Current opportunities

Ladybird Guide to Spacecraft Operations Training Course 2018

Status: Call for applications open

Date: 11 - 14 September 2018  

Description: Taught by an ESA expert from the Advanced Operations Concepts Office of ESA’ European Space Operations Centre (ESOC), Darmstadt, Germany, the course will be delivered through formal lectures without excessive mathematics or technical jargon, but with a heavy emphasis placed on the interaction with the students. Students will learn about: 

  • the challenges of operating a spacecraft (as opposed to designing a spacecraft)
  • the operator’s view on all the spacecraft subsystems and the design features to implement in order to operate them
  • ‘physiological’ traps to be avoided during operations and testing

Preliminary schedule:

 Day 1 & 2  Introduction - the difference between design and operations engineers
 Mission design and payloads
 Attitude Dynamic and Control Subsystems
 Orbit Control System
 PowerGroup Exercise
 Day 3 & 4  Power (Storage)Thermal
 Telemetry-Tracking and Control Subsystems
 Command and ControlOn-board processors
 On-board software and Fault Detection, Isolation and Recovery
 Group Exercise and Summary

Earth Observation Satellite System Design Training Course 2018

Status:  Call for applications now open. 

Date:  1 – 5 October 2018 

Description: The aim of this training course is to provide university students with insights on the entire development of an Earth Observation satellite, from the definition of the initial requirements to the final in-orbit verifications, including risks assessment and ground operations, and with an emphasis on the sizing of the Earth Observation instruments.Taught by current and former ESA experts and external experts, this course will be delivered through formal lectures, which will be complemented by a group project, where the students will design a simple Earth Observation satellite, and illustrated by interesting videos in the evenings. 

Preliminary schedule:

 Day 1  Introduction to EO Satellite Systems
 Orbit Selection
 Day 2  Risk Management
 Microwave Instrumentation
 Day 3  Optical Instrumentation
 Group Project
 Day 4  Satellite Design Ground Segments and Operations
 On-ground and In-orbit Verifications
 Group Project
 Day 5  Group Project Presentation

ESA-ELGRA Gravity-Related Research Summer School 2018

Status: Call for applications closed. Training course to be delivered

Date: 25 - 29 June 2018 

Description: During these four and a half days’ summer school, students will be introduced to gravity-related research by ELGRA and ESA experts from across Europe. Through-out stimulating lectures about the current research under microgravity and hypergravity conditions in life and physical sciences, students will appreciate the benefits of performing research at different g levels. Moreover, the students will work within small groups to come up with potential ideas for future gravity-related experiment student projects, also with the benefit of the existing ESA Educational platforms such as the parabolic flights, the human centrifuge or the ISS. 

Preliminary schedule:

 Day 1  Introduction to ESA, ESA programmes and opportunities
 Introduction to ELGRA and SELGRA
 Introduction to gravity-related research
 ESA Education Office and hands-on programmes
 Develop a gravity-related experiment
 Introduction to team project
 Day 2  Life science research part 1
 Physiology research part
 Physical science research part
 Project Management workshop
 Former students projects
 Team project
 Day 3  Life science research part 2
 Physiology research part 2
 Physical science research part 2
 Team project
 Day 4  Life science research part 3
 Physiology research part 3
 Physical science research part 3
 Space project life cycle
 Team project
 Day 5  Team project presentations

Product Assurance Awareness Training Course 2018

Status: Call for applications closed. Training course to be delivered.

Date: 29 May - 1 June 2018

Description: During this four-days training course, students will be given an understanding of the PA&S engineer role in order to increase their awareness and the interest on PA&S and present them the different related disciplines. Through-out face-to-face lectures from several ESA’s PA managers and PA discipline experts, students will understand that PA is an integral part of the engineering activities playing a role in the development, design, test philosophy, build and operation of the system. 

Preliminary schedule:

  Day 1    Overall Context of Space Projects
  Day 2    PA Disciplines: Quality Management & Assurance
  PA Disciplines: Dependability & Safety
  Day 3    PA Disciplines: Software Product Assurance
  PA Disciplines: Electrical, Electronic and Electro-mechanical components
  Day 4    PA Disciplines: Materials & Processes
  PA in Space Business

Standardisation Training Course 2018

Status: Call for applications closed. To be delivered.

Date: 12 - 15 June 2018

Description: During this four-day training course, university students will be given an introduction to ECSS system and will be taught the importance of using standards. They will be also provided with an overview of how/why standards are used in different disciplines at ESA.Though-out face-to-face lectures from several ESA experts, students will appreciate the importance of ECSS system, which will be an important part of their space-related career, complementing what they normally learn at university.  

Preliminary schedule:

 Day 1  Introduction to ECSS System
 System Engineering
 Day 2  PA&QA
 Thermal Engineering
 Control Engineering
 Day 3  Telecommunications
 Electrical and Electronics
 Day 4  SoftwareStructures
 Ground System and Operations

ESEO - Ladybird Guide to Spacecraft Communications Training Course

Status: To be delivered.

Date: 3 – 6 July 2018

Description: An extraordinary edition of the Ladybird Guide to Spacecraft Communications is organised for the students involved in the European Student Earth Orbiter ESEO, which is an ESA Educational project. Taught by an ESA expert from the Advanced Operations Concepts Office of ESA’ European Space Operations Centre (ESOC), Darmstadt, Germany, the course will be delivered through formal lectures without excessive mathematics or technical jargon, but with a heavy emphasis placed on the interaction with the students. 

University students will learn about:

  • the challenges of communicating with a spacecraft
  • the way communications systems are designed and how it can have a crucial impact on how they are used and what problems can occur
  • physiological traps to be avoided when communicating with a spacecraft


  Day 1    Introduction
  The Challenge
  Group Exercise
  Day 2    Demodulation
  Visit of an antenna and baseband equipment
  Group Exercise
  Day 3   Protocols
  Visit of the PROBA operation room
  Radio Frequency transmissions/reception
  Link Budgets
  Group Exercise
  Day 4    Real Ground Stations
  Summary of the Group Exercise

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