Members: Universidad Politécncia de Madrid, Universidad de Cantabria, IKERLAN, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
Funding: Comunidad de Madrid


Technological relevance: The future of space activities is placed on the so­called NewSpace (or Agile Space) based on cooperative satellite systems (constellations such as Planet, Spire, Astrocast, Starlink, OneWeb, in applications such as formation flight, fractional payloads, etc.) using satellites of small size, which accelerates and facilitates their development, manufacture and launching into orbit, with reduction of costs. For these systems to be competitive or even viable, advanced modeling of the satellite and its operations is required. The UPMSat-2, whose recent launch into orbit took place on September 3, along with 7 other satellites of similar size and characteristics, is an opportunity to advance this concept and push in this direction.

General objectives: The objective is to advance in the development of the operation of small experimental satellites, preparing the field for the introduction of artificial intelligence techniques and thus contribute to producing a disruptive advance in this field. In order to achieve this, great advances are still needed in this sector in at least two areas, on the one hand in the modeling of the systems involved and on the other in the automation of operations (which is based on a suitable modeling). The objective is to facilitate constellation operations and improve functionality, reconfiguration of the satellite network and updating of the on-board SW, both for satellites already in orbit and for future launches. The idea is to shorten software development time by automatically generating it from updated models with telemetry data.

Interdisciplinarity: To carry out the proposed objective, two types of experiences are needed: that of one of the groups, IDR in relation to Area 2 (…, TECHNOLOGIES.. OF SPACE) lines “Satellite monitoring” and “Access technologies space and demonstration in orbit for small payloads ”, and that of the other STRAST group in relation to Area 3 (INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES… AND HIGH VALUE ADDED SERVICES), lines “ Computer systems and information processing “and” Modeling and applied simulation “.
Expected results: With the help of the data received from UPMSat-2, it is expected to develop updated high-precision mathematical models of the relevant subsystems in flight (thermal behavior, attitude control, energy) of interest for the following missions (UPMSat-3). And to develop an operations control system supported by a database that allows to design and carry out the operations automatically, and an automatic code generation system that allows updating the on-board code, thus optimizing the operation of the the whole system.

Potential impact: The impact can already be seen by the interest shown in the results of this project by the leading companies in the Spanish space sector, in view of its profitability for a subsequent UPMSat-3 mission with technology demonstration applications. Society in general will also benefit through the participation programs of all kinds of students “SEND YOUR NAME TO SPACE” and Citizen Science program collaborating in the collection of data through AMSAT and SatNOGS