Opportunity for Capacity Building in Small Satellites Development and Operations for Universities in Developing Countries

The COSPAR Panel for Capacity Building (PCB) is trying to establish a long-term capacity building project together with the International Satellite Program in Research and Education (INSPIRE), based on the development and scientific exploitation of small satellites. This project aims to enable space hardware and instrumentation development and to provide guidance on best practices for hardware development, sustainable space activities, and crafting space policy among emerging space nations.

Within the INSPIRE Program undergraduate and graduate university students are involved in small-­satellite design, building, testing, and operations. Capacity building courses are held in the premises of Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP), in Boulder, Colorado, USA, in an eight-week summer training program.

COSPAR PCB will support in a pilot project in 2020 a small team of four students and a supervisor from a university in the developing world, to participate in this year’s INSPIRE training program, running for 8 weeks from June 1 to July 24. All participants will be lodged along with other INSPIRE interns on a shared basis (2 beds pro room) on a 4-persons university student apartment.

A selection will take place, based on several criteria, among others:

  • Technical and scientific level of students and supervisor proposed
  •  Likelihood that the university is able and keen to maintain a nanosatellite laboratory for some years, in which the selected team can work further (ie. collaborating in the started project during the training)
  •  Quality of the university lab
  •  Level of partial local funding which could be obtained for the first “pilot” group

There will be no registration fee. On the contrary, all participants will be offered free board and lodging, as well as travel grants. However, a certain level of local funding is expected to cover partially the high costs of such a program.

Selection will take place in March, on the basis of the attached filled-in application form, to be submitted to cospar.lasp.initiative@gmail.com not later than March 31. Mid-April the selection results will be announced.    

Application form