2014/12/01 - 2014/12/05 |




kostenfrei (finanziert über INTERREG IVB)


The production and use of remote sensing data for Earth observation in an operational environment requires some minimal basic training on Earth observation missions, instrumentation, and data production and exploitation. Accordingly, this course shall consider the systems, sub-systems and techniques on which these missions are based, with emphasis on the use of micro-satellite platforms.

It is not intended to provide a rigorous academic presentation of the subject matters. Rather, a pragmatic approach has been adopted, keeping in mind the operational conditions in which these matters have to be known and/or used.

The course instructors are experts with academic teaching responsibilities, but also involved in space projects making explicit and constant use of the technologies targeted by the present course.

Target Audience

Professionals – engineers, operators and technical staff – operationally involved in Earth observation missions.


The course structure is shown in the figure hereafter.

Module 1: Introduction to Launchers and Rocket Propulsion (0.25 day)

  • Principles of reaction propulsion, thrust, specific impulse, Tsiolkovski equations, multi-stage rockets, launcher performances
  • The rocket engine, the Laval nozzle, propergols: solids, liquids
  • Examples of launcher systems, in particular those available for µ-satellites

Module 2: Spaceflight Dynamics (0.5 day)

Spacecraft Trajectories and Orbits:

  • Reminder of classical mechanics laws Keplerian motion
  • Non-keplerian perturbations and their relative amplitudes vs. altitude : luni-solar, Earth non-sphericity, atmospheric drag, radiation pressure
  • Some applications : Molniya, geosynchronous, geostationary orbits
  • The ground track
  • Launch window
  • Examples

Attitude Control – Structures and Mechanisms:

  • Attitude control by magneto-couplers, nozzles, wheels
  • Spin (1 axis) stabilisation
  • 3-axes stabilisation
  • Examples

Module 3: The (µ)Satellite and its payload (1.5 days)

Electric Power:

  • Batteries
  • Fuel cells
  • Solar cells
  • RTG’s

Thermal Control:

  • Energy balance, thermal cyclings
  • Active and passive dissipation


  • Architecture of a telecommunication system
  • Link budget
  • Introduction to antenna theory
  • Modulation and demodulation

On-Board Data Handling

Design of space payloads

Module 4: Ground-Based Systems (0.25 days)

Ground segment:

  • Mission control
  • Data transmission and reception
  • The user segment

Ground testing:

  • Thermal vacuum tests
  • Mechanical and acoustic tests
  • Electromagnetic tests

Module 5: Introduction to Space Project Management (0.25 days)

  • Project phases
  • Bases of project management
  • Elements of PAQA

Module 6: Introduction to Space Environment (0.25 days)

  • The components: the Earth gravitation field, the thermal environment, the geomagnetic field, the atmosphere and ionosphere, the solar wind, the magnetosphere, cosmic rays, meteoroids and space debris
  • Effects on spacecraft and components : atomic oxygen erosion, meteoroid and debris impacts, SEU’s, glow, outgassing, contamination

Module 7: Remote Sensing Principles, Techniques and Applications (2 days)

Introduction to Remote Sensing:

  • Remote sensing principles: object, data and instruments, typical orbits, atmospheric transparency, matter-radiation interaction and physical observables in VIS/NIR, TIR, µW
  • Passive imaging sensors in VIS/NIR : anatomy, properties and et figures of merit, panchromatic, multispectral and hyperspectral sensors, pushbroom image acquisition, image geometry : IFOV, FOV, swath, pixel ; bolometers, photoelectrical and photoemissive detectors, spectral response, CCDs, geometric and radiometric image distortions and their correction from Level 0 to Level 2 , some examples : Landsat-TM, SPOT-HRV, IKONOS, PROBA-1/CHRIS, Sentinel-2, Pleiades
  • Active sensors in µW : radar, definition and architecture, the antenna, the radar singnal, principles of SAR, geometric and radiometric distortions and their correction at Level 0 and Level 1, calibration, advanced techniques: interferometry, polarimetry, polarimetric interferomertry, examples: ENVISAT-ASAR, RADARSAT, ALOS-PALSAR, Cosmo-Skymed, TerraSAR-X, Sentinel-1
  • Passive sensors in µW : principles of passive µW radiometers, examples : ENVISAT-MWR, Aqua-AMSR
  • Atmospheric sounders : structure and composition of Earth atmosphere, introduction to radiative transfer, generic principle of atmospheric sounding, downlooking sounders and limb sounders in µW and VIS/NIR, Fourier transform spectrometer, examples : NOAA-HIRIS, ENVISAT-GOMOS.

