Dr. Mihkel Pajusalu
Senior Research Fellow in Space Technology
Head of the Space Technology Department in Tartu Observatory
Mihkel Pajusalu defended his Ph.D. in physics in University of Tartu in 2014 and was working as a Postdoc at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Sara Seager's, Tanja Bosak's and Shuhei Ono's labs 2015-2019, after which he returned to Tartu Observatory. His interests lie in making human existance interplanetary by studying biology in planetary context (astrobiology), planetary and space exploration, in situ resource utilization, and transferring technologies between terrestrial and space applications. He is the Principal investigator of the OPIC instrument for the Comet Interceptor mission.
Dr. Andris Slavinskis
Senior Research Fellow
Andris Slavinskis earned his PhD in Physics (space technology) from the University of Tartu in 2014 and is currently sharing time between Aalto University in Finland and TO where he is the main supervisor of four PhD students and responsible for the ESTCube-2 launch (part of EC IOD/IOV Programme). He was an initial member of the Comet Interceptor consortium where TO and Aalto develops the OPIC instrument, for which Slavinskis serves as a Co-I. During 2017–2018, he worked at NASA Ames Research Center’s Mission Design Division. Slavinskis is interested in nanosatellites, nanospacecraft, electric sailing, as well as small science missions beyond low Earth orbit.
Hendrik Ehrpais, M.Sc.
Hendrik Ehrpais is an engineer at TO and a PhD student in Physics since 2017 at UT; BSc in Physics and MSc in Robotics and Computer Engineering (2015 and 2017) from UT. His PhD topic is interplanetary nanosatellite attitude determination. Mr. Ehrpais is the CTO of the Estonian Student Satellite Foundation (ESTCube) and the Prinipal investigator of a project developing localization algorithms for off-road autonomous navigation and a project developing a radiometrically calibrated Earth observation instrument. His research interests include sensor fusion algorithms and sensor technology, optical instruments and autonomous navigation.
Joosep Kivastik, M.Sc.
Joosep Kivastik is a physics’ PhD student at the University of Tartu specializing in optical instruments for nanosatellites. Furthermore, he is an engineer at UT Tartu Observatory working on diffuser simulations, optical design and systems engineering. He also leads the ESTCube-2 Earth Observation Payload team. He is passionate about space and wants to make the future promised in sci-fi books the current reality.
Iaroslav Iakubivskyi, M.Sc.
Iaroslav Iakubivskyi received BSc in Gas Turbine and Jet Engine Engineering from National Aviation University (Ukraine) and MSc from University of Tartu (Estonia) in Robotics and Computer Engineering. Iaroslav’s PhD research is focused on technologies for deorbiting and planetary research with smallsats. He is also involved in the PELE team, which is focused on the characterisation of biological and geological substrates in Martian analogue lava caves.
Madis Kaspar Nigol
Space Technology Engineer
Madis Kaspar Nigol received his BSc in Physics (2017) and MSc in Robotics and Computer Engineering (2019) both in the University of Tartu. He is interested in machine learning applications and robotics on ground, in air and in space.
Saimoon Islam Quazi
Quazi Saimoon Islam is currently pursuing his Masters in Robotics and Computer Engineer, specializing in Space Technology, at the University of Tartu since 2018. He is active member of the ESTCube-2 project, working on the Star Tracker subsystem. He is passionate about the continuous development of space technology and in particular, navigational systems for ground vehicles and deep space exploration. He is currently working as an intern at the Nutikas (R&D) project.
Raid Vellerind is in the process of acquiring his Masters in Robotics and Computer Engineer, specializing in Robotics, at the University of Tartu. He is passionate about future developments in space and military technology as well as science communication and educating the general public. Raid is currently working as an intern at the Nutikas (R&D) project.
Silvar Muru is currently pursuing his Masters in Robotics and Computer Engineering, specializing in Space Technology, at the University of Tartu since 2018. He has a background in civil and military aviation. He is currently working as an engineer at UT Tartu Observatory on optomechanical design and analysis. He is an active member of the ESTCube-2 project, working on the structures and camera subsystem. He is passionate about robotic arms, aviation and urban farming.
Hans Hubert Sams
Hans Hubert Sams is a third year undergraduate student doing his major in physics and minor in computer engineering at University of Tartu. He joined THEIA project as a summer intern after his first academic year. Over the two years his main tasks have been to design a system of optical baffles for the Earth observation imager and conduct stray light analysis. From a very young age he has been interested in the cosmos and enjoyed space themed science fiction which eventually led him to go study physics. To contrast his passion for physics and space he also enjoys more creative activities like choral singing, folk dance and analog photography. In general his desire is to advance society through research and education.