Design and Simulation of Micro Satellites

Lecturer (assistant)
Duration4 SWS
TermSommersemester 2021
Language of instructionEnglish
Position within curriculaSee TUMonline
DatesSee TUMonline


  • 22.04.2021 14:00-18:00 Online: Videokonferenz / Zoom etc.
  • 29.04.2021 14:00-18:00 Online: Videokonferenz / Zoom etc.
  • 06.05.2021 14:00-18:00 Online: Videokonferenz / Zoom etc.
  • 20.05.2021 14:00-18:00 Online: Videokonferenz / Zoom etc.
  • 27.05.2021 14:00-18:00 Online: Videokonferenz / Zoom etc.
  • 10.06.2021 14:00-18:00 Online: Videokonferenz / Zoom etc.
  • 17.06.2021 14:00-18:00 Online: Videokonferenz / Zoom etc.
  • 24.06.2021 14:00-18:00 Online: Videokonferenz / Zoom etc.
  • 01.07.2021 14:00-18:00 Online: Videokonferenz / Zoom etc.
  • 08.07.2021 14:00-18:00 Online: Videokonferenz / Zoom etc.
  • 15.07.2021 14:00-18:00 Online: Videokonferenz / Zoom etc.

Admission information

See TUMonline
Note: Sie müssen sich in TUMonline als Student*in identifizieren.


After attending this class, the students will be able to name the main subsystems of a satellite and understand the interaction of flight software and subsystems. They know common communication protocols and are able to design and configure a communication network to connect subsystems. Students understand the relevance and applications of simulations for satellite verification. The will be able to link the test phases of a satellite to suitable simulative verification methods. The students are able to simulate the communication between subsystems of a satellite on a simulator. Also, they can add new functions to a simulated subsystem on their own.


The high cost of spacecraft components and the impossibility to accurately replicate the orbital environment of a satellite make it necessary to simulate satellites and their environment using software such as Simulink, SimTG, etc. This lab will introduce you to the need for simulations and their application in spaceflight. Furthermore, you will model and simulate a subsystem of a satellite yourself and connect it to the onboard computer of the FLP2 testbench. FLP is short for Flexible Low Earth Orbit Platform, a microsatellite bus offered by Airbus. The first six sessions teach the architecture of microsatellites as well as the details of the FLP2 testbench, being operated by TUM in Ottobrunn/Taufkirchen. In the following five sessions, the participants carry out project work, the results of which are demonstrated at the end. Session 1: Introduction FLP2-satellite and testbench, demo of the testbench Session 2: RMAP protocol, demo of communication via RMAP Session 3: Space missions, demo of commanding Session 4: Spacecraft subsystems, demo of simulated subsystems Session 5: Simulation methods, demo of FLP2 simulation Session 6: Flight Software, demo of FLP2 programming Session 7-10: Finding and developing your own projects Session 11: Presentation and demonstration of your projects === Export restrictions === Since the FLP2 testbench is located in the premises of Airbus in Taufkirchen, we have to comply with the access restrictions there for citizens from certain countries. Depending on the current restrictions, entering the premises may be impossible or only working with the FLP2 testbench may be impossible. If you belong to one of the states from the following country lists, please contact the teaching personnel as soon as possible. Country list from the German customs office: Country list from the EU Anti Terrorism Regulation: Despite these restrictions, the following still holds true: Successful participation in the internship is possible even without access to the testbench. In this case, the teachers will demonstrate the FLP2 testbench to you via video conference. =========================


Helpful prerequisites (not obligatory): Introduction to Spaceflight (0249994240), Spacecraft Design (0000001404) or Spacecraft Technology 1 (240571821), programming skills in C++ or Python, experience in Simulink modelling

Teaching and learning methods

Participants get together in groups of two and work their way into the simulation environment and the embedded systems provided during the first six sessions using reference examples presented by the teacher via presentation and live demonstration. Supervision by the teacher will take place in presence or via video conference, depending on the external circumstances. The examples include the demonstration of the simulation environment FLP2 testbench at the Airbus Taufkirchen site. At the end of the first six sessions there will be a written test. In the following five weeks, the participants carry out project work largely independently. The participants will work on their own project in groups of two. In order to control the progress of the project, a Preliminary Design Review takes place in the tenth week, in which the groups of two share their current status and critically discuss the progress of the others' work. Depending on the external circumstances, the project work takes place in the rooms of the LRG Department in Ottobrunn, in the premises of Airbus in Taufkirchen or in home office. The teacher is available either in person or via video conference for questions and assistance.The results are to be demonstrated at the end on the FLP2 testbench and documented in a report.


The module examination takes the form of a laboratory assignment. This includes a theoretical part in which the basic knowledge from the first seven sessions and the theoretical foundations of the group project are tested, and a practical part in which the result of the group project work is assessed: Theory part: a written test (30 minutes duration) to check the learning success of the first seven dates in the form of short questions. For the final presentation, each group also has to prepare a two-page handout presenting the theoretical principles and steps taken in the practical project. Practical part: practical execution of a satellite development and simulation in small groups, documented by a final presentation (15 minutes duration + discussion). The grading of the module results 60% from the evaluation in the theory part and 40% from the evaluation in the practical part.

Recommended literature

Eickhoff, Jens: Simulating Spacecraft Systems, 2009,