SpaceTeamSat1 (STS1) is the current CubeSat project of the TU Wien Space Team. Our goal is to develop and operate a 1U CubeSat and give pupils in Austria the possibility to run self-developed software on the educational payload of the satellite. The payload consists of a Raspberry Pi with various sensors and cameras, which can be accessed by the pupils’ self-developed code. The pupils will have the opportunity to develop their software code in close collaboration with the TU Wien Space Team. After successful validation of the code, it will be transmitted via RF communication from a ground station to the satellite, which will execute the code and transmit the results of the experiments back to the ground station. From there, the (processed) data is handed over to the students. The data can then be analyzed and presented by the pupils in the final step. Since STS1 is the first CubeSat of the TU Wien Space Team, which will be completely developed and operated by the TU Wien Space Team, special emphasis will be put on building up know-how concerning the development, operation and legal steps of a satellite mission in the elaboration of the CubeSats mission.


Main features of the CubeSat mission SpaceTeamSat1:

  • 1U (10 x 10 x 10 cc and max. 1.33 kg) CubeSat platform.
  • STS1 shall be operated in a Low Earth Orbit (LEO ~ 350 – 500 km)
  • STS1 shall be a live laboratory for students of AHS and BHS
  • STS1 is intended to engage the amateur radio community and bring the topic into classrooms
  • Educational Mission Objectives:
    • Student teams compete in a space betting competition
    • Python code on the Educational Payload (Raspberry Pi)
    • Countless software projects are possible. Many sensors are available for this purpose
    • The measured values and/or images are made available to the student teams for further processing
    • The student teams present their results and learn a lot about space technologies.
  • The Educational Payload includes the following sensors:
    • Temperature Sensor
    • Magnetometer
    • Acclerometer
    • Gyroscope
    • Dosimeter
    • GNSS module
    • Strain gauges
    • Photodetectors
    • Cameras

In August 2020, the KickOff workshop was held to define the mission statement and objectives. The mission statement and mission objectives define the basis for a successful CubeSat mission.


Mission statement

Excitement and enthusiasm for engineering and science are important features of a progressive society. They are a consequence of the urge to explore the universe, which is deeply rooted in human nature. Nowadays, space technologies enable humankind to satisfy this urge and reach out further than ever before. However, even though space technologies are deeply ingrained within pop culture and organisations like NASA, ESA, or SpaceX successfully conduct widely publicized missions, a hands-on approach to these topics seems out of reach for most people. Therefore, we want to provide an entry point into space technologies for students of secondary schools by giving them the opportunity to run their own software experiments on our self-developed CubeSat platform, which is “Made in Austria”. We hope that this will broaden their educational horizon and thus inspire the next generation of space and science enthusiasts.


Mission objectives

Primary mission objectives

  • To develop and build a working CubeSat.
  • To ensure the operation of our self-developed CubeSat
  • To provide students the opportunity to run their self-developed software on a CubeSat.
  • To motivate students to participate in a space project

Secondary mission objectives

  • Capture an image from space
  • To make the collected data and experience available to the public, and in particular to other CubeSat missions.


System Architecture

In the following, the individual components of the CubeSat mission are presented. This part of the homepage will be updated regularly and therefore you will always find the current state of development here (Current status: April 2021).

The three most important subsystems on board of STS1 are: the Electrical Power System (EPS), the Communication module and On-board Computer (COBC) and the Education module (EDU). The EPS is responsible for power generation and distribution. The COBC is the main processing and scheduling unit of the CubeSat and also handles RF communication. The EDU runs the software experiments provided by each student team. For this purpose, this module is equipped with several sensors, including two cameras.

