INTERNSHIP PROJECT: Optimisation of the target orbit acquisition and rephasing phases

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Ref INTERNSHIP PROJECT: Optimisation of the target orbit acquisition and rephasing phases

About Astrocast


Astrocast, in partnership with Airbus and Thuraya is building a network of leading-edge nanosatellites in Low Earth Orbit to provide cost-effective IoT services to the 90% of the world not covered by cellular systems.

Astrocast low-cost terminals collect and transmit data from sensors or other customer assets and transmit them to our satellite network. The collected data is stored on the satellite and then forwarded to ground stations located around the globe. The ground stations forward the data to the cloud database, which is easily accessible to clients.

Astrocast’s mission is to track assets, monitor the environment, and save lives by building and operating the most advanced and sustainable satellite IoT network.


Job context


Astrocast’s satellite constellation is divided in several orbital planes. An orbital plane is a set of several satellites evenly distributed over the same orbit. The satellites constituting an orbital plane are launched together with the same rocket, and usually end up close to one another, and not exactly in the desired orbit. Therefore, after the identification of the satellites and the validation of the different subsystems (commissioning phase), the satellites need to be maneuvered in order to bring them to a target orbit (target orbit acquisition) and to distribute them over the orbit (rephasing).

The objective is to minimize the amount of propellant and the number of maneuvers used while acquiring the target orbit in a maximum defined time (e.g. 1 month).

There are different ways of achieving this objective and we believe it is an interesting topic for a master thesis.




The objective of the project is to create a tool to optimize the target orbit acquisition and strategies by minimizing one or several of the following variables:

  • Propellant use
  • Number of maneuvers
  • Time to acquire the target orbit
  • The following inputs will be considered:
  • TLEs (two-line elements) or GNSS data
  • A target orbit (defined by a mean SMA, an eccentricity, …)
  • The angles to achieve between the satellites (either within the same orbital plane (inplane-phasing) or within different orbital planes (inter-plane phasing))
  • Some constraints will have to be considered:
  • Satellites characteristics and propulsion system accuracy
  • Path constraints (sunlight/eclipse, etc.)
  • Distribution of the propellant used between the satellites


What will make you successful


  • Student in bachelor or master linked to space or in a relevant discipline
  • Interest/experience in working with satellite constellations
  • Good knowledge of Python/Java
  • Experience with optimization
  • Experience with orbit analysis tools (FreeFlyer, Orekit…) is an asset
  • Ability to work autonomously, showing initiative and self-management skills
  • Fluency in English, any other language an asset
  • Open-minded, positive attitude and strong attention to detail
  • Excellent verbal and written communication and presentation skills


What we offer


Astrocast supports equal opportunities employment.

Our values are important to us as they define Astrocast culture and represent what we believe in:

  • Agile – stay ahead of the game and be ready for the next challenge
  • Smart – be smart enough to set goals you can reach and navigate to get there
  • Team-oriented – share knowledge, trust your colleagues and be committed
  • Respectful – embrace diversity, new ideas and value differences
  • Open-minded – think outside the box, be open to change and learn from failures.

Astrocast offers flexible working time, team events, free fruits and great offices, in a dynamic, friendly, innovative and multi-cultural work environment.

  • Start Date: between July – September 2022
  • Internship duration: 6 months
  • Activity rate: 100%
  • Location : Astrocast, Chavannes-près-Renens, Switzerland


Send your complete application including CV, cover letter and work certificates before April 30th,  2022

Click on “Apply for this job” to submit your application.

Celia Gomez Jimenez Vitalis Hirshmann astrocast_our-team_fatima-vigil-perez-f astrocast_our-team_nicholas-petrig-f Gisela
Our team

"Diversity is critical in tech, as it enables companies to create better and safer products for everyone. At Astrocast, I found a multicultural and gender diverse environment and I appreciate the most to see women participating in various positions throughout the company. I am proud to be part of the future, working as an engineer in the space field, which was considered mission impossible."

Celia Gomez Jimenez, Spacecraft Reliability Engineer
Our team

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Vitalis Hirschmann, Senior Product Manager
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Nicholas Petrig, Head of Finance
Our team

"Joining Astrocast in the midst of a pandemic, it took several weeks to meet everyone in person. But since day one, I was already contributing and working well within the team. I attribute this to the Astrocast's culture of openness and friendliness, but also of getting things done"

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