 2020. The main goals of the project for the next year and the last achievements will also be presented.
#42 Millinewton thrust stand for cold-gas testing (poster)Marcin Pulik and Aleksander Kipiela
Propulsion systems for small satellites require a test campaign in a facility developed with uncommon precision. Measuring engine parameters is a challenging task in which usually negligible factors can have a significant influence on the result. Analyzing microthrust around 0.005 N requires accuracy of determination at uncommonly demanding level. Due to the limited project budget, some new, innovative solutions in the design of the bearings and the connections, as well as in measuring the friction torque were applied.
The mechanical and electronic design of the test facility was based on the knowledge resources of the Division of Aircraft Engines. The performance of the contact areas was calculated analytically, based on Hertz theory, compared with a FEM model and tested. The facility is also considered in terms of its stiffness, natural frequencies and damping to search for their impact on the output data. Moreover, the idea of friction torque determination without additional devices will be presented.
As the facility is still being developed, many more analyses and the application of new testing methods are possible. Some of them will be described in the paper next to already used solutions and the design decision process.
 James E. Polk, Anthony Pancotti, Thomas Haag, Scott King and Mitchell Walker, Joseph Blakely, John Ziemer, “Recommended Practice for Thrust Measurement in Electric Propulsion Testing”, Journal of Propulsion and Power, May, Vol. 33, No. 3 : pp. 539-555
#44 THE IMPORTANCE OF A SIMPLE ASTRONOMY CLUB IN A SCIENCE-CLOSED CITY (poster)Luis Pereira
Manaus is a city in the heart of the Amazonian Rainforest that did not have any scientific interest whatsoever. My city lives in a constant fight against any kind of scientific relevance, that causes a population that lacks the most basic understanding of how our universe works, since 2016, a group that I’m part is working to make this situation better, we formed an Astronomy Club in our University, since the city had none like it, and we observed some changes after our work to disseminate science started. First, people of the city started to attend more and more to scientific events that started showing up here and there, then, some events that were only about pop culture and other kinds of entertainment started asking our presence to participate and spread our knowledge to the more common folk. This work continued and more and more people are starting to see science differently, with this job we want to create a more open-minded city to new experiences in astronomy, physics and other matters.
#45 Development of Human Resources for Space Industry in ESA New Member States – Polish Perspective (presentation)Bartosz Widera
Poland became a member of the European Space Agency in 2012. Since then, Polish engineers have successfully participated in various ESA missions, proving their skills and qualifications by delivering high quality subsystems of spacecrafts and ground support equipment. As new missions are planned, the Polish space engineering sector grows and new companies are able to become contractors for the purposes of design and development of spacecraft subsystems. The need of training of new engineers is clearly visible.
The aim of this work is to characterise educational background of the Polish space industry. Being a new member state, Poland is still in the stage of organization of programs, initiatives and university level activities enhancing development of human resources in the space sector. The author, as a recent graduate, recipient of the ESA Education program and laureate of the domestic space industry apprenticeship program, took up the challenge of analysing the space-related career paths available for Polish graduates: opportunities, but also barriers. Activities undertaken by the sector entities were also summarized. This includes actions of government agencies: Polish Space Agency and Industrial Development Agency, as well as companies themselves, cooperating within the Polish Space Industry Association.
#46 Online team work in space science and astronomy at the Open University (poster)Mark Jones, Sarah Chyriwsky, Judith Croston, Ulrich Kolb, Susanne Schwenzer and Sheona Urquhart
The UK Open University (UKOU) operates a distance-learning model that supports students who are geographically dispersed (in the UK and across the world) and who are typically studying part-time. Within this context, it is particularly challenging to develop team-working skills that are a hallmark of employment or academic research in the space sector.
Here we report on three different team-working projects in space science and astronomy that have been run at the UKOU at advanced undergraduate and taught postgraduate levels and typically involve about 170 students per annum. The common features of these projects is that they involve teams of students working remotely from each other and communicating through asynchronous and synchronous (shared audio and whiteboard) methods. The projects are somewhat open-ended and designed such that team decisions are required throughout. Specifically, these projects concern the following topics: an investigation of quasar spectra using data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), characterisation of variable star light curves using observations from a robotic telescope, and a Mars rover mission simulation. The robotic telescope and the Mars rover simulation (based in a physical Mars yard) are part of The Open University’s award-winning OpenSTEM Labs.
We present an early analysis of the student experience on these three projects. We combine qualitative analysis of online forum discussions with insights drawn from in-depth interviews with students to highlight the factors that may be important in the success of online team work in a space science context.
#47 AIMIS – Additive Manufacturing in Space (presentation)Patricio Maier, Jannik Pimpi, Alexander Titz, Fabian Schill, Christopher Urbach, Leonard Hofmann, Christoph Drexler and Dr. Markus Pietras
One of the limiting factors in the development of spaceships or stations is the transport of the necessary materials into space. Rocket launches set structures and materials to enormous forces and loads. This fact limits the design freedom in the development of spacecraft and increases the cost of transport considerably.
The manufacturing of structures in orbit solves this problem and opens new possibilities for the development of spacecraft. It also allows the construction of components in dimensions and shapes that go far beyond the limitations of payload bays of current launch systems.
The student team AIMIS (Additive Manufacturing in Space) wants to answer the question of whether the manufacture of components in space is technically feasible and thus represents a technology innovation to be followed up.
As part of the REXUS/BEXUS program, the team is developing a system for curing photoreactive resin under space conditions by means of UV light irradiation.
The goal is to develop a process that allows continuous extrusion and curing of a synthetic material in space. Thus, theoretically endless structures, such as trusses, can arise.
The use of photoreactive resins is less energy intensive and emits less heat than traditional additive manufacturing methods that use thermal energy to process the raw material. This makes it perfectly suited for the resource-capped space industry.
Working closely with photoreactive resins manufacturers, AIMIS independently develops extrusion and curing processes and designs a system to monitor the process. The synthetic resin is extruded and cured on board the REXUS 27 sounding rocket in the form of cylindrical rods in 60 seconds. The experiment takes place in micro-gravity and under vacuum.
The hardened rods will be examined for their material properties after the experiment and compared with samples prepared on the ground.
Launch of the rocket is in March 2020 in Sweden, with the publication of the results is expected in the summer of 2020.
#48 Assembly, Integration and Verification Activities for a 2U CubeSat, EIRSAT-1 (presentation)Sarah Walsh, David Murphy, Maeve Doyle, Rachel Dunwoody, Masoud Emam, Jessica Erkal, Joe Flanagan, Gianluca Fontanesi, Andrew Gloster, Joe Mangan, Conor O'Toole, Favour Okosun, Rakhi Rajagopalan Nair, Jack Reilly, Lána Salmon, Daire Sherwin, Joseph Thompson, Paul Cahill, Daithí de Faoite, Umair Javaid, Lorraine Hanlon, David McKeown, William O'Connor, Kenneth Stanton, Alexei Ulyanov, Ronan Wall and Sheila McBreen
The Educational Irish Research Satellite, EIRSAT-1, is a project developed by students at University College Dublin that aims to design, build, and launch Ireland’s first satellite. EIRSAT-1 is a 2U CubeSat incorporating three novel payloads; GMOD, a gamma-ray detector, EMOD, a thermal coating management experiment, and WBC, a novel attitude control algorithm. The EIRSAT-1 project is carried out with the support of the Education Office of the European Space Agency, under the educational Fly your Satellite! Programme.
The Assembly, Integration and Verification (AIV) plan for EIRSAT-1 is central to the philosophy and development of the spacecraft. The model philosophy employed for the project is known as the ‘prototype’ approach in which two models of the spacecraft are assembled; an Engineering Qualification Model (EQM) and a Flight Model (FM). The payloads, GMOD and EMOD, and the Antenna Deployment Mechanism (ADM) platform element that have been designed and developed in-house also have an additional Development Model (DM). The engineering qualification model serves both as a FlatSat for electrical integration testing and as a representative model for testing of software code, patching and operational decisions during the active mission. The EQM is tested to qualification levels and durations during the environmental test campaign. The flight model contains the flight versions of the payloads, ADM platform element and the procured hardware elements. It undergoes acceptance level testing and it is the final spacecraft to be delivered to ESA for flight.
After successful completion of the Critical Design Review (CDR) and Ambient Test Readiness Review (ATRR) phases of the project, the EQM of EIRSAT-1 was assembled and integrated in University College Dublin. After assembly and integration of the EQM, the project began the ambient test campaign, in which the EQM underwent ambient functional and mission testing. This work details the preparation and execution of the assembly, integration, and verification activities of EIRSAT-1 EQM and summarises the results of the ambient test campaign.
#49 Towards aerospace engineering curriculum in Hungary (presentation)Laszlo Bacsardi, Janos Jozsa and Kalman Kovacs
In Hungary, it is a strategic goal to spread high-tech RDI (research-development-innovation) activities, and to develop the industrial manufacturing and service sectors capable of applying these. Hungary's full ESA membership was a significant step towards achieving the above strategic goal and offered new possibilities for the Hungarian space industry. The expansion of space industry requires a significant number of well-trained professionals experienced in space technology. We would like to introduce the efforts made by the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME) to launch the first Hungarian aerospace engineer training.
BME is the leader in Hungarian technical higher education. At the more than two centuries old BME, several researchers and development engineers pursued their education or work who attained world-class achievements in the area of modern space research. The education of technical and scientific fundamentals of space activity has been a considerable part of the curriculum for decades at various faculties of BME. In the past years, our students and staff members participated in the ESERO program, developed the Masat-1, the first Hungarian cubesat and currently working on the SMOG-1, the first Hungarian picosatellite, as well as participated different ESA’s educational programs including REXUS/BEXUS program. The different lessons learned of these projects became educational content for the next generation of students. Currently, there are about 20 courses at 4 faculties in the space domain on undergraduate and graduate level.
Although our students and staff members participate national and international space projects, it is not easy to recognize their achievements from educational point of view since aerospace engineering curriculum does not exist in Hungary. Fortunately, several stakeholders and influencers raised the need for such a degree in the past years including the authors of this paper. Informal discussions were initialized by Hungarian Astronautical Society in 2016, and BME started to push further by harmonizing its internal space related educational processes. According to the current national plans, establishing aerospace engineering degree will be part the new Hungarian Space Strategy which will be adopted hopefully in this year.
