Greetings from Berlin!

The 8th IAA Symposium was held in Berlin in April. The event consisted of lectures, social events and companies presenting products and services. The Aalto-1 ADACS (Attitude Determination and Control System) guys Tuomas and Hannu had a chance to visit this interesting city and the conference.

In the first evening there was a reception event. There we met Tom who offered us a chance to visit the Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin) the next day.

TU Berlin is one of the largest technical universities in Germany where also the famous Wernher von Braun used to study . Maria and Anssi from our project were also visiting Berlin and came along. Here we are at the roof of the aerospace department. The antenna in the background is used for satellite communications.

From the left: Tom, Anssi, Maria, Hannu, Tuomas

Tom showed us also their mission control room. Let’s hope we have something similar someday!

One of the coolest things during the conference was definitely a live demonstration of satellite attitude control. Once a satellite was in communication distance it sent us live video footage via a ground station to a TV screen. It was tumbling quite badly and we tried to stabilize it by sending manual control commands from a laptop back to the satellite. Not an easy thing to do with lag due to the vast distance to the satellite! Finally we got it stabilized and saw some magnificent views of the Mediterranean before it flew out of the communication antenna’s reach. Not the best way to control a satellite but definitely the most fun!

Although we had learned a lot and met many interesting people, there was still a problem: we were still missing an ADACS from our satellite. So we met once again with Tom as we had heard that his company, Berlin Space Technologies, is designing one for Nanosatellites. Looks like we can do some further co-operation with them in the future. Let’s see what happens!