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Picosatellites BEESAT-5/-6/-7/-8 Ready to Launch

Wednesday, 27. January 2021


On January 27, 2021, the four picosatellites BEESAT-5/-6/-7/-8 with a total mass of 1.5 kg were prepared for their launch and integrated into a separation mechanism. Before that, the satellites were subjected to a test campaign to prove their resistance to mechanical loads during launch. The launch will be at the end of March into a sun-synchronous Earth orbit at an altitude of about 530 km.

(Digital) Summer term 2020

Tuesday, 07. April 2020


As all other institutes at TU Berlin, the institue of aeronautics and astronautics is completely closed. Neither secretariat staff nor lecturers have access to the building. Exams and post-exam reviews will be postponed.

Nevertheless, we are happy to offer the following lecture courses online:

All lecture courses can be found on ISIS and start in calendar week 17. Note that we might have to restrict the number of participants for some courses. Please contact the lecturers for further questions.

"Polytech Days" at TU Berlin

Thursday, 20. February 2020


In February 2020 Berlin was hosting „Polytech Days“ organized by Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University. As a long-standing partner of Polytech the TU Berlin held Strategic Partnership Forum on the 7th of February, where TU President Prof. Dr. Christian Thomsen and Rector of the Polytechic University Prof. Andrei Rudskoi  signed the strategic partnership prolongation agreement. The partnership shall be active until 2025 and is accompanied by a wide range of academic cooperations. The ceremony was followed by presentations of successful joint scientific undertakings. 

Prof. Dr.-Eng. Klaus Brieß and Dr. Vyacheslav Potekhin opened the event with their presentation on “Space and Robotics Systems”. Professor Brieß and Dr. Potekhin briefly introduced Erasmus+ Project „Applied Curricula in Space Exploration and Intelligent Robotic Systems“ that aims to improve and internationalize specialized higher education in Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus. The multinational project led by TUB comprises development and implementation of innovative Space Robotics and Satellite Technology curricula, training of academic teachers and creation of productive learning environments. One of the project achievements is the establishment of „Robotic Labs“ in the partnering universities – well-equipped facilities where students can put their theoretical knowledge into practice. 

After the project presentation further cooperation plans and opportunities for both universities were discussed by the participants.


Successful operations of BEESAT-9

Monday, 15. July 2019

On 05.07.2019 at 05:41:46 UTC, BEESAT-9 was launched into a sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 530km with the launch provider EXOLAUNCH on a Soyuz/Fregat rocket. At 10:06 UTC BEESAT-9 was ejected from its launch container. The container as well as the sequencing of the separation was developed by EXOLAUNCH. As a launch provider for small satellites, EXOLAUNCH also transported the satellites to the launch site in Vostochny, integrated them into the rocket and organized the check-out campaign. The BEESAT-9 team would like to thank EXOLAUNCH very much for the launch opportunity and for the excellent service during all parts of the launch campaign.

The separation of BEESAT-9 was the trigger for the LEOP procedures. Five seconds after separation, the satellite was automatically switched on and started storing telemetry. After 30min the UHF antennas were deployed and the satellite started sending its callsign (DPOBEM).

At 10:38 UTC BEESAT-9 scratched the reception area of the TU Berlin ground station for the first time, but at an elevation of only 1°. Nevertheless, the team gathered in front of the radio to record a sign of life. And indeed several beacons were received, which were transmitted at intervals of 40s. This confirms the correct functioning of several substantial subsystems, such as the power system, the on-board computer and the communication systems.

Since the first contact, BEESAT-9 has been operated several times a day and all systems have been put into operation. This includes the main payload, a GNSS receiver from Hyperion Technologies, which was successfully operated several times over complete orbits.

In the next weeks the experiments with the GNSS receiver will make up a large part of the satellite operation. On the one hand the main mission goal, the precise position and orbit determination is pursued and on the other hand TLEs are needed for the execution of attitude control maneuvers on the satellite and for the tracking of the antenna on the ground. These TLEs are generated from the position and velocity data provided by the GNSS receiver. The creation of TLEs for antenna tracking is essential to receive an appropriate signal of the satellite. Normally, the TLEs are updated daily by NORAD and are sufficiently accurate. Due to the ejection of a total of 30 satellites into the same orbit, not all objects (currently 25, as of 18.07.19) have yet been observed.

For at least one year, BEESAT-9 will be operated with the main focus on scientific experiments, after which it will be increasingly used for education. The BEESAT-9 team would like to thank all the people involved for the support during the development of the satellite and the first contact. The description of the project BEESAT-9 and its funding can be found under the following link:


German initiative for academic small satellites was founded

Monday, 15. July 2019


On July 15, 2019 representatives from different German universities met the coordinator of aviation and space of the government Thomas Jarzombek in the federal ministry for economic affairs and energy.
Together they founded the "Kleinsatelliteninitiative deutscher Hochschulen und Universitäten".
The initiative aims at increasing the impact of small satellites at German universities and institutions of higher education. TU Berlin is part of the initiative.

BEESAT-9 Ready for Launch

Monday, 01. July 2019

BEESAT-9 Flight-Model

On May 24th, 2019, the BEESAT-9 picosatellite was handed over to the launch provider EXOLAUNCH and integrated into a 12U deployer in order to be transported to the launch site of the rocket at the Vostochny Cosmodrome. The deployer as well as the sequencing of the separation was developed by EXOLAUNCH. The BEESAT-9 team would like to thank EXOLAUNCH very much for the launch opportunity and for the excellent service during the preparation phase.