In our paper, we will detail the different processes which have been done so far towards establishing the aerospace engineering degree in Hungary. We will introduce our implementation plan for the near future.
#50 The Impact and Continuing Inter-Connectedness of the Space School UK Community (presentation)Daniel Robson, Áine O'Brien, Louise McCaul, Tim Hewlett, Seb Robarts, Ben Sutlieff, Heidi Thiemann, George Weaver, Lucy Williams, Matthew Nutter, Sheila Kanani and Tracey Dickens
Space School UK is a summer residential programme for school aged students (~13-15 for juniors, ~15-18 for seniors) from both the UK and abroad. It is held at the University of Leicester over 3 weeks each year, and seeks to utilise the University’s position as a leader in UK space research and study. Each programme week involves various activities run by the team of Mentors, university students and young professionals in the space sector, all of whom participated in Space School as students themselves.
The UK Space Agency’s goal for the UK to make up 10% of the global sector by 2030 will only be reached by ensuring we have a larger workforce. Space School UK seeks to inspire young people interested in space to join the sector, through giving them an insight into working and studying in the field. Space School works with external partners to provide scholarships for students from low income backgrounds so that they can attend these invaluable summer camps.
This paper seeks to evaluate and present the benefits of Space School UK not only to individuals who participate in the programme, organisations that are involved with running and gaining visibility through it, but also to the wider UK and worldwide space community. From anecdotal evidence through speaking with current and past Space School UK staff and students, alumni frequently go on to highly sought-after roles in the UK and international space sector.
Also to be addressed, will be which particular facets of Space School UK make for such an engaging and encouraging experience for the students, that are perhaps missing in other areas of school students’ traditional “space education”. We seek to show how exactly Space School UK acts as an excellent example of how to bridge the gap between secondary and tertiary space education. Successfully proven techniques from Space School UK are likely to have applications and value across the broader mandate of STEM outreach, as the UK seeks to diversify and grow its own STEM workforce, particularly in the space sector.
#51 On the Impact and Needs of Various Audience Groups from Space Analogue Outreach and Education Programmes (presentation)Daniel Robson, Maria Grulich, Ghanim Alotaibi, Hannah Blackburn, Nathan Hadland, David Masaitis, Veronica Trivino Herrero and Natalia Larrea Brito
The Mars Desert Research Base (MDRS) is an analogue Mars simulation facility in the Utah desert, operated by the not for profit organisation, The Mars Society. The authors recently had the opportunity to participate in Mission 205 to MDRS as part of the International Emerging Space Leaders (IESL) Mission for two weeks in February 2019, whose objectives included leadership development, sample collection, Martian navigation techniques, astronomy and outreach. Coming from a background of heavy involvement with STEM outreach, this paper’s authors wish to discuss the outreach opportunities that were available to them, the constraints, the issues and the successes of science communication from “The Red Planet”.
There are several physical limiting factors to conducting outreach from an analogue base, many of which are reflected closely with current ISS limitations and are likely to be increased during exploration missions. Limited data rates and bandwidth, the physical remoteness of MDRS, crew time and willingness to participate in outreach projects, and other simulation conditions can all have an impact on the scope of the outreach activities, and effect they have upon the audience. However, most of these are requirements for the base to act as an accurate analogue in general, so don’t require changing.
Fundamentally the differences between a ground-based analogue and real Mars can affect the receiving audience’s engagement for the subject. In particular, the perceived risks that the crew are under from environmental factors (weather, atmosphere etc), technical malfunctions, isolation or the support level they are able to receive if required. However, despite these challenges much can be gained, and disseminated from, analogue missions, especially effective space outreach.
This paper seeks to address what facets of analogue missions can be best exploited for engaging various audiences from the British Science Association Audience Model, without degrading the fidelity or validity of the simulation. It also seeks to propose improvements in current pre-mission guidance on outreach planning for providers in the context of an MDRS, but which may be applicable for other analogues too. Suggestions will also be made for improvements to better prepare future MDRS crews in what outreach is achievable and effective, without endangering the crew’s mission or the base’s esteem in the eyes of the public or scientific community.
#52 OPHELOS: An Affordable Approach to Space-Based Biomedical Research (presentation)Luis Cormier, Jacek Patora, Miguel Aresta and James Cockayne
OPHELOS (Orbital Platform Helping Experiment on Living Organisms in Space) is a research project based at the University of Nottingham. The project aims at developing a scalable platform designed in accordance with CubeSat specifications and PC/104 standard. The structure is optimised to be affordable and easily manufactured at educational institutions.
The project is a development from the GlioSat and GlioLab platforms, both designed to observe the behaviour of Glioblastoma cancer cells in extreme environments, and expanding their capabilities by being able to carry a wide array of payloads. In addition to conventional satellite components, the platform incorporates an environmental monitoring and control system, capable of maintaining a temperature to within half a degree. In order to observe how the payload physically changes as a result of spaceflight, various methods of real-time observation of the payload and environment are included, such as a scintillator and an on-board microscope.
A systems test will be performed in May on board a high altitude balloon (HAB), following on from successful tests of individual subsystems. The HAB test will contain a dummy payload, to ensure the system is capable of maintaining a controlled environment to within the desired range, and record data for an extended period of time, in extreme environments. Data from this test will be used to optimise the design, to better suit the platform for the initial payload. Following a successful test, the team is looking forward to moving on to the orbital phase of the project, likely commencing with a 1U CubeSat in 2020/21, with the aim of progressing to a 3U system in the near future.
#54 Commercial access for UK/ESA student experiments on board the ISS (poster)Christopher Gaffney, Ramon Nartallo, Gianluca Neri, Rebecca Ellwood, Michael Cooke, Nima Gharahdaghi, Roberta Torregrossa, Matthew Piasecki, Colleen Deane, Matt Whiteman, Timothy Etheridge, Bethan Phillips, David Zolesi and Nathaniel Szewczyk
School students in the US have the ability to commercially fly experiments on-board the International Space Station (ISS) via programmes like the Nanoracks sponsored Student Spaceflight Experiment Program (SSEP). Programs like SSEP do allow international schools to participate but similar programmes do not currently exist within ESA. ESA does, however, support commercial access to space via companies like Airbus (www.kiwi-microgravity.com) and Kayser Italia (www.bioreactorexpress.space). A key principle of SSEP is that students propose to fly experiments that will work within existing spaceflight hardware. This is similar to the idea of using standardized cubesat platforms in education and ESA’s long standing use of standardized Experiment Containers (ECs). These ECs form the starting point for Airbus and Kayser Italia’s commercial access programmes. In 2018 we were selected by the UK Space Agency to develop and fly a UK national payload to the ISS. This payload will conduct scientific experiments proposed by ourselves, international partners, and schools in the UK. All experiments will take place inside ECs that are refurbished and flight qualified in the UK. If we can successfully conduct student experiments during this mission we will have demonstrated the possibility of conducting UK student experiments in space via a UK company. This should pave the way for UK based commercial access to the ISS that could be used by schools much like the US based SSEP.
#55 On the Effectiveness of an Interleaved Curriculum in Increasing Exposure of Secondary School Pupils to Astronomy and Astrophysics (poster)George Weaver and Emily Seeber
Astronomy and astrophysics have always been subjects that capture the imagination of the public. From the earliest cave paintings of the Pleiades over 16,000 years ago, to 15% of the global population tuning in to watch the Apollo 11 landings, humans have been predisposed to learning about what lies beyond our atmosphere. Despite this, the number of students spending at least 50% of their time on Astronomy related topics at university has fallen since 2010, even though headcounts on physics courses increasing over the same period, and the total number of undergraduate first year students studying at least 50% astronomy is below 1000.
Astronomy has a unique way of engaging students’ minds to physics and the sciences, and with the subject consisting of such a wide range of disciplines, it provides a unique vehicle to engage students in the teaching of topics traditionally delivered in smaller blocks.
Interleaving has been a research phenomenon in education that has increasingly shown promise. Studies in 2008 showing improvement in mathematical skills over a 3 month period and 2011 showing improvement in complex legal analysis in law students have been widely cited as evidence of its effectiveness. It involves the weaving of skills and concepts throughout themes across a longer time period, with repetition in different contexts and has shown promise in overcoming one of teachings biggest problems, long term recall. It not only allows for contextual teaching, with more real-world application to strengthen knowledge, but also to ensure repeated practice of skills and concepts, building a deeper knowledge of subject content.
As head of Block 3 Physics at Bedales, I have designed two ‘themed terms’ to show how a new curriculum could make use of this, with the Autumn term consisting of Astronomy-based work. This allows for the teaching of such topics as waves, forces, motion, energy, and radioactivity through a more engaging medium, creating a running theme for students to follow. It also allows for increased exposure for students to more in-depth and interesting astronomical concepts than the standard physics curriculum, whilst still ensuring the GCSE specification is followed. This paper seeks to explain how this design can lead to the inclusion of some fascinating science that is traditionally missed out, and give a vehicle to improve students’ exposure to astrophysics, increasing the number of students with knowledge and enthusiasm in the subject itself and its possible career paths.
