Memorias de investigación
Communications at congresses:
The UPMSat-2 Satellite: an academic project within aerospace engineering education

Research Areas
  • Electronic technology and of the communications,
  • Information technology and adata processing

Today, project-based learning is a well-known methodology in engineering education. In the IDR/UPM Institute of Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), different lines of research have been developed to involve students into projects related to aerodynamics (both theoretical and experimental), fluid dynamics on low gravity, and space science (heat transfer).Although these lines of research were initially related to the Ph.D. programs integrated within the academic plan of the university, the increasing interest among the bachelor and master students on research and projects linked to the most advanced engineering techniques, prompted the IDR/UPM academic staff to offer some specific projects to these students as their final degree thesis. In the present work, the UPMSat-2 satellite project is analyzed as an academic tool to involve different groups of students into a big project,encouraging them not only to develop specific skills in relation to a single subsystem of the satellite, but also to harmonize their work with the results from other groups of students working on other different subsystems.The different groups of students were directed by the professors of the IDR/UPM Institute. These students being mainly from two different degrees at UPM: Bachelor?s Degree in Aerospace Engineering and Master?s Degree in Space Systems (MUSE). The main difference between these two groups being the amount of work carried out to fulfill the degree requirements. For the Bachelor?s Degree in Aerospace Engineering, a 300-hour average project is required, whereas for the Master?s Degree in Space Systems this limit increases to 450 hours. Taking into account the aforementioned figures, the importance of having motivated students is crucial. In this sense, a project like the UPMSat-2 has revealed itself as a formidable way to gather students and professors around a common engineering task. It should be pointed out that this kind of satellite, a 50-kg spacecraft, allows a more complex engineering management when compared to the cubesats (that is, engineering operations such as testing, integration or harnessing are closer to the ones related to commercial or military aircraft). Besides, as the UPMSat-2 is used as a platform to qualify space technologies for engineering enterprises (Iberespacio, Bartington, SSVB, Tecnobit, Arquimea?), students are in contact with commercial enterprises from the space sector, this fact being also important in order to increase their motivation. In the present work the educational benefits of the UPMSat-2 program in relation to the Master?s Degree in Space Systems (MUSE) are thoroughly described, some examples of the projects carried out by the students being summarized. satellite design, space technology, project-based learning, active learning,
2nd Annual International Conference on Engineering Education & Teaching
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Research Group, Departaments and Institutes related
  • Creador: Grupo de Investigación: Sistemas de tiempo real y arquitectura de servicios telemáticos
  • Centro o Instituto I+D+i: Centro de I+d+i en Procesado de la Información y Telecomunicaciones
  • Departamento: Ingeniería de Sistemas Telemáticos
  • Departamento: Arquitectura y Tecnología de Sistemas Informáticos