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CanSat: Satellite Design

+++ Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the TU Berlin Summer University will not take place on campus this year. Registrations for our Summer University Online program are now open! +++

Summer University Term 3: July 20th - August 14th, 2020

Course price: 2,300 Euros

18 hours of class a week, 5 ECTS credit points, max. 24 participants



A CanSat is a small satellite in shape of a commercial beverage can that performs several measuring tasks. In this course, a CanSat is designed, built and tested in the field during a rocket launch. Therefore, all basics of topics related to the exciting area of space technology is imparted and practical skills for the development of a CanSat are trained. The theoretical units are supplemented by practical exercises. Parts of the CanSat are developed in intensely supervised small groups. During an excursion to a site in Berlin where space related companies and institutions are located, the participants shall gain insight into facilities used for the development of satellites.

This course is designed for students with a general understanding of engineering who want to gain insight into the exciting topic of space technologies. With the practical approach applied, students experience working on a challenging project in an interdisciplinary team. This prepares them for a systems engineering career with a leading position in the engineering industry. With the basic knowledge in space technologies that is imparted in this course, students have a good starting point to prepare themselves for a continuing education in space engineering.

Course Goals & Syllabus


After taking part in this course, students will have knowledge of the most important topics related to space technologies. Students will know the parts of a space system and understand their correlations, and will be able to plan and conduct a space mission. Practically, students will be capable of designing a part of a space system with regard to mechanics, electronics and programming.


Please click here to see the syllabus.

You may find the syllabus useful when discussing with your home University whether the ECTS credits attainable for this course are accepted by them.

Course components

The course starts with introductory lectures about the most important topics related to space technologies. In parallel, a practical training will be given to develop specific engineering skills in mechanics, electronics and programming that are necessary to conduct the hands-on project. During project work units, parts of a CanSat and a water-driven rocket will be designed with supervision in smaller groups. During a launch campaign, the CanSat will be tested under real conditions. The course is supplemented by an excursion to space related companies and institutions in Berlin.


The general prerequisites of the TU Berlin Summer University are: at least one year of university experience + English level B2 or equivalent. Participants should have a general understanding of engineering. 

Futhermore this course recommends that participants have the following:

  • A general understanding of engineering (please contact us for questions about whether your background is suitable)
  • It is recommended that students use their own laptops for the hands-on project. A PC Pool is partially available. However, a laptop for writing software, making CAD drawings and preparing presentations is highly recommended


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Klaus Brieß studied Information Technology at Technical University of Ilmenau, before becoming a scientific assistant at the university of Ilmenau researching automotive electronics. He has worked in the field of space technology since 1989. From 1992-2003 he did engineering and research work at the German Aerospace Center DLR, including camera design for the Russian Mars-96 mission and other space imagers. He completed extension studies in satellite communication (USA) and at the International Space University and has been a system engineer in different space projects and proposals for Earth remote sensing or planetary exploration. He has been a full professor at the TU Berlin since 2003.

Pertinent activities: member of International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), head of the section "Space Technology " of the German Aerospace Society "Deutsche Gesellschaft für Luft- und Raumfahrt Lilienthal-Oberth e.V.", member of “Gesellschaft zur Förderung des akademischen Nachwuchses”, co-founder of the “Space Initiative Berlin-Brandenburg (RIBB)”, and others, more than 130 international publications.

Cem Avsar graduated in Aerospace Engineering from the Technical University of Berlin in 2010. During his studies at TU Berlin, he was teaching informatics for eight semesters as tutor. Also, he participated in practical space related projects during his time of studies. With his graduation, he joined the staff of scientific researchers at the TU Berlin, Chair of Space Technology. He worked on modular satellite architectures and CubeSats. As Prof. Dr.-Ing. Klaus Brieß‘ teaching assistant, he was strongly involved in shaping the space technology curriculum. He also managed research projects, for instance a student-built rover. His projects enclosure the direct involvement of students in hands-on lecture courses. To date, he has lectured numerous space technology related courses, e.g. Satellite Technology, Aerospace Electronics, Aerospace System Design, Space Robotics and many more. He constantly edeavours to apply modern approaches of practical engineering teaching methods. Today, he is managing director of the Berlin-based space company beSpace.

Nikolas Korn graduated in Aerospace Engineering from TU Berlin in 2014. During his studies, he was working at GEA Grasso on 3D CAD modeling of screw compressor parts. Later he joined the PiNaSys as researcher. There he is focused on hardware and software development of miniaturized attitude determination systems for parabolic flight experiments as well as GPS orbit simulations. In April 2015 he participated on the 25. DLR parabolic flight campaign in Bordeaux, France.

 + further guest lecturers and supervisors. 

Please send direct questions about the course to the TU Berlin Summer University Team at: . We will answer your questions and direct specific queries regarding course content to the course lecturers where necessary. 

Brochure & Poster Download

Check out our Brochure and Poster for Summer 2020!

Summer University Term 3: July 20th - August 14th, 2020

Course price: 2,300 Euros

18 hours of class sessions per week, 5 ECTS credit points

Zusatzinformationen / Extras

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Beth Sibly, Director
+49 30 4472 0230