#56 Flight Software Development for the EIRSAT-1 mission - the pros and cons of kit-driven development (presentation)Maeve Doyle, Andrew Gloster, Conor O’toole, Joseph Mangan, David Murphy, Rachel Dunwoody, Masoud Emam, Jessica Erkal, Joe Flanaghan, Gianluca Fontanesi, Favour Okosun, Rakhi Rajagopalan Nair, Jack Reilly, Lána Salmon, Daire Sherwin, Joseph Thompson, Sarah Walsh, Paul Cahill, Daithí de Faoite, Umair Javaid, Sheila McBreen, David McKeown, William O’connor, Kenneth Stanton, Alexei Ulyanov, Ronan Wall and Lorraine Hanlon
The Educational Irish Research Satellite, known as EIRSAT-1, is a 2U CubeSat being developed by students and staff at University College Dublin (UCD) in collaboration with Irish industry partners. This student-led project to design, build, test and launch EIRSAT-1 is being supported by ESA Education as part of the 2nd round of the Fly Your Satellite! Programme. As EIRSAT-1 is set to be the first Irish satellite, the primary objectives of this project focus on the enhancement of skills, expertise and knowledge in the area of space science, engineering and the space sector in general, as well as inspiring the next generation of students towards the study of STEM. To facilitate these objectives, the mission will provide an in-orbit demonstration of three novel experiments – GMOD, a bespoke gamma-ray detector, EMOD, a thermal materials experiment and WBC, an attitude control algorithm. In addition to hardware design, the satellite’s on-board software is being developed by the EIRSAT-1 team using Bright Ascension’s GenerationOne Flight Software Development Kit (FSDK). This kit provides a modular framework that encompasses low-level hardware interfaces through to high-level functions, and is compatible with many Clyde Space components used on EIRSAT-1. In contrast, the custom software required for our payload (GMOD and EMOD) microcontrollers will be written without the use of a kit, giving us a rough comparison between the software development approaches. This work will include a brief overview of EIRSAT-1’s on-board software design and will outline the software development process taken by the team, with a focus on how this process has been shaped by the use of a flight software development kit. Specifically, the contents of this work will draw on our experience with Bright Ascension’s GenerationOne FSDK. The work aims to shed light on the pros and cons of kit-driven development, helping others to determine if an FSDK is suited to them and their mission.
#58 Student perspective and lessons learned from participating in ESA ESEO mission (presentation)Dániel Skriba, Márton Borsi, Antal Bánfalvi, József Szabó and Zsolt Váradi
In this paper we would like to present what have we learned from participating in the ESA’s European Student Earth Orbiter (ESEO) mission which is an educational satellite program. In this project, student teams of ten universities from all over Europe (Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Poland, UK) have been involved in the development of scientific payloads, parts of subsystems and ground segments. As the founder and supporter of this project, ESA Academy provided many educational opportunities along the way. We present about our experiences of working on the different units of the satellite and attending to the courses and workshops organised by ESA Academy.
The Laboratory of Space Technology at Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME) prepared two parts for the satellite. One is the System side Power Distribution Unit (PDU) which is a part of the Power Subsystem. The other is the Langmuir probe (LMP) experiment which is one of the scientific payloads. Therefore, the students in the laboratory had the possibility to gain insight of the procedures needed to prepare both the system and the payload side parts of ESEO. Among many tasks, students participated in the design manufacture, adjust and test phases of the PDU and the LMP, with which they learned about standards and test procedures, required to prepare space qualified equipment.
ESA Academy organised two courses for the students of the ESEO teams. Beyond that we could visit Belgium, we studied about spacecraft operations and spacecraft communications. These courses were supporting the preparation of the satellite.
At the last phase of the preparation we visited Sitael S.p.A. in Forli for the final testing of our modules before integration. This provided us unique hands on experience because our both teams spent almost a week together with Sitael’s experts and our professors working in a space industry grade environment.
After the satellite was assembled, we were invited to the Assembly Integration and Testing (AIT) workshop in Noordwijk. During the one day of the workshop we got various useful presentations about the Test Campaign of the ESEO and visited the ESA’s space research and technology centre ESTEC. The top of our visit was when we saw the fully integrated ESEO the result of the hard work of many universities.
#59 Development and Testing of a Poly-Finger Gripper for a Planetary Rover in the Fields of Science and Study (poster)Tobias Planitzer and Lennart Kryza
In the fields of space exploration, robotic systems are indispensable. Rovers utilize end effectors to interact with their surrounding, manipulate objects or take samples. This paper elaborates an end effector system suited for a mission scenario derived from the European Rover Challenge 2018 . The BEAR Gripper offers a high grade of versatility and is inspired by anthropomorphic mechanisms of the human hand. It was designed, manufactured and tested at the Technische Universität Berlin. At the current time, it is used on the Bear Exploration and Assistant Rover (BEAR).
In the realm of a bachelors thesis, a cost-effective, lightweight but also robust gripper system was developed. The mission scenario from the ERC 2018 served as a realistic application frame. This annual event focuses on terrestrial testbeds simulating the environments of other celestial bodies to put to the test newly developed robotic systems for planetary exploration purposes. In 2018, a Mars analog test bed was chosen as an environment. Hence, the BEAR Gripper was designed regarding its requirements for the numerous tasks in given mission scenarios. They were laid out to correspond to assisting service tasks for a manned exploration mission. These include: manipulation of a terminal by turning knobs and switches into specified positions, grasping cylindrical cache containers and obtaining loose soil samples.
As inspiration served a gripper system by OpenBionics . Keeping the bioinspired grasping mechanism in mind, the BEAR Gripper finds a remastered way to implement an underactuated gripper system. Three fingers with two joints each are realized. They are actuated by a single servo motor  via a combination of steel strings and springs. A novelty lies in the implemented joint design which unites the hinges (joints) and the guidance system for the steel strings. Hence, no additional secondary pulleys or rather complex guiding systems are needed. A differential mechanism prevents the fingers from any uncertainties of force application. Furthermore, it enables them to individually grasp around irregular shaped objects without dedicated commanding. The gripper can be changed between a cylindrical and a spherical grasping pattern by rotating two of the fingers into an opposing orientation. The system was successfully tested and verified in all aforementioned tasks. The design of the whole system is planned to be released as open hardware design in the near future.
#61 Space Academy: A Journey from Hospital to Mars (presentation)Rachael Dixon
Being in hospital can be a very frightening and lonely experience, especially as a child and especially when in an isolation unit. A patient may be in isolation either because they are infectious to other patients or because they are immunosuppressed, and it is dangerous for them to be around other patients and illnesses. Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity (ECHC) is developing a Space Academy programme which aims to take the isolation experienced by the children and mirror it with the experience of an astronaut in space, thereby using the idea of space exploration to inspire children who are at their most vulnerable, and hopefully lessen the negative impact hospital experiences may have on a child. ECHC's Space Academy is a 3-week programme which sees each child through the stages of their mission to Mars, right through from pre-launch to debrief. A video-guided app is being developed to take them through their journey, with Tim Peake having agreed to record the introductory video. Each day offers different activities which follow this narrative, and which have been developed to abide by infection control restrictions within the hospital environment. Many of these activities are designed to parallel the work of scientists and astronauts, having used ESA resources aimed at school teachers as a guideline. The programme will therefore provide the children and young people with a way to engage with science whilst in hospital, at a time when they may be missing out on mainstream education. The programme is due to be trialled in the oncology ward of the Edinburgh Royal Hospital for Sick Children in late 2019, since many cancer treatments result in a lowered immune system which requires the patients to be in isolation. This paper outlines the need for such a programme, the details of the planned pilot initiative and discusses the potential future development and reach of the project.
#62 Design and development of a 1-axis attitude control testbed for functional testing of EIRSAT-1. (presentation)Rachel Dunwoody, Joseph Thompson, Daire Sherwin, Maeve Doyle, Masoud Emam, Jessica Erkal, Joe Flanagan, Gianluca Fontanesi, Andrew Gloster, Joseph Mangan, David Murphy, Favour Okosun, Conor O'Toole, Rakhi Rajagopalan Nair, Jack Reilly, Lána Salmon, Sarah Walsh, Paul Cahill, Daithí de Faoite, Umair Javaid, William O'Connor, Kennth Stanton, Alexei Ulyanov, Ronan Wall, Lorraine Hanlon, Sheila McBreen and David McKeown
The performance of the Attitude Determination and Control Subsystem (ADCS) of a CubeSat relies on reliable and robust inputs from sensors to provide the actuation to maneuver and stabilise the satellite orientation in space. This paper details the design and manufacture of a 1-axis motorised testbed to perform pre-flight ADCS functional testing of a nanosatellite based on the CubeSat Standard. This testbed has been developed to support the Educational Irish Research Satellite, EIRSAT-1, a 2U CubeSat being developed in University College Dublin (UCD) as part of the ESA Fly Your Satellite! Programme. EIRSAT-1 is a student led project to develop, build, test and launch Ireland’s first satellite. The project is a collaborative effort of staff and students across a range of disciplines including physics, engineering and maths.
The design of the testbed allows each axis of the CubeSat to be tested individually, allowing all axes be tested in turn. The design can be modified easily to accommodate single subsystem boards, such as the ADCS motherboard, in addition to larger CubeSat sizes, thus making it applicable to other missions. This testbed will be used to fully assess the functionality of the EIRSAT-1 ADCS motherboard, its inertial measurement unit, sun sensors, and magnetorquer actuation, first for the Engineering Qualification Model (EQM) and then the Flight Model (FM). The testbed allows for polarity and performance checks of the sensors by comparison with reference sensor values. A controllable motorised rotating testbed allows for automatic testing of the gyroscope and magnetometer. While the performance of the five magnetorquers for actuation is measured by an external magnetometer for each actuator. An easily adjustable artificial sun source allows for the testing of the sensitivity of fine and coarse sun sensors with change in angle relative to source. The reference sensors of the testbed will allow a comparison to be made of the satellite model sensor and actuator outputs and be used to confirm full functionality or indicate any issues after it has been exposed to test procedures including ambient, vibrational and environmental test campaigns.
#64 Flight testing of parachute recovery systems aboard REXUS (presentation)Esmée Menting, Lars Pepermans, Elrawy Soliman, Thomas Britting, Mark Rozemeijer, Jochem Klaassen and Jos van 'T Hof
The Supersonic Parachute Experiment Aboard REXUS or SPEAR mission is a mission by the DARE Parachute Research Group (PRG). The objective is to test the in-house developed Hemisflo ribbon drogue parachute at supersonic conditions. To achieve this a test vehicle is placed in the nose cone of the REXUS sounding rocket and released near apogee. From apogee, the test vehicle shall follow a ballistic trajectory and deploy the parachute above Mach 1.5.
Besides testing the drogue parachute at supersonic velocities, the secondary goal of the mission is to gather a full validation data set for the DARE ParSim and TumSim simulation tools.
The test vehicle is an aerodynamically stabilized vehicle that is centered around the drogue parachute deployment system. The parachute system is supplemented by two main parachutes for a safe landing. Data on the parachute performance is stored onboard. All mission critical data, including video, is sent down via telemetry.
