Aster in Space


in space

From electronics to photonics

In the past couple of decades, the space industry has developed incredibly to the point where even private organisations can make their way to space. One of the many interesting aspects is the use of photonic components instead of electronics. In the region of Eindhoven, the Netherlands, there is a huge industry in photonics. Hence, the best place to further look into the possibilities of photonics in space, is here in Eindhoven, with Aster leading as the space student team

– Aster, Student team from Eindhoven University of Technology

Our Goal

Our goal is to create a satellite to test and increase the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of several components, with the focus on photonic components, in space.

Aster is about making a place for students at Eindhoven University of Technology to access space more easily. To do this, we want to make space research more accessible and create a place for students to talk space. With a team of 9 students we want to push the limits, and get the first satellite that originated from the Eindhoven University of Technology. We are motivated to better the world using our interest in space. 

Hence: Aster consists of two parts: the student team and the space community.

Our Milestones

Ground station

Communicating with existing satellites to gather data and learn the communication in space engineering


A small cubic satellite, which is solar powered and in small orbits. It measures and sends data back to earth using a link with the ground station


Moment of truth, sending the satellite into space and setting the next step in space engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology

About us

Aster is a student team from the Eindhoven University of Technology and currently consists of 17 members. With a multi-disciplinary background, we strive to bring space to Eindhoven.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Photonics?

Within the ever-growing space industry, there is a possibility to switch over to photonic-based communication. With the ideal location of Eindhoven, where a lot of big Photonic companies are located in Brainport, student team Aster is located in between the best possible contributors to photonics in space. We aim to boost the photonics research to the next level to evolve the space industry even further.

What technologies are going to be used?

The 1U satellite is a small satellite of 10x10x10cm. With many different photonic components, it will be designed such that the abilities of the chips is tested thoroughly. Hence, the satellite will mostly consist of lots of separate measurement setups that will monitor the Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs).

Does your satellite contribute to space debris?

Since the CubeSat is very small it does not take up a lot of space, and it will be placed in low-orbit where it has limited time before it falls down to earth and evaporate in the atmosphere. The satellite will be in space for a maximum of 2 years. Therefore it will not have an effect on the growing problem of space debris.

Student teams: Innovation Space of Eindhoven University of Technology

An important factor of any engineering team is to be partnered to grow. Currently, Aster is partnered with Innovation Space at Eindhoven University of Technology. Innovation Space is a community that develops and facilitates interdisciplinary challenge-based learning, engineering design and entrepreneurship at Eindhoven University of Technology. Many student teams here are associated with Innovation space. For Aster, Innovation Space is the place where we work on prototypes, getting hardware and sophisticated 3D designs printed. They provide us with essential equipment to work with, alongside experts in these fields.
Innovation Space - Eindhoven University of Technology