ESA Selects New CubeSat Missions for Fly Your Satellite Program

Fly Your Satellite! selection workshop (Credit: ESA)

NOORDWIJK, Netherlands (ESA PR) — Three university teams have been selected for the third edition of the Fly Your Satellite! programme following a call for proposals open in the second half of 2019. The CubeSats’ evaluation and selection was carried out by a CubeSat Evaluation Panel, consisting of ESA experts from a range of disciplines. 

ESA invited university student teams from ESA Member States, Canada and Slovenia that are developing a one, two or three-unit CubeSat with mainly educational objectives to propose their satellite for the third edition of the “Fly Your Satellite!” (FYS) programme. Student teams from many universities worked hard to prepare proposals which were reviewed by a CubeSat Evaluation Panel.

The selection process culminated with a Selection Workshop held at ESTEC in December 2019, where seven teams -shortlisted as the best proposals among the applications submitted to ESA- presented their CubeSat mission. During the same week, the students were offered a number of lectures offered by ESA specialists.

All shortlisted CubeSat student teams did an outstanding job in presenting their missions and responding to the questions raised by the ESA specialists. Although the decision was not easy for the CubeSat Evaluation Panel due to the excellent quality of all CubeSat proposals, finally the following three teams were selected:

AcubeSAT, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki – Greece

The Aristotle Space & Aeronautics Team (ASAT) is composed of students from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. ASAT is developing a CubeSat to conduct a biological experiment that investigates molecular mechanisms that are affected by the space conditions. In particular, they will probe the dynamic regulation of gene expression of eukaryotic cells in Low Earth Orbit, using advances in Synthetic Biology and micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS).

SOURCE, University of Stuttgart – Germany

SOURCE (Stuttgart Operated University Research CubeSat for Evaluation and Education) is a mission of the small-satellite student society at the University of Stuttgart with educational and technological objectives. Their CubeSat will monitor the processes involved in uncontrolled entry into Earth’s atmosphere by imaging meteoroids and using in-situ heat flux measurements to characterize demise.

UCAnFly, University of Cadiz – Spain

UCAnFly is an educational nanosatellite developed by a student team from the University of Cadiz. Their objective is to explore the feasibility of novel miniaturized magnetic measurement systems at milihertz frequencies with low-noise conditions. The mission will allow the in-flight characterization of the system under the harsh space environment.

Selected teams will begin to work on preparing for the Critical Design Review in collaboration with ESA, and their technical documentation will be reviewed by ESA specialists in different areas of expertise.

In recognition of the great work of the other CubeSat teams that unfortunately could not be selected, ESA Education will offer support to the teams, by inviting students to attend one of the training sessions organised by the ESA Academy Training and Learning Programme (TLP).

Complementary to the Fly Your Satellite! programme, the ESA Education Office offers 5-day training weeks dedicated to CubeSats in collaboration with the ESA Academy Training and Learning Programme. The training weeks particularly aim at university students and teams in early phases of CubeSat projects, and include a CubeSats Concurrent Engineering Workshop, and a CubeSat Hands-On Training Week. In the future a CubeSats Testing Training Week will be included in the portfolio.

Congratulations to all teams selected!

More information about the Fly Your Satellite! programme can be found here.