The article describes the REXUS sounding rocket as a possible testbed for recovery system flight testing. The testing envelope of the SPEAR mission will be presented, as well as an outlook on different possibilities to extend the testing envelope.
#66 Fly a Rocket! Undergraduate rocket science (presentation)Alondra Solá and Pablo Solano
Fly a Rocket! is an intensive training course in rocket design and construction organized by ESA in collaboration with NAROM and the Norwegian Space Agency. It consisted of a pre-study course followed by a rocket campaign at the Andøya Space Center, where 23 students from 12 different countries gathered to prepare and launch a rocket into the arctic airspace, gaining first-hand experience of a launch campaign.
We were provided with extensive pre-study material, which served to make sure all the students had the required groundwork, allowing us to take full advantage of the campaign week. Our assignments required careful study of the theory, as well as research into rocket propulsion, past missions, and current technology; these were returned with detailed feedback, allowing us to work on our weaker areas.
Once at Andøya, we were divided into four teams, each with their particular assignments. The Payload team was in charge of the disassembly of the rocket, mounting of the sensors and transmitter, reassembly, and testing. While the technical details were well explained, the most engaging part of the campaign was that in most cases there was no right answer. We chose the location of each sensor, designed the balloons, determined the useful parameters for sensor measurement, and in turn took responsibility for each of those decisions.
This experience was invaluable; In Fly a Rocket! the educational approach was open-ended, both in the pre-study and during the campaign. There were many cases where we weren’t asked for a specific result, but a good argument for the conclusions we presented. This left a lot of room for exploration and required creativity when applying aerospace theory.
This is something that is lacking in most university courses: open-ended assignments that prepare students for the problems faced in professional life, in commercial or research careers. In the space sector, it is crucial that we educate engineers and scientists that can face a completely new problem and ask themselves not just “How do we find the answer?” but first, “What is the answer we want, and why?” Repetition leaves no room for innovation. In order to achieve this kind of training, we need an active transfer between universities and institutions like ESA or sector companies.
#67 Stratonauts - education at the Edge of Space. (poster)Sara Berent and Lewis Campbell
Space travel sits at the very cutting-edge of human achievement, a most visual example of what happens when humankind works together. It allows us to discover what opportunity lies over the horizon, to soar above the clouds, to live in orbit around the Earth and to one day set foot on another planet. For most of us, Space is an unreachable dream and a playground for large government organisations and aerospace giants.
Stratonauts is Scotland’s first high altitude balloon launch provider for commercial and educational payloads. We work with schools to inspire a new generation of space explorers and with corporate clients to help them launch their businesses to new heights. We’re a young, Glasgow-based company that is aimed at providing schools with a space-focused education programme finalised by a high-altitude balloon launch. We also work with corporate partners on STEM outreach and marketing, as well as support researchers by allowing experimental samples to experience near-space conditions.
We run an Education Program of 8 weeks at partner schools, followed by two weeks of designing and building a payload capsule. This is where students will learn a new set of skills and increase their feeling of self-reliance. Manually building a space capsule will give students enormous satisfaction, in a way that is unlike achieving a work task, and additionally they can later watch its journey over 100,000 feet up! They see an experiment of their design soar into the infinite darkness of the vacuum of Space, and experience the beauty of our own ‘Spaceship Earth’ below, enshrouded by a thin blue layer of atmosphere.
The structure of our course assumes constant involvement of the students. First, they participate in teacher-led and Strato-led workshops, to obtain the necessary background for designing their experiment. The content of the course is based on Curriculum for Excellence and hence complements what students would usually learn in class. Students obtain in- depth knowledge about scientific subjects to complement what they learn in class, but also practice their communication skills, teamwork, problem solving and gain practice in academic writing and presenting in front of an audience.
We analyse the scientific findings from samples that are Earth-bound and on board of stratospheric flights to understand how near-space conditions vary from life on Earth. We would love to have an opportunity to present our findings and lessons that we’ve learnt from running the Education Program at SSEA19.
#68 UNOOSA DropTES Programme: A Student Project to Analyse the Sloshing of Magnetic Liquids in Microgravity (presentation)Álvaro Romero-Calvo, Antonio J. García-Salcedo, Inés Rivoalen, Francesco Garrone and Filippo Maggi
The term sloshing refers to the forced movement of liquids in partially filled tanks. In a low-gravity environment, the liquid mixes with pressurizing gas bubbles and adopts a random position inside the container, resulting in unwanted perturbations and a complicated tank design. Liquid sloshing has consequently been a major concern for space engineers since the beginning of the space era.
The sloshing of magnetic liquids has distinctive characteristics that suggest a different approach to the topic. Magnetic fields can be used to shift the natural frequencies and increase the damping ratios of an oscillating fluid. Due to the short range of magnetic interaction, research has been historically focused on what is known as magnetic liquid positioning. In the age of nanosatellites, however, propellant tanks are much smaller, and a significant control can be implemented with a low mass penalty.
In the framework of the UNOOSA DropTES programme, four catapult drops will be performed at ZARM’s drop tower in November 2019. The lateral sloshing of ferrofluids will be analysed in microgravity under the influence of a static magnetic field. The design of the experiment setup becomes a challenge due to the highly demanding requirements of such facility. Electronics, actuation and detection subsystems are integrated in a compact structure that must withstand a 50g deceleration.
The experiment design is being carried out by an international student team with the support of three universities. Each team member is responsible for one subsystem and cooperates with the rest by following a concurrent design approach. With the aim of preparing for the experimental campaign, the team holds weekly meetings and interacts with several university departments as well as ZARM’s engineers.
This experiment will not only result in an unprecedented set of measurements, required to validate the numerical models developed by the authors and analyse the feasibility of magnetic sloshing damping techniques. It will also give the students the chance to work on a real space project, interact with exceptional engineers while developing cutting-edge research and share their experience with the scientific and academic community.
#69 Combination of Interdisciplinary Training in Space Technology with Project-Related Work through the CubeSat SOURCE (presentation)Annika Stier, Robin Schweigert, Daniel Galla, Michael Lengowski and Sabine Klinkner
In the past, the Institute of Space Systems (IRS) at the University of Stuttgart was able to gain experience with the involvement of students mainly preparing their final thesis within the small satellite project Flying Laptop. After this satellite was successfully launched in July 2017, the IRS continued and extended the practical involvement of bachelor and master students in satellite projects.
The first mission to emerge from this initiative is the CubeSat SOURCE (Stuttgart Op-erated University CubeSat for Evaluation and Education), which started into phase A in April 2018. Besides of its educational purpose, the mission objectives of SOURCE consist of technology demonstration and investigation of the interactions between entry objects and the outer atmosphere of the Earth. The project is a joint venture of the IRS and the Small Satellite Student Society of the University of Stuttgart (KSat e.V.) in cooperation with a variety of institutional and industrial partners.
Established as a complete student project, the management, development, integration, test and operation will be conducted by bachelor and master students. IRS employees support the students with expert knowledge and advice. Beside of voluntary participa-tion, the project is offered to students of all technical and scientific fields in the form of a course, which includes lectures and practical work. This way a total number of 60 active students conducted phase B.
However, the teaching goals of the project are not limited to technical knowledge and training of concurrent engineering. The students shall also be trained on space industry standards and procedures. This is approached by a tailored application of ECSS or PUS communication standards and by using industrial development, test and operation tools.
Beyond science and engineering students of the University of Stuttgart, the SOURCE project seeks to involve students of further course of studies. An example of this is a recently achieved cooperation with the Hochschule der Medien Stuttgart, in which bachelor students of the study program Advertising and Marketing Communication elaborate a public outreach concept for the SOURCE project in the scope of a practical course.
In February 2019, the Preliminary Design Review was conducted with a review board from academic and industrial members and the CubeSat starts in phase C with the cur-rent summer semester. This paper gives an overview of the CubeSat SOURCE and its educational approaches.
#71 Evaluation of Preliminary Design Review (PDR) formats in student space projects (presentation)Esmée Menting, Lars Pepermans and Thomas Britting
In an engineering project, the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) is a major milestone. The design is presented to non-project members who provide feedback. This feedback is used by the team to incorporate in the detailed design. The review can be done using written documentation and/or an oral presentation.
Student space projects often have a tight timeline which imposes constraints on the PDR process. Depending on this timeline and the availability of team members and reviewers, the PDR can be done in several ways. Variations can be made in: level of detail in documentation beforehand, the time between sending documentation and PDR, the format of the feedback and the implementation of the feedback.
The article originates from the widely varying PDR formats the authors experienced in different student space projects. Within Delft Aerospace Rocket Engineering (DARE) a PDR was held on both the Stratos III and Stratos IV student built sounding rockets. Furthermore, a PDR on the Supersonic Parachute Experiment Aboard REXUS (SPEAR) mission was held both within DARE internally and within the REXUS/BEXUS program.
In the article, the pros and cons of the various formats are discussed together with their applications. As cases the REXUS/BEXUS and DARE PDR formats are compared to each other and the ESCC standard.
#72 To infinity - and beyond! Public engagement with space science (presentation)Claudia Antolini
Space science has the potential to inspire people not just about the topic itself, but about STEM subjects at large. 2019 in particular is the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing, which lends itself as the perfect occasion to enthuse and inspire with human space flight, planetary exploration, astrobiology, and many other predominant topics in contemporary research. Devising efficient, inclusive strategies for communicating space sciences is a crucial endeavour for involving successfully the public at large and raising awareness about the necessity of funding for fostering research projects. In this talk I will discuss the scope of public engagement in astronomy and planetary sciences and the benefits it can bring to society as well as to students and researchers, and I will provide an overview on different ways to get involved at the local, national and international level.
#73 Building a Low-Cost Soyuz Simulator to Teach Orbital Navigation (presentation)Ignaty Romanov-Chernigovsky and Gongling Sun
Space flight presents many dynamics unseen in any other domain. As such, they can be often hard to teach, and to have students develop an intuition for, even at a university level. A great benefit of cost efficient low-fidelity simulators is that they can enable users to directly interact with complex situations such as those encountered during space missions, whilst keeping a low learning curve for the user thanks to abstraction or simplification of the situation in question. Simulators can enable their users to start developing an intuitive understanding of complex topics such as orbital rendezvous, spacecraft docking, re-entry and navigation by instruments after only a few hours.
