Embark on a journey of innovation and discovery by presenting our exciting projects.

Same Dream, New Technologies

Humanity has been looking at the stars and dreaming of knowing what is up in the sky since the dawn of time. Ancient civilizations observed star constellations, and modern governments launch satellites far beyond the cradle of the planet they were born on; we share the same dream with the generations before us, but in this age, we can actually chase these dreams. And we do. We are not stargazers, we are space explorers.


The EPFL Spacecraft team is launching a constellation of CubeSats to study the Earth’s exosphere.

The project

The Constellation of High-Energy Swiss Satellites is the EPFL Spacecraft Team's flagship mission and a testament to their long-term vision. The mission comprises two 3U CubeSats, equipped with all of the subsystems mentioned, including the scientific instruments developed by the universities of Bern and Zurich. The satellites will be placed on slightly different orbits, with one circular and the other elliptical, enabling complementary measurement of the exosphere from different vantage points.


The scientific goal of the CHESS mission is a comprehensive study of the Earth’s exosphere and ionosphere: observation of terrestrial atmospheric escape, its evolution, and variation in terms of atmospheric flux and chemical composition. The collected data will fill the gaps in the basic measurements of the upper atmospheric layers and thus will enable researchers to:

  • Broaden and deepen our understanding of the processes and phenomena taking place in the exosphere;
  • Improve our knowledge of the human-induced and natural climate variation in order to find potential solutions to environmental challenges;
  • Develop and test methods and instruments for future exploration of other planets’ atmospheres;
  • Form a more accurate and detailed model of the evolution of the Earth’s atmosphere and explain its vital differences from other planetary atmospheres;
  • Assess the impact of the chemical sputtering occurring on solar panels and improve the technology to help it withstand harsh conditions;
  • Test the hypothesis of density variations in the exosphere being pre-warnings of earthquakes.

Close-up view of our future CubeSat 3U's display model. This showcases perfectly the mechanism that ensures the solar panels to remain securely positioned once they are deployed.

Sneak peek of our satellite from above. See those small black shapes? They are our secret weapons: solar panels! They are what gives our satellite its power. No solar panels, no mission—just a sad, powerless satellite drifting in space.


Embark on an interstellar journey with 'Bunny', our pioneering mission that marked the EPFL Spacecraft Team's first footprint in space.

The project

Bunny marks the EPFL Spacecraft Team's debut in space and was developed entirely by students in just four months. It is an onboard computer that uses commercial and consumer-grade components, demonstrating their viability in the space environment. As a hosted payload on D-Orbit's ION SCV-009 spacecraft, Bunny will collect data on the behavior and reliability of its components in the first half of 2023. Lessons learned from Bunny will be used to improve the architecture of the onboard computer that will eventually fly on the CHESS satellites.

Bunny is not just a satellite, but a testament to the feasibility of student-led innovation and the resilience of commercial components in the vast expanse of the cosmos.

Back in January 2023, we launched this genius gadget into the great beyond (you might have noticed the missing STM32 controller, congrats, you can join EST right away).

Ever wondered how you send an on board computer into space? Here you have the answer! This aluminum box is the cozy home of our on board computer.


Dive into the world of high-frequency communication with 'X-Band', our ambitious project aiming to transmit large amounts of scientific data from space.

The project

Following the successful launch of Bunny, the next subsystem to fly in space is the X-Band module, targeted for Q1 2024. As no commercial options were available to meet the EPFL Spacecraft Team's needs for the desired X-band amateur frequency range at 10.45 - 10.50 GHz, the team developed tailored electronics. The X-Band module utilizes software-defined radio (SDR) technology and heterodyne receiver architectures to provide a flexible and agile communication system. X-Band is directly funded by the Swiss Confederation through Armasuisse via a research contract.

Here is our gorgeous ground station pointing to the sky. This antenna was entirely built and engineered at the EPFL, and it will enable us to communicate with our CubeSats!

It's really exciting to launch satellites into space, but if we can't talk to them, it kind of defeats the purpose, right? That's why the ground station is just as important as the CubeSat. Both the satellite and the ground station work together. The main goals of the ground station are twofold: first, to send commands from Earth to space, and second, to receive data from orbit. It consists of various antennas with transceivers in both UHF and X-band.


Meet 'Twocan', our upcoming powerhouse onboard computer mission. Drawing from the lessons learned from Bunny, Twocan signifies our relentless pursuit of growth and improvement.

The project

Twocan is an upcoming onboard computer that will be flown alongside the X-Band module. The development and testing of Bunny revealed several limitations, particularly with regards to computational power. The primary goal of Twocan is to provide a more powerful and redundant onboard computer, replacing the unused parts of Bunny (the FPGA). This redundancy ensures that in the event of a computer failure, the other can take over, thereby increasing the reliability of the system. The redesign of the board to accommodate these changes means that only the sensors and minor parts of Bunny will be carried over to Twocan.

On this particular day, the OBC Team assembled Twocan, our wonderful new circuit board, here on EPFL campus.

Presenting the board

And here it is, Twocan! You might wonder why it is called Twocan? Simply because a single processor can't assure redundancy, but Twocan.


Discover 'CanSat', our hands-on educational initiative that miniaturizes the thrill of space exploration into the size of a soda can. As a cornerstone of our commitment to practical learning and student development, CanSat provides budding space enthusiasts with the unique opportunity to design, construct, and launch their very own simulated satellite.

The project

The CanSat project at the EPFL Spacecraft Team was designed to provide students with first hands-on experience in developing space systems. CanSats are miniature spacecraft that simulate principal subsystems of a satellite flown on sounding rockets and recovered using parachutes. Teams develop their CanSats in a competition and collaboration with the EPFL Rocket Team.