The German aerospace company Telespazio VEGA Deutschland, a subsidiary of Telespazio S.p.A. (Leonardo/Thales), is supporting the new DLR_School_Lab in Darmstadt. The company is providing simulation software that professionals use to learn how to control satellites. This was made possible thanks to a special collaboration with the European Space Operations Centre (ESA/ESOC).

The School Lab of the TU Darmstadt and the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) was opened on 21 September 2017. There, schoolchildren can discover the world of technology and research through exciting experiments.

For the focus area “Space”, the Lab has installed a room which resembles ESOC’s Main Control Room – only that no real satellites will be controlled from there. The satellites come into play with Telespazio VEGA Deutschland’s simulation software, the “Spacecraft Operations Training Centre” (STC). At the console however, the schoolchildren will not notice the difference, for the simulation, the satellite’s behaviour is reproduced as realistically as possible. Trajectory calculations, critical manoeuvres and teamwork are as exciting in the Lab as in real-life operations.

The STC was developed in 2009 by Telespazio VEGA Deutschland in collaboration with ESA to convey spacecraft operations to a young audience, such as students, in a simplified and fun way. Several universities have integrated the STC in their curriculum ever since. Furthermore, the STC is used to teach newcomers and lateral entrants the basics of spacecraft operations before starting to work on real consoles.

Sigmar Keller, Managing Director of Telespazio VEGA Deutschland, was enthusiastic about the installation at the inauguration event of the DLR_School_Lab: “It is a privilege to support the Lab in our home town Darmstadt. Not only because we are collaborating with our long-standing and much appreciated partners ESOC, DLR and the TU Darmstadt, but also because together we are laying the foundation for inspiring schoolchildren for space.”

Telespazio VEGA Deutschland has been developing professional simulation software for satellites for many decades, for example for the ESA missions Rosetta or BepiColombo. Quite often, clients also make use of the associated training services: so-called simulation officers create ideal as well as contingency scenarios that can happen during satellite operations. Leading the Flight Control Team through an intense training plan, they always adapt to the particularities of each individual satellite and mission.

The initiators of the DLR_School_Lab's Satellite Control Room (from right to left, standing): Sigmar Keller, John Lewis, Frank Zimmermann, Stephanie Ueltzhöffer, Marcus Zücker, Reinhold Bertrand. - Photo: Copyright ESA/ Jürgen Mai

PressRelease_DLR School Lab English 2017-09-21.pdf

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DLR_School_Lab Website | ESOC Website | TU Darmstadt Website

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