Recap of SatNEx Summer School 2019 hosted by EnduroSat

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SatNEx Summer School 2019 finished and we would like to share a brief recap of the 4 amazing days.

Day 1:
During the first day of the summer school, the students learned some of the historical background of their profession thanks to Peter Garland who went through RF engineering history starting from Marconi and the very first radio transmissions and reaching the modern high throughput satellites!

They also had an insight into SmallSat ground station architecture and logic from Giovanni Pandolfi – CTO of LeafSpace, who took an “old school” approach with a whiteboard presentation.

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On top of that, the participants had their fair share of practical exercises. They were firsthand acquainted with EnduroSat transceivers and saw some of their operations and capabilities through the actual module and with the help of our RF engineer Ivan Nedelev.

Day 2:
A satellite by itself cannot deliver much without a high-end ground segment! Day 2 started with a complete summary of modern ground stations architecture and operations from Nader Alagha, ESA technical lead. Nader shared a lot of insights with the students of the program but also gave them some assignments to work out on their own.

And of course, the main reason for having satellites is their applications on the ground. Marco Lisi made sure that the students are quite aware of modern and future trends when it comes to using satellites together with ground-based sensors and platforms to provide a next generation of services (RF and otherwise).

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On top of all that, the afternoon session was dedicated to assembling an EnduroSat CubeSat with our mechanical engineer Kiril Kirov. Thanks to him, everyone was left with a good understanding of EnduroSat’s subsystems and components.

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Day 3:
A major focus of our school’s third day was the “cutting edge” in terms of traditional high throughput satellite systems.
Alberto Gilnesi from ESTEC started the day with an overview of old, modern and future GEO satellites, their hardware and software and their evolution towards ever-higher performance.
Glyn Thomas from Airbus complemented the students’ knowledge by going through the cutting-edge systems on the market and their performance at the moment.

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A highly anticipated event in the afternoon was the visit of EnduroSat’s RF Lab! Ivan Nedelev and Alexander Kolev showed the students our equipment and gave them the chance to test some of our comm modules and antennas firsthand!

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We had a hard time getting the students out of the Lab and on to their guided tour of Sofia, but after a tiring (and very informative) walking tour, they could enjoy a traditional Bulgarian dinner (and drinks 😉 )!

Day 4:
Despite of the late dinner, everyone was on time for the last day of the school, which started with the software layer of high throughput satellites. Prof. Ana Perez went through the challenges there and the applications of new technologies such as A.I. and neural networks to achieving unprecedented efficiency not only for them, but also for the new generations of “Mega Constellations”.

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The concluding talk of the school was delivered by Ivan Nedelev and Alexander Kolev, who introduced the students to the cutting edge comm. subsystems and antennas available for the SmallSat market as well as prospects in the near future.

The students came to our school working on concrete topics and already having a high expertise in their respective fields (mostly focused on traditional BigSat) but throughout our four days together, we hope that we managed to broaden their horizons, give them a lot of practical knowledge and complement their expertise by showing them something more of the NewSpace systems, their logic and applications!

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