My Master Thesis project, entitled ASTRA, was an amazing opportunity to demonstrate the power of antennas in the context of Space Situational Awareness (SSA).
By applying a theory-to-hardware approach, I learned that you can’t make something better before you make it work, which is invaluable in order to produce a fully operational and useful product in a given timeframe.
Space Campus is a stimulating environment which has access to vast network of experts in many fields, making it the perfect place to learn and exchange about many space-related topics!
I did a four-month internship at the Space Campus. It was a really pleasant place to work, and I had everything I needed there.
My project was to improve maneuver detection, so I was free to identify and rectify errors. I really liked this freedom and working on many different topics.
I learned various topics like orbital dynamics and new languages like Java. I also improved my skills in Python and signal processing.
The objective of my project was to give the best maneuver plan to satellite operators in order to avoid collisions and prevent the creation of new debris.
During this internship, I have been able to extend a lot of my space knowledge, especially in orbital dynamics, as well as the deepening of the optimization techniques. The most interesting part was discovering the field of Space Situational Awarness and the global impact that you have to deal with in space.
The environment of work at Space Campus was really pleasant, we were very well supervised with simple access to specialists to move your project forward.
I saw a job post on the ISA career portal. My project was about developing a visualization tool for satellite density, given a set of filters. The project used Angular as its new framework. My task was to migrate the legacy to Angular and improve on top of it.
I learned a lot about Angular and TypeScript as they were entirely new to me. In addition, I strengthened my understanding of maintaining a seamlessly efficient workflow, adeptly employing the Git version control system within a professional environment. Yet, the highlight of my achievements transpired through combining 2D geometry knowledge with the unique coordinate system inherent to HTML. This combination has given me a formidable arsenal to grapple with diverse challenges accompanying my forthcoming web development undertakings. In terms of soft skills, I honed my capacity to prioritize tasks in alignment with the demands of clients judiciously.
Simultaneously, I collaborated closely with my colleagues, adeptly navigating a labyrinth of issues and updates while preserving the spirit of resolving problems independently.
During my internship, I had the opportunity to further develop the skills acquired during my master’s program. A significant portion of this developmental phase was centered on enhancing my software engineering capabilities. For the first time, I was responsible for initiating and executing a large-scale application project, ensuring the setup was structured and well-organized to facilitate future maintenance.
Furthermore, the practical application of knowledge acquired from EPFL courses, such as Applied Data Analysis and Software Engineering, was considerably beneficial. These courses equipped me with valuable tools that were utilized extensively in data management tasks throughout the project.
Aside from technical expertise, the internship offered a platform to appreciate the nuances of working in an industry environment. Collaborating with experienced individuals and fellow students provided a deeper understanding of real-world operations in our field. This interaction not only fostered a spirit of teamwork but also imparted a richer perspective of the professional landscape, harmoniously complementing my academic knowledge with practical insights.
My project involved assessing the accuracy of TLEs and researching how different factors affect their precision..
During my internship, I expanded my knowledge of Space Situational Awareness and Tracking. Additionally, I acquired skills in applying Java and Python code to address problems related to satellites.
I particularly enjoyed not only working with theoretical problems on paper but also applying my knowledge to real-world issues in a professional environment with great colleagues.
At last, having a supervisor who takes you on a round flight in the sky over Lausanne was truly amazing..
I heard about Space Campus from a previous project about space, which sparked my curiosity about it. The experience allowed me to be in a fascinating environment, with the privilege to be in contact with not only the current space engineers, that support you with their vast experience, but also the future space engineers who are working on very interesting projects.
I had the opportunity to work on a very engaging project about emitter location and signals processing. The experience taught me how to approach a real world project, to make the result of it not only interesting academically, but also usable and useful.
My research training semester consisted in the development of a closed-loop tracking algorithm for optical systems in the context of Space Situational Awareness (SSA). Working with Space Campus allowed me to have inputs from many different actors, which was a highly enriching experience.
The most challenging part was to implement the tracking system from conception to testing, since the project spanned many different areas, including TLE propagation, code architecture, and hardware control. This challenge allowed me to acquire a lot of new skills.
I learned a lot about tracking for SSA purposes, telescope automation, telescope alignment methods, and hardware control. The research training also broadened my understanding of the current state-of-the-art in the SSA field.
My experience with Space Campus was highly positive. Space Campus serves as a facilitator for collaboration between companies, military personnel, and students, fostering discussions on meaningful scientific topics in an atmosphere of trust and support. I emerge from this experience satisfied both personally and scientifically. I acquired the skills to successfully conduct a research project, spanning from literature review to practical implementation. It was a valuable exercise in developing autonomy, learning to set objectives, and being creative while continually questioning the relevance of my algorithms.
Despite the independent nature of the project, I deeply appreciated the collaborative environment and the opportunity to engage with diverse individuals, each with unique experiences and goals. Interactions with peers working on related projects provided potential synergies, and I also had the chance to engage with military personnel, civilians in sector companies, and academic researchers. This broadened my perspective on my project, placing it in a larger context and providing valuable technical insights.
During this internship, I developed an algorithm that recommends collision avoidance maneuvers for satellites. These maneuvers are optimized to use as little propellant as possible but still reach low-risk criteria (distance between the two satellites and probability of collision). Another type of maneuver proposed is to change the ballistic coefficient of the satellite (via the solar panel’s orientation for instance) to modify its trajectory, as shown in the figure.
My 5-month internship at Space Campus was an extremely rewarding experience, both from a scientific point of view of the project and from the interaction with other students and experts in the field. It has been a pleasure to learn, work, and discuss such interesting topics as the one proposed at Space Campus. My project aimed at optimizing collision avoidance maneuvers: how to lower the risk of collision between two satellites, with the lowest cost possible. The most challenging in this project was to find more simple but accurate enough formulations of the problem. This allowed to perform optimization loops at a computationally low cost.