In English

You will find here more information about satellites,  the D-STAR technology, the participation of students to OUFTI-1, and the University of Liege.



What is a satellite ?

  • A satellite is an object which has been placed into orbit by human endeavor. A satellite comprises a bus and a payload. The spacecraft payload is the motivation for the mission. Payloads are many and varied (communications, weather, navigation, earth monitoring, astronomy). The spacecraft bus provides the necessary support function for the operation of the payload and is a complex assembly of subsystems (e.g., telecommunications, power, structure and mechanisms).

What is a nanosatellite ?

  • Nanosatellite is used to cover all spacecraft with in-orbit mass between 1 and 10 kilograms. See the satellite classification here.

What is a CubeSat ?

  • The equation is simple: CubeSat = 1 liter, 1 kilogram, 1 Watt. More precisely, a CubeSat is a cube with a size of 10x10x10 cm and with a mass of 1.33 kg maximum. It is a standard proposed jointly by Stanford University and California Polytechnic State University. The standardization allows for cheaper launch and better collaboration between universities. The first CubeSats were launched in 2003. Visit the CubeSat program official website.

Is OUFTI-1 a "real" satellite ?

  • Yes ! It will be launched by a launch vehicle and will be in orbit just like Hubble or the GPS constellation.

How will OUFTI-1 be deployed in space ?

  • OUFTI-1 will be deployed in space using P-POD, a flight proven deployment system. See the movie (courtesy of AAU CubeSat team)

What does OUFTI mean ?

  • OUFTI is a typical interjection from Liege related to astonishment. It is also the acronym for Orbital Utility For Telecommunication Innovation

What is OUFTI-1's expected lifetime ?

  • Two parameters that restrict OUFTI-1's lifetime are atmospheric drag and ionizing radiations. The expected lifetime is around one year.



What is D-STAR in a nutshell ?

  • D-STAR, which stands for Digital Smart Technology for Amateur Radio, is a recently-developed ham radio system. The overall system provides a lot of new built-in features including digital communication (i.e., the quality of the data received is better than an analog signal at the same strength), simultaneous voice and data transmission (e.g., GPS data and computer files), complete routing over the internet and callsign-based roaming on a worldwide basis. Therefore, the D-STAR system provides a new capability and functionality to the ham radio world and increases the efficiency of emergency communications. More information here.

Why D-STAR in space ?

  • OUFTI-1 will be the first satellite to test the use of the D-STAR communication protocol in space.



I want to participate to the project. Who should I contact ?

Why do students participate to OUFTI-1 project ?

  • One mission of the university is to prepare students in the fundamental principles and disciplines necessary for the design, implementation, and operation of engineering systems. In this context, the University of Liege, and in particular its College of Engineering, encourages hands-on involvement of students in real space missions.

Can students get credit for their participation to OUFTI-1 ?

  • Yes. Students get credit through the writing of a master thesis (22 ECTS) and through internships (8 ECTS) with industrial partners specialized in space activities. In total, students can get up to 30 ECTS, which corresponds to half a year credit.

Can students who do not study at the University of Liege participate ?

  • Yes. The current team has four students from other engineering schools.

Why is most of this web site in English ?

  • The knowledge of English is a must for every engineer. Even if one works in a Belgian company, technical documents and conversations are often in English. This is why a strong emphasis is put upon English in the OUFTI-1 project: all official documents must be written in English by the students. Another obvious reason is that many visitors of this website do not speak French.



University of Liege, did you say ?

  • Founded in 1817 by William II of the Netherlands, the University of Liège is a state-funded, pluralistic, outward-looking University. The University of Liege is located in the French-speaking part of Belgium, that is in the heart of Europe, a short distance away from France, Germany, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. It offers a complete range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses, as well as doctoral study. It also welcomes researchers at the post-doctoral level.

Why so much focus on a satellite at the University of Liege ?


  • The University of Liège enjoys an international repute in the aeronautical and space sectors and is the only university in Belgium’s French Community to propose a specialized education in this area (see the Master of Aerospace Engineering and the Master of Space Science). Another asset in this context is its research center, le Centre Spatial de Liège, an ESA-coordinated facility, dedicated among others to full-size spacecraft testing.