New Space and Tech

Estonia’s First Satellite

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
May 30, 2013
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Estonia’s First Satellite

CGI Group Inc. supported Estonia’s first satellite launch, which took place on May 7, 2013, by building the satellite’s ground station control software. The ESTCube-1 satellite was successfully launched from the European spaceport in French Guiana.
CGI worked in collaboration with the University of Tartu in developing the software. It was built using Hummingbird, a leading open source mission control software platform, as well as modern software tools and standards tailored to the needs of this particular satellite and its mission. The software was designed to be simple, flexible and user friendly.

The main mission of the satellite is to test electric solar wind sail technology, a novel space propulsion technology that could revolutionize transportation within the solar system. An important milestone in Estonian space history was reached as two-way communication with the satellite was established and its mission is now successfully underway.

“I am very grateful for the contribution of CGI,” said Mart Noorma, a University of Tartu professor and the ESTCube-1 academic supervisor. “Working together, CGI specialists and university students developed an innovative and effective space mission control software for ESTCube-1.We hope to continue our successful collaboration in the development of future satellites.”

“CGI was able to provide hands-on experience to students based on our long experience in the space industry,” said Space Project Manager Andreas Sisask from CGI in Estonia. “We are proud to have participated in a project that will be used to build infrastructures for future Estonian space projects and to educate space engineers.”

CGI has more than 35 years of experience in the space industry, delivering complex, mission-critical space systems. Our solutions are secure, often in complex technical environments, proven to work first time, every time, ultra-reliable and delivered on time to avoid costly delays. CGI works on the major European navigation, communication and earth observation programs and is a specialist in space security and ground control systems. We share innovate uses of space and satellite technology with commercial organizations to help them solve their business problems effectively. Our software has supported the missions of more than 200 satellites.

To learn more about ESTCube-1, visit

About CGI

Founded in 1976, CGI Group Inc. is the fifth largest independent information technology and business process services firm in the world. Approximately 69,000 professionals serve thousands of global clients from offices and delivery centers across the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific, leveraging a comprehensive portfolio of services including high-end business and IT consulting, systems integration, application development and maintenance, infrastructure management as well as a wide range of proprietary solutions. With annualized revenue in excess of C$10 billion and an order backlog exceeding C$18 billion, CGI shares are listed on the TSX (GIB.A) and the NYSE (GIB). Website:


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