During the last weeks and months the satellite was tested, calibrated and a software update was prepared which was installed on all subsystems at the launch site.

During the environmental test campaign the satellite was fixed to a vibration table. The following tests simulated the loads during the launch. The satellite was exposed to frequencies across the entire spectrum from 0-2000Hz and to quasi-static loads. After successful completion, the satellite was set up in a thermal vacuum chamber and subjected to a thermal cycle test. A total of four cycles from -10°C to 45°C simulated the thermal cycles occurring in orbit. Following successful functional tests and the calibration of all sensors, the satellite was released for launch.

From June 13th to June 17th, 2019, the satellite was successfully checked out at the cosmodrome and finally integrated into the deployer. The satellite launch is scheduled for July 5th, 2019 at 05:41:46 UTC into a sun-synchronous orbit at 530km altitude and will be streamed under the following links.




A technical description of BEESAT-9 can be found at:


TUPEX-6: Rocket launch with student experiment

Thursday, 14. March 2019


After one and a half years of preparation, student experiment TUPEX-6 (TU Berlin Picosatellite Experiment 6) is close to the finish line. On the coming weekend, the small satellite developed by the international team will be ejected from a sounding rocket. During its time in the milligravity environment, the goal is to demonstrate an innovative attitude control system on board of their Free-falling Unit (FFU). Contrary to conventional wheel-based systems, their picosatellite Fluid-Dynamic Actuators (pFDAs) generate torque by accelerating a liquid metal which is flowing through closed 3D printed channels. The possibility of integrating the pFDAs into the structure of a CubeSat means there is more space left for payload. On the FFU, this space is occupied by the recovery compartment. The integrated parachute will ensure a safe landing.

The team also developed a deployment mechanism which will protect the FFU from the immense stresses during launch and eject it from the rocket when reaching the desired altitude. Up until the last moment, communication with the FFU is possible through an electronical interface. The connection made with pogo pins will disconnect automatically when the FFU is thrown out of the rocket by the main ejection spring.

TUPEX-6 participates in the REXUS/BEXUS programme of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Swedish National Space Agency (SNSA). Thanks to their cooperation, each year twenty European student teams are given the opportunity to launch their scientific and technical experiments on board of a rocket or balloon. The TUPEX-6 team is grateful for the support it got from the TU’s Chair of Space Technology, as well as the support from technicians from the DLR, SNSA, ESA and the Center of applied space technology and microgravity (ZARM). A large portion of the mechanical hardware was produced at the workshop of the ILR.

BEESAT-4 passes and images DLR satellite BIROS

Wednesday, 12. September 2018

Orbit Constellation a few minutes before the closest approach near to the South Pole
Camera frame and Sun vector at the time of the first image acquisition
This image shows BIROS, captured by BEESAT-4, in a distance of 11.1 km
This image shows the small satellite BIROS, captured by BEESAT-4, in a distance of 9.9 km

Just before its second anniversary on orbit, the CubeSat BEESAT-4 (1kg) of TU Berlin passes the minisatellite BIROS (140kg) of DLR. BEESAT-4 was deployed from a CubeSat dispenser, integrated into BIROS, on September 9th 2016. Afterwards BIROS followed BEESAT-4 for more than a year with dedicated orbit maneuvers. Since the last maneuver the satellites drift apart. BEESAT-4 has a smaller mass/area ratio, loses altitude relative to BIROS and the orbital period is getting shorter compared to the one of BIROS.

Due to this effect, BEESAT-4 passed BIROS on September 5th 2018. The closest approach happened at 3:27pm UTC nearby the south pole. At that time the distance was around 3.7km.

The flyby was used to demonstrate the 3-axes stabilized attitude control and point with the camera towards BIROS. For the execution of this experiment, the flyby was simulated with STK to determine the exact attitude and angular rate at different times to be sure that BIROS is inside the camera’s field of view all the time.

Several requirements had to be fulfilled for BEESAT-4 to take a picture of BIROS. On the one hand, the camera of BEESAT-4 was not supposed to point towards the sun and on the other hand BIROS had to be illuminated by the sun. The ground pixel size of the camera of BEESAT-4 is about 150m at an altitude of 500km. This corresponds to a resolution of 1.1m during the closest approach of the two satellites. That’s roughly the size of BIROS with unfolded solar panels. Due to the fact that the entire background is black and BIROS will be illuminated by the sun, a couple of pixels will be exposed.

During the flyby on September 5th 2018 the requirements were only fulfilled at the beginning. During the approach BEESAT-4 had to turn its camera more and more towards the sun to keep BIROS in the field of view. This leads to an over exposure of the camera.


Figure 2 shows BIROS at the middle of the picture as a white spot. At that time the distance of the two satellites was 11.1km. In picture 3 you can see the constellation at that point from the simulation. The second picture was taken at a distance of 9.9km (Figure 4). Compared to the first picture, one can see that the white spot is slightly bigger. That fact and a comparison of the constellations of planets and bright stars gives us the confirmation that the white spot is indeed BIROS.

Depending on the constellation during the next flybys in December and March further experiments will be conducted, hopefully with pictures from an even closer distance. 



Project SALSA completed

Monday, 23. July 2018

Review Board from DLR and TU Berlin & Project Members
Project members present the EQMs to the review board

Project SALSA was successfully completed with the qualification review which took place on June 28th 2018. SALSA was a project in which a on-orbit spectrum analyzer was developed. After the general functionality was proven with a development model in 2017, two engineering qualification models were built. These models had to pass several environmental tests (vaccuum, radiation, thermal cycling) to show that the hardware can survive the space environment.

