The School of Engineering in Pisa has just hosted an incredible workshop called “How to Drive a Spacecraft – Ground Segment and Mission Operations”.
Led by experienced professionals from SSC Engineering Services and two special guest friends from ESA, this event was a fantastic opportunity to gain valuable knowledge and insights into the world of space operations.
The first day started with Davide Starnone, Managing Director of Aurora Technology and Director General of SSC Italy, introducing the SSC group, its Engineering Services division, and its business. He also briefly presented the brand new Italian subsidiary of the group: ‘SSC Italy’, with its headquarter based in Pisa as well.
Then the technical sessions followed with an overview of the Ground segment and its operations and an insights on the preparation, launch, and disposal of a space mission from the perspective of the Spacecraft Operation Engineer.
After a short coffee break which gave the attendees the possibility to do some networking, the special guests gave an overview of the End-of-Life operations for LEO missions and on the Product Assurance in the Payload Data Ground Segment.
The second day addressed other interesting topics in four different sessions, focusing on: a day as a Spacecraft Operation Engineer; Flight Dynamics including the wonderful journey of the Rosetta spacecraft chasing a comet; Space debris; and the operational validation: simulation and training with an interesting inside on the management of the anomaly using machine learning approach.
Students attending the sessions were thrilled by the presented subjects and the prospective from which they have been treated.
Each session ended with a Q&A where the audience members were given the opportunity to pose questions to the speaker(s). It was a great way to engage with an audience and promote open dialogue and encourage active listening, allowing individuals to seek clarification or gain deeper insights on a particular topic or subject.
In conclusion, this two-day event covered everything from the design of the ground segment to mission utilization, providing attendees with an in-depth look at the various phases of a spacecraft’s life, from lift-off to disposal.
As SSC, we would like to thank professor Salvo Marcuccio and DICI – Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile e Industriale Università di Pisa, to give us the opportunity to organize such event and for the time and effort they have invested into it. We believe it was a big success!
We hope to come back soon and we look forward for the next collaboration with the University of Pisa.