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‘We Control the Flight of Small Spacecraft’: How HSE University Launches Satellites

Launch of the Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket with CubeSX-HSE-3 on board

Launch of the Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket with CubeSX-HSE-3 on board
Photo: Roscosmos Media

Following the meeting with participants of the 3rd Young Scientists Congress, Russian President Vladimir Putin assigned the government to include the creation and launch of small spacecraft in a new national project. Universities will also be involved in the project. Dmitrii Abrameshin, Head of the Mission Control Centre at the Moscow Institute of Electronics and Mathematics at HSE University, spoke about the mechanism of small satellites and which satellites have already been launched by HSE University.

‘Our activity includes controlling the flight of small spacecrafts, creating support devices in the field of space research and technology and conducting functional tests of small spacecraft. The class of small spacecraft is continuously developing, with new approaches to design emerging, and launches taking place. Small spacecraft help us test the latest technologies, apply methods and software and hardware solutions, conduct educational projects, and carry out remote sensing of the Earth, as well as assisting with environmental monitoring and exploring geophysical fields,’ says Dmitrii Abrameshin.

Dmitrii Abrameshin

Head of the HSE MIEM Mission Control Centre highlighted the variety of small satellites — from nanosatellites weighing less than 1 kg, such as CubeSat, to mini-satellites weighing up to 500 kg.

You can learn more about HSE University satellites in space and how researchers work on them in this article.

‘CubeSats are usually launched as part of an educational project. A CubeSat is a small or ultra-small artificial Earth satellite for space exploration,’ explains Dmitrii Abrameshin. Before launching a small spacecraft, it is necessary to obtain several certificates. In particular, it is necessary to determine the purpose of the satellite, register it at an authorized national organisation — the State Commission for Radio Frequencies, and obtain a certificate on the general and environmental safety of the satellite, adds Dmitrii Abrameshin. The satellite must undergo many tests, including vibration and thermal vacuum tests. The satellite must withstand magnetic field simulation and electromagnetic interference testing.

CubeSX-HSE-3 small spacecraft
HSE University

‘Before launching a small spacecraft, it is necessary to decide on the frequencies at which it will operate. There are two frequency options. These are amateur and commercial radio bands. The frequency range is set by the government. When choosing amateur radio frequencies, it is necessary to follow a special protocol. That is, your device must transmit a call sign either by voice or in Morse code at least once every 10 minutes. The amateur radio band prohibits any data encryption,’ says Dmitrii Abrameshin.

The spacecraft is launched in a specialised container. ‘The main task of this container is to track the telemetry of the container lid and the satellite exit, receive a control signal from the upper stage, and activate the satellite launch cyclogram,’ explained the Head of the HSE MIEM MCC.

HSE University has already launched the following spacecrafts:

 CubeSX-HSE is the first satellite developed at HSE MIEM, and was designed for remote sensing of the Earth using special cameras.

 CubeSX-HSE-2 is the second satellite, used to identify ships.

 CubeSX-HSE-3 is the third satellite, able to identify both ships and aircrafts.

All three satellites have already been launched into orbit. HSE University plans to launch two CubeSats into orbit per year.

See also:

HSE University Satellites: Three Years in Orbit

In March 2024, HSE University celebrated an important milestone — the third anniversary of the successful operation in orbit of its first CubeSX-HSE and CubeSX-Sirius-HSE satellites. These spacecraft, created on the basis of the CubeSat platform for Earth observation, continue to function actively, confirming high technological standards and reliability of the university's developments.

HSE University’s Third Satellite Launched from Vostochny Cosmodrome

The small CubeSX-HSE-3 spacecraft was created by students and staff of the HSE Tikhonov Moscow Institute of Electronics and Mathematics. It is based on the OrbiCraft-Pro 3U platform by Sputnix. The work was carried out as part of the Space-π project with support from the Innovation Support Fund.

In Space with MIEM: All Systems Go!

On April 12th, the traditional Big Space Break took place at the HSE MIEM. This interactive event for students and staff was organized by specialists from the Laboratory of Space Vehicles and Systems' Functional Safety.

HSE University’s First Satellite Travels 478.7 Million km

The satellite entered orbit two years ago. The launch of the Soyuz-2.1a rocket with a Fregat upper stage and 38 satellites on board, including CubeSX-HSE, took place on March 22, 2021 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

Second HSE University Satellite Launched from Baikonur

On August 9, a Soyuz 2.1b rocket launched with a payload of HSE University’s second satellite, which will monitor the land surface of the Arctic region. HSE MIEM Deputy Director Andrey Abrameshin spoke about the university’s space plans, while Top Class competition winner Alexey Gilenko shared his impressions of the launch at Baikonur Cosmodrome.

HSE University Is Preparing to Launch its Second Satellite into Space

Only one year ago, the first HSE University satellite, developed by specialists and students from the Laboratory of Space Vehicles and Systems’ Functional Safety of the HSE Tikhonov Moscow Institute of Electronics and Mathematics (MIEM HSE) and the Sputnix space company, was launched into orbit. And now, the date of the second HSE University’s satellite launch has been announced: Roscosmos will send it into space from Baikonur Cosmodrome on August 9th, 2022.

'Our Work Will Be Useful in the Search for Earth Twins’

Why is space so fascinating? Who is hindered by the Earth's geocorona? What personal qualities are essential for a research physicist, and how will academic careers regain their prestige? These were the questions that came up in HSE News Service’s interview of Igor Balyukin, a Senior Lecturer of the HSE Faculty of Physics and the winner of the 'Best Work Performed by Young Scientists' nomination category of the RAS Space Research Institute competition.

Dust Cloud around the Moon

HSE researchers, together with colleagues from Space Research Institute of RAS, MIPT, and the University of Colorado, ventured to find out where the plasma-dust cloud around the Moon comes from. To do this, they compared theoretical calculations with experimental data and theorized that this cloud likely consists of matter that rose from the Moon’s surface as a result of meteoroid collisions.