This paper presents the design and build process, as well as the use cases of a low-fidelity simulator for the Soyuz TMA spacecraft built at the International Space University for educational purposes. The simulator is designed to provide a simplified and cost-efficient rendition of the on-board instruments and controls in a Soyuz TMA spacecraft descent capsule using commercially available components, and allow students to manually perform in-orbit manoeuvres that astronauts might perform over the course of a real mission. The paper focuses on design challenges associated with developing a user-friendly simulator without losing important aspects of how the Soyuz is controlled and behaves, discussing design decisions and trade-offs performed. The exact hardware and software architecture used in the final version of the simulator is also detailed.
#74 FLOMESS - Flight Loading Measurement System for Sounding Rockets (presentation)Manuel Baader
The future use of rockets is increasingly shifting from national to private interest. Here, primarily economic aspects decide the further development within the rocket technology.
Our experiment deals with the weight reduction of the rocket structure itself in order to optimize the ratio of payload to total mass of a rocket. Here the FLOMESS project want to continue a started venture at the Bundeswehr University Munich (UniBw).
The FLOMESS (Flight LOading MEasurement SyStem) experiment is intended to measure the structural strains during the launch of a sounding rocket. The occurring structural loads will be calculated from the measured strains. Furthermore, the system shall measure the effects of thermal strain to isolate them from the measurement. This is necessary to determine the pure structural strains. Therefore, a redundancy system of strain and temperature gauges is used on the inner surface of the experiment module. This system of relating the measured strain gauge response to the loading is taken over from previous projects on the fundament of the Skopinski method. This method was adapted for our experiment and illustrates an application of the Skopinski Method to sounding rockets, where modifications being made to account all types of loadings. An accurate knowledge of the loads during the flight shall help to improve the existing semi-empirical methods for calculating these loads in different flight positions of a rocket. Since these predictions influence the design of the rocket vehicle, efficient design is achieved by reducing semi-empirical safety marginsand increasing overall payload mass ratios.
FLOMESS participated in the REXUS/BEXUS campaign of DLR and SNSA and, as a test of the system, the experiment was launched on the RX25 rocket on 11 March 2019. The results will be used to further develop the measurement methods.
#76 Launching in the Arctic and understanding the troposphere with 'Fly a rocket!' (poster)Carlos Cunha
The continuous effort by ESA Education in promoting interest in space amongst students has resulted in enriching experiences that attract new generations to the fields of STEM. Of these, Fly A Rocket! is a hands-on project aimed at undergraduates that consists of assembling, launching and collecting data from a rocket, exposing participants to the unique reality of working in the space sector.
The campaign, that integrated students from 14 nationalities, required an online course and the delivery of assignments over the span of 4 months in preparation for a week of lectures and teamwork taking place at Andoya Space Center, in Norway.
Here are presented the many stages of development of the rocket and an overview of the procedures required to perform the launch. Researchers and associates of ASC and NAROM were in charge of supervising the four teams of students and explaining how the launch site is operated. Many lectures and field visits related to space were conducted.
Two simulation software packages, RocketSim and OpenRocket, were used to predict the trajectory and behavior of the rocket. Matlab was the main programming language during the course.
Different circuit elements were soldered together and programmed by the Sensors Team in order to measure pressure, humidity, light intensity, acceleration, temperature, and other the relevant data.
A GPS receiver and a power source were also fixed inside the rocket by the Payload Team, as well as an antenna that transmitted the modulated data.
Two weather balloons were deployed in the hours preceding the launch and all the information sent by them and the rocket was collected by two radars, one of which needed to be manually operated by the telemetry team.
Retrieved information was analyzed and significant conclusions regarding the conditions of the troposphere and the flight have been drawn, such as the variation of temperature, air drag coefficient and cloud formation with altitude. Interpretation of the results.
Examination of the outreach campaign managed by the participants and its impact on spreading awareness of space-related activities to the general public. Analysis of the skills improved during Fly A Rocket!, its contribution to complementing our education and the advantages of having attendants from such diverse backgrounds and nationalities.
Comparison of Fly A Rocket with other ESA-sponsored programs (ActInSpace and ESNC).
#77 The need for an Inclusive Space Sector - a Student Perspective (presentation)Áine O'Brien, Laura Martin and Sophia Lee Roberts
UKSEDS is the UK’s national student space society: we aim to advocate for the needs of students to help them with their space careers. We have been focusing heavily on championing the need to make the space sector (in academia, research, and industry) more inclusive and welcoming to everyone.
The current workforce of professionals and researchers in the sector is not very diverse [1,2]. The UK Space Agency aim for the UK to make up 10% of the global space sector by 2030 . In order to do this, a much larger workforce is required. It is widely accepted that diversity in the workplace fosters innovation. If we are to ensure the success of the British space sector, we ought to be removing barriers to the field, to enable under-represented minorities to have equal access to it, ultimately providing us with a larger workforce.
UKSEDS is working hard to ensure that our events and practices are inclusive to all. We are producing an ‘inclusive initiatives handbook’ to promote these practices to our partners and colleagues. We also ask delegates at our events to complete an optional demographics survey, so that we can identify any trends in the backgrounds of people who take part in our different activities. At our recent National Student Space Conference, over 350 (primarily undergraduate Physics and Engineering) students attended and this group was significantly more diverse than the sector, on the basis of metrics such as ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation.
We believe that UKSEDS can eventually set a standard for the space industry in Diversity and Inclusion, and publishing our findings will help UKSEDS to achieve this goal.
This paper has three key aims:
1. Outline the key arguments for making space inclusive;
2. Highlight the work UKSEDS is doing to make its practices more inclusive, making space accessible to all;
3. Showcase the diversity of the incoming cohort to the UK space sector, emphasising the need to remove the barriers to mobility at all levels.
 S. McWhinnie (2017), The Demographics and Research Interests of the UK Astronomy and Geophysics Communities 2016, Royal Astronomical Society
 Engineering UK (2018), Engineering Workforce in the UK
 UK Space Agency (2015) National Space Policy Report
#78 ISTSat-1 - a student developed Cubesat with a compact ADS-B receiver (presentation)João Paulo Monteiro, Alexandre Silva, Rúben Afonso and Nuno Ramos
The ISTSat-1 is the first satellite designed by university students and supported by professors and radioamateurs at the Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) / University of Lisbon in Portugal. The mission is being developed under the ESA Education “Fly Your Satellite!” program, and consists of a 1U Cubesat which features a compact radio receiver and patch antenna for aircraft tracking using Automatic Detection Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) signals, while orbiting at an altitude of 400km.
It is widely published that Cubesats are great tools for hands-on, project-based learning due to their inherent simplicity, lower cost of launch and wide availability of interoperable, commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) subsystems. While reliance on COTS subsystems allows students teams to focus on payload development and systems engineering, the “systems integration” approach decreases educational return for students from fields such as electrical, mechanical or software engineering who are capable of and benefit from designing, assembling and testing all subsystems from scratch. Considering the availability of MSc students eager to work on a hands-on thesis project and the technical support from ESA, the team opted for the in-house development of most subsystems.
The ISTSat-1 satellite is composed of the following subsystems:
• an on-board computer which handles housekeeping and attitude determination and control;
• an electrical power system which manages energy storage in a lithium polymer battery and power distribution;
• a UHF/VHF radio capable of downlinking in several modulation schemes and featuring an independent beacon;
• a communication processor and data storage unit;
• a software defined radio and patch antenna for decoding 1GHz ADS-B signals from aircraft;
• an aluminium structure.
The only COTS systems are the antenna deployment mechanism and the solar panels.
Currently, hardware and low-level software development is completed, with application-level software being integrated incrementally in a flatsat configuration. Some testing has already taken place, namely I2C characterization, battery vibration and thermal vacuum qualification, characterization of patch antenna in free-space and in anechoic chamber and on-board computer radiation testing. In the upcoming months, the team will perform system-level functional and environmental testing at ESA Education’s Cubesat Support Facility in Redu, Belgium.
So far, the educational return has been considerable, with almost 20 MSc theses directly involved with the project. Total financial cost, including development models, is less than half of estimates based on similar COTS subsystems, with added functionality and flexibility for testing.
#79 Remote Sensing Payload Development for High Altitude Balloons (presentation)Zsofia Bodo and Bence Góczán
Remote sensing provides fundamental data about landmark characteristics. Up to date remote sensing information is vital in almost every industrial and agricultural sector. Providing such data and processing services are interesting fields for both traditional space agencies and smaller new-space companies.
However there is one method of data acquisition that is not yet widely utilized. With a stratospheric balloon large areas could be covered and balloons can be launched in a frequent manner. The UPRA Project (Universal Platform for Robotics and Aerospace) is a student project with an aim to develop a reliable, widely configurable high altitude balloon platform for university research groups.
The aim of the project is to build a proof-of-concept multi-spectral remote sensing hardware and using open source and self-developed software to analyze data provided by the payload to demonstrate that high quality and relevant remote sensing can be achieved for a comparably low price.
The payload train consists of a parachute system, an avionics module, a backup GPS tracker, radar reflector, a flight termination unit, a control camera and the remote sensing module (UPRACAM), developed internally by the team. The avionics module contains the main flight computer, which provides two way radio communication, live telemetry and scientific data and also controls the payload.
A balloon-borne multispectral camera was developed that is capable to sense in visible and near infrared spectrum. The camera is made out of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) to keep the cost and development time low. The device has a twin-sensor configuration. The identical image sensors have a wide spectral response in the 420nm - 980nm wavelength region which makes them ideal for this field of use. The camera lens are equipped with short-pass filter for visible and high-pass filter for near infrared image capture.
Although the camera was developed for high altitude balloon, in the future it is possible to use it in small satellite missions since the design allows to easily integrate with CubeSat frames and various flight computers.
