New Space and Tech

Teams selected for the June 2023 test window of Fly Your Satellite! Test Opportunities

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
April 2, 2023
Filed under
Teams selected for the June 2023 test window of Fly Your Satellite! Test Opportunities
Fly Your Satellite!

Two university teams have been selected for the June 2023 test window in the pilot edition of the Fly Your Satellite!

Test Opportunities programme following a call for proposals opened in the first months of 2023. The proposal evaluation and selection were carried out by Fly Your Satellite! Team and CubeSat Support Facility operators. Teams are thrilled to start learning about environmental testing and eventually testing their devices at ESA facilities!

ESA invited university student teams ESA Member States, Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia who would like to receive support and training in conducting an environmental test campaign, with mainly educational objectives to propose their test plan and device for the pilot edition of the “Fly Your Satellite!” (FYS) test opportunities programme. Student teams from many universities worked hard to prepare proposals which were reviewed by the Fly Your Satellite! and CubeSat Support Facility (CSF) teams. Although the decision was not easy due to the excellent quality of all test proposals, finally two teams were selected for the test window planned for June 2023.

Following the selection process, teams were invited to present their test proposal the Fly Your Satellite! Team at the programme kick-off meeting held in March 2023 During the same event, the students were offered a webinar on environmental testing offered by CSF operators.

All selected student teams did an outstanding job in presenting their test proposal and responding to the questions raised by the Fly Your Satellite! team. The two teams selected are:

Delft Aerospace Rocket Engineering (DARE), Delft University of Technology – Netherlands

Delft Aerospace Rocket Engineering (DARE) is a student rocketry society in Delft. DARE has various projects working on technological development in order to reach space. The application for the ESA testing program includes two systems developed within DARE: the SHEAR mission and a parachute mortar. SHEAR is an experiment that aims to test a self-developed heat shield material, namely an alginate and montmorillonite nanocomposite foam. The parachute mortar is a short, smooth tube that is sealed at one end and is attached to the rocket. When the parachute needs to be deployed, an electrical signal is sent to a small explosive charge at the sealed end of the tube. The explosion propels the parachute out of the tube and away from the rocket. The primary test goal would be to verify whether the plenum volume maintains a steady pressure under the vibration profile of the rocket launch, or whether it leaks. The secondary test goal would be to requalify the system, with design changes, for flight.

Aalto-3 Student Satellite, Aalto University – Finland

Aalto-3 is a student satellite project made at Aalto University. The goal of the mission is to test critical hardware for future missions at Aalto University. All the hardware and software on board of the satellite is designed and built in-house, both for Aalto University and University of Turku who is building the payload. This includes a completely new S-band radio, an upgraded internal communication system of the satellite, a new Miniaturized Instrument for Radiation Analysis (MIRA) (built by University of Turku), and plenty of modifications to components based on Foresail-1 to fit the 1U form factor of the satellite. In addition to achieving successful payload demonstrations in space, a primary objective of the project is to provide students who are passionate about space the opportunity to participate in a real satellite project. The expected outcome of this testing program is to confirm the satellite’s ability to survive a real rocket launch and to check the proper functioning of its mechanical components and subsystems in space.

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.