ESEO Mission


SSETI ESEO is the second ESA student satellite, following 2005’s SSETI Express. ESEO is also a technical precursor to the SSETI ESMO micro-satellite and will test hardware in a hard-radiation environment for future SSETI exploration missions beyond Earth’s orbit.
Following the successful model of SSETI Express, the satellite platform of ESEO is being developed by student teams across Europe. Each team is dedicated to particular subsystems, such as the on-board computer, the propulsion system, the communications antennas, etc. The ESEO platform will carry a number of interesting payloads to achieve its objectives.

Integration and testing of the subsystems and payloads will take place throughout 2006-07, with a view to launching ESEO in 2008. The preferred launch vehicle is Ariane 5 or the Soyuz launch vehicle.This which will put the satellite into Geostationary Transfer Orbit. All the results from the mission will be made widely available to the public and used for educational outreach purposes.

ESA and industry experts have offered considerable guidance during the design phases and the students will continue to benefit from their experience and know-how in the future.


The European Student Earth Orbiter (ESEO) shall be a micro-satellite, designed, built and tested by a network of European students as part of ESA’s educational SSETI Programme, which will orbit the Earth taking pictures, measuring radiation levels and testing technologies for possible future missions.


– To demonstrate the successful implementation of ESA’s pan-European educational initiative, SSETI, and therefore encourage, motivate and challenge students to improve their education and literacy in the field of space research and exploration.

– To take pictures of the Earth and other celestial bodies for educational outreach purposes.
ESEO will therefore carry three cameras: the Narrow Angle Camera will photograph Europe; a micro camera will capture images of the satellite in space; and a star tracker will provide images of the stars.

– To provide measurements of radiation levels and their effects throughout multiple passes of the Van Allen belt.
A series of sensors will measure the total radiation dose received at different points on the satellite as well as the instantaneous radiation. Furthermore a series of dedicated memory chips will indicate the effect of radiation on the on-board electronics. Lastly a Langmuir probe will in parallel measure the plasma flow.

– To act as a test bed for advanced technologies for future SSETI missions
ESEO will carry a small high gain antenna, as well as a large inflatable high gain antenna. Further two technologies will be tested on the orbit control thruster: The nozzle movement control system and the nozzle material.

– To involve the amateur radio community in the downlink of telemetry and payload data from the satellite to enable them to contribute to the mission and to provide a UHF/S-Band linear transponder until the end of the mission


Dimensions 600x600x710 mm
Mass 120kg
Expected lifetime Minimum 1 months, extended mission until end of life
Attitude Determination System Sun-sensors, horizon sensors, magnetometers and a star tracker
Attitude Control system Momentum wheel, cold gas attitude thrusters and a vector thrust control main thruster
Orbit Control System Cold gas
On-board Data Transfer CAN, RS232, RS242
· S-Band
· AMSAT S-Band
9.6 kb/s or 128 kb/s
· Average
· Peak
Deployable sun-tracking solar-cell panels
150 W
300 W
Batteries Li Ion, 300 Wh
Propulsion 18 l, 300bar, Nitrogen cold gas
Power bus 15-25V unregulated
Thermal control active