Conference PaperPDF Available

Norwegian student satellite program – lessons learned

Authors:

Abstract and Figures

The Norwegian Student satellite program was established in 2007 and is now coming to an end. After running the program for several years, the tangible output from the program is one CubeSat in orbit and two still under construction. This paper gives an overview of the achievements during this period. The student satellite program had several goals, not limited only to the launch of 3 CubeSats. Several students have attended conferences and workshops; some presented their work at international conferences or even published their work in scientific papers. There are multiple spin-off projects and lessons learned from this program. Some examples of these, in addition to the main results from the satellite program will be presented. An analysis of which of the objectives have been accomplished and why others have not been reached will be presented. During the project period, there has been an increasing interest in continuing work with student satellites at university level. Two participating universities now have ongoing activities on scientific payloads for CubeSats for various applications. Andøya Space Center has, together with partners, investigated the possibility of establishing a launch facility for nano-and micro satellites. If this becomes a reality, it will open many opportunities for universities and the space industry in Norway. Space technology is often a strong field of interest for young students, and can be an important recruitment factor for STEM studies.
Content may be subject to copyright.
IAC-17,E1,4,8,x41498
Norwegian student satellite program – lessons learned
Jøran Grande1,2, Roger Birkeland3, Amund Gjersvik3, Stian Vik Mathisen1, and Christoer
Stausland1
1Norwegian Center for Space Related Education, NAROM
2Corresponding author, joran@narom.no
3Department of Electronic Systems – Norwegian University of Science and Technology
NTNU, Trondheim, Norway
September 2017
Abstract
The Norwegian Student satellite program was established in 2007 and is now coming to an end.
After running the program for several years, the tangible output from the program is one CubeSat
in orbit and two still under construction. This paper gives an overview of the achievements during
this period. The student satellite program had several goals, not limited only to the launch of 3
CubeSats. Several students have attended conferences and workshops; some presented their work
at international conferences or even published their work in scientic papers. There are multiple
spin-o projects and lessons learned from this program. Some examples of these, in addition to the
main results from the satellite program will be presented. An analysis of which of the objectives
have been accomplished and why others have not been reached will be presented.
During the project period, there has been an increasing interest in continuing work with student
satellites at university level. Two participating universities now have ongoing activities on scientic
payloads for CubeSats for various applications. Andøya Space Center has, together with partners,
investigated the possibility of establishing a launch facility for nano- and micro satellites. If this
becomes a reality, it will open many opportunities for universities and the space industry in Norway.
Space technology is often a strong eld of interest for young students, and can be an important
recruitment factor for STEM studies.
1
68th International Astronautical Congress (IAC), Adelaide, Australia, 25-29 September 2017.
Copyright 2017 by NAROM - Norwegian Centre for Space-Related Education. Published by the IAF, with permission and
released to the IAF to publish in all forms.
1 Introduction
The rst Norwegian CubeSat project was started
in 2002 as a collaboration between several Norwe-
gian Universities. Together they designed, built and
launched the rst Norwegian CubeSat, nCube-1 and
nCube-2. The nCube project ended in 2006 and a
new national student satellite program, ANSAT was
launched in 2007. The overall program management
was run by the Norwegian Center for Space-related
Education (NAROM) together with Andøya Space
Center (ASC)1. Norwegian universities have been in-
vited to join the program. The participating Uni-
versities has been the University of Tromsø, campus
Narvik2, University of Oslo (UiO) and the Norwe-
gian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).
The main funding comes from the Norwegian Space
Centre but also from NAROM, ASC, the participat-
ing institutions. In addition several companies have
been supporting the program or the individual satel-
lite projects. NAROM and ASC have had the ad-
ministrative overall project management for the pro-
gram. Every institution has had their own project
manager and organization for their individual satel-
lite project. In addition a group of experts from in-
dustry and academia has been available through the
program period. The organization of the Norwegian
student satellite program described in [1]. The overall
main objectives for the program were to:
Build up relevant expertise at the participating
universities
Provide relevant project work for students
Increase the competence of students for Norwe-
gian Space industry
Give students the possibility to participate in in-
ternational projects through ESA
Give students a view into Norwegian and inter-
national space industry and infrastructure
• Contribute to increase the knowledge at ASC
within technology payload systems
Stimulate cooperation between the participating
institutions
• Increase the collaboration between institutions
and space industry
Increase the interest for STEM and space related
subject through hands-on projects
Develop and launch a program where Norwegian
Universities are invited to participate in design,
building, testing and the launch of 3 student
satellites with payloads developed by students
Run the program together with the institutions
in cooperation with Norwegian industry
1Formerly Andøya Rocket Range
2Formerly Narvik University College - HiN
• Secure the launch opportunity for the student
satellites in cooperation with ESA or other
Set up and maintain ground stations for use
2 The Satellites
Figure 1: Artist’s impression of HiNCube, CubeStar
and NUTS in orbit. By Trond Abrahamsen, ASC
2.1 HiNCube
Within the program period in 2007-2017, a total of
three satellite projects, as illustrated in Figure 1, have
been running at three dierent universities. The rst
satellite project, HiNCube, started in 2007 and was
mainly run by local students at the University of
Tromsø, campus Narvik (formerly Narvik University
College - HiN). The original idea behind the HiN-
Cube project was to transfer the acquired experience
and lessons learned among both students and sta to
future engineering students. Thus, the main project
goal was to increase the learning outcome for stu-
dents at HiN, giving them interesting but challeng-
ing tasks along with their theoretical studies. A sec-
ondary spin-o eect was making the graduated stu-
dents more attractive for future employers. The HiN-
Cube satellite payloads are consisting of an imaging
camera and several thermal sensors. As the project
evolved, it was decided that a nonlinear PD+ con-
troller, so-called output feedback controller (with-
out rate measurements) adapted for magnetorquers
was to be implemented as redundancy for the on-
board gyros. The plan was to test this more ad-
vanced controller, and compare it to typically utilized
PD/LQ-controllers, providing important experimen-
tal results. More about the controller is presented in
[2].