In 2019 the project had two proof of concept flights with the developed remote sensing payload, collecting almost seven hours of flight data. This might be the first step to develop regular scientific remote sensing balloon missions in Hungary. During these flights the data collected might help authorities to organize protection or salvage during floods, after hails or storms. Also valuable information could be provided to the agriculture on vegetation covered areas and inland waters.
#80 Rapid Mission Concept Development at the 2019 Caltech Space Challenge: A Small Lander Network Studying the Habitability of Enceladus (presentation)Katiyayni Balachandran, Kelsey Doerksen, Erica Nathan, Paolo Cappuccio, Julia Di, Jared Fuchs, Alessia Gloder, Rebecca Jolitz, Monica Li, Dan Limonchik, Lotfi Massarweh, Atila Meszaros, Daniel Naftalovich, Thomas Peev, Marc Rovira-Navarro and Shreya Santra
The 2019 Caltech Space Challenge was a one-week intensive mission proposal challenge that brought an international group of 32 students from various disciplines to design multi-lander mission concepts for Enceladus in two competing teams of 16, Team Voyager and Team Explorer. In this paper, Team Voyager describes their process and challenges in conceptualizing the winning mission proposal (SILENUS) of an orbiter and network of landers for Enceladus, and icy moon of Saturn, to investigate the active cryovolcanic jets erupting in the South Polar Terrain (SPT). Specifically, the problem statement set forth was: “Assess whether Enceladus provides the conditions necessary (or sufficient) to sustain biotic or pre-biotic chemistry.” Additional mission design constraints (listed below) provided by the organizers brought both obstacles and opportunities to the team:
Land as close as possible to the plume source.
Use a collection of small landers/rovers.
Target a New Frontiers class mission arriving at Enceladus between 2036 and 2042.
Comply with planetary protection guidelines.
Launch your mission using one Space Launch System (SLS) Launcher.
Both teams attended lectures and had access to mentors and experts from the industry for assistance. The final mission architecture proposes a mission where the science data return lasts just over a year, and sends an orbiting satellite housing science instrumentation to Enceladus, dropping off four penetrating seismometers to the surface of the icy moon. The mission falls within the New Frontiers class budget of one billion USD, addressing scientific objectives of determining the habitability and synergistic science questions targeting the geophysical stability of icy moons. These investigations directly answer priority science questions outlined in the 2013-2022 NASA Planetary Science Decadal Survey. In our paper, we provide a thorough overview of our high level mission design and an analysis of team dynamics, including lessons learned and outcomes, as a framework for future rapid mission concept development.
#81 Multi-physics design of a truncated aerospike nozzle for an ammonium perchlorate solid fuelled hobby rocket. (poster)David Heath
High propulsive efficiency is key to all rocketry applications. As the primary limiting factors of rocket performance are vehicle weight and thrust. Thus, high efficiency in transforming the chemical potential energy of the propellant into jet energy effectively increases the energy density of the propellant and is therefore a highly effective method of increasing performance margins. This is especially true when limited performance margins are present, as is commonly seen in hobby rocketry.
A pivotal limitation in the propulsive efficiency of a rocket is the efficiency at which the nozzle transforms the potential energy present in the post-combustion exhaust into kinetic energy responsible for the momentum transfer to the vehicle via the supersonic Prandtl-Meyer expansion mechanism. Therefore, optimum efficiency in this transformation process is highly desirable. Conventional bell and conical nozzles are only able achieve high efficiency at a single external pressure design point. This design point is conventionally the highest external pressure experienced by the nozzle due to concerns of exhaust flow separation leading to nozzle instability.
Experienced external pressure of the nozzle of a hobby rocket is variable and dependant on the velocity of the rocket due to aerodynamic bluff body effects. As such, a truncated aerospike nozzle was designed using the Angelino approximation method at the point of maximum rocket velocity and therefore a minimum aft pressure. This corresponded to an experienced pressure of 75 kPa. Through successive expansion and compression shockwave interaction with the exhaust, the aerospike nozzle is able to operate efficiently from the relatively high experienced pressure present at launch to the relatively low experienced pressure at maximum velocity. At maximum velocity, it was calculated that the increase in nozzle expansion performance would provide an increase in thrust of 2.26% when compared to the conventional Cesaroni conical nozzle operating in the same aft flow conditions.
These promising results indicate that further work should be carried out on the design and integration of the nozzle into the body of the rocket, including nozzle cooling and ablation rates as well as nozzle mass reduction.
#82 FORAREX - Designing a Life-Support System for Microbiological Research aboard a Sounding Rocket (poster)Nils Kunst, Greta Sondej, Christoph Kulmann, Jan Blumenkamp, Scarlett Gac Cáceres, Niklas Kipry, Kay Menken-Siemers, Daniel Ripberger, Steffen Lohmann, Johanna Hartmann, Katrin Hättig, Diren Senger and Claudia Bruhn
The FORAminifera Rocket EXperiment (FORAREX) was conducted in the course of the REXUS/BEXUS programme - an opportunity for university students to carry out scientific and technological experiments on board of sounding rockets or stratosphere balloons.
In the framework of the REXUS 25 mission, we have developed an enclosed life-support system with the goal to conduct cell physiological experiments aboard a flying sounding rocket.
The FORAREX project focuses on marine unicellular organisms belonging to the taxonomic group of Foraminifera. Under the limited microgravity duration provided by the REXUS rockets, we focused on testing the purpose-built equipment and the behaviour of the Foraminifera examining changes in cell motility and movement during the flight in comparison to a control group. The experiment was conducted in March 2019 on the REXUS 25 rocket.
The aim of the experiment was, first, to validate the performance of the flight hardware in order to assess whether cell physiological measurements of Foraminifera on sounding rocket flights are possible, something that has never been done before. The second aim was to demonstrate that such experiments can be done fully automated. In addition, the life-support system for cultivating Foraminifera was tested for general mission approval.
Investigations during the flight were conducted using a miniaturised container with a flow cell examination chamber and a closed-circuit life support system with integrated LED-based illumination. Foraminifera were recorded with an integrated and automated camera. High-performance miniaturised sensors continuously measured oxygen, pH and temperature. With these comprehensive experiments and results, we intend to develop a life-support system for a long-term experiment on board of the International Space Station (ISS), where we would like to investigate Foraminifera shell formation under extended microgravity influence.
#83 Supporting STEM Education Through High Altitude Balloon Platform Development (presentation)Zsofia Bodo and Bence Góczán
Qualified engineers with good theoretical and hands-on experience are vital for a country’s healthy space industry. However, if a country lacks of space and aerospace related higher education opportunities, developing a full university master or bachelor program requires high effort. Therefore smaller and local educational projects may play significant role in talent management and development.
The UPRA Project (Universal Platform for Robotics and Aerospace) is a student project with an aim to develop a reliable, widely configurable, low maintenance, high altitude balloon platform for university research groups. The project not only offers flight opportunities but also provides hands-on experience on platform development, payload integration and project management.
Students who join the project can learn the main principles of space- and near-spacecraft development. Working on different subsystems requires different skill-sets which students can improve with the help of experienced team members and mentors from the space industry. Since a spacecraft is a complex system, project members are needed to specialize in different fields of engineering and science. This is an opportunity for students to gain confidence and experience in their field of interest of their later professional career and also helps them to select the proper path of their academic progress.
UPRA Project also offers flight opportunities for third-party payloads which requires wider project management skills than a typical development project. To maintain a reliable launch service flight-planning, logistics, legal paperwork and field work at the launch event have to be done. All these activities are performed and organized by team members which increase their skills in project planning, project management and account management.
Beside university students the project also aims for the younger generation to promote STEM fields and reach out for the next generation of engineers. This goal let the team cooperate with ‘Kids University’ an event of Budapest University of Technology and Economics and also with the Space Camp of the Hungarian Astronautical Society. These partnerships made it possible to the project to demonstrate balloon launches to more than 250 young students in the first quarter of 2019.
Unmanned aerial vehicles and high altitude balloons are great assets of space education as they provide hands on experience through exciting engineering tasks which could be the base of the professional career of any student that takes part in the project.
#84 Development of a solid rocket motor utilizing an ammonium nitrate based propellant (poster)Victor Ubieto and Xavier López
This project aims to design and build a fully functional solid rocket motor using an aluminium and ammonium nitrate based propellant. The purpose of this motor is to power the flight of a supersonic, stratospheric sounding rocket – the Bondar –, developed under scientific motivations by the Cosmic Research Association. Having worked with potassium nitrate based propellants in the past, the propulsion division of Cosmic Research decided to switch to ammonium nitrate to increase the motor efficiency. The design of the new motor begins by examining previous research performed by amateur rocketry experts like R. Nakka, H. Onthof$ and D.Clouder. A first assessment reveals the benefits of using an ammonium nitrate formula versus a potassium nitrate one: a higher specific impulse, a lower environmental impact and equally good availability. Instead of replicating a pre-existing motor design, the team members decide to create a new one from scratch. Taking of course, the prior research into consideration. To mitigate the legal risks associated with the tenancy and handling of the substances needed for the motor, the project is declared as an university experiment and protected by this same institution - the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. Cosmic Research has also reached and agreement with the authorities of Lleida-Alguaire Airport, where static tests take place. Various partially successful static tests have already taken place, the focus being on evaluating the generated thrust, the chamber outer temperature and the exhaust gases temperature. The design of a fully functional motor is expected to be produced before Autumn of 2019.
#85 TRACZ - Testing Robotic Applications for Catching in Zero-g as the first step to research jamming phenomenon in the non-Earth conditions. (presentation)Adrianna Graja, Aleksander Gorgolweski, Aleksander Bojda, Łukasz Chojnacki, Kamil Bęś and Krystian Mirek
A jamming phenomenon as transition grainy substances to solid state in the specific conditions to this days is still a non-well-known issue. Theorems which classify the jamming phenomenon as a new example of phase transition they generate a need to better description, modelling and define conditions to this occurrence can appear.
