The Flying Laptop

The small satellite Flying Laptop is the first satellite of the Small Satellites Program in Stuttgart. This mission shall establish the foundation for the required infrastructure as well as the expertise for the Small Satellites Program of the Institute of Space Systems (IRS), University of Stuttgart. The satellite was developed and built at the IRS and operated with the institutes' own ground station. The design, development, construction and future operation are primarily done by Ph.D. students and undergraduate students.


Flying Laptop has the dimensions of 60x70x85 cm³ and a mass of 110 kg. It is three-axis stabilized and orbits and surveys the earth in a low polar orbit of approximately 600 km. The Flying Laptop was launched into orbit as a secondary payload. The objectives of the Flying Laptop are the testing and verification of new technologies, e.g. a reconfigurable FPGA onboard computer, a novel unfolding meachanism and a GPS experiment, as well as scientific earth surveillance.

The projected lifetime of Flying Laptop shall be two years. At the end of the mission, a de-orbit mechanism for faster reentry will be activated. By means of this mechanism the FLP follows the European Code of Conduct for Space Debris Mitigation.