After 40 months fostering a relevant training on nanosat technology, we celebrate our final event “NANOSTAR Academy Showcase”, where we will share the project’s results with the European Nanosatellite community. Join us next May 11th at 14:00h CET!

The construction of a nanosatellite requires numerous tools and competences, which makes it an excellent training vector. However, it is necessary to have the appropriate experience, hence the need to work in a network and exchange experiences.

NANOSTAR is an Interreg Sudoe project to provide students with the experience of a real space engineering process that includes all stages, from conception and specifications, to design, assembly, integration, testing and documentation. The consortium is composed of 7 universities and 2 aerospace clusters, plus 3 ESA Business Incubation Centres as associates, in France, Spain and Portugal.

After 40 months, we celebrate our final event ‘NANOSTAR Academy Showcase’, where we will share the project’s results to the European Nanosatellite community, and we would like you to join us on this special occasion.

AGENDA

14:00-14:15  Fostering a relevant training on nanosat technology: results and prospects from the NANOSTAR project. Introduction
  • Philippe Lattes, Director for Space Activities, Aerospace Valley
  • Representative of the SUDOE programme
  • Maude Perier-Camby, Nanostar Project Manager, Aerospace Valley
14:15-14:55 The Nanostar Academy
  • Nanostar Software Suite by Thibault Gateau, Institut Supérieur de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace and Paolo Oliveira, Instituto Superior Técnico
  • Nanostar common methodology by José Miguel Álvarez, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
  • Evolution of the IDM-CIC environment modules by Jean-Luc Le Gal, Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales
  • Questions and Answers
14:55-15:55 The Nanostar Student Challenges
  • Presentation of the challenges by Filippo Cichocki, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid and Anthony Ghiotto, Bordeaux INP
  • The worms project: Xavier Bailly, CNRS, Roscoff Marine Station and Olivier Marty, Bordeaux INP
Testimony of 3 students teams – interviews:
  • UC3M StarWorms: Alvaro Sanz Casado, Carlos Alvaro Arroyo Parejo, Miguel Renieblas Ariño, Sergio Sarasola Merino, Miguel Muñoz Lorente
  • B-INP EirBalloon: Nigel Ignatowicz, Yohan Bellanger
  • UBI Moon invaders: Franscisca Oliveira and Pedro Dente
15:55-16:05 Announcement of the winners of the challenges’ final
  • Carlos Romero, General Manager of Madrid Aerospace Cluster

16:05-16:15 Paths for the future of Nanostar

  • Jorge Monteiro, Universidade da Beira Interior and Maude Perier-Camby, Aerospace Valley
16:15 Closure

Last week our colleague, Thibault GateauISAE-SUPAERO responsible for the NANOSTAR project, presented our project as an example of academic collaboration at the Aerospace Valley’s ‘The Space week’.

 

The winning student team “UC3M StarWorms” of the Second Edition of the Space Mission Predesign Challenge of the NANOSTAR project,  have  been awarded officially at UC3M with various diplomas:

  • participation
  • best PDR document
  • and best team

Also a laptop per team component, and other small prizes: USB pendrives and NANOSTAR t-shirts.

Congratulations to the team and well done!

From left to right: Carlos Álvaro Arroyo Parejo, Miguel Renieblas Ariño, Alvaro Sánz Casado, Sergio Sarasola, Miguel Muñoz Lorente with Filippo Cichocki, the NANOSTAR Student Challenges coordinator.

The Eirballoon project is part of the NANOSTAR project and the 100th anniversary of the ENSEIRB-MATMECA engineering school, based in Bordeaux (France), partner of the NANOSTAR consortium.

A team composed of five students from the ENSEIRB-MATMECA engineering school will launch a sounding balloon to take pictures of Bordeaux from the sky and measure properties of the atmosphere such as temperature, pressure or UV ray level. All these parameters will be sent to the ground in real time using the LoRa protocol and displayed on social media. The balloon will reach about 30 km in altitude and will allow testing hardware (including the Lora module) in space conditions together with the ground station developed within the NANOSTAR project.

This is a great opportunity for the students to apply the skills provided in IoT and electronics.

 
 

With the support of NANOSTAR, our partner Universidade da Beira Interior (UBI, Portugal) is now developing a student CubeSat project called CUBISat. The objective is to develop a 1U CubeSat technology demonstrator for an Attitude and Dynamics control System.


Magnetic attitude determination and control devices are one of the cheapest most reliable, small and lightweight attitude systems. However, they have limitations, in particular a relatively low accuracy and actuation capability requiring other attitude sensors and actuators. Theoretical studies demonstrate that a solely magnetic Attitude Determination and Control system might be capable of providing three-axis orbital attitude for nanosatellites. To test the proposed algorithms for future space missions a technology demonstrator is needed.

In this activity, the students are performing a health check on a CubeSat reaction wheel that would be used in the CUBISAT.

