Launching Estonia's first satellite

Tallinn University of Technology
The Challenge

When the ESTCube-1 satellite blasted into space atop a European Space Agency (ESA) Vega rocket on May 7, 2013, it was the first Estonian-built satellite to enter Earth’s orbit. Built as part of the Estonian Student Satellite Program by a team of students from Tallinn University of Technology, Tartu University, the Estonian Aviation Academy, and the University of Life Sciences, the tiny 10 centimeter by 10 centimeter by 10 centimeter, 1.05 kilogram satellite was designed to perform proof-of-concept testing of the electric solar wind sail.

The Solution

The ESTCube-1 student team chose SOLIDWORKS® Education Edition software for the project because it’s easy to learn and use, and facilitates communication and collaboration. By choosing SOLIDWORKS, the ESTCube-1 team created the first launched Estonian satellite; improved coordination with student, research, and manufacturing partners; streamlined the exchange of part and assembly models for production; and facilitated communication with eDrawings® files and photorealistic renderings.

The Results
  • Created first launched Estonian satellite
  • Improved coordination with student, research, and manufacturing partners
  • Streamlined exchange of part/assembly models for production
  • Facilitated communication with eDrawings and photorealistic renderings

"SOLIDWORKS was the right choice for this project because we were learning while doing. Since we were learning how to design, manufacture, and assemble a satellite to carry the electric solar wind sail payload, we needed a platform that was easy to learn and use."
- Paul Liias, ESTCube Structure and Mechanics Subsystem Manager

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