HiNCube was rst built as an engineering model
that also went through environmental testing, e.g.
IAC-17,E2,3-GTS.4,7,x41019 Page 2 of 7
68th International Astronautical Congress (IAC), Adelaide, Australia, 25-29 September 2017.
Copyright 2017 by NAROM - Norwegian Centre for Space-Related Education. Published by the IAF, with permission and
released to the IAF to publish in all forms.
vibration and thermal vacuum tests. Some smaller
modications was performed based on the experi-
ence from the engineering model. This next iteration
ended up as ight model. Environmental testing of
the ight model was performed successfully in 2012
and the satellite was delivered to the launch provider.
The launch took place from Yasny, Russia, with a
Dnepr launch vehicle on the 21st of November 2013.
ISI Space [3] was selected as the launch provider and
took care of the nal integration of the ISIS-pod in
the Dnepr launcher. Short time after launch it was
conrmed that HiNCube had been deployed from the
ISIS-pod. However, for unknown reasons, no signal
was received from HiNCube. It is not possible to def-
initely determine the reason for this failure. An in-
ternal report stated various faults that could result in
no signal from HiNCube: The antenna did not fold
out properly, too much spin, battery failure, short-
circuit after launch, failure in the radio amplier or
damage during launch.
Even though one could not receive any signals
from HiNCube when in orbit, the project has had
a great educational value for those who participated.
A total of six Master thesis have been written, in ad-
dition to several papers at various conferences. More
information about the HiNCube project can be found
in [4].
2.2 CubeStar
The CubeStar satellite has its motivation from a clear
scientic mission; space weather forecasting. During
solar storms, turbulent electron clouds are formed in
the ionosphere, causing distortion in radio signals to
and from satellites. The electron clouds phenomenon
is far from fully understood. Research in this area
can give knowledge that later can be used to forecast
space weather, and to improve the accuracy of for
example GPS receivers. The University of Oslo has
developed the payload instrument, a plasma probe
capable of doing very precise measurements in the F-
region of the ionosphere. This new instrument, called
multi-Needle Langmuir Probe (m-NLP) was based on
measuring a xed dierential potential between two
or more probes and could in principle do measure-
ment as often as wanted. This instrument was devel-
oped throught several master- and PhD projects. The
m-NLP was rst own on the ICI2 sounding rocket
from Svalbard in 2008. The instrument worked very
well and at this time the idea to put the instrument
on a CubeSat was formed. The university of Oslo
joined the Norwegian student satellite program in
2008 where the main goal was to develop a minia-
turized version of the m-NLP payload, in order to
y on a CubeSat. This project was named CubeStar
and was designed as a two unit CubeSat capable of
carrying the new m-NLP experiment with all neces-
sary housekeeping systems. The CubeStar mission
is to measure the structures in electron clouds and
improve the resolution 2000-fold, from today’s seven
kilometres down to the meter level.
The CubeStar satellite has been delayed and is
still not nished. The main reason for this is proba-
bly because of the success with the payload. Because
of this, the University has been invited to join several
other national and international space projects such
as the QB50 constellation and the NORSat-2 satel-
lite. More information about the CubeStar project
can be found in [5].
2.3 NUTS
The Norwegian University of Science and Technology
(NTNU) was the third and last university to join the
Norwegian student satellite program with the project
NTNU Test Satellite (NUTS). NTNU has had their
own project management and is also the institution
with the most participating students. By summer
2017, a total of 311 students have been involved in
the project. 68 of the students have written 104
smaller or larger project reports where 49 of them
are Master theses [6]. The other students have either
participated as volunteers or through a course called
Experts in Teamwork with project work related to
NUTS.
