Small Satellite Projects

CSL is largely implied in the OUFTI-1 project, the first Belgian nanosatellite entirely developed at the University of Liège (Ulg). In the past, CSL also participated in the ESEO (European Student Earth Orbiter) and ESMO (European Student Moon Orbiter) missions. More recently, the QB50 project brought new possibilities to work on CubeSat projects.


In the framework of these projects, CSL works tightly with the department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering (A&M), in particular the Space Structures and Systems Laboratory (S3L), the department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), and the Gramme and ISIL institutes.


Lately, CSL tested the Flying Laptop student microsatellite from the Institute of Space Systems of Stuttgart, Germany.


The small satellite student projects have been providing hands-on experience and educational outreach for several years, and CSL is open to bring a strong and qualified expertise to other actors participating in such missions.



flying laptop

 From end of January until mid-February 2013, CSL welcomed the Flying Laptop microsatellite, developed by the Space Systems Institute of the University of Stuttgart (IRS) in collaboration with DLR and ASTRIUM. In particular, this earth-observation mission is a student project that contributes to the institute’s expertise and allows demonstrating new space technologies as well. 

More information can be found here







OUFTI-1 is the educational nanosatellite of ULg featuring D-Star radio-communication. It will be the first Belgian CubeSat.Thermal design supervision and thermal vacuum tests of the batteries and the antenna deployment system have been performed at CSL. An industrial follow-up committee was created with members from CSL, SPACEBEL and TAS ETCA. The role of this committee is to provide recommendations regarding the organization and management of the project.

More on  OUTFI Project website







QB 50 is a constellation of 50 student cubesats to study the Earth environment during their targeted 30-days lifetime. CSL is an active member of a working group (chaired by the Von Karman Institute) to define the Belgian contribution to the project, and is interested in the payload definition and development, as well as the satellite’s thermal vacuum testing. CSL participated to the working group meeting in December 2009 and supports the project.

More on QB-50 project website





Cubesat UV Imager

Following a scientific proposition by the Laboratory of Planetary and Atmospheric Physics (LPAP) to monitor the torus of Jupiter’s satellite Io during the Juno mission, a UV imager onboard a CubeSat was imagined as a low-cost opportunity. Although the proposition was not selected, the feasibility study of such a mission has been suggested for final year student projects.


Cubesat Dobson Deployable Telescope

The idea is to investigate the feasibility of a deployable second mirror of a Cassegrain telescope onboard a 3unit CubeSat, both mechanically and optically. The idea has been proposed for final year student projects.




Cubesat Payload

IMG 5489 s

 A group of european engineering schools is developing a nanosatellite project. In that frame a student from Liege Rennequin Sualem high school designed the science payload. The 10 cm x 10 cm board contains analog and digital electronics test circuits, that will be protected by various radiation shield technologies. Their degradation during the flight will be monitored and the shields efficiencies will be evaluated. The CSL electronics laboratory hosted the designer, provided expert consultancy, components and prototype fabrication, as well as shielding material samples. More





ESMOThe University of Liege, through CSL, was selected by ESA to be in charge of the Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) the core payload on board the European Student Moon Orbiter (ESMO). The NAC is a 2.5 kg  imager design to acquire medium resolution images of the Moon from a stable lunar orbit and transmit them back to Earth for education outreach purposes. The ESMO project was managed by SSTL, as System Prime Contractor, for ESA’s Education Office. The mission, however, has been discontinued by ESA.  More on   ESA website






In 2005, students from the University of Liège made up a team responsible until 2008 for the preliminary development of the deployment mechanisms of the solar arrays as well as the rotative system to point them towards the Sun. The structural integrity of the solar panels was also verified.

More on ESA website







Contact(s) : Serge Habraken