Student Technology in Space

MOVE-II is a small satellite which was launched into space in December 2018. MOVE-II is a CubeSat, a tiny satellite with dimensions of 10 x 10 x 13 cm and a mass of 1.2 kg. It is the second satellite of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the follow-up project of First-MOVE. The name MOVE is an acronym and stands for Munich Orbital Verification Experiment. The number “II” implies that it is the second of its series.

The CubeSat is developed in cooperation between the Chair of Astronautics (LRT) and the Scientific Workgroup for Rocketry and Space Flight (WARR). About 60 Bachelor and Master Students from various faculties, backed by two PhD students, are currently working on the satellite, mostly in their free time.

In the space industry, new technologies are usually verified in precursor missions, before used within expensive projects. Our satellite is built for a similar purpose. We are developing, implementing and verifying a so-called satellite bus, meaning all parts of the satellite required to run the payload. This includes the communication system, the on-board data handling system, the attitude control system, the power supply, the structure and the thermal control system. Besides that, the performance and degradation of a new generation of solar cells, which have never been in outer space before, is investigated by our satellite as its scientific mission.

MOVE-II is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi), following a decision of the German Bundestag, via the German Aerospace Center (DLR) with funding grant number 50 RM 1509. The idea of this educational project is to give students the opportunity to complement their theoretical education within lectures by the experience of working on a real satellite. We hope that with MOVE-II a next generation of experienced space engineers is risen. Our CubeSat was launched by a Falcon-9 rocket in December 2018 into a 575 km, sun-synchronous low earth orbit.

Institutions and Organizations:
Mission Tasks:
Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy via the DLR
Mission bus verification, Solar Cell measurements