Subject Area Space Technology

Research and Research Focus

In the subject area of space technology, we have the following main research areas:

  • Planetary and orbital exploration (systems engineering, mission optimisation, space payload and component development, crewed  spaceflight).
  • Linking know-how in the areas of bionic, additively manufactured structures, adaptive optics and thermal control methods as well as neural position and trajectory control systems.
  • Supporting partners and customers with expertise in the design of space missions and their components as well as their analysis and qualification through trials

 

Fields of competence of our research and development are:

  • Development and implementation of micro-satellite missions
  • Structural and thermal design
  • Mission design and trajectory optimisation
  • Own space flight operation (ground station in the amateur radio range)
  • Qualification of space components and systems (thermal vacuum chambers, shakers)
  • Pre-development and testing of planetary probes
  • Pre-development and testing of life support systems
  • Simulation of planetary environments (planetary simulation chamber)
  • Experiments on sounding rockets

For the areas of structure and themal, classical development tools of the industry are used (NASTRAN & ESATAN). Corresponding test facilities are available in the form of shakers and thermal vacuum chambers (incl. solar simulator with kinematics module).

Further details on the research networks can be found in the section Research and Projects.

Projects within the Subject Area

DAISY

DAISY

DAISY

Closed Agricultural Life Support System Demonstrator

In the DAISY research project, a hardware/software test environment for hybrid life support systems (LSS) for future manned space missions is being developed.

For this purpose, a small closed plant growth chamber (1m²) is developed in which water supply, temperature, pressure, lighting and gas composition can be controlled.

The chamber will first be used to characterize plants as LSS components. In a second step it will be coupled with a LSS simulation to simulate manned space missions with plants as "hardware in the loop". The other LSS components will be mapped numerically.

The goals are the characterization of plants as components of life support systems and the validation of such closed LSS for manned space missions.

Project Data

Duration
Since April 2019

Project Type
Research Project

Grantor
K2 - Senatskommission für Forschung und Entwicklung

Bearer
FH Aachen

Funding FH Aachen UAS
20.000 €

Project Lead

Ilse Holbeck, B. Eng.

Supervision

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Markus Czupalla
Hohenstaufenallee 6
52064 Aachen
Raum O2101
czupalla(at)fh-aachen.de
T: +49.241.6009 52362
F: +49.241.6009 52680

Partner

DLR Köln

TU München

ITS

ITS

Infused Thermal Solutions (ITS)

Description

Infused Thermal Solutions involves a method of passive thermal control to thermally stabilize structural components without the use of active heating and cooling systems. The ITS concept combines the properties of latent heat storage (phase change material - PCM) with additive manufacturing processes. This results in an integral structure, with no additional components required. The latent heat storage material is embedded in the cavities of additively manufactured structure. This can reduce the system mass or significantly stabilize the system thermally due to low relative additional mass.

The project goal is to fabricate and qualify an ITS demonstrator, verified by structural and thermal analysis. In addition, the feasibility of additive manufacturing of double-walled, gas-tight, complex-shaped structures with integrated grid support structure will be qualified. In spring 2021, the first ITS demonstrator will be built using the 3D printing process together with the GoetheLab at Aachen University of Applied Sciences. This will then be inspected and subjected to extensive testing.

Project clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cjOHBKTOZM

Award of the Research Prize 2020 to Prof. Dr. Markus Czupalla for ITS:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZnxhpJWn4E

 

Project Data

Duration
04/2019 to 03/2022

Project Type
Research/Cooperation project

Funding Code
50RP1975

Grantor
Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)

Bearer
Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie

Funding FH Aachen UAS
400.000 €

Project Lead and
Supervision

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Markus Czupalla
Hohenstaufenallee 6
52064 Aachen
Room O2101
czupalla(at)fh-aachen.de
T: +49.241.6009 52362
F: +49.241.6009 52680

Staff

Dominik Wild, M.Sc.
Gebäude HOH
Room O2105
Hohenstaufenallee 6
52064 Aachen
wild(at)fh-aachen.de
T: +49.241.6009 52613

Partner

GoetheLab FH Aachen

KRONOS

KRONOS

KRONOS

Cold gas-based demonstrator with onboard controlled operation system

KRONOS lays the foundation for formation-flying, cooperative optical payloads.

Interdisciplinary design methods of satellite subsystems (propulsion, attitude control, power supply, communication) are embedded in an orbital 3D simulation environment.

The development of a 2D cold gas demonstrator allows to verify hardware solutions (propulsion, sensors, control) as well as to validate the attitude control part of the simulation. The selected attitude control concepts will then be demonstrated on parabolic flights using a 3D demonstrator.

Very precise attitude control systems are required for future formation-flying, cooperative optical payloads. The necessary numerical design procedures will be developed within KRONOS and verified on 2D and 3D demonstrators.

To the project page

Project Data

Duration
04/2019 to 03/2021

Project Type
Student Project

Grantor
K1 - Senatskommission für Studium und Lehre

Bearer
FH Aachen

Funding FH Aachen UAS
10.000 €

Project Lead

Tom Theisen

Marcus Mohren

Supervision

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Markus Czupalla
Hohenstaufenallee 6
52064 Aachen
Raum O2101
czupalla(at)fh-aachen.de
T: +49.241.6009 52362
F: +49.241.6009 52680

ORCS

Orbital Relais Command System (ORCS)

The Orbital Relay Command System (ORCS) student project is based at the FH Aachen Space Operations Facility (FHASOF) at Faculty 6 Aerospace Engineering.

