Interplanetary CubeSats (Internship)

AndreiaJob openings

We are ISISPACE, a leading company in the small-satellite market specialized in small satellite systems, turn-key missions, launch services and operations. Founded in 2006, ISISPACE operates globally and supports customers worldwide in accomplishing their space missions and applications. Our main office is in Delft, The Netherlands, where over 1 130 innovative colleagues work together on reaching our ambitious goals.

To support in the pre-phase A study on the design for a low-frequency radio instrument, including antennas and LNA stages, which is to be part of an EL3 mission that will land close to one of the Lunar poles. The instrument is meant to function as a precursor to larger-scale radio instrumentation on the Moon, specifically a low-frequency Lunar array that makes use of the facts that the far side of the Moon is radio-quiet and that, on the Moon, low-frequency astrophysical radio emissions are not blocked by an ionosphere like they are on Earth.


The support in the preliminary payload design, based on the science requirements. The main focus will lie on the following activities
• Concept design of the instrument while taking into consideration the unique environment on the lunar surface (thermal)
• Generating and maintaining the system level budgets (mass, power, data) and generation of solutions meeting the constraints given by EL3
• Generation and management of the key interfaces of the instrument, in case it’s integrated onto the EL3 lander (mass, mechanical, electrical)
• Generation of a concept of operations

Based on the selected payload concept design and in the light of the future lunar exploration program, an assessment will be made for the long-term operations of radio astronomy payloads on various locations on the lunar surface. Special attention will be given to issues like (human or robotic) deployment, EMC noise conditions and other relevant environmental aspects. An assessment of a preferred location on the moon and possible alternatives will be made. Based on the technology and heritage review and on the enabling critical precursor instrument design technologies, a development roadmap will be produced.

Figure 1: Deployed tri-axial dipole antennas on a 3m length boom, from the L-DEPP instrument design report. The antennas are deployed ‘tape measure style’ from their housings at the end of the boom, which itself is unrolled from its housing before antenna deployment.


Together with the Radboud Radio Lab of the Radboud University, Astron and ISISPACE have developed the Netherlands-China Low-frequency Explorer or NCLE.

NCLE is the only dedicated low-frequency space-based instrument and was launched in 2018. The technical design for the antenna system, digital and analogue electronics, and general practices for instance for the concept of operations and the calibration of the instrument will form the basis for the concept design work proposed here.

Figure 2: The NCLE instrument

Expected output

• The expected output for this internship assignment is defined in the list below:
• List identifying design drivers for a radio instrument on the lunar surface
• Report, showing how the concept design and its fit using currently available technology
• All major system budgets
• Development plan showing how the most promising technology can be developed in a realistic timescale
• List of recommendations for future improvements


The prerequisites for this assignment are:

• Familiarity and affinity with space system engineering,
• Strong communication skills, verbal and in writing, in English,
• Good with planning, pro-active, accurate, able to cope with a dynamic environment


The expected duration of this assignment is 3 months, from March 1st, 2022 to June 1st, 2022.

If this internship assignment fits your current studies and you are looking for a challenging internship in a multicultural and dynamic environment, do not hesitate and send your CV and motivation letter via e-mail to: no later than the 19th of February 2022.