Software and simulation for aerospace applications

Based on more than 12 years experience in simulation and software development for small satellites, I offer consulting, analysis, design and implementation for complex embedded systems.

Dr.-Ing. Karsten Gordon

Dr.-Ing. Karsten Gordon

As a graduated software engineer with a PhD in space technology, working for more than 10 years in academic and industrial small satellite projects, I combine profound knowledge in systematic software design with vast practical experience in space applications.

I work reliably and independently; with a strong attention to detail I find effective solutions to drive the project forward, always keeping the ultimate goal in focus. My strengths are analytical thinking and quick comprehension of complex problems. Team spirit, communication and presentations skills as well as excellent language skills in German and English complete my profile.


    ADCS Engineer As lead ADCS engineer at TU Berlin (2011-2018), I was responsible for the development, implementation and verification of attitude control systems for the TUBiX20 small satellite platform. Photo © Philip von Keiser / TU Berlin Lead ADCS engineer
    for a small satellite platform
    Systems Egineer As software systems engineer, I was responsible for the development of the distributed software for the nanosatellite platform TUBiX20 (2011-2018). I led the software team and shaped the design of the software architecture with its interfaces. Additionally, I coordinated the collaboration with our project partners. Photo © Roscosmos System engineer software
    for a small satellite platform
    PhD My PhD thesis investigates a new concept for the flexible design and verification of an attitude determination and control system for a nanosatellite platform. I passed the doctoral exam with distinction and was awarded the Manfred Hirschvogel Prize in 2017. Image © TU Berlin A flexible attitude control system
    for three-axis stabilized nanosatellites
    ADCS Performance Vid TechnoSat is the first mission which implements my PhD research on a flexible ADCS and achieves a mean performance error of 2° without a star tracker. Video © Chair of Space Technology / TU Berlin Flight-Proven Attitude Determination
    and Control System
    Simulation In my role as lead developer and maintainer of model libraries for several satellite projects (2008-2018), I developed a strategy to gradually refine a spacecraft from a purely virtual model to a fully integrated prototype via scaleable simulation models. Photo © Spacegramming Simulation Models Hirschvogel In November 2018, I was awarded the Manfred Hirschvogel Prize by the Frank Hirschvogel Foundation for the best dissertation at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Transport Systems of Technische Universität Berlin in 2017. Photo © Felix Noak / TU Berlin Award-winning research Checkout I took part in the TechnoSat checkout campaign to carry out the launch preparations in Baikonur (Kazakhstan) in early Summer 2017. During the TechnoSat launch (July 14th, 2017) and early operations phase (LEOP), I carried our the commissioning of the ADCS. Photo © Roskosmos Checkout campaign in Baikonur,
    Conferences To stay updated on the latest trends and developments in the field, I regularly visit international conferences where I also present my own work. To date, I have written or co-authored more than twenty conference papers or journal articles. Photo © Rene Laufer / IAA Small Sat Scientific presentations
    at international conferences



    With the growing potential of small satellites and ever more complex and ambitious missions launched in shorter time frames, the importance of software design rises significantly. The days when space engineers as all-rounders could develop the hardware and write some code on the side are certainly over.

    As a graduated software engineer with vast experience in space systems, I bring flexibility into your architecture and structure into your development process, making your software design more flexible, reliable and efficient.

    Control Theory

    The attitude determination and control system is often the most complex subsystem of a spacecraft, incorporating multiple sensors and actuators as well as complex control algorithms. Increasing demands regarding performance and a very agile market for hardware components require continuous upgrades and adaptions.

    I gained practical experience as the leading control engineer during several satellite missions, the outcomes of which I further explored and developed during my doctoral research. Today, I offer flexible and powerful control solutions which are cutting-edge, comprehensible and well-structured.


    During a spacecraft’s development process, there are many dependencies between hardware and software. Hence the software is usually under ongoing construction right up until the very end of a project. Here, the continuous use of simulation models means that the software development can be decoupled from its dependency on the availability of hardware. This also means that even complex functionality in the software can be designed early on.

    In my role as lead developer and maintainer of model libraries for several satellite projects, I developed a strategy to gradually refine a spacecraft from a purely virtual model to a fully integrated prototype via scaleable simulation models.


    I am a graduated embedded software developer with practical experience in industrial and academic satellite missions. My key areas of expertise are control systems, software architecture and development processes.

    My services range from feasibility studies to implementation, verification and operations. All the way from the first design sketch to upgrading performance in-orbit, I provide solutions that will realize a flexible, highly performant and robust embedded software.



    Sascha Kapitola "His broad knowledge and many years of practical experience in the fields of aerospace and software engineering in general, and control theory in particular, make Karsten a unique expert in the aerospace industry." Sascha Kapitola,
    Embedded software developer,
    Technische Universität Berlin, on :
    Sebastian Grau "His broad experience from the space environment down to the embedded software level allowed him to define and develop a software architecture for a satellite's most complex subsystem, the attitude control system, which is far ahead of its time." Sebastian Grau,
    Software developer for control engineering and simulation,
    Oskar Frech GmbH + Co. KG, on :
    Alexander Graf "His experience in the software as well as the space domain allowed him to detect and resolve challenges well ahead." Alexander Graf,
    Founder, Embedded Software Engineer,
    Chiptoverse, on :

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