The NUTS project is still running. The goal is
that the students design and build an entire satel-
lite platform as well as the payload. COTS elec-
tronic components are used. All aspects of the satel-
lite system; electronics, software, mechanical struc-
ture, ground station, are designed by students. No
complete subsystems are purchased. This approach
was chosen for several reasons. Firstly, the commer-
cial systems available at the start of the project were
mostly spin-os from other universities, and the de-
signs were not considered to be better or more re-
liable than systems that could be designed by the
project’s own students. Secondly, by designing the
entire system, the project would be free to make de-
sign choices without being constrained by any one
manufacturer’s design. Designing the entire system
also enables the project to attract students from var-
ious departments other than electronics, increasing
the cross-disciplinary nature of the project. The
downside to this approach is that, due to incompati-
bilities, it is not possible to fall back on a purchased
COTS subsystem in case of delays in the develop-
ment of a specic subsystem. Another reason for go-
IAC-17,E2,3-GTS.4,7,x41019 Page 3 of 7
68th International Astronautical Congress (IAC), Adelaide, Australia, 25-29 September 2017.
Copyright 2017 by NAROM - Norwegian Centre for Space-Related Education. Published by the IAF, with permission and
released to the IAF to publish in all forms.
ing with an in-house design is the desire for making
a highly modular, reusable platform design that can
be easily adapted for dierent payloads [7].
Early lessons learned on educational aspects
are presented in [8], and more information
about the NUTS project can be found at
http://nuts.cubesat.no [9].
3 Ground stations
As part of the ANSAT program, three ground sta-
tions have been established in addition to the already
existing ground station at the University of Tromsø,
campus Narvik. In total there are four ground sta-
tions located from 60 - 69 degrees north.
4 Spin-os
In terms of spin-o activities one could easily say that
the program has become a great success. Take for
example CubeStar and the m-NLP-instrument. This
has own on several scientic rockets (ICI-2, ICI-4.
MICA, Maxidusty). The instrument has also been
selected to be a part of the QB50 project where 11
of the satellites will be instrument with this payload.
The Norwegian satellite NORSAT-1 also has this in-
strument on-board. All these spin-o projects have
been important for the University of Oslo and have
again led to the delay of nishing the CubeStar satel-
lite.
At NTNU the participation in the ANSAT pro-
gram has lead to more exposure of space technology
in general and small satellite technology [10] in par-
ticular. The ground station at the university is used
in several research projects and other ideas for pay-
load systems has been taken up by other research
projects at the university. This includes both cam-
era and communication payload systems. The knowl-
edge and experience gained by participation in the
program has also opened up for a small satellite pro-
gram initiated by the Centre for Autonomous Marine
Operations and Systems (AMOS) [11]. This program
will in the initial phase fund at least ve PhD stu-
dents as well as other scientic sta. NTNU is also
cooperating with several other institutional and in-
dustry actors on the use of small satellites as part of
observation and communication systems, mainly fo-
cusing on maritime and oceanographic applications.
At the University of Tromsø, campus Narvik, the
HiNCube project is used as a case in one of their
courses, satellite design. In addition some of the tech-
nology has been adopted and used for other research
project such as small drones under the Arctic EO
project.
Figure 2: HiNCube being inspected by student after
vibration test
5 Collaboration with industry
When the ANSAT project initially started, the main
idea was to have industry heavily involved in the
project, especially in the review process and the en-
vironmental testing of the satellites. This is of course
an ideal if industry actors take an active part. How-
ever, in reality this is quite dicult to arrange for.
The industry has to see an own interest and motiva-
tion in order to taking part in such a program. The
ANSAT program failed to convince the Norwegian
space industry to invest time in the project. Some
companies did of course help out during the review
process, especially Kongsberg group. However this
was mainly driven by a few dedicated persons who
tried their best to contribute. For a possible future
program, how to involve involve industry more ac-
tively is something that needs more attention.
That being said, when it came to environmental
testing of the rst satellite, HiNCube, both Kongs-
berg and NATECH opened up their facilities to be
used for testing when needed. They also allowed
students to take part in the process and this was a
great learning experience for the students. In Figure
2 a student is inspecting HiNCube after a vibration
test. Each of the satellite projects also had direct
contact with several companies who supported them
with things like funding, components, development
tools and taking part in workshops.
6 Lessons learned
The Norwegian Student Satellite program had three
separate satellite projects running. They have been
run locally at the universities in dierent forms, and
the lessons learned from each institution can be a bit
dierent. However, in general, there are several com-
mon lessons learned. From an educational perspec-
IAC-17,E2,3-GTS.4,7,x41019 Page 4 of 7
68th International Astronautical Congress (IAC), Adelaide, Australia, 25-29 September 2017.
Copyright 2017 by NAROM - Norwegian Centre for Space-Related Education. Published by the IAF, with permission and
released to the IAF to publish in all forms.
tive the program has been a great success, inspiring
a number of students in their future career. As of
February 2016 NAROM has registered a total of 387
students involved in the Norwegian student satellite
program. Some, of course, have been more involved
than others. In total these students have produced a
total of 6892 ECTS credits related to the program.
