The Open Source CubeSat Workshop is an annual event organised by Libre Space Foundation. It focuses on Open Source, space-related technology, projects, and ideas. Every year the Workshop brings together open source enthusiasts from the fields of space technology, engineering, CubeSats, mission control and analysis. The event has been running for 5 years, and it has been gaining continuous success by building rapport among Space and Open Source Technology supporters.
For the second year in a row, the event was decided to take place online; in an attempt to maintain stability, create a sense of connectivity and prioritise safety. Although we all miss the impromptu encounters of attending an event physically, a free online event offers great accessibility to people who can not afford the trip or get blocked by administrative or logistics issues. This way, more people could actually attend the Open Source CubeSat Workshop 2021- a workshop promoting Open Source philosophy for CubeSats and Space Exploration. An event that enables people to meet online, exchange ideas, join forces on open source projects, and benefit from the community. Even when at home on different meridians of the planet.
A global, two-day Event for Open Source and CubeSats
On the 9th and 10th of December, the Open Source CubeSat Workshop 2021 kicked off online! Streaming live on the Libre Space Foundation YouTube Channel and on the dedicated Big Blue Button conference room. The event brought together people from different continents and places, backgrounds and disciplines; creating a community benefiting from transparency, inclusivity, adaptability and collaboration. An open community you can join any time of the year, explore collaboration potentials and share your ideas.
This year’s Workshop featured 26 presentations, more than 10 lightning talks, a Keynote Speaker and dedicated workshop sessions. Here is the full playlist with all the videos from the event.
The Open Source CubeSat Workshop 2021 was an insightful, informative and inclusive event promoting knowledge and great ideas openly. Interesting discussions and Q&As took place throughout the event, enabling individuals from all over the globe, (from Costa Rica to Japan) to connect and collaborate.
Presentations and Key Take-Aways: a Closer look
Every year, the Open Source CubeSat Workshop is a great opportunity to realize the immense impact that open-source projects have on the space industry. They do so by playing an important role in enabling access to key technologies for creating and supporting space missions. Let us now take a closer look at some of the ideas and projects presented during the 2-day online event.
- Satellite Event Detection, project Poliastro, developing a set of event detectors under the two-body problem by implementing orbital mechanics algorithms from the literature.
- DOCKS – An open-source software suite for space mission profiles, developing an open-source software suite for analyzing scientific nanosatellite mission profiles.
- Astrometry onboard OPS-SAT1? Astrometry of celestial bodies is strategic in various scientific or engineering applications, and can that be part of OPS-SAT1?
- IPFS-tiny in orbit – Enabling new concepts, a secure & scalable distributed file system that utilizes a smart data model for distributed ground station networks.
- SatNOGS – State of the Union, An overview of the SatNOGS project, a network of satellite ground stations around the world, optimized for modularity, built from readily available and affordable tools and resources.
- LibreCube – Overview of Activities, an overview on some current LibreCube projects conducted during this year with examples on their utilization.
- The state of Polaris, more visualization in using ML for space operations. The Polaris project provides an open-source machine learning tool for easy analysis of telemetry to find dependencies between satellite parameters as well as a behaviour analysis tool (BETSI) to learn from any spacecraft behaviours and automatically detect anomalies.
- Open Space Data Link Protocol– An open-source implementation of the CCSDS TM/TC Directives, it is a platform-independent implementation of the TM/TC Space Data Link Protocols of the CCSDS committee, implemented as a library, suitable for running on embedded processors.
- The open-source approach to onboard data processing. A view from the perspective of OHB-Hellas, one of the main topics OHB-Hellas is aiming to address is the need of developing flexible satellites; flexible satellites building upon both state-of-the-art and open SW approaches as well as modern and open HW architectures
- Luplink, an Open Source Web Application for an Ergonomic Link Budget Analysis, Luplink uses web technologies and already existing open-source software to provide a simple and ergonomic interface allowing the user to easily compute such link budgets.
- QUBIK Mission, an overview of the mission
- Progress and Developments in Open Source Electric Propulsion for Nanosats and Picosats at AIS, AIS is currently the first and only open-source, open development based electric propulsion (EP) effort in the field. Over the past year, significant progress has been made on a number of micro ion and plasma thruster technologies for nanosats and picosats.
- Cronos Sounding Rocket, Cronos is the first hybrid rocket designed by our team and the first attempt to create such a rocket inside the Greek student community
- An Intuitive Tool to Design Relative Orbits for Formation Flying, QLUSTER allows for the layman to design the formation geometry directly, by specifying the radial, in-track, and cross-track design baselines, as well as two angular parameters
- Progress Report from Open Research Institute, Inc, Open Research Institute, Inc. (ORI) is a non-profit research and development organization that provides all of its work to the general public under the principles of Open Source and Open Access to Research.
- MetaSat: Open Metadata for Small Satellite Missions, MetaSat is an open metadata toolkit used to describe the hardware, software, and data associated with small satellite missions.
The OreSat Project was presented extensively throughout the Workshop. Including its system overview, mechanical architecture and electrical power system, by the OreSat team at Portland State University (Oregon, USA).
The OSCW 2021 went fully online for the second year in a row; and despite the challenges of organising and running an event fully online, we can safely say that it was indeed successful, albeit different. Missing the connectivity that a physical event would have, but thriving on the inclusivity and the accessibility that free, online events deliver. The Open Source CubeSat WorkShop 2021 was successful as it did manage to gather an online community of enthusiasts who are dedicated to Open Source, Technology and Space. It succeeded in delivering a smooth, inclusive event that overcame boundaries, a pandemic, and a number of technical difficulties. While, at the same time, enabling individuals from around the globe to unite under their shared interests. For this, we would like to thank everyone! The attendees for forming a friendly community of great diversity and knowledge. The speakers and presenters for creating a welcoming environment, fostering great interactions and sharing insights. The contributors for enabling a smooth experience, and the OSCW committee for putting everything together and overseeing the event. We would also like to thank the teams behind Indico (our conference management tool), The Big Blue Button (amazingly smooth video conferencing, with multi-user whiteboarding and break sessions), Element.io and Matrix for powering the conversations for The Open Source CubeSat Workshop 2021! Thank you all for being a part of this!
Before we wrap up this year’s event overview, you are welcome to join the community, watch this year’s recordings, download this year’s presentation materials, and why not enjoy some talks and presentations from the previous years. They are a great source of knowledge, and you can shuffle through them and acquire great insight.
Until we meet again, next year (and hopefully in person), stay safe and connected!