OAPES-CM - Advanced Small Satellite Operation


Lines of research


  • Thermal control of satellites
  • Structural analysis of space structures
  • Attitude control
  • Design, construction and operation of small satellites
  • Design and construction of payloads and scientific instruments for ESA missions


  • Embedded and real-time systems
  • Cyber-physical systems
  • High integrity systems


1. Thermal subsystem. Modeling, updating and contribution to integration.

The development of a tool that allows the adjustment and updating of the mathematical models of the thermal subsystem is of great help to know the behavior of a system when facing a change in its boundary conditions and to determine the properties to be introduced in the mathematical model in order to be able to predict the behavior of the system at all times. For this purpose, the data of the thermal behaviour in orbit of the UPMSat-2 satellite received at the ground station will be used.

2. Attitude control subsystem. Modeling, updating and contribution to the integration.

The UPMSat-2 attitude control has never been tested in orbit and it is necessary to validate the simulations, in particular in terms of orientation accuracy and angular velocity control capability. The calibration of the magnetometers also needs to be reviewed, since on the ground there may be local magnetic fields that alter the calibration, and the operation of the onboard equipment itself may alter the residual magnetic field of the satellite. Finally, there is the possibility that the simulations have not considered all the satellite perturbations and the attitude control does not act as expected. All this will be carried out based on the data received from the UPMSat-2 satellite.

3. Electric power subsystem. Modeling, updating and contribution to integration.

The correlation of the power transmitted by the solar panels, whose operating point coincides with that of the battery, will be studied with the results of the simulation established with the analytical models developed. The influence of temperature on the operation of the solar panels will also be analyzed, and the correlation of the results with those of the models already developed will be studied. Finally, the influence of the accumulated radiation on the solar panels will be analyzed for its correlation with the measurements of their IV curve made under solar irradiance (AM1.5 spectrum), and its correlation with the behavior in space (AM0 spectrum).

4. Ground station. Integration with subsystems and support.

The aim is to develop a complete and modular software for the small satellite ground station, going beyond the one developed for UPMSat-2. Following an analysis of the ground station requirements, an open software architecture will be developed. The architecture should fulfill the requirements and take advantage of current technologies and tools. It should also support fundamental non-functional requirements such as availability, fault tolerance and security. To implement this architecture, container-based components will be developed using open source tools such as Docker or Kubernetes.

5. Automatic generation of reliable code and validation based on component models.

The aim is to develop an integrated set of tools to automatically generate and validate flight software for the space sector. The objective is to reduce development time and cost to meet the requirements of the NewSpace model. This will be achieved by adopting a model-based approach and automatic code generation. The experience gained in the development of the UPMSat-2 satellite will be used to improve the model architecture and code development processes. The ultimate goal is to achieve a high level of technological maturity (TRL) in the toolchain in order to enable automatic code generation with the necessary reliability for space systems.

Our officies

The University Institute of Microgravity "Ignacio Da Riva" is part of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. We have one site at the Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería Aeronáutica y del Espacio, within the Moncloa campus, and another at the Montegacedo campus.

Campus Moncloa / Montegacedo

📍 Plaza Cardenal Cisneros, 3 28040 Madrid, España

📍 Calle de los Ciruelos S/N, 28223 Pozuelo, España

📧 secretaria.idr@upm.es

📧 Iac.idr@upm.es

📞+34 9106 76072

📞+34 9106 76073