In addition to this, an integration concept for SALSA into the existing TUBiX-10 satellilte bus was developed. TU Berlin has a flight spare model of the S-NET mission available which can be used for a spectrum analyzer mission. Therefore a new project called SALSAT will integrate SALSA into the flight spare. Launch is expected in the beginning of 2020.

The SALSA team would like to thank the review board and all project members, especially the students who worked in the project as part of their theses, for their valuable contributions!

TechnoSat – Mission Accomplished

Saturday, 14. July 2018

Antarctic shelf ice recorded by TechnoSat

Last Saturday marked the first anniversary of the launch of TechnoSat. Since it’s separation on the 14th of July 2017 at 09:03:30 UTC the satellite has almost completed the planned one-year mission after 5438 orbits.

This week, the TUBiX20 team will once again fully test all payloads to verify that they are still working as expected at the end of the planned mission period and complete the official part of the mission.

TechnoSat is still fully operational and the team was able to expand the capabilities again in May through comprehensive software updates of board computer, attitude determination and control computer and payload data handling. Using the three payloads camera, reaction wheels and S-band transmitter, over 5,000 photos and 32 MByte of data were transferred from orbit to the ground since.

TUPEX-6 selected to launch on REXUS

Wednesday, 24. January 2018


Recently students from the Chair of Space Technology were informed that their TU Berlin Picosatellite EXperiment 6 (TUPEX-6) has been granted a flight ticket for the REXUS 25/26 mission. REXUS (Rocket Experiment for University Students) is a joint program funded by the German, European, and Swedish space agencies as well as several companies. Starting in 2007, REXUS selects 8 to 10 student experiments per year to launch on 2 rockets. Fields of study include atmospheric research, physics, materials science, astrophysics, biology, and technology demonstration. The REXUS 25/26 mission is aiming to launch out of Esrange, Sweden in March of 2019.

TUPEX-6 is a student driven mission to demonstrate a new attitude control technology being researched at TU Berlin, called pico-Fluid Dynamic Actuators (pFDAs), onboard a CubeSat.  REXUS 26 will fly TUPEX-6 to an altitude of 75-90 kilometers before ejecting the satellite. TUPEX-6 will then have at least 120 seconds to collect the necessary data to verify the utility of pFDAs for 3-axis attitude control.  The mission will provide students unparalleled hands-on experience progressing a project through different mission phases, including ground qualification and launch campaigns. 

Project work is collaborated by students from the German Master of aerospace engineering and international Master of space engineering programs.  With cooperation between the German and international programs, TUPEX-6 provides a unique opportunity for close inter-cultural exchange on technical and personal levels for students.  The overall team is composed of 32 students from 8 countries (Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Mexico, South Africa, South Korea and USA) with diverse backgrounds and experience in physics, aerospace, electrical and mechanical engineering.

TUPEX-6 originated from the PhD thesis research on pFDAs by project advisor, Sebastian Grau, and Bachelor’s thesis of project manager, Ferdinand Fürstenau. The project began in August of 2017, and is currently working towards a preliminary design review in Esrange at the end of February.

TechnoSat mission half-time

Sunday, 14. January 2018

Berlin on December, the 12th 2017 by day (left) and Tokyo on January, the 11th 2018 by night (right) photographed by TechnoSat.
Horizon over Indonesia photographed by TechnoSat on November, the 29th 2017

During orbit 2,742 on Sunday, January the 14th , at 09:03 AM (UTC) TechnoSat completed the first half of its mission. And the nano-satellite of Technische Universität Berlin is still in best condition.

The platform has proven its reliability and robustness and mastered all tasks to full expectations.

Among others the platform’s performance could be demonstrated by imaging Berlin (at daytime), Tokyo (at night) and the Earth’s horizon above Indonesia. For these images the satellite was operated by time-controlled command sequences to autonomously

- use the reaction wheel payload for attitude control,

- take images with the camera payload and

- use its S-band transmitter payload for image transfer to the groundstation at Technische Universität Berlin.

Both the reaction wheel and S-band transmitter payloads are designated as platform components in TechnoSat’s follow-up mission TUBIN. While successful combined operation of several payloads and the platform had been designated optional mission goals, TechnoSat repeatedly performed this most complex scenario very well in the first half of the mission.

Contact to BEESAT-3 succesfully established

Monday, 08. January 2018

First decoded frame of BEESAT-3

4 Years, 8 months and 20 days after being launched to Low Earth Orbit researchers from Technische Universität Berlin could establish contact to the Picosatellite BEESAT-3 on Sunday, 7th of January 2018 for the first time since its launch. The satellite was commanded from Berlin and its telemetry and morsecode-beacon were received in the Netherlands by radio amateur Jan van Muijlwijk (PA3FXB) of the CAMRAS foundation using the 25m antenna of the Dwingeloo Radio Observatory.

Knowing for the first time, that BEESAT-3 was in fact alive and operating, the team was able to establish contact and retrieve data from the satellite using the ground station of Technische Universität Berlin. The appended figure shows the first data frame ever received from BEESAT-3 - the satellite is in excellent condition! 

BEESAT-3 (Berlin Experimental and Educational SATellite 3) is a 1 kg CubeSat, developed at Technische Universität Berlin within three years. The primary objective of the BEESAT-3 mission is the education of students at Technische Universität Berlin. Therefore, the entire satellite was developed and designed by students as part of lectures, group design projects and theses. The secondary mission objective is the technology demonstration of an S band transmitter.

