Tell us a about yourself; your name, what you are studying.

I’m Ernst, 26 years old and about to graduate for my Master Aerospace Engineering at the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). I have been a space enthusiast from high school because I got attracted by the many related mysteries being unsolved. I specifically became interested in space engineering after the touchdown of Philae on a comet as part of the ESA’s Rosetta mission. I am still amazed how a spacecraft could be launched 10 years in advance and land on such a small object in space.

What was the purpose of your internship at Andøya Space and how did you end up here?

An internship is part of the Master curriculum and intended to provide student practical work experience related to Aerospace Engineering. Martijn was the last student from the TU Delft doing his internship at Andøya Space back in 2017 and he shared his experience on the student learning platform of the TU Delft. I became very motivated to apply after reading about all the interesting projects and activities that were going on at such an exotic location.

What was your internship at Andøya Space about?

The Andøya Space Education ground station (which is used to communicate with weather balloons and amateur satellites) was originally set up in 2008 as part of the ANSAT project, but was in need of being updated to a newer standard. This included the setup of the new user and technical requirements, designing a new setup, build, test, and verify its operation. The major improvements are the replacement of the traditional radio equipment by a Software Defined Radio (SDR) and the new transmit ability of the ground station.

What have you learned from your stay at Andøya Space?

Besides getting acquainted with the theoretical and practical aspects of telemetry in general, I also obtained related knowledge by talking to external parties and experts. In addition, I learned to work on a bigger project that included time planning and budgeting, which made this project even more fun and distinguishable compared to university projects. I also learned that Andøya is one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

What do you envision next after you finish your studies?

I gained a lot of interest in other fields besides engineering in the past years. Since I still enjoy learning and exploring, I am hoping to find something that could provide me this, but is challenging at the same time. Luckily, I am confident that the skills and experiences I obtained during my studies provide me a good basis for a wide range of opportunities.

Any tips to current or soon-to-be students?

Follow your interests at the moments you have to choose for a degree or courses, rather than making decisions that you think will lead to your dream job. During your studies you will likely discover new interests anyway, so it is most important that you enjoy what you are doing, which is the only way to really succeed. In addition, I recommend studying abroad if you have the opportunity. In my opinion, it is the most convenient time of your life to experience living abroad for a longer period. I am sure it will also enrich your life in many ways.

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