Join the EPFL Spacecraft Team! 

Do you want to take part in the biggest, student-led Swiss space mission?

project-management.png

Gain experience on real projects

good.png

Apply theory into practice

humanpictos.png

Develop your skills in leadership and project management

business.png

Work on an ambitious project

people.png

Kickstart your career as an engineer

business (1).png

Develop your network by meeting professionals in the industry

What matters is not only what you currently know, it's what you are willing to learn.

Motivation, curiosity, autonomy and proactivity are essential for us.

What are you interested in?

  Technical  

System Engineering

Model Based Systems Engineering


Type of project: Semester project / Association / Master thesis Participants: 2 - 4 students Section: STI, Minor in Space Tech or System Eng Description: In this project, you will join the CHESS mission at the end of Phase B, and you will contribute in bringing the mission to the next milestone, the PDR. To achieve this goal, you will need to focus on different tasks, mainly ICDs and Risk Analysis. The interface control documents (ICDs) are key to the CHESS mission. They define how the different components, subsystems of the satellite interact with each other to fulfill the mission’s objectives. The higher level architecture and requirements have been defined (mostly), we now need your help to dive into the specifics. The Risk Analysis identifies the possible failures of the system and it defines strategies to mitigate the causes and effects. Tasks:

  • Familiarize yourself with the mission. As a system engineer it is your responsibility to be very well informed and be able to answer most questions or find the answers.
  • Communicate with members from the other poles and universities to get information on the evolution of the subsystems development.
  • Decompose the problem into manageable tasks.
  • Make relevant design trade offs.
  • Adapt to the situation.
  • Be comfortable not knowing something and keep looking.
  • Update the model of the satellite on Valispace (software) when necessary.
  • Most importantly: be curious and enthusiastic about the work and the association! It will make it that much more fun.
Preferred background courses:
  • Space Technologies minor
  • Spacecraft Design and System Engineering
  • Fundamentals of Systems Engineering
  • Or similar knowledge, system engineering mentality




Testing engineer


Type of project: Semester project / Association Participants: 2 - 3 students Section: STI Description: We are starting to work on real satellite hardware. The Assembly Integration and Testing (AIT) phase is one of the most critical phases of any space project. It is not permitted to have issues with the system once the satellite is launched. A small error may result in a mission failure. The AIT allows to make sure that all the subsystems will work as expected in order to have a successful mission. We should have a first version of our On-Board-Computer, the Power system board and the ADCS module Tasks:

  • Understand the roles and functions of the different subsystems which were bought.
  • Create a list of test procedures which need to be performed on all newly bought subsystems.
  • Test each subsystem individually according to this list.
  • Work together with the Flight Software and OBC team.





Power System

Ground station emulation vhf/uhf communication


Type of project: Semester project / Association Participants: 2 - 3 students Section: Elec, STI, others Description: Telecommand and telemetry data between the satellite and the ground station is provided via a vhf/uhf radiolink. An emulation of the ground station is required to test the satellite terminal. Within the scope of this work, the functions of a simple ground station are to be implemented on the basis of a commercially available SDR hardware. Tasks: Your task is to develop and implement the TC/TM modem functionality on the ground station side. In particular, the following focal points are to be worked on:

  • Definition of the TC/TM protocol commands in consultation with the project partners concerned .
  • Implementation and test of a suitable GUI application for the local generation of TC commands and the decoding of received TM commands.
  • Implementation and test of the channel coding for the uplink and downlink radio channels according to project requirements. channel according to project requirements.
Preferred background and skills:
  • Matlab, Gnu Radio advantageous
  • Soft skills




Baseband electronics for X-band communication terminal


Type of project: Semester project / Association Participants: 1 students Section: Elec, STI, others Description: A radiolink in the 10 GHz range is provided for the transmission of scientific data. For the transmitter part on the satellite side, the baseband electronics will be designed and built as a prototype. Tasks: In particular, the following focal points need to be worked on:

  • Familiarise yourself with the project
  • Identify and describe function blocks for baseband signal processing.
  • Evaluate commercially available components
  • Prototype and characterise key functions (e.g. modulation)
Preferred background and skills:
  • System simulation with AWR Design software advantageous
  • Soft skills




Power amplifier for x-band (10 GHz)


Type of project: Semester project / Association Participants: 1 students Section: Elec, STI, others Description: The transmitting unit in the satellite requires a power amplifier for a frequency in the range of 10 GHz. The design should be based on components that are not subject to export restrictions by the USA. Within the scope of the semester project, an amplifier design is to be built and tested with the help of the supplier's specifications. Tasks: In particular, the following focal points need to be worked on:

  • Familiarise yourself with the project
  • Identify and describe the functional blocks for power amplification
  • Evaluate commercially available components
  • Prototype and characterise key functions (e.g. driver, pa)
Preferred background and skills:
  • System simulation with AWR Design software advantageous
  • Soft skills





Attitude Determination & Control System (ADCS)

Vibration Analysis


Type of project: Association Participants: 1 students Section: STI Description: During the launch, the satellite withstands loads, vibrations that may use or break the structure. An analysis is carried out to derive the fundamental frequencies of the structure and detect eventual problems Tasks:

  • The aim is to continue the project already done to apply ongoing modifications.
Preferred background and skills ::
  • Ansys software




Building of a mass model


Type of project: Association Participants: 1 - 2 students Section: Any Description: To ensure the CubeSat sustains the launch and life in orbit, we have to verify the structure and the subsystems are capable of resisting a certain amount of vibrations and accelerations. In this context, we would like to build a realistic simplified model of the CubeSat and test this model in vibration. This position offers the opportunity to modify the design and build the mass model. Tasks:

  • Machining/3D printing of a mass model




Thermal Analysis/ Control


Type of project: Semester project / Association Participants: 1 - 2 students Section: STI Description: The temperature of the satellite through its life is a crucial matter that has to be studied, to make sure every component stays in its operability range. An finite element analysis has to be carried out in order to check the thermal behavior and if the requirements are respected. Tasks:

  • A first draft was done on Matlab, a FEM analysis must be done to obtain more precise results.
Preferred background and skills ::
  • Matlab / Ansys





Structure

Vibration Analysis


Type of project: Association Participants: 1 students Section: STI Description: During the launch, the satellite withstands loads, vibrations that may use or break the structure. An analysis is carried out to derive the fundamental frequencies of the structure and detect eventual problems Tasks:

  • The aim is to continue the project already done to apply ongoing modifications.
Preferred background and skills ::
  • Ansys software




Building of a mass model


Type of project: Association Participants: 1 - 2 students Section: Any Description: To ensure the CubeSat sustains the launch and life in orbit, we have to verify the structure and the subsystems are capable of resisting a certain amount of vibrations and accelerations. In this context, we would like to build a realistic simplified model of the CubeSat and test this model in vibration. This position offers the opportunity to modify the design and build the mass model. Tasks:

  • Machining/3D printing of a mass model




Thermal Analysis/ Control


Type of project: Semester project / Association Participants: 1 - 2 students Section: STI Description: The temperature of the satellite through its life is a crucial matter that has to be studied, to make sure every component stays in its operability range. An finite element analysis has to be carried out in order to check the thermal behavior and if the requirements are respected. Tasks:

  • A first draft was done on Matlab, a FEM analysis must be done to obtain more precise results.
Preferred background and skills ::
  • Matlab / Ansys





Flight Software

Ground station emulation vhf/uhf communication


Type of project: Semester project / Association Participants: 2 - 3 students Section: Elec, STI, others Description: Telecommand and telemetry data between the satellite and the ground station is provided via a vhf/uhf radiolink. An emulation of the ground station is required to test the satellite terminal. Within the scope of this work, the functions of a simple ground station are to be implemented on the basis of a commercially available SDR hardware. Tasks: Your task is to develop and implement the TC/TM modem functionality on the ground station side. In particular, the following focal points are to be worked on:

  • Definition of the TC/TM protocol commands in consultation with the project partners concerned .
  • Implementation and test of a suitable GUI application for the local generation of TC commands and the decoding of received TM commands.
  • Implementation and test of the channel coding for the uplink and downlink radio channels according to project requirements. channel according to project requirements.
Preferred background and skills:
  • Matlab, Gnu Radio advantageous
  • Soft skills




Baseband electronics for X-band communication terminal


Type of project: Semester project / Association Participants: 1 students Section: Elec, STI, others Description: A radiolink in the 10 GHz range is provided for the transmission of scientific data. For the transmitter part on the satellite side, the baseband electronics will be designed and built as a prototype. Tasks: In particular, the following focal points need to be worked on:

  • Familiarise yourself with the project
  • Identify and describe function blocks for baseband signal processing.
  • Evaluate commercially available components
  • Prototype and characterise key functions (e.g. modulation)
Preferred background and skills:
  • System simulation with AWR Design software advantageous
  • Soft skills