The BEESAT-3 Team currently assumes, that significant improvements of the Berlin groundstations allowed to command another attempt to deploy the satellite's antenna. However, a detailed study of the conditions allowing two-way communication with BEESAT-3 is currently in progress.

The BEESAT-3 Team would like to sincerely thank Jan van Muijlwijk of the CAMRAS foundation who greatly contributed to the successful establishment of contact to BEESAT-3.

S-Net ready for launch

Monday, 18. December 2017

The four S-Net flight models and the checkout team in Vostochny

The S-Net Team of TU Berlin successfully conducted the final launch readiness procedure of the four satellites at the Vostochny launch site (Amur Oblast, Russia). The health status of the satellites has been checked, last updates were installed and the integration on the Fregat upper stage was prepared. The S-Net satellites are now ready for the launch!​

S-Net - Acceptance Passed

Monday, 27. November 2017

The S-Net team with their four flight models, four deployers and one qualification model

The Acceptance Review for the distributed satellite mission S-Net has been organized in the beginning of November at Institut für Luft- und Raumfahrt (ILR) of Technische Universität Berlin (TUB). The invited review board examined the results of the extensive environmental test conducted on the four S-Net satellites. Subsequently, the board approved the shipping of the satellites to the spaceport.

Meanwhile, the four nanosatellites have been packed and shipped to Russia where they will be launched on Dec. 22nd 2017 (07:07:18 MEZ) from the new cosmodrome Wostotschny. A feature of nanosatellite missions is the launch as a piggy-back along with a main payload. In this case, the S-Net satellites will be launched on the Soyuz / Fregat vehicle along with the Russian Earth observation satellites Kanopus III & IV. The tension and expectation are increasing, since the decisive phase of the mission has begun. The team of TUB will visit the launch site in December, to perform a final status check-out and integration on the upper stage.

A related launch event will be announced soon.

Erasmus + Forum for International Partnerships on 16th/17th October

Friday, 24. November 2017


The annual conference for the Erasmus + International Partnerships, which provided information on the Erasmus + call 2018 in the various funding areas, took place at TU Berlin on 16th/17th October 2017. This year's motto was "Across Europe's borders - 30 years of international EU cooperation with universities".

The event was organized by the NA DAAD and TU Berlin, with the Department of Space Technology acting as co-organizer. With great success, we have presented a selection of our numerous research and education projects funded by the European Commission. The amount of projects at the TUB is the highest within all German universities. We are delighted that our activities have been widely recognized by the participating organizations and thankful for the positive response we received.

Further information can be taken from the website of the DAAD:


68th International Astronautical Congress (IAC)

Friday, 24. November 2017


The 68th International Astronautical Congress (IAC), the largest space technology conference, took place between the 25th and 29th of September 2017 in Adelaide, Australia.

This year, and in addition to the 14 lectures held by TU employees, the TU Berlin was present for the first time with its own booth at the conference exhibition. Among other things, we informed about our international Master of Space Engineering (MSE) program and the activities of the Chair of Space Technology.

The iBOSS project received special attention at the IAC this year. The advantages of the iBOSS concept were presented through lectures in various sessions as well as in detail in the panel discussion "Next Generation On-Orbit Satellite Servicing and Refueling Programs". An iBOSS-3 exhibit on the booth of the DLR provided further impressions.

The idea behind the iBOSS project is to break the traditional monolithic satellite into maintenance-friendly components that enable on-orbit satellite servicing. This results in an extending life span of satellites and contributes to the reduction of space debris. Thus, Earth orbits can be used more economically and ecologically. In order to realize this vision, the TU Berlin cooperates with the RWTH Aachen, the FZI in Karlsruhe, and the RIF from Dortmund.

The iBOSS team of TU Berlin presented the relevant technology solutions of the last year at the IAC. The thermal interface and as well as the energy transfer efficiency in modular satellites were presented to an international audience. In addition, the "ROS Space" software framework, which was designed by the Chair of Space Technology of the TU Berlin and is based on the "Robot Operating System", was introduced for the first time and aroused great interest.

TechnoSat’s 1000th orbit

Tuesday, 19. September 2017

Pass control of TU Berlin's mission control center while TechnoSat's 1000th orbit

On September, the 19th 2017, shortly past 11 A.M. UTC-time we contacted TechnoSat on its 1000th orbit. The nano satellite was in range of our ground station on 234 of the 1000 orbits. The TechnoSat operations team could download over 8.5 MByte of telemetry data on these passes to determine the satellite’s condition.

First experiments were also conducted with the payloads. Now payload teams can begin to evaluate the data of their systems.

TechnoSat: Test and commissioning

Monday, 28. August 2017

Angular rate of TechnoSat while detumbling

Currently TechnoSat’s systems are being evaluated. To do so the subsystems are activated separately to ascertain the performance of the platform. The team is happy to find all systems in an excellent functional state.
TechnoSat has passed the start and his first weeks on orbit without defects.


The payloads are activated and checked on their conditions parallel to the testing of the platform. The operation of TechnoSat’s payloads will have to wait until the satellite is fully checked though. 

Successful contact

Monday, 31. July 2017

TU Berlins Mission Control Centre while a TechnoSat pass

The successful start of the Suyuz-2-1a were followed by two hours of quite intense excitement until TechnoSat reported home on time 12 minutes after 10 a.m.
We downloaded many telemetry frames within our first weeks of operation which them team is evaluating now. The Satellite is in splendid condition – the software runs impeccable and the systems are operational.

