Image by: ESA
ESA Concurrent Engineering Workshop, organised by the ESA Education Office took place from 20 to 23 September 2016. 22 University students from 15 different countries gathered at the ESA Academy – Training and Learning Centre in ESA Redu Centre, Belgium. Bence Góczán, lead engineer of the UPRA project was also among the selected students.
The participants learned the principals of concurrent engineering by solving a complex space project. In concurrent design, all subsystems are designed in parallel. Solutions in one area that could have an impact in another must be identified and communicated instantly. This method is quick and efficient which makes it suitable for space missions.
The workshop was lead by two experts from ESA’s Concurrent Design Facitlity (CDF). First the students were introduced to concurrent engineering and the use of the Open Concurrent Design Toool (OCDT) which they used the rest of the workshop.
On the second day the students were confident in their work environment and they were briefed about the mission they had to work on. The goal was to design a small satellite that makes observations on Envisat, which is considered as space debris since 2012. The main objective was to rendezvous with Envisat and determine the tumbling of the target. This mission would collect data for a future mission to safely de-orbit Envisat.
To design this mission, the students were split into teams. Each was responsible for a subsystem of the satellite. Bence Góczán was part of the “Communication and Data-handling” team which is similar to his work on UPRA Project.
“At first I was a bit insecure since radio communication isn’t the main specialization nor for my teammate nor for myself. Fortunately we had an inventory we could choose modules from and we didn’t have to design our own module from the ground. This kind of work is almost the same as I did during the development of the ReHAB balloon.” summarized their tasks Bence. “In the beginning we concentrated on the communication subsystem and the mass storage, but during the process Robin, the Team Leader came to us if we could take charge in On-Board Computer too. Our answer was yes of course, and think we successfully fulfilled our tasks.”
On the last day the final presentations took place with the second iteration of the satellite in the students’ pockets. During the presentations all team proposed their subsystem to the rest of the group. At the and of the workshop a preliminary design was created that could meet the main requirements of the mission. Góczán Bence had some extra time to also design a logo for the project which became popular among the students and the organizers too, so it could become part of the apperance of the final presentations.
It wasn’t all work; the students also learned more about ESA and the other opportunities available for University students. They also toured the ESA Redu centre, so that they could better understand how satellites are operated in space.
“It was a great experience attending to the workshop. Not only I gained new knowledge I also had the opportunity to meet new people, who could be my colleague one day. I would encourage everyone to apply and attend events like this either ESA programmes, either on other fields. Events like this are great hands on experiences and also a great way to networking.” Summarized Bence his experiences.
If you are university students and you are interested in taking part into an ESA Academy Course or Workshop, visit the ESA Education Current Opportunities web-page.
Please check the Official ESA article of the Workshop
Images by ESA