TRACZ - Testing Robotic Applications for Catching in Zero-g is a fully autonomous mechatronic experiment, launched 19th of March 2019 on the board REXUS rocket during the 26th Campaign of the REXUS/BEXUS Programme. The structure was projected as 1DOF manipulator, which effector was made as an elastic membrane stimulating jamming of ground coffee particles inside. The main goal of the experiment was basically research of jamming phonon in totally different conditions like these on the Earth: microgravity and the rest of the atmosphere (apogee 82 km). The resultant goal was to prove that is possible to construct a space version of industry device known as jamming gripper which catching objects thanks to creating under pressure inside the membrane. During the suborbital flight, series of catches were performed on a single object and the force with which the object is held will be measured. The results will be compared with an on-ground experiment.
Grasping different objects by robots in space conditions is in many cases neither effective nor convenient. Lack of general-purpose device which can grab differently shaped and sized elements made from various materials is one of many issues in space missions. A classical approach towards gripping objects by human-like rigid effector requires sophisticated trajectory planning algorithms, numerous sensors, and complicated mechanical design. Another approach is to use soft, elastic materials manipulated by pressure to adjust to an irregular-shaped object and catch it. Soft grippers are less complicated in construction and use, furthermore, they seem to be more all-embracing.
Therefore in the article despite basic analysis of conditions of creation and maintenance the jamming phase of ground coffee particles, were considered the possibility of application of an elastic gripper in space, where negative differential pressure is impossible to obtain and lack of gravitation may cause the granular substance inside the gripper to behave in an unpredictable manner.
#86 Studying Cell Physiology and Motility under Microgravitational Influence - Results of the FORAREX Mission on REXUS 25 (presentation)Greta Sondej, Christoph Kulmann, Scarlett Gac Cáceres, Nils Kunst, Jan Blumenkamp, Diren Senger, Claudia Bruhn, Katrin Hättig, Johanna Hartmann, Niklas Kipry, Kay Menken-Siemers, Daniel Ripberger and Steffen Lohmann
The ability to respond appropriately to external signals is vital to all organisms. As stimuli for orientation primitive organisms use e.g. light or temperature. However, there is a decisive disadvantage with almost all imaginable environmental stimuli: They are variable and can fluctuate greatly. Gravity, however, is the most constant environmental parameter for all life on Earth. The possibility of eliminating this factor artificially has been the focus of many space based biological studies. Small animals, plants and microorganisms exhibit a very distinct behavior and growth pattern when exposed to microgravity. Under microgravitational conditions, human cells show an immediate reaction of the cytoskeleton and even abiotic processes such as the formation of crystals are distinctively different. However, the formation of crystallised shells from living microorganisms has not yet been in the focus of microgravity studies. Such shells have the potential for usage in material sciences, bionics, space industry and biomedical applications, e.g. in bone restoration and controlled drug delivery.
The FORAminifera Rocket EXperiment (FORAREX) was realised in the course of the REXUS/BEXUS programme - an opportunity for university students to carry out scientific and technological experiments on board of sounding rockets or stratosphere balloons, respectively. We focused on the behaviour of marine unicellular organisms belonging to the taxonomic group of Foraminifera. The aim of the experiment was examining changes in cell motility and cell physiology of the Foraminifera Amphistegina spec. under microgravity condition. The exceptional physical stress during rocket launch was also purpose of investigation. To serve this purpose, we designed and constructed a life-support system for real-time observations of Foraminifera.
Investigations were conducted using a miniaturised container with a flow cell examination chamber and a closed-circuit life support system with integrated LED based illumination for photosynthesis. Foraminifera were observed using a camera. Temperature, oxygen and pH were recorded using high-performance miniaturised sensors. Further, we have performed experiments using clinostats (simulated microgravity), vibration and centrifugation (hypergravity). In addition, our constructed life-support system for cultivating Foraminifera was tested for general mission approval.
Goal of the experiment is to optimise the set-up for a long-term experiment on board of the International Space Station (ISS), where we would like to investigate foraminifera test formation under extended microgravity influence.
We will present preliminary results from our project and will give a general outline of our experiment within the framework of the REXUS 25/26 mission, which was conducted in March 2019.
#87 ASTRE : a student-directed space association building a 2U Cubesat and an Open Source ground segment (poster)Anne-Sophie Calmejane, Hugo Daniel, Javier Navarro, Paula Marin and Quentin Peysson
The Students Space Association of Toulouse (ASTRE) is a student-directed and space-oriented association, supported by university teachers and staff members. Its main objective is to develop student interest for space science and technology. This is reached by developing engineering projects and enabling students to participate in international workshops and conferences. Today, 25 students from four different engineering schools of Toulouse (INSA, ENSEEIHT, UPS and ENAC) participate in ASTRE activities.
ASTRE vocation is to give to the maximum of Toulouse students the possibility to participate in projects linked to space technologies. Toulouse is the aerospace capital in France with several huge space companies such as Airbus Defence and Space or Thales Alenia Space. Yet, most of Toulouse's engineering schools do not have space-oriented courses so the association is an unique opportunity for motivated students to learn more about this field.
In the last year, 30% of ASTRE members have participated in international workshops and conferences. Each time, back in France, participants share their experiences and new knowledge with the rest of the members. This sharing philosophy is the main axis of the association, making possible to reach the educational objectives and moving forward.The projects developed by ASTRE are oriented to education, innovation and Open Source.
Two projects are currently being developed:
Tolosat is a 2U CubeSat developed in collaboration with Club CubeSat Supaero. The main objectives of the mission are to measure Earth gravity field variation from GNSS tracking and to send telemeasure and receive telemetry via the IRIDIUM constellation. The project is in phase A and will reach the Preliminary Design Review before September 2019.
ASTRE'NOGS team is building a UHF/VFH ground station to receive data from satellites.The station will be part of the SatNOGS Open Source Network of ground stations. The project takes part of the European Nanostar programme aiming to develop Open Source ground stations in Southwest Europe. ASTRE'NOGS project will be completed in December 2019.
The association aims to develop new activities thanks to opportunities brought about by university teacher projects and students ideas. ASTRE has been created two years ago and meets a real success among Toulouse university students. Hence, the association is planning to continue growing during the following years.
#88 Hands On Space Educational Activities at University of Nottingham (presentation)Chantal Cappelletti, Tanvir Hussain and Kathy Simmons
The University of Nottingham launched the aerospace engineering programme in 2016. Four different courses are offered at both BEng and MEng levels with the BEng consisting of three taught years and MEng consisting of four.
The four courses offered are a BEng Aerospace Engineering, a BEng Aerospace Engineering including an Industrial Year, a MEng Aerospace Engineering and a MEng Aerospace Engineering including an Industrial Year
A year in industry is a fantastic opportunity for the students to practise and develop his engineering skills. Placements are usually undertaken in the UK, but can be anywhere in the world in companies from major global organizations to smaller consultancies and technology specialists.
In addition the students can experience hands on activities in Space, from the design of satellite subsystems to the development of an entire mission.
The paper gives an overview of all the most interesting space educational activities involving the students in the last 2 years. Particular attention will be given also about to the improvement that will be done in the existing facility in order to implement student experience and to the future development of educational activities that will carry on at University of Nottingham.
#89 Spicing up your space education with CanSats, rockets and hackathons... – the Space Universities Network Recipe Book (presentation)Lucy Berthoud, Andrew Glester, Sufyaan Akram, Iuliu-Cezar Ardelean, Adam Baker, Nigel Bannister, Iain Hughes, Mark Jones, Jenny Kingston, Diana Mastracci, Osian Rees, Katharine Smith and Alex Young
The UK-based “Space Universities Network” (SUN) was formed in 2016 with the aim of enhancing the quality of learning and teaching by providing support and resources to the space science and engineering higher education community. It now has 60 members from 30 different Universities around the UK. SUN’s objectives are to facilitate the creation of a skilled workforce of graduates who can meet the challenges of future scientific and commercial exploitation of space. The network addresses this need by helping to inspire students to join the space sector and ensuring they are well equipped at University to contribute. SUN enables the developing, sharing and promotion of effective practice and innovation in the delivery of university-level space science and engineering curricula. One of the ways that effective practice and innovation is disseminated is by the collection of case studies. In this paper, a collection of 10 case studies from different members of the Network is described.
The case studies cover a wide variety of student activities run by staff and/or students including Satellite in a SodaCan (CanSat) competitions, water rocket and rocket building, earth observation data hackathons, astrodynamics workshops using GMAT software, lunar rover model building, cubesat projects, remote microscope manipulation of samples, satellite applications data workshops and ESA ‘drop your thesis’ projects. For each case study, those running the activity completed a standard format template of 1-3 pages which describes: what was the purpose? How was it integrated into the curriculum (if at all)? How did it work? What materials do you need and how much did it cost in time and money? What problems were encountered? What feedback did you have? The paper describes each case study briefly. These are now publicly available on the SUN website (spaceuniversitiesnetwork.ac.uk) and are accessible to all. More cases studies are welcome and are being submitted. It is hoped that these will inspire other Universities who wish to spice up their space courses with some interesting recipes!
#90 The ESA Education Programme and its ESA Academy (presentation)Hugo Marée, Alexander Kinnaird, Natacha Callens and Piero Galeone
he European space agency’s Education Programme, composed of the STEM and ESA Academy programmes, not only inspires but actively engages the next generation. The STEM programme’s aim is to use space as a teaching context to enhance youngsters’ literacy, skills and competences as well as core values and attitudes in STEM; to inspire and to motivate them to pursue studies and careers in the STEM sector. The ESA Academy, the overarching educational programme for university students, is designed to equip the future workforce with 21st century skills and competences; to enhance their employability and to stimulate creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.
The ESA Academy is a portfolio of hands-on ‘Space’ projects ranging from scientific and technology-demonstration experiments to be run on a number of different professional platforms, to small satellite missions such as CubeSats; complimented by a varied portfolio of training sessions given by space professionals coming from all fields of ESA’s expertise, as well as from space industry and academia.
Every year hundreds of students participate in ESA Academy activities, with students participating in launch and experiment campaigns conducted at state of the art facilities located at several centres of excellence all around Europe, and amassing an impressive portfolio of space-flight and research experience.
The eligible students must be nationals of one of the 22 ESA Member States, or Canada or Slovenia. Operating with students coming from across 24 different states, comes with a unique set of challenges, including, but not limited to, interacting with different national academic approaches, different academic schedules, student engagement levels, gender and inclusiveness, and team funding. The Education Office has risen to these challenges and developed a comprehensive and inclusive programme framework, which continues to develop as new challenges are identified.
