Curriculum of Space Challenges

Space Challenges 2015 consists of TEN thematic weeks, which will cover the basics of all Space-related areas including the business side. The weeks are scheduled as follows:

1 & 221 September - 04 OctoberAerospace Engineering
305 - 11 OctoberRobotics and A.I.
412 - 18 OctoberNanotechnology
5 & 619 october - 01 NovemberSpace Science and Exploration
702 - 08 NovemberSpace Applications
809 - 15 NovemberAstrobiology and Space Medicine
916 - 22 NovemberEntrepreneurship and Team Projects Finals

Week 1 and 2: Aerospace Engineering

WS1: Building and organizing space team
WS2: Mission Objectives and Team Requirements

  • Introduction to Aerospace Engineering
  • What is a spacecraft: System level engineering and architecture
  • How does it function: Subsystems, integration and testing
  • Mission Design: Concurrent Mission Design, Concurrent Mission Engineering
  • Spacecraft technology: State-of-the-art projects – extremely small VS extremely large projects/CubeSat technology, swarm satellites
  • Rocket science: Rocket engines and Space propulsion systems and the next- generation launch systems
  • Space stations: Current technology (International Space Station)
  • Space Systems Architecture

Week 3: Robotics and Artificial Intelligence

WS3: Robotic Engineering and Competition Part 1
WS4: Robotic Engineering and Competition Part 2

  • Introduction to A.I., Adaptive Algorithms and Machine learning
  • Introduction to Robotics
  • Robotic engineering: Subsystems and functionalities
  • Computer Vision, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality
  • Human – Robot interaction, Uncanny Valley, Bionics
  • Robotics for Earth-based applications: Exoskeleton structures

Week 4: Nanotechnology

WS5: Nanotech World Workshop

  • Intro to Nanotechnology
  • Material sciences
  • Engineering and Industrial Design and Biomechanics
  • Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing)
  • Nanotechnology: Atomically Precise Manufacturing
  • Nanotech applications

Week 5 and 6: Space Science and Exploration

WS6: STK Orbits Simulation
WS7: Kerbal Space Program Part 1
WS8: Kerbal Space Program Part 2

  • Relevant Topics in Modern Astrophysics
    • Exoplanets
    • Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI)
    • Astrobiology
    • M Dwarf stars – dominant, active, harboring life?
    • Cosmology
    • Orbits, Orbital Mechanics
  • Relevant Topics in Space Physics
    • Solar and Magnetospheric Physics
    • Space Weather
    • Space Radiation
  • Relevant topics to Space Exploration
    • Human Spaceflight
    • Robotic Space Missions: Lunar exploration, Deep space exploration, Mars exploration, Comet and asteroid exploration
    • Robotics in space exploration and extreme environments: Flyers, Divers, Landers and Orbital Probes
    • Space stations – future designs and experiments

Week 7: Space Applications

WS9: Specific Software Introduction

  • Why do we explore space?
  • Space and Spaceship Earth: The connection
  • Remote Sensing and Earth Observation
  • Communication Technologies and applications
  • Space Weather and Earth-related studies
  • Space-based Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT)
  • Data Visualization: Earth-based science
  • Space and Earth: Space-related business cases
  • Space Tourism

Week 8: Astrobiology, biotechnology and space medicine

WS10: Overall Mission Rehearsal

  • Space Biomedicine
  • Molecular and Synthetic Biology
  • Biotechnology
  • Neuroscience – biological/computer interaction
  • Human physiology in Space
  • Closed-loop systems and bioreactors
  • Intro to Astrobiology

Week 9 and 10: Entrepreneurship and Team Projects Finals

WS11: Entrepreneurship and Team Projects Presentation

  • Entrepreneurship in the high-tech sector
  • Next-Generation high-tech projects
  • New Space Initiative
  • Economy vs Technology
  • Team Projects Finalization
  • Final Exam

Team Projects

TWS 1-10+: Team Workshops
Goal: Engineering / Development of operational prototype for the Final Mission

FINAL MISSION: 22 – 30 November 2015

Team Project: Nano Space Station

The project goal is to perform research and to design, develop and build a scaled version of a habitable space station module capable to operate autonomously at least 10 hours in near-space environment and at least 72 hours autonomously. The target size should be within dimensions of 227 x 100 x 100 mm. The system should be entirely closed loop and suitable for stratospheric flight (isolated, with controllable internal sensors, environmental control, shielded etc.).

Participants Requirements

  • Willingness to work in a completely improvised environment during the team workshops
  • Interest in closed loop systems and robotics is a must
  • Background in electronics, programming, biology, astrobiology, medicine, mechanics of fluids or structural design is an advantage

Team Project: Geologic Exploration Vehicle

The project goal is to develop a fully autonomous robotic rover which is capable of safely navigating to a predefined destination and performing a drilling experiment at the designated spot. Participants will learn how to build an entire robotic system starting from the low level electronics to the abstract AI algorithms running on the rover.

Participant Requirements:

  • Strong motivation and determination to put the necessary hours of work into the project
  • Programming is essential part of the project
  • Experience with electronics is an asset

Team Project: Autonomous Lander

The project goal is to develop a fully autonomous lander vehicle which is capable of safely flying over a predefined location and performing a soft landing at the designated spot. Participants will learn how to build an entire landing system. The lander will be deployed from a big UAV system at an altitude of 100 m and it will have the task to send video and photos from the descend and landing.

Participant Requirements:

  • Strong motivation and determination to put the necessary hours of work into the project
  • Programming is essential part of the project
  • Experience with electronics is an asset

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