For the project, the 18-member team cooperates with the European Space Agency (ESA). For example, FHASOF was most recently approved as the official experimenter for ESA's OPS-SAT small satellite, which will be transported into Earth orbit as early as the end of 2019.

The experiment, consisting of the software for the satellite and the ground station, will allow students to send commands from our ground station to the satellite, which will then forward them to a LEGO robot we have designed. In addition to programming the software, this LEGO robot will be designed, built, and equipped with various sensors. In addition, the ground station will be upgraded to achieve an ESA-compatible state. In the process, students will gain formative experience in programming, systems engineering, and satellite mission operations.

For further information visit the project page or contact fhasof(at)fh-aachen.de.

Project Lead

Ian Luca Benecken

Hannah Tessa Walther (Deputy)

David René Krieger (Deputy)

Supervision

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Bernd Dachwald
Hohenstaufenallee 6
52064 Aachen
Raum O2103
dachwald(at)fh-aachen.de
T: T: +49.241.6009 52343

Supervising Engineers

Dipl.-Ing. Engelbert Plescher
Hohenstaufenallee 6
52064 Aachen
Raum O2105
plescher(at)fh-aachen.de
T: +49.241.6009 52394
F: +49.241.6009 52335

Dipl.-Ing. Sacha Tholl
tholl(at)fh-achen.de
T: +49.163.7546661

STAR TRACK

STAR TRACK

The STAR TRACK student project is based at the FH Aachen Space Operations Facility (FHASOF) at Faculty 6 Aerospace Engineering.

STAR TRACK pursues the digitalization of the FH Aachen ground station.

This will allow us to operate our ground station from anywhere in the world and access the satellite data from home. Previously, tracking satellites required operators to be on-site to operate the ground station, but thanks to an interface that allows remote control, operators will then be location-independent.

For more information, please visit the project page or simply contact fhasof(at)fh-aachen.de.

Project Lead

Hannah Tessa Walther

Supervision

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Bernd Dachwald
Hohenstaufenallee 6
52064 Aachen
Raum O2103
dachwald(at)fh-aachen.de
T: +49.241.6009 52343

Dipl.-Ing. Sacha Tholl
Hohenstaufenallee 6
52064 Aachen
tholl@fh-aachen.de
T: +49 (0)163 754 666 1

µMoon

µMoon

Recreation of an Enceladus Plume

µMoon is a student project at FH Aachen University of Applied Sciences participating in the REXUS program of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Swedish Space Agency SNSA.

This program enables every year several student teams from Europe to perform an experiment with a sounding rocket at an altitude of about 80 kilometers in microgravity and low residual atmosphere.

The basis for the experiment is a discovery made by the Cassini space probe in 2005 during its research mission on Saturn: Fountains emerge from the ice crust at the south pole of the moon Enceladus, ejecting ice particles and water vapor into space at high velocity.

The discovery of these so-called "plumes" laid the foundation for a hitherto completely new interest in the moon. Thus, under the ice surface is an ocean of liquid water with conditions that could favor the emergence of microbial life similar to that on Earth. However, the extent to which these assumptions are correct also depends on whether the plumes function as hypothesized, making them an interesting subject of current and future investigation.

To confirm the fluid dynamics of the plumes, which has not yet been done, 19 students from UAS and RWTH are developing an experimental module that will consist, at its core, of an evaporation chamber and a convergent-divergent nozzle designed to generate a supersonic flow similar to that on Enceladus.

For more information about the project, the background and the REXUS program you can send us an email to micromoon(at)fh-aachen.de.

To the page of the project

Projektdaten

Duration
06/2020 to 03/2022

Project Type
Student Project

Bearer
REXUS/BEXUS (ESA, DLR, SNSA)

Grantor
DLR/ZARM

Funding FH Aachen UAS
14.620 €

Project Lead

Karina Szych

Christopher Turck

Supervision

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Bernd Dachwald
Hohenstaufenallee 6
52064 Aachen
Raum O2103
dachwald(at)fh-aachen.de
T: +49.241.6009 52343

Fabian Baader, M.Sc.
Gebäude Boxgraben 100
Hohenstaufenallee 6
52064 Aachen
fabian.baader@fh-aachen.de
T: +49.241.6009 52862

Partner

REXUS/BEXUS
(ESA, DLR, SNSA,
ZARM, SSC)

CubeSat

CubeSat


At the department, two miniature satellites have already been built to the CubeSat standard and launched into orbit. The second of these, COMPASS-2, was a 3U CubeSat equipped with a resistor sail to prevent space debris and innovative flexible solar cells for in-orbit demonstration. The department operates its own ground station to operate and support amateur radio CubeSat missions. Many international collaborations exist here as well as a cooperation with ESA.

To the project page

Levity

Levity Space Systems - ESKIMO

The development of the satellite aims at cost efficiency through standardization and utilization of already available components. Together with an electric propulsion system, the platform is intended to provide a universal infrastructure for upcoming generations of small satellites, especially in the lunar range.

Levity is designing a small satellite that can serve the commercial near-Earth sector on the one hand and fly to the moon on the other. Beginning in 2022, European spaceflight will offer the first commercial opportunity for small satellites to reach geostationary orbit. Levity envisions launching as a secondary payload on Ariane 6 to accelerate to the Moon using an electric propulsion system after successful separation from the rocket from Geostationary Orbit. This will create the first commercial infrastructure to the Moon for small satellites.

The homepage of Levity Space Systems is to be found here

Further Projects (more detailed information to follow)

  • CLSSC
  • MPI - ICPU
  • Rosetta Landestudie
  • STERN

Completed Projects