The program has had had a big focus on enabling
students to join workshops and conferences. Sev-
eral students have had the opportunity to participate
and present their work at conferences and workshops.
This has been made possible by providing funding
for travel and accommodation. Several students have
attended dierent national and international confer-
ences and workshops. A total of 146 students has par-
ticipated in a yearly workshop arranged by NAROM
for the participating institutions (2007-2016).
In the beginning of the ANSAT program there was
a high ambition of designing and building all subsys-
tems of a CubeSat within two years. This has proven
to be a dicult task. An alternative when working
within the CubeSat standard would be to only de-
sign some of the subsystems and buy others. It is
now possible to nd all kinds of subsystems that are
ight-proven a reasonable cost. This will make it pos-
sible for a satellite like CubeStar to focus more on the
payload system and might lead to nishing the satel-
lite within a shorter period of time and maybe also at
a lower cost. In order to achieve this, it is important
to stay within the CubeSat standard. For CubeStar,
they did not choose to do so. Later on however,
another version of the payload was made to t the
CubeSat standard in order to be able to y within
the QB50 program. The same can be said about the
NUTS satellite. In the new NTNU project, the satel-
lite platform will be procured, allowing a greater fo-
cus on the payload and the mission itself.
The three projects started up with some years be-
tween them. Looking back, the collaboration between
universities should have been better. Norway is a rel-
ative small country with a few big universities and a
collaboration between these three universities could
have led to a dierent result. For instance, each in-
stitution could then focus on their area of expertise
three times over and improving them self for each
time. It is hard to say if this would have been better,
however it would surely be easier to collaborate and
share the experience on the area of expertise.
At the University of Tromsø, campus Narvik,
their participation in the program has led to the in-
clusion of a new subject were the design of HiNCube
is used actively. In addition some of the technology
developed has been used for other research projects.
Every year an ANSAT workshop has been ar-
Figure 3: NUTS testing their payload. Credits:
NUTS
ranged, with involvement from industry. During the
workshop students also get to know about dierent
opportunities within the space industry, both as a
student, but also trainee opportunities and about
space careers in general. Both national and inter-
national space-related opportunities are generally not
well known among students. The theme for the work-
shop has varied, however the last few years it has
been run as a more practical balloon campaign for
the NUTS satellite. Subsystems of the NUTS satel-
lite have been tested by ying on a weather balloon
with a telemetry system. This is depicted in Figure
3. The test campaign has been performed at Andøya
Space Center, away from the university campus and
led to intense working sessions for highly motivated
and productive students. When students take part
in a student satellite project they are seldom able to
take part in the whole process and see their nal work
y on a satellite. Thus having an exciting milestone
like ying your instrument on a balloon has proven
to be highly motivating for the students.
The University of Oslo has actively used the
CaNoRock program and the ANSAT program in their
strategy towards space weather research by employ-
ing rocket and satellite platforms. In addition to the
already mention spin-o projects, a new version of
the m-NLP instrument is being developed to be a
part of ESAs space weather satellites (space situa-
tional awareness, SSA). The next generation of the
m-NLP-instrument will have less power consumption
and higher performance in addition to the possibil-
ity to do on-board data processing in order to reduce
telemetry demands. This new and improved version
will open up for several new ight opportunities. This
would had been dicult to achieve without the de-
velopment through the CubeSat project.
The Norwegian industry forum for space activi-
ties (NIFRO) is the main organizer for the Norwegian
IAC-17,E2,3-GTS.4,7,x41019 Page 5 of 7
68th International Astronautical Congress (IAC), Adelaide, Australia, 25-29 September 2017.
Copyright 2017 by NAROM - Norwegian Centre for Space-Related Education. Published by the IAF, with permission and
released to the IAF to publish in all forms.
Space Dinner conference. Space Dinner is the annual
national space conference and NIFRO’s main event.
It is a meeting place for representatives of the space
industry, R&D communities, members of Parliament,
representatives of the Government and stakeholders.
At this yearly conference, the NIFRO award is given
for the best Master thesis within space technology.
The purpose of this award is to[12]:”Stimulate to es-
tablishing and development of relevant Master The-
ses from industry and educational institutions within
space industry and technology. Motivate Master stu-
dents to extra eorts in pursuit of relevant Thesis as-
signments. Strengthen and formalize the cooperation
between Norwegian space industry and academia.
Contribute to the recruitment to Norwegian space
industry. Enhance the understanding of the use of
space business as an innovation driver.” The award
has been handed out yearly since 2013, and so far
the winner has been a student with a Master thesis
related to the ANSAT program.
During the last few years, Norway has increased
its focus on the use of small satellites. This is ex-
emplied by the AIS satellites and NorSat series.
There are more satellites planned for the future, both
from the Space Centre but also from other actors.