Power amplifier for x-band (10 GHz)


Type of project: Semester project / Association Participants: 1 students Section: Elec, STI, others Description: The transmitting unit in the satellite requires a power amplifier for a frequency in the range of 10 GHz. The design should be based on components that are not subject to export restrictions by the USA. Within the scope of the semester project, an amplifier design is to be built and tested with the help of the supplier's specifications. Tasks: In particular, the following focal points need to be worked on:

  • Familiarise yourself with the project
  • Identify and describe the functional blocks for power amplification
  • Evaluate commercially available components
  • Prototype and characterise key functions (e.g. driver, pa)
Preferred background and skills:
  • System simulation with AWR Design software advantageous
  • Soft skills





On-Board-Computer (OBC)

Implementation of the Ardon SoC


Type of project: Semester project / Association Participants: 1 - 2 students Section: MT, elec, syscom, others Description: You’ll implement the SoC inside the FPGA which is the core of our OBC. Our SoC will be developed from Briey SoC which will be the basis of your work. The main parts to implement (not pre-existing) are the RAM control, the watchdog and some bitflip correction.
As our SoC will be written in SpinalHDL you’ll have to learn the language. This won’t be a problem given a VHDL background. Feel free to contact michael.linder@epfl.ch for any questions. Tasks:

  • VHDL / SpinalHDL development
Preferred background and skills:
  • VHDL (You’ll learn SpinalHDL quite fast), electronics




PCB development and testing


Type of project: Semester project / Association Participants: 1 - 2 students Section: MT, elec, syscom, others Description: You will participate in the testing and development of the on-board computer PCB. The first prototype has been manufactured and needs to be tested! This includes actual hardware testing as well as the programming of some raspberry pi’s to simulate the other components. In addition you will work on the future modifications of the board and assure its functionality. Feel free to contact michael.linder@epfl.ch for any questions. Tasks:

  • Testing and verification of hardware-components
  • Testing and verification of interfaces to other subsystems
Preferred background and skills:
  • Electronics, embedded system design, PCB-design, simple microcontroller programming is a plus.





Telecommunication

Model Based Systems Engineering


Type of project: Semester project / Association / Master thesis Participants: 2 - 4 students Section: STI, Minor in Space Tech or System Eng Description: In this project, you will join the CHESS mission at the end of Phase B, and you will contribute in bringing the mission to the next milestone, the PDR. To achieve this goal, you will need to focus on different tasks, mainly ICDs and Risk Analysis. The interface control documents (ICDs) are key to the CHESS mission. They define how the different components, subsystems of the satellite interact with each other to fulfill the mission’s objectives. The higher level architecture and requirements have been defined (mostly), we now need your help to dive into the specifics. The Risk Analysis identifies the possible failures of the system and it defines strategies to mitigate the causes and effects. Tasks:

  • Familiarize yourself with the mission. As a system engineer it is your responsibility to be very well informed and be able to answer most questions or find the answers.
  • Communicate with members from the other poles and universities to get information on the evolution of the subsystems development.
  • Decompose the problem into manageable tasks.
  • Make relevant design trade offs.
  • Adapt to the situation.
  • Be comfortable not knowing something and keep looking.
  • Update the model of the satellite on Valispace (software) when necessary.
  • Most importantly: be curious and enthusiastic about the work and the association! It will make it that much more fun.
Preferred background courses:
  • Space Technologies minor
  • Spacecraft Design and System Engineering
  • Fundamentals of Systems Engineering
  • Or similar knowledge, system engineering mentality




Testing engineer


Type of project: Semester project / Association Participants: 2 - 3 students Section: STI Description: We are starting to work on real satellite hardware. The Assembly Integration and Testing (AIT) phase is one of the most critical phases of any space project. It is not permitted to have issues with the system once the satellite is launched. A small error may result in a mission failure. The AIT allows to make sure that all the subsystems will work as expected in order to have a successful mission. We should have a first version of our On-Board-Computer, the Power system board and the ADCS module Tasks:

  • Understand the roles and functions of the different subsystems which were bought.
  • Create a list of test procedures which need to be performed on all newly bought subsystems.
  • Test each subsystem individually according to this list.
  • Work together with the Flight Software and OBC team.