Now it’s time to check further subsystems and include them into regular operations to start the experiments with our payloads.

We are excited for a successful year of mission!

TechnoSat is ready for launch

Thursday, 13. July 2017

TechnoSat's integration at the Baikonur Cosmodrome

The final checks are completed and TU Berlin’s 12th satellite waits for it’s launch on a Russian Soyuz 2.1 rocket on Friday, July the 14th at 8:36 am Central European Summer Time. At about 7:00 am a live feed of the launch is available from:


Together with more than 70 other satellites from Russia, Canada, Japan, USA and Germany TechnoSat was integrated on June the 30th onto the Fregat upper stage of the Kanopus V-IK launch. The final checks and the integration were conducted by research assistants of the chair of space technology on the Baikonur cosmodrome in southern Kazakhstan. TechnoSat will be separated on a 600 km Sun synchronous orbit among others with the small satellite Flying Laptop from Stuttgart.

Among TechnoSat’s 7 payloads are systems from the chair of space technology of Technische Universität Berlin as well as other experiments from the Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, the German Aerospace Center and IQ-Wireless from Berlin.

TechnoSat – Acceptance Passed

Wednesday, 29. March 2017

The Team with the qualification- and the flightmodel of TechnoSat

The Nanosatellite mission TechnoSat has successfully passed its acceptance review on the 14th of March 2017. TechnoSat is a 20 kg satellite mission for the in-orbit demonstration and verification of novel nanosatellite technologies. 

The acceptance review marks an important milestone of the mission, as here it is determined if the satellite successfully passed its mechanical and environmental tests. Additionally, functional tests of sensors and actuators have been performed using the attitude control test bed. An end-to-end test verified that successful communication between the satellite and the ground station of Technische Universität Berlin can be conducted.

As a next step, the TechnoSat flight model is shipped to Moscow from where it will be transported to the launch site at Baikonour in Kazakhstan. Here, the satellite will undergo another series of thorough functional test by the TechnoSat team. After that, the satellite is mounted on the upper stage of a Sojus rocket that will launch it into a 600 km Sun-synchronous orbit. The launch is scheduled for the end of June.

Aerospace Electronics: First Micromouse Challenge

Wednesday, 08. March 2017

Micromouse robot exploring a maze

On March 8th, 2017 the students of the course aerospace electronics presented their Micromouse robots. The event concluded the lecture in which students learn basics about electronics and microcrontroller programming. Objective of the project was the construction of a small robot that can explore a maze, calculate the fastest way from start to finish and the tries to travel this route as swiftly as possible. The fastest micromouse wins the competition.

To navigate and detect the maze's walls the Micromouse robots used gyroscopes, ultra-sonic distance and wheel revolution sensors. Telemetry and telecommands where exchanged between the robots and a PC via a Bluetooth wireless link. High and Low-level software was written in C to run on STM32F0 microcontrollers. More powerful but still very similar processors are used on nearly all of TU Berlin's satellites these days.

BEESAT-4 in Orbit

Friday, 09. September 2016

View of Mission Control Center while operating BEESAT-4

BEESAT-4 was successfully deployed by the BIROS satellite on Friday the 9th of September 2016 at 11:00:15 UTC. About 100 minutes later, the Picosatellite sent its first signals to earth.

Both satellites were launched on the 22nd of June 2016 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR) in India. Since then the BEESAT-4 spacecraft stayed in the Single Picosatellite Launcher (SPL) aboard of BIROS. To ensure safe operations of the satellite, the only thing done in the very first orbit was recharging the batteries after the time in the SPL. 100 minutes after separation the two UHF antennas were deployed as planned and the beacon mode was activated. In that mode, the satellite uses Morse code to transmit its callsign DP0BEH every 40 seconds. The first person who received that kind of acoustic signal was the radio amateur Jan van Gils (callsign PE0SAT) from the Netherlands. More successful receptions of the beacon were reported from Brasil (PY2SDR and PY4ZBZ) and Australia (VK5HI).

Operators from TU Berlin received the first telemetry frames at 14:00 UTC over Spitsbergen. All systems work as expected and without any problems. After the time aboard the BIROS satellite, BEESAT-4 was able to charge its batteries. The on-board computer was booted as planned and it started recording telemetry right after deployment. In the following passes further subsystems were switched on and successfully checked for correct operation.

In the time after deployment, the beacon of BEESAT-4 was received all over the world. Further reports were received from the USA (W7KKE), Japan (JA0CAW) and Germany (DK3WN). We would like to express our gratitude to all the radio amateurs for the great support and we really look forward to a good and successful collaboration in the future. Here is a full list of all radio amateurs who helped us in the early orbit phase:

Chair of Space Technology & ILA 2016

Monday, 06. June 2016


The ILA Berlin Air Show took place from June 1st until 4th 2016. The Chair of Space Technology used this occasion to present its work on different platforms.

The 9th Pico and Nano Satellite Workshop was organized by the Chair of Space Technology and took place on June 1st 2016 as part of the ILA conference. 50 participants had the chance to inform themselves on the latest technology in small satellite development. Apart from that, the projects S-NET and iBOSS presented their work on different booths. Lennart Kryza (Student) was invited to the round table on “Human Spaceflight Beyond Earth Orbit” (https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10153574430470667&id=54912575666). The TV station RBB showed a short film about the Chair of Space Technology with a focus on the mission control center and the nano satellite laboratories (https://www.rbb-online.de/zibb/archiv/20160602_1830/minisatelliten.html). Furthermore,  the rover team SEAR presented their work as part of the International Space Film Festival. Project leader Lennart Kryza discussed the film “Space Odyssey – Mission to the planets” along with ISS engineer Günter Brandt.

