Students explore space debris

MOVE-III is the first multi-chair training project of the Department of Aerospace and Geodesy and was initiated by the Chairs of Astronautics and Astronomical and Physical Geodesy. The aim of the project: Educating motivated students and at the same time mapping the smallest space debris and meteorite particles in order to validate and improve space debris models.

MOVE-III is part of the department's MISSION EARTH, which aims to make use of knowledge and technology in order to explore our planet and improve our living conditions. The MOVE-III mission combines a modular satellite system with Debris Density Retrieval and Analysis (DEDRA) sensors as a payload. The multi-mission satellite system is being developed by students of the Munich Orbital Verification Experiment (MOVE) and the Chair of Astronautics. Doctoral candidates and students from various fields of study are involved in the development – from aerospace, the master's program ESPACE, electrical and information technology, mechanical engineering, computer science and physics. The Debris Density Retrieval and Analysis sensors, or DEDRA for short, are being refined mainly by ESPACE students.

On a 30x20x10 cm cube satellite, the modern sensors will map the smallest space debris and meteorite particles with a size of less than one millimetre in earth orbit. The results will be used to validate space debris models and improve the general understanding of our earth environment.

In the MOVE-III project, students have the opportunity to develop and operate satellites themselves, thus gaining practical experience in satellite technology and bringing in their own ideas. The students are supervised by PhD students of the Chair of Astronautics and the Chair of Astronomical and Physical Geodesy. But also partners from industry support the project. MOVE-III not only shows students how projects with more than 50 participants are planned and implemented, but also how interdisciplinary the development of a satellite is.