Mission Design

Implementation of the Ardon SoC


Type of project: Semester project / Association Participants: 1 - 2 students Section: MT, elec, syscom, others Description: You’ll implement the SoC inside the FPGA which is the core of our OBC. Our SoC will be developed from Briey SoC which will be the basis of your work. The main parts to implement (not pre-existing) are the RAM control, the watchdog and some bitflip correction.
As our SoC will be written in SpinalHDL you’ll have to learn the language. This won’t be a problem given a VHDL background. Feel free to contact michael.linder@epfl.ch for any questions. Tasks:

  • VHDL / SpinalHDL development
Preferred background and skills:
  • VHDL (You’ll learn SpinalHDL quite fast), electronics




PCB development and testing


Type of project: Semester project / Association Participants: 1 - 2 students Section: MT, elec, syscom, others Description: You will participate in the testing and development of the on-board computer PCB. The first prototype has been manufactured and needs to be tested! This includes actual hardware testing as well as the programming of some raspberry pi’s to simulate the other components. In addition you will work on the future modifications of the board and assure its functionality. Feel free to contact michael.linder@epfl.ch for any questions. Tasks:

  • Testing and verification of hardware-components
  • Testing and verification of interfaces to other subsystems
Preferred background and skills:
  • Electronics, embedded system design, PCB-design, simple microcontroller programming is a plus.





  Management  

Sponsoring

Model Based Systems Engineering


Type of project: Semester project / Association / Master thesis Participants: 2 - 4 students Section: STI, Minor in Space Tech or System Eng Description: In this project, you will join the CHESS mission at the end of Phase B, and you will contribute in bringing the mission to the next milestone, the PDR. To achieve this goal, you will need to focus on different tasks, mainly ICDs and Risk Analysis. The interface control documents (ICDs) are key to the CHESS mission. They define how the different components, subsystems of the satellite interact with each other to fulfill the mission’s objectives. The higher level architecture and requirements have been defined (mostly), we now need your help to dive into the specifics. The Risk Analysis identifies the possible failures of the system and it defines strategies to mitigate the causes and effects. Tasks:

  • Familiarize yourself with the mission. As a system engineer it is your responsibility to be very well informed and be able to answer most questions or find the answers.
  • Communicate with members from the other poles and universities to get information on the evolution of the subsystems development.
  • Decompose the problem into manageable tasks.
  • Make relevant design trade offs.
  • Adapt to the situation.
  • Be comfortable not knowing something and keep looking.
  • Update the model of the satellite on Valispace (software) when necessary.
  • Most importantly: be curious and enthusiastic about the work and the association! It will make it that much more fun.
Preferred background courses:
  • Space Technologies minor
  • Spacecraft Design and System Engineering
  • Fundamentals of Systems Engineering
  • Or similar knowledge, system engineering mentality




Testing engineer


Type of project: Semester project / Association Participants: 2 - 3 students Section: STI Description: We are starting to work on real satellite hardware. The Assembly Integration and Testing (AIT) phase is one of the most critical phases of any space project. It is not permitted to have issues with the system once the satellite is launched. A small error may result in a mission failure. The AIT allows to make sure that all the subsystems will work as expected in order to have a successful mission. We should have a first version of our On-Board-Computer, the Power system board and the ADCS module Tasks:

  • Understand the roles and functions of the different subsystems which were bought.
  • Create a list of test procedures which need to be performed on all newly bought subsystems.
  • Test each subsystem individually according to this list.
  • Work together with the Flight Software and OBC team.





Communication

Vibration Analysis


Type of project: Association Participants: 1 students Section: STI Description: During the launch, the satellite withstands loads, vibrations that may use or break the structure. An analysis is carried out to derive the fundamental frequencies of the structure and detect eventual problems Tasks:

  • The aim is to continue the project already done to apply ongoing modifications.
Preferred background and skills ::
  • Ansys software




Building of a mass model


Type of project: Association Participants: 1 - 2 students Section: Any Description: To ensure the CubeSat sustains the launch and life in orbit, we have to verify the structure and the subsystems are capable of resisting a certain amount of vibrations and accelerations. In this context, we would like to build a realistic simplified model of the CubeSat and test this model in vibration. This position offers the opportunity to modify the design and build the mass model. Tasks:

  • Machining/3D printing of a mass model




Thermal Analysis/ Control


Type of project: Semester project / Association Participants: 1 - 2 students Section: STI Description: The temperature of the satellite through its life is a crucial matter that has to be studied, to make sure every component stays in its operability range. An finite element analysis has to be carried out in order to check the thermal behavior and if the requirements are respected. Tasks:

  • A first draft was done on Matlab, a FEM analysis must be done to obtain more precise results.
Preferred background and skills ::
  • Matlab / Ansys