BEESAT-4 - Ready for Launch!

Wednesday, 18. May 2016


On April 28th 2016 the picosatellite BEESAT-4 was delivered to the DLR in Adlershof in order to be shipped to the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR) in India. For BEESAT to be properly secured, it has been integrated in the BIROS satellite.

In the last couple of weeks and months a lot of effort has been put into testing and calibrating all sensors and actuators. All six sun sensors have each been shone on with a 1200W lamp to simulate the sun and to determine the calibration parameters necessary for calculating the sun vector accurately. Additionally, the gyroscopes were tested on a rotating table and in a thermal chamber to determine the drift and offset. The magnetic field sensors have been calibrated in a room free from artificial magnetic and electronic fields in the countryside of Brandenburg. The reaction wheels and magnetic coils have as well been tested thoroughly.

On May 10, 2016 BEESAT-4 has safely reached its destination Chennai and has been transferred to the SHAR on Sriharikota. About a month later the BEESAT team will be on its way to India to do the checkout of the satellite and do a final verification of its condition and functionality. When this has been successful, BEESAT-4 will be integrated in BIROS for the last time, as it is being launched inside BIROS via a PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) into its sun synchronous orbit at around 510 kilometers altitude at the end of June 2016.

Second year of MSE launched

Thursday, 05. May 2016


After a successful launch of the international master’s programme in space engineering in April 2015, the Chair of Space Technology welcomed new students from 11 different countries, who have started their study at TU Berlin in the summer semester 2016.

The programme educates systems engineers equipped with the knowledge to become leaders in the space industry.

Master of Space Engineering is highly project oriented and focuses on Space System Design, Space Technology, Space Management & Operation and Intercultural Communication. Students have the chance to be involved in challenging space projects, working within intercultural teams, whilst benefiting from the worldwide leading expertise and network of TU Berlin in the field of space technology.

iBOSS-3 at the Global Space & Technology Convention in Singapore

Saturday, 13. February 2016

Singapur, the iBOSS Booth at GSTC.

On 11th and 12th February the research project iBOSS-3 was presented at the Global Space & Technology Convention, the biggest space congress in Southeast Asia. The symposium is organized annually in Singapore by the Singapore Space and Technology Association. This year’s topics focused on specific solutions to local needs in space industry, international cooperation and strategies to ensure a sustainable space environment.

Particular technology demonstrators were presented by the TU Berlin and their partners with the assistance of German Space Administration which was represented, among others, by Dr. Gerd Gruppe, member of the DLR Executive Board, responsible for the German Space Administration.

The innovative iBOSS technology provides standardized, reconfigurable and maintenance-friendly building blocks for modular satellites. This approach provides positive economic effects resulting from increased sustainability of space missions which are also accompanied by ecological benefits such as the reduction of space debris. In this project TU Berlin is cooperating with RWTH Aachen, the FZI Karlsruhe and the RIF Institut für Forschung und Transfer e.V.

The iBOSS-3 exhibits aroused interest among the numerously professional visitors and enhanced the technology network by many potential partners.


Team SEAR successful at the DLR SpaceBot Camp 2015

Team SEAR at the DLR SpaceBot Camp 2015

Early this year, team SEAR received funding for the further development of the rover SEAR. Already in 2013, SEAR was designed and built by students in scope of lecture courses, theses and a project workshop to compete in the DLR SpaceBot Cup 2013. Based on the experiences, substantial advancements in hard- and software could be made.

In preparation for the SpaceBot Camp 2015, a qualification was conducted in September in which the 10 participating teams had to demonstrate certain functions of their systems. Team SEAR was one of three teams who passed the qualification. During the SpaceBot Camp in November, the rover demonstrated that it is able to fulfill all tasks with partial autonomy.

Students successfully launched sounding rockets in Sweden


On October-27-2015 at 14:54 and October-29-2015 at 9:55 the student sounding rockets DECAN-SHARK I and DECAN-SHARK II (Student High Altitude Rocket in Kiruna) have been launched from ESRANGE Space Center nearby Kiruna, Sweden. Both rockets have a length of 2.9 meter and a take-off mass of 25 kg. After ascent time of 25 seconds, they reached an apogee of 5.5 and 5.7 kilometer and break through the sonic wall with a maximum speed of 1,500 km.

The project is supported by experts from DLR, Aerospace Institut and external quality assurance specialists. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology based on a decision of the German Bundestag.

SEAR workshop with pupils

Tuesday, 07. July 2015


On 07.07.2015, 30 pupils from seventh grade at the Herder school again visited the Chair of Space Technology. Students of project SEAR conducted a workshop, explaining how to program a Mars robot. The class is invited to the DLR SpaceBot Cup 2015 by the German Aerospace Center to accompany team SEAR. The class is currently developing self-made obstacles and a Mars panorama for SEAR's testing ground.

Separation of Picosatellites tested on Parabolic Flight

Experiment preparation
Experiment preparation

As part of a joint parabolic flight campaign of the organizations CNES, DLR and ESA from 27 April to 8 May 2015 the Chair of Space Technology has tested the separation of a swarm of highly miniaturized satellites in weightlessness with the experiment TUPEX-5. Each of the four dummy satellites has a mass of only 330 gram. Over three days, a total of 93 parabolas were flown by an Airbus A310, each with about 22 seconds of weightlessness. The results will feed into future satellite developments at the Chair of Space Technology.

