Small satellites accelerate realisation of space programme

MSc (Tech.) Antti Kestilä will defend his doctoral dissertation on rapid space missions on 9 June 2017.

Small satellites accelerate realisation of space programme

MSc (Tech.) Antti Kestilä will defend his doctoral dissertation on rapid space missions on 9 June 2017.

Space technology and sciences have created new opportunities for humankind. In addition to investigating the origins of the universe, space technology has made many everyday services possible, such as navigation, telecommunications and remote sensing. There are several factors slowing the utilisation of space technology.

‘In my dissertation, I studied how the use of small satellites could accelerate the development curve of a space programme. One of the most important lessons of the nanosatellite analysis was the fact that satellites are particularly beneficial if they can be used in large groups, or so-called constellations. When many small satellites are optimally positioned in orbit in relation to other satellites, they can make observations from the selected targets faster,’ says Antti Kestilä and adds that rapid space missions make it possible for small countries to start space programmes.

Antti Kestilä also studied 3D printing as a potential method of speeding up satellite manufacturing.

‘I worked with the University of Helsinki’s Laboratory of Inorganic Chemistry to develop a new coating method. The method uses an atomic-layer deposited, nanometre-scale film to make a 3D-printed component more durable and possibly better suited for the conditions in space. We can assume that the coating method studied will have a wide variety of space applications.’

The dissertation also reviewed the details of the Aalto-1 nanosatellite project that started in 2010. It presents the technology and mission of the nanosatellite as well as the challenges faced during the project and the management practices that were learned. The dissertation presents the planning and construction work that played a key role in Aalto University’s own small satellite programme (Aalto-1, Aalto-2 and the Finland 100 satellites) and the emergence and development of the resulting spin-offs.


MSc (Tech.) Antti Kestilä will defend his doctoral dissertation Rapid Space Mission Design, Realization and Deployment at 12 noon on 9 June 2017 at Aalto University School of Electrical Engineering. The venue is the TUAS Building, Hall AS2 located at Maarintie 8, Espoo.

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