Students involved:

Supervisor: Jorge Monteiro

 

Our colleague, Thibault Gateau, ISAE-SUPAERO responsible for the NANOSTAR project, presents their innovative purchase for the 3rd episode of Achat public et Innovation Podcast. Play below!

The Eirballoon project is part of the NANOSTAR project and the 100th anniversary of the ENSEIRB-MATMECA engineering school, based in Bordeaux (France), partner of the NANOSTAR consortium.

Due to COVID restrictions, the launch has been postponed to January 14th, with a backup date on the 21st, if the weather is bad or the air control is not ok.

During the month of November, a team composed of five students from the ENSEIRB-MATMECA engineering school will launch a sounding balloon to take pictures of Bordeaux from the sky and measure properties of the atmosphere such as temperature, pressure or UV ray level. All these parameters will be sent to the ground in real time using the LoRa protocol and displayed on social media. The balloon will reach about 30 km in altitude and will allow testing hardware (including the Lora module) in space conditions together with the ground station developed within the NANOSTAR project.

This is a great opportunity for the students to apply the skills provided in IoT and electronics.

Nigel IGNATOWICZ, a Master student in electrical engineering at ENSEIRB-MATMECA, is in charge of the radiofrequency link between the sounding balloon and the ground station, the integration of the on-board equipment, and the management of the project.

“I’ve always been passionate by space and all the projects that are related to it. This project was a great opportunity for me to be fully implied in such a project.

I started to work on the Eirballoon project in February and I found it very interesting since the beginning. This was an opportunity to learn a lot of new things and to apply the skills that have been taught to me during my studies at ENSEIRB-MATMECA.

I would like to thank Interreg SUDOE for the great opportunity the NANOSTAR project offered me.”

Nanostar is a 2014-2021 Interreg Sudoe project which allows university students to be part of a whole real space engineer project.

The nanosatellite standard is today used by many universities and companies to attract the best students and engineers, that supports the universities and industries competitiveness.

Several countries from the north of Europe have strongly invested in this approach, creating a commercial offer that has become very well positioned in the market. However, Southern Europe, despite its strong influence in the space sector, has only 14% of the projects in the European nanosatellite sector and no company created in this field.

The construction of a nanosatellite requires numerous tools and competences, which makes it an excellent training vector. However, it is necessary to have the appropriate experience, hence the need to work in a network and exchange experiences.

To support the emergence of such a dynamic environment in the south west of Europe, 7 universities and 2 aerospace clusters from France, Spain and Portugal proposed a collaborative project to link their resources, plus 3 ESA-BIC (Business Incubation Centres of the European Space Agency) as associates.

NANOSTAR: a network of excellence among universities, the regional industry and the scientific ecosystem in order to create a leading platform in Europe on nanosatellites.

The challenge of the project is to provide students with the experience of a real space engineering process that includes all stages, from conception and specifications, to design, assembly, integration, testing and documentation. That is, the whole process through a network that combines high-level engineering careers and entrepreneurial ventures in the area of ​​nanosatellites.

NANOSTAR will allow Southwest Europe to train students with a high level of skills in space engineering and project engineering, so that they are the future main players in the field of nanosatellites.

NANOSTAR will end the 31st of May 2021.

We are glad to inform you that NANOSTAR, the Interreg Sudoe project which allows university students to be part of a whole real space engineer project which includes conception, design, implementation and documentation, will have an eight months project extension, and will end the 31st of May 2021.

Last Monday, February 17, the phase II Detailed Design and Test Challenges online registration was closed.

In this phase, each NANOSTAR institution offered specific challenges on the design, development and testing of nanosatellite components. Some of these challenges were related to components of the winner nanosatellite design of the first preliminary design competition (lunar fly-by), others to nanosatellite testing facilities and there will also be a challenge on the detailed design of a roscoff worms payload, considered in the second edition of the preliminary design competition.

There have been a total of  68 registered students in 22 different challenges.

The NANOSTAR project

NANOSTAR is a collaborative platform to provide a relevant training on nanosat technology through Student Challenges.

The nanosatellite standard is today used by many universities and companies to attract the best students and engineers, that supports the universities and industries competitiveness.

Several countries from the north of Europe have strongly invested in this approach, creating a commercial offer that has become very well positioned in the market. However, Southern Europe, despite its strong influence in the space sector, has only 14% of the projects in the European nanosatellite sector and no company created in this field.

The consortium is composed of 2 aerospace clusters, 7 universities plus 3 ESA-BIC centres as associates, in France, Spain and Portugal.

NANOSTAR project is funded by the Interreg Sudoe Programme through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

 

This year Interreg celebrates its 30th birthday, focusing on three topics of interest for the European cohesion: youth, a greener Europe and we all have a neighbor. In this context, each month, they will interview one of their  emblematic projects related to one of these topics.

We transcribe the interview with Filippo Cichocki, visiting professor at the Carlos III University of Madrid who, together with his colleague Julio Posada Román and the professors José Antonio García Souto and Mario Merino Martínez, coordinate the NANOSTAR Student Challenges.