Press: Picosatelliten erfolgreich getestet (12.5.2015) [more...]

Girls' Day 2015 at the Chair of Space Technology


On 23 April 2015, a group of pupils visited the Chair of Space Technology in the context of the nationwide "Girls' Day”. On this day, pupils have the opportunity to visit technical and scientific universities and companies and learn about their study programmes and focus of research. The Chair of Space Technology took the chance to introduce its different research projects and study programme in general to a group of 20 girls. Besides this general information, the girls were offered a tour of the labs, where they could take a direct glance at satellites in the making and see the development of the SEAR rover. As a special highlight, the group could listen to the signals BEESAT-2 sent during a live flyover.

Master of Space Engineering has been launched


The Chair of Space Technology launched  a new international Master’s programme in space engineering with the Introductory Event for the students on 13 April 2015.

Students from 10 different countries are participating in the first intake of the programme which aims to educate systems engineers equipped with the knowledge to become leaders in the   space industry.

Master of Space Engineering is highly project oriented and focuses on Space System Design, Space Technology, Space Management & Operation and Intercultural Communication. Students have the chance to be involved in challenging space projects, working within intercultural teams, whilst benefiting from the worldwide leading expertise and network of TU Berlin in the field of space technology.

Two-stage sounding rocket DECAN presented at DLR Space Administration in Bonn

Presentation of DECAN two-stage sounding rocket at DLR Space Administration in Bonn

Tuesday, 31. March 2015

Three TU Berlin representatives presented the DECAN project at DLR Space Administration in Bonn. The eight participating universities of the DLR funded STERN program (TU Berlin, ZARM Bremen, University of Applied Science Bremen, TU Braunschweig, TU Dresden, University of Stuttgart, TU München and University of Applied Sciences Augsburg) were invited to present the progress of their rocket projects to senior representatives of DLR Space Administration and experts of DLR research facilities in Oberpfaffenhofen, Lampoldshausen and Trauen.

In the frame of the project, aerospace students of the Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics develop, manufacture and flight test a two-stage sounding rocket. This project offers hand-on education in the field of propulsion and launch system development and aids in training future aerospace engineers in Germany. Hence all key development steps, ranging from initial design to manufacturing and testing, are performed by students under professional supervision.

DECAN two-stage sounding rocket

A special highlight of the event was the exhibition of the TU Berlin two-stage sounding rocket. The DECAN rocket with its length of 5.10 meters has a maximum take-off mass of 120 kg and is able to transport a small CanSat payload to an altitude of 7 km. The lower-stage will be powered by an environmentally friendly hot water rocket motor and the upper-stage will be accelerated by a solid propellant rocket motor. After the launch of the experimental sounding rocket DECAN-X in April 2014, the flight test of the DECAN lower-stage is scheduled in summer 2015. The rocket is intended to reach an apogee of one kilometer and shall demonstrate the function of essential subsystems like the recovery and telemetry system.

The DECAN project is supported by experts from DLR, Aerospace Institute and TÜV as well as external quality assurance specialists.

BEESAT-4 flight model is assembled

Wednesday, 25. March 2015


At the Chair of Space Technology, another flight model of the BEESAT series was assembled on 25.03.2015. The picosallite BEESAT-4 will perform precise positioning and orbit determination, using a GPS receiver, thus enabling formation flights with multiple picosallites.

In the following phase, the software will be finalised and environment tests will be prepared. The environment tests will be done on acceptance level, since qualification has been done with BEESAT-1 and BEESAT-2.

Further, the the calibration campaign for several sensors is in preparation. Six sunsors, three magnetometers, two gyroscopes, one accelerometer and multiple temperature sensors will fly on BEESAT-4.

The launch of BEESAT-4 ist scheduled for the first quarter of 2016.

Solar eclipse event at the Chair of Space Technology

Friday, 20. March 2015


On March 20th 2015, the Chair of Space Technology invited interested students and staff to the roof top of the institute to watch the penumbral solar eclipse. Several setups were provided for the observation: besides simple "SoFi" glasses and self-built pinhole cameras, a telescope was set up. The most impressive setup was a projection of the eclipse via a mirror system.

The first attendees arrived just on time to see the moon "meet" the sun at 9:39 a.m. At the maximum eclipse (74%, 10:47 a.m.) the setups were surrounded by a crowd of people. The event was over at 11:57 a.m.

Contrary to weather prediction, the sky was clear and cloudless, which made this event a day to remember.

In Berlin, the next penumbral solar eclipse can be seen on June 10th 2021, the next total solar eclipse will happen on September 3th, 2081.

Dr. Christian Weber, translated by Martin Buscher

Solar eclipse event at the Chair of Space Technology

Team SEAR takes part in SpaceBot Cup 2015

Monday, 08. December 2014


On 08.12.2014, the German Aerospace Center DLR invited ten teams from Germany to the kick-off for the SpaceBot Cup 2015. In the national space robotics contest, robots must accomplish typical tasks of a planetary exploration scenario autonomously. Team SEAR from the Chair of Space Technology will also participate in the contest. The rover SEAR is developed by a team of students that is supported by scientists. For the SpaceBot Cup 2013, already 50 students have worked on the rover in lecture courses, theses or on voluntary basis. The contest ist scheduled for November 2015 in Bonn. This year, the rover SEAR is accompanied by an unmanned aerial vehicle that is being developed by the Aritificial Intelligence Laboratory at TU Berlin.

