METU Team Received the 1st Prize at International Space Mission Idea Contest!

Our team’s asteroid exploration mission idea “PARS: Precursor Asteroid Remote Survey” received the 1st prize at the International Mission Idea Contest (MIC 7) where contestants would propose a mission idea utilizing a micro-satellite under 100kg for deep space science and exploration.

The final for the 7th Mission Idea Contest, which was co-organized by UNISEC Global, University of Tokyo – Institute of Open Innovation and Collaborative Research Organization for Space Science and Technology (CROiSSant), in collaboration with the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), was held in Tokyo, Japan on 13th November 2021 in hybrid format.

The evaluation committee considered the originality, impact, engineering and feasibility aspects of the mission idea proposals. The students not only found innovative ideas, but designed a mission and spacecraft as well as investigating the mission feasibility and benefits to society.

Details of the Mission Idea Contest can be found at:


Our team members were (sorted by last name):

Batu Candan (METU Aerospace Eng. Dept. MS Student)

Sefa Cengiz (METU Aerospace Eng. Dept. Graduate)

Mehmet Eşit (ITU MS Student)

Şahin Ulaş Köprücü (METU Physics Dept. MS Student)

Derya Sarmısak (METU Aerospace Eng. Dept. Graduate)

Semra Uzun (METU Aerospace Eng. Dept. MS Student)

Şirin Yakupoğlu (ITU MS Student)

Cansu Yıldırım (METU Aerospace Eng. Dept. MS Student)

Advisors for the team were Mr. Burak Yağlıoğlu (Chief Researcher at TUBITAK UZAY – Space Technologies Research Institute) and Dr. Halil Ersin Söken (Assist. Prof. at METU Aerospace Eng. Dept.).

Our team won the prize with their mission titled “PARS: Precursor Asteroid Remote Survey”. The mission goal is to send a micro-spacecraft to Apophis asteroid, which will fly by the Earth in 2029 with a distance as close as 31000km (closer than GEO communications satellites). The spacecraft will investigate the tidal effects of the fly by on the asteroid and collect data to characterize the asteroid’s shape and surface topology. Details of the mission can be seen in the full presentation:

Mission ideas for 10 finalist teams were evaluated by a team of juries from different institutions around the world, who have led several actual space missions and are experts in the field of small satellite design & development and deep space missions. Our team’s mission idea was highly appreciated as a result of the proposed innovative ideas and the flawless mission design. The full final session can be accessed on youtube for a limited time:

7th Mission Idea Contest

The space mission idea proposed by our team is selected as finalist for the 7th Mission Idea Contest, which is organized by UNISEC Global, in collaboration with the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA). The constest was established in 2010 to provide aerospace engineers, college students, consultants, and anybody interested in space with opportunities to present their creative ideas and gain attention internationally. This year the main theme of the contest is “Deep Space Science and Exploration” and the title of the proposed mission by our team is “PARS: Precursor Asteroid Remote Survey”. The final will be held in 13th November in Tokyo, Japan.

Sincere congratulations to our team members, (in alphabethical order) Batu Candan, Cansu Yildirim, Derya Sarmisak, Mehmet Esit, Sahin Ulas Koprucu, Sefa Cengiz, Semra Sultan Uzun and Sirin Yakupoglu, and good luck for the final.

For details please check: http://www.spacemic.net/

Fault Tolerant Attitude Estimation for Small Satellites

Our book titled “Fault Tolerant Attitude Estimation for Small Satellites” is now published and available on sale by CRC Press. Below you can find a brief description of the contents. For further details and obtaining the book you can refer to the publisher website and/or Amazon whose links are given at the end.

Small satellites use commercial off-the-shelf sensors and actuators for attitude determination and control (ADC) to reduce the cost. These sensors and actuators are usually not as robust as the available, more expensive, space-proven equipment. As a result, the ADC system of small satellites is more vulnerable to any fault compared to a system for larger competitors. This book aims to present useful solutions for fault tolerance in ADC systems of small satellites. The contents of the book can be divided into two categories: fault tolerant attitude filtering algorithms for small satellites and sensor calibration methods to compensate the sensor errors. MATLAB® will be used to demonstrate simulations.

  • Presents fault tolerant attitude estimation algorithms for small satellites with an emphasis on algorithms’ practicability and applicability
  • Incorporates fundamental knowledge about the attitude determination methods at large
  • Discusses comprehensive information about attitude sensors for small satellites
  • Reviews calibration algorithms for small satellite magnetometers with simulated examples
  • Supports theory with MATLAB simulation results which can be easily understood by individuals without a comprehensive background in this field
  • Covers up-to-date discussions for small satellite attitude systems design


CRC Press website & Amazon

IAC 2020

Due to the pandemic, the International Astronautical Congress (IAC), a prestigious space event, where all the space people come together and discuss about the latest developments in space, will be fully virtual and free of charge this year. You can register for the main events, which will held on 12-14 October via iac2020.vfairs.com.

The technical program will cover more than 1000 presentations and our group member Mr. Mehmet Burak Guzel will be presenting his paper titled “IMAGING-BASED ATTITUDE DETERMINATION ALGORITHM FOR SMALL SATELLITES: DESIGN AND THE PRELIMINARY RESULTS (IAC-20.C1.9.10)”.

Full technical program can be accessed on https://iafastro.directory/iac/browse/IAC-20/catalog-technical-programme