The ESA Academy is moving forward with confidence that the future generations of our colleagues and partners have the best training and information available to drive the future of the European space effort. The Academy aims to reinforce, and even further develop, it’s offering of programmes and training courses over the coming years.
#91 The ESA Academy’s Training and Learning Programme (presentation)Natacha Callens, Piero Galeone, Hugo Marée and Alexander Kinnaird
The ESA Academy programme is the overarching framework of activities provided by the ESA Education Office for university students from ESA Member States, Canada and Slovenia. The purpose of this programme is to complement and enrich the students’ traditional University education through a suite of hands-on and training activities, enabling direct transfer of knowledge from agency, academic and industry professionals as well as access to world class facilities.
The ESA Academy aims to improve students’ skills and boost their motivation, enabling them to pursue further opportunities within ‘Space’ and/or within other Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) subjects and to bridge the gap between studies and professional life.
The Training and Learning Programme is one of the two core pillars of the ESA Academy. This programme was developed 3 years ago and offers a portfolio of 4-5 day training sessions covering different areas of ESA expertise such as systems engineering, mission design, space law, standardisation, product assurance, human space physiology, technology transfer and innovation, educational sessions of Concurrent Engineering Design, and more.
Attendance at the training sessions is by competitive application. Selected University students are sponsored for travel and accommodation and get a certificate of participation as well as a course transcript allowing them to claim ECTS credit(s) to their Universities.
Up to 20 training sessions are delivered annually at the ESA Academy’s Training and Learning Facility (TLF) located in ESA’s European space Security and Education Centre (ESEC), Belgium. This facility is composed of a training room and an educational Concurrent Design Facility (CDF) and can accommodate 30 university students and up to 6 trainers.
Around 220 different professionals have already supported the development and delivery of ESA Academy training sessions and more than 1200 University students have benefited from the opportunity.
New training sessions are under development to complement the existing portfolio and E-Learning possibilities are being investigated.
#92 ESA and NAROM Student rocket program Fly a Rocket! (presentation)Bente Jensen, Chrsitoffer Stausland, Jøran Grande and Alexander Kinnaird
The ESA and NAROM student rocket program Fly a Rocket! was initiated as an ESA Education program in collaboration with the Norwegian Center for Space Related Education (NAROM) and the Norwegian Space Agency as a pilot in 2017 . The aim was to give students on lower levels of higher education the possibility to work on a real rocket project and learn about space physics and space engineering and thereby to inspire and motivate the students to consider careers and further study in space and space related disciplines. The pilot cycle was a huge success hence a second cycle was initiated in the fall of 2018, and the rocket launch campaign was in the spring of 2019.
Through their participation in the programme the students go through exactly same procedures as in a professional scientific sounding rocket campaign at Andøya Space Center, but on a more condensed time scale. The students gain experience on how to work as a team with other students from several different countries on a real rocket project, build experiments using different kinds of digital and analogue sensors. The students do all the work, including manning all stations during the countdown before launch, with supervision from NAROM and ASC professionals.
During the student rocket campaign, the students practical work is mixed with lectures from experts. The lectures cover topics such as rocket physics, space physics, satellite engineering, and telecommunication. The student will be able to set up a model in rocket simulation software, describe the principle of the sensors on-board the rocket and analyse and interpret the data from the sensors.
The Fly a Rocket! program includes three phases, an online pre-course with two assignments, the student rocket campaign and the post flight report phase. The actual five-day long hands-on rocket campaign training is done at Andøya Space Center guided by instructors from NAROM. The students prepare and run their own student rocket mission. Students will have introductory lectures, build and launch a three-meter-long student rocket to 8.5 km of altitude, and will end the campaign by doing analysis of the actual rocket flight data. In the last phase, the students collaborate on writing a report of the project, what they have done during the second phase and the result they found during the flight analysis. By the time of the conference, the 2nd cycle of the program will be concluded.
This paper will present the ESA and NAROM Student rocket program Fly a Rocket and its objectives together with the experiences and lessons learned from the two cycles of program.
 “Fly a Rocket! A Norwegian-ESA Educational Programme – Pilot Cycle Report and Conclusions”, Christoffer Stausland, Alexander Kinnaird, Jessica Korzeniowska and Marianne Moen, Proceedings 23th ESA PAC Symposium, Visby, Sweden, June 2017
#93 MELT: Monitoring Iceberg Calving using Synthetic-Aperture Radar (presentation)Alfie Baker, Sarah Pengelly and Mike Grocott
Icebergs are a common and pivotal feature of the Polar oceans; they provide a vital habitat for plants and animals, act as a source of fresh water, influencing ocean circulation and can pose a significant threat to shipping. The separation of icebergs from their parent glaciers – known as “calving” – is a natural part of the life-cycle of a glacier. Monitoring the location and timing of calving, as well as the subsequent movement of icebergs in the ocean, offers a valuable insight into changes in the Earth’s climate. Recent studies of Antarctic and Greenland glaciers have shown a dramatic increase in calving events suggesting a change in the regions’ environmental conditions. In 2014, the European Space Agency (ESA) launched the Sentinel-1 mission, the first stage of the Copernicus Earth Observation Programme. The mission is composed of two satellites equipped with C-band (4-8 GHz) synthetic-aperture radar instruments that allow for the collection of high resolution images and data in all weather conditions. Using images provided by the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM) and in collaboration with the Institute for Research in Schools (IRIS), we have observed and tracked the movement of key outlet glaciers on the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets in near real time. In addition to this, key glaciological features, such as ice speed and supra-glacial lakes have been observed and monitored. We will present a summary of our observations as well as an overview of the methods used.
#94 The COSPAR Capacity Building Initiative (presentation)Carlos Gabriel
The Capacity Building Programme (CBP) is considered today one of the flagships of COSPAR (COmmittee for SPAce Research) activities. It started in 2001 as a tentative project designed to widen expertise in space sciences and promote the use of data archives from space missions in developing countries, as a way to foster in those regions of the world first quality scientific activities.
In these last 19 years a total of 35 COSPAR workshops have been held, with more than 1000 advanced students and young researchers in 21 different developing countries. They have learnt in a highly practical way, how to analyse data from diverse space missions, covering practically all Space Science disciplines, from Astronomy to Earth Observation, from Solar Physics to Planetary Sciences, including Ionosphere, Magnetospheric sciences and even Planetary Crystallography. A key in the success of the CBP has been the strong and selfless engagement of internationally high ranked scientists as well as of the space agencies ESA, NASA and JAXA.
I will discuss in this presentation the history and current status of the Programme, but emphasise the changes we are introducing to make it better, more efficient and wider in its scope.
#95 Cosmic radiation environment modelling for the ESEO mission (presentation)Boglárka Erdős, Balázs Zábori and Attila Hirn
The development of the European Student Earth Orbiter (ESEO) was announced by the European Space Agency Education Office for students interested in the space exploration. The ESEO-TRITEL Team is joined to this international cooperation supported by the Centre for Energy Research, Hungarian Academy of Sciences by the development of the ESEO satellite version of the TriTel 3D silicon detector telescope. Previous version of the TriTel detector was already operated successfully onboard the European Columbus module of the International Space Station (ISS) and was installed in the Russian segment of the ISS as well. In the ESEO-TriTel experiment the anisotropies in the radiation field, the effects of the Earth shadow and the South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA) will be analyzed. The results will be compared with the fluxes calculated with the new AP-9 and AE-9 trapped proton and electron models, and possibly also compared against the previous AP-8 and AE-8 models for exploring differences. In our work the space radiation environment was reconstructed for the ESEO mission and the first modelling of the possible measurement results of the ESEO-TriTel detector telescope was made using a Geant4 based Monte Carlo toolkit called GRAS (Geant4 Radiation Analysis for Space) developed be the European Space Agency.
#96 Lessons learnt from operating ESEO educational spacecraft (presentation)Giacomo Curzi, Alberto Lucci, Alfredo Locarini, Dario Modenini, Paolo Tortora, Gilles Mariotti, Davide Cinarelli, Valentino Fabbri and Nicola Melega
Since 2003, the Microsatellite and Space Microsystems Lab at the University of Bologna (UniBo) has extended his research activities to the design of a ground segment (GS) for small satellites missions. In the framework of the European Student Earth Orbiter (ESEO), an ESA Education Office project for the development of a microsatellite mission, with SITAEL S.p.A. as the Industrial System Prime Contractor, the first-generation GS has been upgraded to support ESEO operations. UniBo was in charge for the design and development of the mission control centre (MCC), the implementation of the primary ground station for telemetry and telecommand operations and of the secondary one for the downlink of payloads data.
ESEO was launched on December 3rd, 2018. Getting the MCC ready for the launch was quite a demanding task, yet highly rewarding from an educational point of view: it allowed students to gather hands-on-experience while preparing and testing almost 200 flight operations procedures, with the support of SITAEL engineers. All procedures were tested through the ESEO avionic test bench, an almost one-to-one copy of the flying spacecraft made available by the industrial contractor.
Soon after launch, the activities planned for the Lunch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP) were forced to be held back, due to a poor beacon decoding capabilities at the main UHF station and to the lack of response of the spacecraft to uplinked telecommands. Nevertheless, ESEO telemetry suggested the spacecraft to be safe and healthy in Sun-bath attitude mode, and the GS was kept in receive-only mode. After weeks of coordinated efforts among spacecraft operators, spacecraft engineers and ESA technical staff, LEOP activities could be resumed, thanks to the support of the radio amateur community. Indeed, ES5PC ground station in Tartu was made available, which features significantly higher EIRP level for command uplink. A remotely operated GS configuration was thus explored, with the MCC located in Forlì, and the radiofrequency chain located in Tartu. The higher uplink power triggered response from ESEO, and flight operations could eventually start. This allowed us to accomplish important tasks such as the update of the onboard time and of the spacecraft orbital elements, and to start the commissioning of the platform subsystems.
Since then, new challenges are coming, which needs to be faced for ESEO mission to advance further: the full paper will provide a thorough perspective of the achievements and lessons learnt during these months of operations.