NAMMO is a leading company on hybrid propulsion
for use in rocket engines. EIDEL wants to build the
rst Norwegian instrument on-board an ESA Satel-
lite. This instrument is the space qualied version
of the m-NLP instrument.. ASC has an high focus
on the possibility to establish a launch site for dedi-
cated small satellite launchers. In addition ASC has
further developed the Hotel-Payload concept with so-
called ”mini-satellites” for sounding rockets through
the 4D-module, as shown in Figure 4. Through this
increased focus on small satellites, Norway will be
an even sharper space nation in the future. Lessons
learned from the ANSAT program should be consid-
ered in any future universities program. There is al-
ready a discussion on the idea of an international
space master program through the CaNoRock pro-
gram and other universities involved in ANSAT.
In order to strengthen the ties between students
and space industry, the Kongsberg group announced
STARBURST in the fall of 2016. This is a project
where students can apply for a summer job at dier-
ent NIFRO companies. The students must work to-
gether as a team to develop a payload that would be
own on a balloon from Andøya Space Center. This
is a program that might help bringing the industry
and the universities closer together and to showcase
the possibilities within the Norwegian space industry.
Perhaps in the future a student satellite can be used
as a platform within this program.
Figure 4: Artist’s view of ICI-5 ying through the au-
rora borealis whilst dropping small daughter probes.
By Trond Abrahamsen, ASC.
Informal interviews with new students have shown
that these university satellite projects have played a
role when the students selected their eld of study.
Around 1 in 10 participating students were recruited
into the space industry after graduation.
7 Conclusions
The ANSAT program objective related to putting
satellites in orbits was not successful. In addition
the collaboration between the participating universi-
ties could have been better. However this was made
dicult since the universities did not get to start the
projects at the same time. There were some collabo-
ration with industry. However, this could have been
better, and will require more attention in any future
program. In spite of this, several of the objectives
were fullled and an internal analysis report of the
program and the main objectives states that the pro-
gram objectives was met with 86 percent.
There number of students who have been involved
in the project has been high. In addition the uni-
versity managed to provide credits for quite a lot of
the work done by the students. From this program
Norway has gained valuable experience and high po-
tential to better succeed in a future long term stu-
dent satellite program. A better alternative would be
for the Norwegian Universities to work together with
one satellite and concentrate on their area of exper-
tise. Some of the Norwegian universities are already
discussing the possibility of developing a CubeSat in
collaboration with Canadian Universities as an exten-
sion of the CaNoRock program. For such a program
to work it is important to have a good collaboration
with the space industry. In addition the program
needs funding for both development, engineering sup-
port and launch.
IAC-17,E2,3-GTS.4,7,x41019 Page 6 of 7
68th International Astronautical Congress (IAC), Adelaide, Australia, 25-29 September 2017.
Copyright 2017 by NAROM - Norwegian Centre for Space-Related Education. Published by the IAF, with permission and
released to the IAF to publish in all forms.
Andøya Space Center has, together with partners,
investigated the possibility of establishing a launch
facility for nano- and micro satellites. If this be-
comes a reality, it will open many opportunities for
universities and the space industry in Norway. Space
technology is often a strong eld of interest for young
students, and can be an important recruitment factor
for STEM studies.
References
[1] J. Antonsen and T. Houge, “The norwegian stu-
dent satellite program, ansat,” in Proceedings of
the 19th ESA Symphosium on rocket and ballon
programmes and related resarch, 2009.
[2] R. kristiansen et. al, “Spacecraft relative rota-
tion tracking without angular velocity measure-
ments,” in Automatica, vol. 45, no. 3, pp. 750-
756, 2009.
[3] ISIS, “Innovative solutions in space,” Online,
2017. [Online]. Available: https://www.isispace.
nl/
[4] HiN, “HinCube,” 2017. [Online]. Available:
http://hincube.cubesat.no/
[5] UiO, “CubeSTAR is a miniature space weather
satellite,” 2017. [Online]. Available: http:
//cubestar.cubesat.no/
[6] J. G. et.al, “Ansat – nasjonalt studentsatel-
littprogram sluttrapport,” Report to be submit-
ted, 2017.
[7] R. Birkeland and O. Gutteberg, “Overview of
the nuts cubesat project,” in Proceedings of the
2nd IAA Conference of University Satellite Mis-
sions & CubeSat Workshop, ser. IAA Book Se-
ries, C. C. Filippo Graziani, Ed., vol. 2. Inter-
national Academy of Astronautics, 2013.
[8] Roger Birkeland and Odd Gutteberg, “Educa-
tional aspects of a cubesat project,” in Proceed-
ings of the 2nd IAA Conference of University
Satellite Missions & CubeSat Workshop, ser. IAA
Book Series, C. C. Filippo Graziani, Ed., vol. 2,
no. 2. International Academy of Astronautics,
2013.