The Figure aboves shows the basic system architecture of the CubeSat and the associated ground infrastructure. The Antenna System (ANT) is used to communicate with the COBC, which contains the RF module for receiving and transmitting data. The Solar Cells (SC) are directly connected to the EPS and are used to harvest electrical energy. The main Ground Station (GS) can be accessed from any PC on Earth via Internet. The Umbilical Cord Interface (UCI) allows us to re-program the COBC and charge batteries, which are operated by the EPS, after assembling the CubeSat. The Deployment Switches (DS) and the Remove-Before-Flight pin (RBF) ensure that the CubeSat is not powered in the safely stored configuration (e.g. in the chassis of the carrier rocket or in the extractor of the International Space Station (ISS)). Within the EDU module, the Camera module (CAM) can receive image acquisition commands.


Electrical Power System – EPS

The Electrical Power System (EPS) is responsible for the continuous generation and provision of electrical power at a single, unregulated voltage level. Energy is harvested solely through solar cells. Excess energy is stored in batteries, in order to continue to power the satellite in orbit sections without light incidence. The EPS also contains system level safety features, like the Remove-Before-Flight pin (RBF), the Deployment Switches (DS) and a Deployment Timer (DT). All of these features shall prevent a premature activation, while the CubeSat is still mounted on the launch vehicle. Housekeeping data like battery voltage, battery temperature, etc. is collected by the EPS, and made available to the COBC subsystem through a housekeeping data interface.


Communication and On-board computer – COBC

The COBC of the CubeSat STS1 combines two classical subsystems which are key components in every satellite mission: the Communication module (COM) and the On-Board Computer (OBC). The COM is responsible for any received and transmitted data and the OBC mainly schedules any activities on the CubeSat. Additionally, the OBC acts as the master module of the CubeSat platform by managing memory access and operating the EDU. The Microcontroller Unit (MCU) is the COBC’s core and handles the entire dataflow on board the CubeSat. This means analyzing incoming and preparing outgoing data from and to the RF module, managing all data access – read, write and erase – to the external memories and handling data exchange with the EDU module.

Educational module – EDU

The education module (EDU) is the platform on which students can run their software experiments. It consists of a Raspberry Pi which has access to various sensors, including two cameras. The generated (and processed) data can be downloaded via a command. After a successful download, the data will be processed and handed over to the student teams to analyze it. The CubeSat is designed such that the EDU module is an independent payload, i.e. the CubeSat is fully operational without the EDU module or in the case of a complete failure of the module.

The EDU module of STS1 uses the popular Raspberry Pi platform. This will lower the entry barrier, both for teachers and students, as lots of resources about the platform are freely available on the Internet and some participants will already be familiar with the platform. In addition, we will try to keep the coding experience as accessible as possible by hosting workshops and providing libraries for the most common operations on the EDU module, i.e. for sensor readouts and standard commands for data processing. Furthermore, the Raspberry Pi platform will allow students to code their own software experiments in Python, which is nowadays one of the most popular programming languages (according to, especially for trending fields such as data science or machine learning. Thus, any familiarity with Python will greatly benefit the students in their later academic or professional careers.

Sensors under current consideration for the EDU are: temperature sensor, magnetic field sensors, acceleration sensors, gyroscopes, GNSS receiver, cameras, strain gauges, brightness sensors and a radiation sensor. Possible student experiments with these sensors are for example mapping the radiation environment of low Earth orbit (LEO) or determining how fast the CubeSat is spinning. Students who will participate in STS1’s educational mission will gain hands-on experience in writing actual space software, which will advance their problem solving and teamwork skills. The whole mission will be held in form of a competition, where we expect to gain the support of Austrian space companies and space celebrities for honoring the winning teams. However, we will ensure that all participating student teams, not only the winning teams, will reach their software development goals.



Raphael Böckle – Project leader, Electronics
David Wagner – Co-Project leader, System architecture
Patrick Kappl – System architecture, Software
Jakob Riepler – COBC
Thomas Hirschbüchler – COBC
Peter Kremsner – COBC
David Freismuth – EPS
Nikolas Thiel – EPS
Paul Schmitt – PR, Software
Fabian Kresse – Software
Daniel Schloms – Software
Jan Pac – EDU, Software
Sundas Syed – EDU
Benjamin Geislinger – Mechanics
Tim Munhowen – Mechanics
Patrick Silber – Legal