Registration for this course is open until Tuesday, 10.10.2023 23:59.


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Space Informatics

A module offered by the Chair of Dependable Systems and Software in winter 2023/24. It is worth 6 CP ECTS.

This course starts with a block already before the teaching period opens!

Due to important constraints, we have decided to ramp up the course matters by means of a block of lectures and tutorials spanning the week from October 9 to 13, 2023, so before the standard teaching period opens. The lectures will be recorded and be made available to our participants. This will then allow us all to have a more relaxed schedule during the official teaching period.


Space technology is experiencing an unprecedented expansion in what came to be known as the “new space”.

Massive mega-constellations comprised of thousands of satellites are being deployed in near-Earth orbit to provide worldwide Internet coverage and real-time imaging. This is enabled by lower cost and reusable rockets, which are launching more and cheaper spacecraft than ever before. Indeed, nanosatellite platforms of a few liters of volume are leveraging state-of-the-art miniaturization and electronics to pack capabilities traditionally exclusive of large satellites.

As a result, space is becoming more democratic, accessible to many academic actors, and open for start-ups to develop innovative commercial opportunities. Moreover, these advances spill to an increasing number of interplanetary robotic exploration missions, which in turn boost and motivate the possibility of manned missions to the Moon and Mars in the upcoming years.

Missions Image


The amount and features of “new space” orbiting assets would simply fail to scale up without the proper support of automated, optimal, efficient, scalable, usable and robust computer sciences models and techniques combining both on-board as well as on-ground components.

Also, informatics can play a decisive role in facilitating a more sustainable space with accurate battery models, delay-tolerant data handling, trajectory optimization, debris collision avoidance, system verification and validation, online telemetry learning, among many other application opportunities.

Space is within reach, and future space professionals with this know-how at hand will become a valuable resource in the immediate future of the space industry.

Space Informatics

The Space Informatics course is framed in the new space context and motivated by the hypothesis that computer sciences will play a central role in future near-Earth and interplanetary space missions. To this end, we present a curricula layout organized in three axes:

  1. the fundamentals of space environment ranging from orbital dynamics to maneuvers and interplanetary trajectories design,
  2. the specifics of space technology comprising energy handling, computers, communications and networking, and
  3. the application of informatics to 1. and 2. including linear and dynamic programming, model checking, and scheduling techniques.

These axes are accompanied by practical exercises and hands-on projects involving state-of-the-art software toolchains such as Systems Toolkit (STK). We will exploit scriptable interfaces (Python) to control STK and evaluate and optimize distributed space missions using informatics modelling tools such as Gurobi and Uppaal.


STK Imge

  1. Fundamentals
    1. Space Applications
    2. Distributed Missions
    3. Physics and Orbits
    4. Propagation and Perturbation
    5. Launch and Maneuvers
    6. Trajectories Design
    7. Space Environment
  2. Technology
    1. Satellite Technologies
    2. Computers in Space
    3. Basic Communications
    4. Link Budget and Multiplexing
    5. Space Networks
    6. Delay-Tolerant Networks
    7. Simulation and Analysis Tools
  3. Informatics
    1. Linear Programming Optimization
    2. Dynamic Programming Optimization
    3. Time Automata Model Checking
    4. Battery-Aware Scheduling
    5. Battery-Aware Contact Planning
    6. Machine Learning in Space


This course is offered by Holger Hermanns and Juan Fraire.

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