Image processing techniques:

  • The image as a 2D signal, geometrical characteristics : pixel, resolution, coverage ; radiometrical characteristics : coding, dynamics, grey level histogram
  • Introduction to image processing : histogram manipulation, resampling, false colours, edge detection, denoising, restoration, fusion

Remote sensing applications:

  • Cartography
  • Geology
  • Vegetation (incl. agriculture, forestry)
  • Urban zones
  • Coastal zones and oceans
  • Atmosphere
  • Risk and crisis management
  • Astronomy

Knowledge Transfer Project

Following to the course each participant works on a knowledge transfer project in his or her company to apply the theoretical knowledge gained in the seminars. The content of the project shall be an actual task from the daily work of the participant and one of the course instructors is a supervisor. The knowledge transfer project is documented in a short written report and to be sent to the instructors for evaluation.

Course Procedure

The certificate course includes 5 days of seminars, in the training rooms of CSL. A one-hour written test will be administered via Internet a few weeks after the seminars. Seminars contain lecture, group and single exercises as well as case studies with high practical relevance.


Upon successful completion and passing of the test, participants are awarded a certificate by the Steinbeis University Berlin. In addition, 5 internationally accepted ECTS credit points are awarded. Grading is based on the written test and the knowledge transfer project.

Admission Requirements

The course is open to participants with a Bachelor’s degree in natural science, engineering or other related fields and at least 2 years of work experience.

Course objectives

The course aims to provide the necessary bases in remote sensing and space technology for Earth observation, required to perform in an operational environment. It is organized in a modular structure, with a pragmatic approach that puts emphasis on key points without entering into derivations that would be more relevant to a rigorous academic curriculum. Moreover, the seminars are delivered by experts that possess both academic and operational experiences in this domain.

Benefits for the participant

The course offers the participant the opportunity to acquire, in time- and programme-optimized conditions, the basics required to perform in the operational environment of an Earth observation mission. Being fully recognized as a certification course, it will also valorise the participant’s curriculum.

Benefits for the company

The course saves the company some of the time and costs of a self-organized training. The experience of the instructors guarantees that the quality of the course fully meets the company’s expectations in terms of training.

Course instructors

Dr. Sc. Christian Barbier

The seminars are coordinated by Dr. Christian Barbier.

Dr. Barbier is the Head of the “Signal Processing” Laboratory at Centre Spatial de Liège (CSL), a research centre of the University of Liège, an ESA Centre of Excellence in space optics and a test facility offering thermal vacuum chambers of various sizes for space payloads and even complete satellites. CSL has over 50 years of experience in the design and testing of optical space instruments, space mission design, ground testing and space project management.

Dr. Barbier’s “Signal Processing” Laboratory has over 25 years of experience in the field of processing of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images, including SAR data focusing, interferometry (InSAR), differential interferometry (DInSAR), polarimetry (PolSAR), and polarimetric interferometry (PolInSAR).

Prof. Dr. rer. Nat. Hans-Peter Röser

Professor for space systems and former Head of the Institute of Space Systems at the University of Stuttgart for many years. He has extensive experience in the field of space systems, remote sensing systems for earth observation as well as in the development and operation of small satellites.

Steinbeis Transferzentrum

Aerospace Technology and Application (ASA)
Schwarzwaldstr. 134
70569  Stuttgart
Tel.: + 49 (0) 711-451001-11
Fax: + 49 (0) 711-451001-41

Veranstaltungen und Studiengänge