Earth Observation Satellite System Design Training Course

organised by

European Space Agency (ESA)

in Online, Europe Wide


Earth Observation (EO) satellites deliver information which are a key to guiding the World population towards a sustainable society. They allow the monitoring of vegetation and agriculture to safeguard the preservation and usage of our limited resources into the future; provide rapid assessment of damages in case of disasters such as flooding and earthquake, and enable efficient assistance measures; make it possible to gain better understanding of urban development; and allow the monitoring of meteorological and environmental parameters essential for a thorough understanding of the evolution of Earth’s global-scale dynamics, i.e. its future climate.

EO satellite missions constitute the largest programme of ESA’s activities. In fact, a significant portion of ESA’s annual budget is dedicated to EO satellite missions. ESA is also the main actor for the implementation of the current Copernicus Programme in cooperation with the European Commission, the world’s largest civil EO programme, which aims to provide Europe with independent access to Earth remote sensing data.

During the course, students will become acquainted with the end-to-end design of an EO satellite system. They will start with requirements definition based on mission objectives, progressing to orbit trade-offs and design of the payload instruments (microwave and optical), followed by the satellite design, ground segment architecture and operations, verification & testing, all the way through to in-orbit testing!

The students will be able to put into practice what they learn through a group project composed of a challenging series of design exercises which form a step-by-step observation system design project.  Each student will be in charge of a given engineering field, including system engineering lead, microwave instrument sizing, optical instrument sizing, satellite design and ground segment & operations concepts. They will collaborate with their group to come up with a simple but realistic EO system design. During the Group Project sessions, the trainers will guide and support the students online.

The ESA Academy’s Earth Observation Satellite System Design Training Course  has been developed by ESA’s Education Office, together with ESA’s EO system specialists and members of ARES, the Association of Retired ESA Staff. All the trainers delivering lectures have extensive experience in ESA EO system development, giving students a taste of what it is like to really work in the space sector.

Students wishing to apply for the training course must submit their applications by 8 February 2021.