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  • Writer's pictureEIRSAT-1

Critical Design Review Workshop – Day 1


The EIRSAT-1 team have made the trip to ESTEC in the Netherlands for our one week Critical Design Review workshop. ESTEC is the European Space Agency’s Space Technology Research Centre, located in Noordwijk in the Netherlands. This week long colocation with ESA experts and the Fly Your Satellite! team involves one-on-one meetings with the experts and workshops and lectures to prepare us for the next phase of the mission – testing.

Since the Selection Workshop in May, the EIRSAT-1 team have been outlining the design of the satellite in a suite of documents called the Critical Design Review. With our documentation having been reviewed by European Space Agency experts and their feedback received, the EIRSAT-1 team have spent the past few weeks responding to this feedback and implementing suggested changes. This CDR workshop consists of meetings with the experts to discuss their feedback and to make sure that we have addressed any open issues.

Having never been to ESTEC, I was very excited to arrive there early Monday morning for our first presentation. On the way into ESTEC we passed the Irish flag and it was a real moment of pride. Representing Ireland’s first satellite at ESA really gave me a sense that Ireland does contribute to Europe in space, and will continue to. A hub of exciting research, ESTEC is a bustling campus with more than 2700 employees. To be in such an exciting place and working on such an exciting mission really made the EIRSAT-1 mission feel real.

This morning we first received an overview of the weeks schedule, which will include meetings on Monday and Thursday. A space soldering workshop will be held on Tuesday, and Wednesday consists of presentations by the teams in the Fly Your Satellite! program, outlining the progress of each team since the Selection workshop.

Today was very exciting as we were getting used to our surroundings in ESTEC. It was an intense day of meetings with different ESA experts. These experts are all reviewing different subsystems of the satellite, for example Electrical Power Systems. We had a constructive meeting with each expert, going over each of their comments and agreeing actions that we must take to clear up any areas which are still uncertain or unclear. We got the opportunity to ask them questions and hear their advice.

Tomorrow 4 of the students on the EIRSAT-1 team will take part in a Space Soldering workshop. Keep an eye on Twitter for updates on our progress throughout the week!

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