NANOSTAR offers to university students the possibility of experiencing a real and complete space-engineering process that includes conception, design, assembly and documentation. In teams, students can draft a space mission with a nano-satellite and create parts of it.

  • What role do young people play in your project?

The NANOSTAR project is based on several challenges according to which the role of young people varies. Some challenges are competitive: students register to compete for the preliminary design of a nano-satellite mission. Organized in groups, they design the principal subsystems of nano-satellite in order to accomplish this mission and compete with other groups of students from their same university or from other universities participating in the NANOSTAR project. Moreover, there are other types of challenges, more independent, organized by the universities of the project focusing on the development of a particular technology for nano-satellites. This can be a communications component, a control strategy or a testing platform. Since the project has a wide nature, the activities developed for the challenges vary as well.

  • How important are these challenges for the proper development of the project?

The two types of challenges of the project present significant activities for a space engineer.

On one side, the competitive challenges look like the procedures of the European Space Agency for the selection of promising space-mission proposals that can be financed for the phases of detailed design and finally reach the operational phase. The first challenge was a competitive challenge. Developed between February and May 2019, it consisted of a flyby mission to the moon with a nano-satellite. Counting with the participation of 15 teams, it brought together more than 100 students. The second competitive challenge has just ended and focused on a different mission: a payload mission, with Roscoff worms that allow to recycle CO2 and produce O2, very useful for the development of ECLSS – Environmental Control and Life Support Systems.

On the other side, individual challenges will start in the next weeks and will allow students from each university to advance in concrete skills related to detailed phases of a nano-satellite design. These usually start when the preliminary design of a mission is approved and a space agency, such as the European Space Agency, decides to continue financing these activities. So far, we organized around 30 different challenges among all the universities involved in NANOSTAR project.

  •  Where does the idea of ​​NANOSTAR come from? What is the added value of having young people in this project?

It is a great added value. First, young people interested in this sector are very motivated and have a lot of passion for what they do. Even if they don’t have a very long experience, they are able, with advice, to perform very advanced engineering tasks.

On the other hand, in NANOSTAR, we believe in hands-on education, thanks to which students develop all the competences for their future job as space engineers. In this sense, the nano-satellites presents a clear asset, not just as an educative tool, but also for the intrinsic interest that students develop for this type of industry that in the last years has certainly grown. Finally, and this is the a reason for a SUDOE project, there is a technological gap in South-West Europe of this specific technology and there is no better way to bridge this gap than to bet on the training of young people.

  • What does NANOSTAR provide to the youngsters who participate?

It is a very positive point for your curricula to be able to participate in a public competition for the design of a nano-satellite, financed by the EU and with a strong participation. In addition, the project benefits from experts’ advices of prestigious universities. Participating to these challenges allows students to develop knowledge that may not be developed in an ordinary university course. They can put into practice their knowledge developing a space mission, systems engineering, managing of special projects or in the detailed design of a nano-satellite component, while learning to work in a team with other European students. The challenges teach them to be patient, rigorous, organizing periodic meetings to progress with the design, knowing how to respond to casualties in the team.

  • How do you organize work in universities of different countries?

Each University has its own work culture and their area of expertise, so they complement each other. Generally, the student groups are from the same universities but we also had interuniversity groups. This is very positive because it allows us to evaluate whether it is possible to work as a team from different universities and what difficulties it entails. Obviously, physical distance can be an obstacle, but through the project, we seek to develop common work methodologies. Thus, we develop a common software to design nano-satellites, with the same tools, homogenizing the nano-satellite development process.

  • What is the profile of the students participating?

They are mostly space-engineering students but we count also on students from other disciplines. This is essential because space engineering is totally interdisciplinary. Design involves different fields of knowledge. Thus, for example, electronic, telecommunication engineers but also mathematicians participate.

We also count on a gender mixed participation even if we have not reached yet the desired level of equality: in the last challenge, for example, about 80 people participated, of which approximately 20 were women. This figure is in line with the percentage of women in engineering department of Spanish universities (around 25%).

On the other hand, many universities have student associations dedicated to solving technological problems. We made the most of these by encouraging their participation because they are probably the best candidates since they have very motivated students, with a lot of practical experience and seek to achieve greater visibility. For example, we are developing one of the challenges with the STAR association of the Carlos III University that is dedicated to the development and launching of rockets as platform for the testing of nano-satellite components.

  • How do these types of projects influence the vision that young people have of the EU? How would you encourage young people to participate in the project?


The participation in this kind of networks allow to expose students to the education method of other countries and establish contacts with other similar students in South Europe. We believe that actions like these ones are very positive for foster the youngsters’ sense of belonging in the European Union. They link Europe with opportunities to develop concrete projects.

Without a doubt, NANOSTAR is a great opportunity to put into practice what they are learning in their academic training, work as a team and develop skills to work in the future in a more connected Europe.

Thank you very much Filippo! Do not hesitate to visit the project website and discover everything about space challenges. Also, we invite you to discover the testimonies of Alejandro and David, two students from Carlos III University who participated in the challenges.