Hands-on Training Week for Small Satellite Design and Testing

in ESEC, Redu, Belgium


Following the success of the pilot edition of the ESA Academy’s CubeSats Hands-On Training Week in 2018, ESA’s Education Office is inviting university students to apply to the second edition of this Training Week to improve their skills in spacecraft hardware and software.  The CubeSats Hands-on Training Week 2019 will be held from the 16th to the 20th of September 2019 at the ESA Academy’s Training and Learning Facility in ESEC-Galaxia, Belgium.  

This Training Week is a great opportunity for students to get hands-on experience with satellites and to apply theoretical knowledge obtained from classroom lectures. Participants will have the opportunity to perform experiments on Educational Satellites (ESAT) and learn how subsystems work and interact with each other. They will also discover how to conduct Assembly, Integration and Verification (AIV), and how to handle tests using real hardware. The aim of the Training Week is to help students that have new ideas for educational CubeSat missions, or are working on CubeSat projects at a conceptual or preliminary stage. The students will then be able to inject this new knowledge into the early design phase of their own CubeSat projects.

The focus throughout the Training Week will be on hands-on learning, with lab sessions supervised by staff from Theia Space, which will be complemented by lectures on the various fields of CubeSat subsystems, testing and operations, delivered by ESA experts. As such, this Training Week is an ideal opportunity for students to become familiar with the Fly Your Satellite! programme.

During the Training Week, the following topics will be covered: 

  • Introduction to Space Systems Engineering and the FYS! Programme (lecture)
  • ESAT model introduction (lecture)
  • Software (lecture & lab session)
  • On-Board Data Handling (lecture & lab session)
  • Electrical Power System (lecture & lab session)
  • Communication (lecture & exercise)
  • Attitude and Orbit Control System (lecture & lab session)
  • Assembly, Integration and Verification (lecture & lab session)
  • Satellite Operations (lecture & lab session)

During the lab sessions, students will have the opportunity to work in groups of two or three on their own ESAT model provided by the ESA’s Education Office. These are 10cm x 10cm x 10cm models (similar to a 1U CubeSat) developed by Theia Space, with the specific aim of providing university students with hands-on experience. 

Before coming to ESEC-Galaxia, the selected students will be required to perform some preliminary activities (reading material and exercises) for a duration of no more than 5 hours to better prepare for this Training Week. 

Students will be evaluated during the week, and upon completion, will receive a certificate and course transcript, allowing them to claim ECTS credit(s) from their respective universities.

Who can apply?

Students enrolled in university who fulfil the following criteria: 

  • Aged between 18 and 32;
  • A citizen of an ESA Member State, Canada or Slovenia;
  • Enrolled as a full-timeBachelor, Master, or PhD student in a university (not graduating before the Training Week);
  • Studying an engineering subject.

The selected students will be sponsored by ESA. The sponsorship will cover accommodation and meals as well as up to 200 euros for travelling to Belgium.