[9] NTNU, “NTNU Test Satellite - A Norwegian
CubeSat Project,” 2017. [Online]. Available:
http://nuts.cubesat.no/
[10] Roger Birkeland et.al, “The nuts cubesat
project: Spin-os and technology development,”
in Proceedings of the 22nd ESA Symposium on
European Rocket and Balloon Programmes and
Related Research, ser. ESA Special Publication.
ESA, 2015.
[11] K. Rajan, T. A. Johannesen, A. Sørensen,
and R. Birkeland, “A roadmap for a smallsat
program,” Whitepaper - online, 2017. [On-
line]. Available: http://folk.ntnu.no/torarnj/
NTNU-SmallSat-Vision.pdf
[12] NIFRO, “Norwegian industry forum for space
activities.” Online, 2017. [Online]. Available:
http://nifro.no/en/nifro-award/
IAC-17,E2,3-GTS.4,7,x41019 Page 7 of 7
... There is some previous history of building CubeSats and other space engineering products at NTNU, which has resulted in course credits and theses being produced. However, NTNU has had no successful missions to date [22]. The HYPSO CubeSat is the first satellite to be built at the university in recent years, and at the onset there was little knowledge in the faculty about the practicalities involved in building a satellite. ...
... For example, if the version of design lacks a particular analysis, this can be addressed in a RID, which is then associated with the action item "Do thermal analysis on mechanical structure" which in turn can lead to an update in documentation (a new issue or revision). These steps can be traced in the tool, reducing some of the knowledge loss of decisions that can be seen in CubeSat teams [22], [3]. ...
... The satellites NCUBE-1 and NCUBE-2 were developed in 2002-2006 through a collaboration between the Andøya Space Center for Space-related Education and three universities. Subsequently, three additional CubeSats: HiNCUBE, CUBESTAR, and NUTS, were developed throughout 2007-2017 as part of a national program (Grande et al. 2017;Oland 2017). NCUBE-1 (2006), NCUBE-2 (2005), and HiNCUBE (2007) were launched but did not successfully deploy in-orbit. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
University student projects experience high turnover, resulting in a loss of knowledge and experience. Turnover leads to increased project risk, development delays, and loss of institutional knowledge. These issues are particularly relevant for systems engineering teams as the discipline requires a broad range of competencies and expertise. This paper presents an experience report of a case study with results that suggest that it is possible to provide undergraduate students with a foundational body of SysEng knowledge using mission analysis as a learning platform. This activity can be completed within one semester and allows the undergrad students to continue learning independently.
... NTNU has been working on small satellites and CubeSats for the past decades (Grande et al. 2017), but only recently with a mission based on oceanographic research with funding from the Research Council of Norway for both hardware and launch (Honoré-Livermore 2019). Previously, much of the work was conducted in a student organization or loosely associated with course assignments. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
The CubeSat standard has given universities, small companies, developing countries, and others a new gateway to space exploration and space knowledge. Combined with shorter development time and Commercial Off-The-Shelf components, the cost has been lowered considerably. However, the combination of use of low-maturity components and inexperienced development teams results in a short lifetime and poor reliability for most CubeSats. The growth of model-based systems engineering (MBSE) supports reuse of design architectures in many industries and has lowered the costs of development and is gaining popularity in CubeSat teams. This paper demonstrates the application of reliability methods for implementing dependability analysis in MBSE and shows how this can benefit CubeSat teams struggling with limited personnel resources and low experience with space systems.
... al. [4], HYPSO-1 is a university space project. Student continuity is often stated as a major challenge for university-led CubeSat projects [4], [5]. Within the HYPSO-1 project students from different BSc. and MSc. ...
... Subsequently, the national student satellite program, ANSAT, was established and developed three additional CubeSats: HiNCUBE, CUBESTAR andNUTS throughout 2007-2017. These five CubeSat projects resulted in good educational outcomes, giving students valuable project experience and producing several theses, papers and project reports (Grande et al. 2017;Oland 2017). NCUBE-1 (2006), NCUBE-2 (2005) and HiNCUBE (2007) were launched but did not successfully deploy in-orbit. ...
Article
Full-text available
University student projects serve multiple purposes. They provide a realistic structure for students to apply their theoretical book‐learning to a practical problem and in the course of their work the results increase the knowledge base of the university and related disciplines. However, student projects struggle with a continuous loss of continuity as the students’ interests change or they graduate. This leads to increased project risk, development delays and loss of institutional knowledge. In an attempt to mitigate the loss of design rationale and accumulated competence, the Orbit NTNU project implemented a trade‐off study process tailored to the experience level of students. This paper presents an experience report of a case study with results that suggest that it is possible to implement a single method that provides support for inexperienced students, while experienced students are able to “pick and choose” from the method and further adapt it to their documentation style. Both individual students and students performing trade‐offs as part of a team produced improved documentation while also spending less time when compared to earlier attempts at documenting design rationale. Consequently, the project has built up a useful archive, and onboarding new students has resulted in faster assimilation into the project.
