Space Technology


Project Facts

Project NameBerlin Experimental and Educational Satellite (BEESAT-3)
Contact PersonMerlin Barschke, M.Sc.
Funded byFederal Ministry of Economy and Technology
Grant No.50 RU 0902

BEESAT-3 (Berlin Experimental and Educational SATellite 3) is a 1 kg picosatellite complying with the CubeSat design specification, which was developed at TU Berlin in three years. The primary objective of the BEESAT-3 mission is the education of students at TU Berlin. Therefore, the entire satellite is developed and designed by students as part of lectures, group design projects and theses. The secondary mission objective is the technology demonstration of HISPICO (Highly Integrated S-band link for PICO- and nanosatellites), which was developed in a former research project at TU Berlin in cooperation with IQ wireless GmbH, Berlin.

The attitude determination and control system (ADCS) of BEESAT-3 consists of sun sensors and gyros for attitude determination and a permanent magnet and a hysteresis plate for passive attitude control. The permanent magnet aligns the satellite with Earth’s magnetic field lines in such a manner that the S-band patch antenna is directed to the ground while the BEESAT-3 is passing over the TU Berlin ground-station. The hysteresis plate interacts with Earth’s magnetic field, which results in nutation damping and therefore ensures that the ground-station remains within the transmission cone of the S-band antenna throughout the ground-station pass. 

In order to reduce the mass and volume of the satellite bus and therefore maximise the available space for the payload, all electric components of BEESAT-3, excluding the UHF transceiver are arranged on one single PCB board.

BEESAT-3 was launched together with BEESAT-2 on the Russian Bion-M1 satellite with a Soyuz-2.1b launcher on the 19th of April 2013.


Barschke, Merlin F.; Werner, Philipp and Kapitola, Sascha (2018). BEESAT-3 commissioning – better late than never.  Proceedings of the 69th International Astronautical Congress

Avsar, Cem; Lieb, Johannes; Frese, Walter; Herfort, Martin; Trowitzsch, Sebastian (2010). Verification of a New Two-Dimensional Sun-Sensor with Digital Interface on a Sounding Rocket.  REXUS/BEXUS Results Symposium

Trowitzsch, Sebastian; Baumann, Frank; Barschke, Merlin F. and Brieß, Klaus (2013). Lessons learned from picosatellite development at TU Berlin.  2nd IAA Conference on University Satellites Missions

Barschke, Merlin F.; Baumann, Frank and Brieß, Klaus (2012). BEESAT-3: Passive attitude control for directed radio transmission on a CubeSat.  Proceedings of the 3rd United Nations / Japan Nano-Satellite Symposium

Barschke, Merlin F.; Baumann, Frank and Brieß, Klaus (2012). BEESAT-3: A picosatellite developed by students.  Proceedings of the 61th German Aerospace Congress

Funke, Tobias; Jahnke, Stephan; Werner, Philipp; Trowitzsch, Sebastian; Brieß, Klaus (2013). Development of a Distributed Ground Segment for Multi-Mission Satellite Operations.  2nd IAA Conference on University Satellites Missions

Ivanov, Danil; Penkov, Vladimir; Ovchinnikov, Michael Yu.; Barschke, Merlin F.; Brieß, Klaus and Kypriyanova, Nadezhda (2014). Characterisation of hysteretic dampers for passive attitude control of CubeSats.  presentation at the 6th European CubeSat Symposium

Klaus Brieß, Frank Baumann and SebastianTrowitzsch (2011). Present and Future Picosatellite Missions at TU Berlin.  8th IAA Symposium Small Satellites for Earth Observation