Chair of Space Technology celebrates comet landing

Wednesday, 12. November 2014


In the last week, the first comet landing of a manmade space object was celebrated. The Chair of Space Technology took part in several events to pay tribute to this pioneering success:

On the day before landing the DLR_School_Lab_Berlin invited about 1000 pupils to the Urania (Berlin). Cem Avsar from the Chair of Space Technology moderated the event during which the key facts of the mission were presented and a virtual tour through our universe was undertaken. At the same time Martin Buscher gave a lecture on the long way of Rosetta to the comet “Tschuri”. This lecture took place as part of the MathInside series of the Research Center MATHEON. The scope was to illustrate the orbit mechanics and maneuvers of Rosetta and to answer the various questions of the pupils.

On the day of landing the DLR institute of Planetary Research again invited to the Urania to witness the landing of lander Philae on the comet. Again, Cem Avsar did the moderation and introduced many distinguised speakers like Prof. Dieter B. Herrmann (astronomer), Prof. Ralf Jaumann (DLR) and Harro Zimmer (journalist).

At the Chair of Space Technology students and researchers also gathered to follow the live-stream of the landing.

DLR news: www.dlr.de/dlr/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-10252/356_read-12131/

Green Day at the Chair of Space Technology

Wednesday, 12. November 2014


On November 12, 2014, a group of pupils visited the Chair of Space Technology in the context of the nationwide “Green Day”. On this day, pupils have the opportunity to visit universities and companies and learn about green aspects of different study programs. The Chair of Space Technology chose space debris as the topic for the event. Martin Buscher presented an introduction into the topic and into the impacts of space debris on future space missions. The participating pupils were introduced to current studies on the prevention of space debris (Thomas Meschede talked about iBOSS) and had the chance to propose their own ideas. The event ended with a tour of the Chair’s labs where current projects were presented and questions were answered by Philipp Werner and Danilo Költzsch.

Cooperation with the German Center for Satellite Communication

Monday, 20. October 2014


On October 20th, the cooperation between the Chair of Space Technology and the German Center for Satellite Communication (DeSK, Deutsches Zentrum für Satellitenkommunikation e.V.) was initiated.
DeSK will build up an UHF station in Backnang to enable another access to evaluating satellite telemetry for the research project S-Net. Furthermore, DeSK will serve as a multiplicator with its experience and expertise and increase the S-Net project's visibility by public relations in the field of satellite communication.
The project S-Net is funded by the German Aerospace Center (DLR, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V.) and pursues the goal to demonstrate inter-satellite communication of satellite clusters on the basis of nanosatellites.

Press conference in nanosatellite research center

Wednesday, 03. September 2014


On Monday, representatives of the media were invited to a press conference at the Chair of Space Technology. The occasion was the opening of the new nanosatellite research center at the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. On 330 square meters total, a mission control room, a satellite integration facility and several work and briefing areas. In future, the many satellites of the Chair of Space Technology shall be integrated, tested and operated there. President of TU Berlin, Prof. Dr. Christian Thomsen gave a speech on the importance of small satellites in research and education. Head of the Chair of Space Technology, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Klaus Brieß presented the space activities of TU Berlin and showed the new nanosatellite research center to the guests.



Neues Forschungszentrum für Nanosatelliten der TU Berlin

Ein Herz für Nano-Satelliten

Winzlinge für den Weltraum

Der Satellit für die Handtasche

TU Berlin eröffnet Forschungszentrum für Nanosatelliten

Mini-Würfel sausen auf Datensuche um die Erde

TU hat neues Forschungszentrum für Kleinstsatelliten

Forschungszentrum für Kleinstsatelliten an TU

Mini-Würfel sausen auf Datensuche um die Erde

Spitzenreiter im Nanosatelliten-Bauen

Beitrag rbb Abendschau



Spacecamp pupils visit the Chair of Space Technology

Monday, 04. August 2014


On Monday, around 20 pupils from the ages of 12 to 17 visited the Chair of Space Technology. The group from the FEZ Spacecamp is developing a CanSat during the summer holidays to participate in an ESA competition. The pupils with thirst for knowledge came to learn more about the design of satellites. Cem Avsar showed the pupils what possibilities students at the chair have to participate in practical projects. Merlin Barschke explained the challenges of spacecraft design using a model of the satellite TechnoSat. Tobias Pfeffer held a presentation on a CanSat that was developed by students at the chair. A tour through the chair and many exciting questions from the pupils rounded off the event. For the future, the FEZ orbitall and TU Berlin hope for a tight collaboration in the education of young people.

Guest lecture for pupils at orbitall

Wednesday, 28. May 2014


On the evening of 28th of May 2014 the DLR School Lab and orbitall invited pupils to the event “Alex goes space” in order to follow the live broadcast of Alexander Gerst’s mission to ISS. Cem Avsar gave a presentation about the International Space Station and the everyday life of astronauts.




Launch party for the research centre of nanosatellites

Wednesday, 21. May 2014

The Chair of Space Technology celebrated the opening of the research centre of nanosatellites on 21th of May 2014. Equipped with the mission control centre, laboratories for satellite integration and offices, the development and operation of small satellites should be expedited at TU Berlin.



The Chair of Space Technology at ILA 2014

Tuesday, 20. May 2014


From 20th to 25th of May the visitors of ILA 2014 were able to look closely at the activities of the Chair of Space Technology. This year the focus areas of the exhibition were the small satellites BEESAT, the sounding rocket DECAN, the rover project SEAR and the introduction of the new international Master’s programme "Master of Space Engineering".




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