... Si bien los Cubesats, ya sean modelos simuladores de mesa [14] [63][64] o verdaderos satélites que son desarrollados, puestos en órbita y controlados como parte de uno o varios cursos [65][66] [67], son utilizados principalmente en el nivel universitario y, especialmente, en las carreras asociadas a la tecnología espacial, los CanSat se aplican a un rango más extendido de niveles educativos: usualmente desde el nivel superior de estudios secundarios (podemos asociarlo a nuestro Ciclo Orientado, según el art. 31 de la Ley de Educación Nacional 26.206) hasta los niveles universitarios de grado y aún posgrado [68]. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
En varios centros de estudio, y a fin de promover el estudio de diferentes aspectos de la ciencia, la tecnología y el manejo de procesos complejos y colaborativos, se utilizan misiones satelitales como dispositivo didáctico, dado que dichas misiones son un proceso complejo y multidisciplinario. En particular, una de las tecnologías más utilizadas en estas actividades son los "cansats", sondas del tamaño de una lata de gaseosa que se diseñan cual satélite no orbital y se programan para tomar datos del ambiente y enviarlos a una estación terrena compuesta usualmente de una computadora hogareña o laptop. En nuestra exploración sobre la aplicabilidad de cansats a la enseñanza de diversas disciplinas en el contexto argentino no encontramos ninguna recopilación y análisis abarcativo de las diferentes publicaciones sobre sus aplicaciones educativas. Es por esto que hemos realizado este trabajo de recopilación bibliográfica de diferentes experiencias de cansats alrededor del mundo, y un análisis de dichas experiencias, haciendo hincapié en las realizadas en Argentina y región. Nuestro análisis muestra que se ha utilizado una gran variedad de hardware y software, sin prácticamente ningún intento de estandarización, y, por otro lado, existe una notable falta de material sobre programas de clases utilizados en la aplicación de cansats en el contexto educativo.
... It can be argued that starting up a larger satellite project would have been hard or perhaps not possible without first carrying out a student CubeSat project. Valuable lessons learned can be inherited by the new project(s) [13] and there has been a substantially build-up of institutional knowledge needed to be able to boot a new project. These statements hold even if the student CubeSat project has not flown. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Space technology plays an ever larger role in our society, even though most people are unaware of this fact. Luckily, an increasing interest in space technology among students has been observed over the last years. At some universities, space related courses are available as part of a physics degree or an engineering degree with a special focus on e.g. satellite communications or aerospace engineering. In Norway, there exists no specialized aerospace education resulting in a Bachelor or Master's degree. Introductory courses and project work, both within the curriculum and as volunteer activities, are used as a " first contact " between students, space technology and space industry. At NTNU project classes such as the multidisciplinary group work course Experts in Teamwork (EiT) and more long term group projects, such as the NUTS project are examples of this. Many students are very fond of space and space technology and it is often a motivational factor for STEM-studies in general. Unfortunately, only a few students get the chance to directly work with space technology during their studies. Space related project work will therefore further nourish the space interest. Even if the space industry in Norway is quite substantial with a turnover of around 640 M EUR / year, it is fairly unknown both to most students as well as to the general public. As a consequence, space related job opportunities (both nationally and internationally) are not well known. An improved connection between students and the industry will hopefully lead to the most motivated students getting relevant industry jobs after graduation. The industry plays an important role in making relevant jobs both known and available. This year, the Kongsberg Group launched the Starburst summer intern program in close cooperation with NAROM. Even without any aerospace program, several space related projects are available at NTNU. One example is NTNU Test Satellite (NUTS) where students are designing and prototyping hardware and software for a CubeSat. EiT offers a wide range of topics. Projects are diverse and spans from creating a " Mars lab " on Earth, working as part of an international project investigating how to better track satellites during the initial launch phase or building new payloads for a student rocket in close cooperation with NAROM. As space technology is international and multidisciplinary, it is important to allow students to both share and gain experiences by participating at relevant international conferences and workshops .
Thesis
Full-text available
The Arctic and space are concepts that fascinate us. Both places seem remote and hostile, but are at the same time beautiful and exciting. Together, they form a part of the world comprised of daring challenges, but also of endless possibilities for science, recreation, wonder, knowledge and inspiration. Several scientists would like access to more and frequently updated information about the Arctic area. Today, no adequate communication systems allowing this exists. Due to this, access to sensor data is often limited to traveling to the sensor node and retrieve its data. This thesis aims to bridge parts of the Arctic and space. The work in this system study may bring the Arctic nearer to us by proposing a space communication system that can connect assets in the Arctic with people residing in less remote areas. The main research motivation was to investigate if a system of small satellites could be a viable solution to bridge the communication gap in the Arctic. An important use case is to enable access to sensor data from sensors deployed in remote locations without having to physically be at the node to download the data. The main findings show that this can be possible, by establishing a communication system with small satellites. The small satellites have their challenges and limits, but by careful design, a system can be made to compare with other solutions, both in utility and cost. The main contribution from this work is the proposal on how to use a freely flying swarm of small satellites to provide good and frequent coverage, without having to use satellites with propulsion systems. This saves component cost, mass and volume, which in turn contribute to a reduced launch cost. The deployment of a satellite swarm seems feasible both from a technical point of view, as well as from an economical point of view. The coverage property for a swarm is not constant, and on average it is not as good as coverage by a constellation consisting of the same number of satellites. However, for services that do not require to transmit time-critical sensor data, this is of less concern and variations in responsiveness can be accepted. Another contribution is a system study on how a heterogeneous communication architecture can be designed, ensuring interoperability between satellites, sensor nodes and unmanned vehicles. Different networks may be interconnected and joined, providing connectivity between sensor systems and operators through the Internet. This interconnection can be made possible by the use of standard Internet-of-Things protocols. These networks can consist of local networks linking sensor nodes, satellite links between sensor nodes, satellites and gateway stations, as well as other types of unmanned or manned vehicles acting as data mules; ferrying data from one part of the network to another. A central topic of investigation in any radio communication system is the link budget. By carefully evaluating the various contributing factors of the link budget, a feasible budget is presented. However, some assumptions are required. In order to design a system with a usable data rate, the satellite must be designed to compensate for some of the limitations of a typical sensor node. A system supporting an even higher data rate also requires the sensor node to be equipped with a high-gain antenna. This represents an interesting research topic for further study. The cost of the space segment is also evaluated against the use of unmanned aerial vehicles and airplanes. From this analysis, it is shown that a satellite system will provide a more continuous coverage, being able to transmit a comparable amount of data, at a similar or lower cost. The satellites could be based on Cube-Sats. To conclude, the outcome of this study shows that a dedicated satellite system, your mission, your satellite(s), can be a viable solution to the challenge on how to relay sensor data from the Arctic to scientists at home. The work follows the early phases of established space mission analysis and design methods.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The development of CubeSats allows for the conception and implementation of new approaches and technologies. In this paper we present a spin-off and technology innovation resulting from the NTNU Test Satellite (NUTS). NUTS is a 2U CubeSat under development by students of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway. The satellite is due to launch in 2017 and is based upon in-house developments. We will describe the innovative carbon-fibre frame, radio systems and proposals for an infrared camera for atmospheric gravity waves observations. A NUTS spinoff, the Cosmic Particle Telescope (CPT-SCOPE), will be presented in greater detail since it has been selected for the BEXUS 20 campaign in autumn 2015. CPT-SCOPE is a Norwegian-German compact radiation monitor prototype developed by students.
Article
We present a solution to the problem of tracking relative rotation in a leader–follower spacecraft formation using feedback from relative attitude only. The controller incorporates an approximate-differentiation filter to account for the unmeasured angular velocity. We show uniform practical asymptotic stability (UPAS) of the closed-loop system. For simplicity, we assume that the leader is controlled and that we know orbital perturbations; however, this assumption can be easily relaxed to boundedness without degrading the stability property. We also assume that angular velocities of spacecraft relative to an inertial frame are bounded. Simulation results of a leader–follower spacecraft formation using the proposed controller structure are also presented.
The norwegian student satellite program, ansat
  • J Antonsen
  • T Houge
J. Antonsen and T. Houge, "The norwegian student satellite program, ansat," in Proceedings of the 19th ESA Symphosium on rocket and ballon programmes and related resarch, 2009.
Innovative solutions in space
ISIS, "Innovative solutions in space," Online, 2017. [Online]. Available: https://www.isispace. nl/
CubeSTAR is a miniature space weather satellite
  • Uio
UiO, "CubeSTAR is a miniature space weather satellite," 2017. [Online]. Available: http: //cubestar.cubesat.no/
Overview of the nuts cubesat project
  • R Birkeland
  • O Gutteberg
R. Birkeland and O. Gutteberg, "Overview of the nuts cubesat project," in Proceedings of the 2nd IAA Conference of University Satellite Missions & CubeSat Workshop, ser. IAA Book Series, C. C. Filippo Graziani, Ed., vol. 2. International Academy of Astronautics, 2013.
A roadmap for a smallsat program
  • K Rajan
  • T A Johannesen
  • A Sørensen
  • R Birkeland
K. Rajan, T. A. Johannesen, A. Sørensen, and R. Birkeland, "A roadmap for a smallsat program," Whitepaper -online, 2017. [Online]. Available: http://folk.ntnu.no/torarnj/ NTNU-SmallSat-Vision.pdf
Educational aspects of a cubesat project
  • Roger Birkeland
  • Odd Gutteberg
Roger Birkeland and Odd Gutteberg, "Educational aspects of a cubesat project," in Proceedings of the 2nd IAA Conference of University Satellite Missions & CubeSat Workshop, ser. IAA Book Series, C. C. Filippo Graziani, Ed., vol. 2, no. 2. International Academy of Astronautics, 2013.