Space Engineering Research and Development Directorate


According to the Institute establishment proclamation terms of Definition, Space Engineering has an equivalent meaning with Aerospace Engineering that combines an aeronautical and astronautical of multidisciplinary engineering field. The directorate is under the Aeronautics and Astronautics research center, to take the leading role in the development of Aerospace Science and Technology in line with a mandate and responsibilities of ESSTI to:

  • Realize high performance aerospace systems and systems components;
  • Design, development, manufacturing, testing, launching of Satellites, manned and unmanned aerial vehicles, rockets, launch pads, launchers and deep space probes which are operating around earth and other planetary bodies in outer space;
  • Develop aerospace infrastructures such as workshops, laboratories, assembly Integrate and test (AIT) facilities and aerospace system manufacturing factories;
  • Conducting Researches to development high-performance, efficient and need driven aerospace technologies and systems.
  • Create a strong collaboration with national and international institution, professional societies, industries and stakeholders and alignment in line with the institute and country development goals to take the latecomer advantages of the science and technology and to accelerate the adoption of the technology, manpower development and problem-solving research in areas of aerospace science and technology;
  • Support local government and private participate institutions to use aerospace products and services, develop Aerospace systems.

In addition to this, SERDD is responsible for developing curriculums to educate and train future academic engineers and scientists in end-to-end Aerospace engineering, Satellite engineering, Aeronautical engineering, Space electronics, avionics discipline and related fields


Research Thematic Areas

Space Engineering Research and development Directorate may conduct researches on the following but not limited thematic areas:

   Title: Aerospace Systems Design & Development


The aerospace system design is requiring combined knowledge of mechanical, electrical, aeronautics, space, communication, material, fluid mechanics and other engineering disciplines. This research theme may deal about the design of easily operable and maintainable, low required and efficient power system, cost effective and miniaturizing the aerospace vehicles, launch system, satellite and space craft launchers etc.

   Title: Satellite System Development


In this thematic area high performance and efficient satellite subsystems, system components, high resolution cameras and sensors for the application of earth observation, high capacity receiving and transmitting systems for communication, accurate and precise payloads for weather and scientific satellites may design and manufactured. Therefore, to maximize the capacity and efficiency of these systems   design, manufacturing, orientation techniques must be introduced through experimental researches.

   Title: Aerospace Materials


At the present time, the engineering design principle is developing light weight, more strong, reliable, durable and efficient systems. These requirements may not be satisfied by using ordinary material rather it requires the invention of new aerospace material that has light and smart properties. Therefore, this research theme will deal about the different composite materials, alloys and light weight metals to improve their strength, thermal property, durability, weight, chemical composition, production process, orientation etc.

   Title: Development of Aerospace Application Software’s


The space products shall be secured and commercialized by using company brand not only the hardware but also software system of the product. In addition to this, the aerospace manufacturing system also required automation and space mission simulation. Therefore, developing a  high level machine learning algorisms and software for the specific product.

   Title: Aerospace Manufacturing, Assembly, Integration, and Test Facilities Development


the aerospace industry is a high-tech industry that requires a sophisticated technology. The research theme may concentrate on the design, development and manufacturing of highly accurate, precise, portable, easily maintainable, replaceable, and automated MAIT equipment’s that may not only used for aerospace industry but also for other manufacturing industries.

   Title: Space Robotics & Autonomous Systems Development


In the coming decades, autonomous systems (robotics, spacecraft, aircraft, etc.) will continue to change the way space is explored in even more fundamental ways, impacting both human and science exploration. Current research has been looking at developing autonomous spacecraft and UAVs which have, in effect, a ‘brain’ and the ability to follow commands given in system English rather than computer code. By being able to think for themselves, the satellites can then react to the environment around them, e.g. avoiding asteroids; and the technology may also, in time, reduce the need for humans to go into space for mere routine tasks. While development of autonomous UAV will give rise to a new age of   traffic monitoring and surveillance, emergency services assistance, photogrammetry and surveying.  This research theme covers a wide range of topics which include both the development of traditional AI technologies, core functionalities and their pragmatic integration with other technologies in a prototype experimental UAV system. In addition to this, it covers the kinematics, dynamics, control and verification of space robotic systems for manned and unmanned on-orbit servicing missions, theoretical modeling, simulation and experimental testing of autonomous systems using model spacecraft.

   Title: Launching Propulsion System Development


The Launch Propulsion Systems Technology Area (LPSTA) addresses technologies that enhance existing solid or liquid propulsion technologies or their related ancillary systems or significantly advance the technology readiness level (TRL) of newer systems like air-breathing, unconventional, and other launch technologies. Launch vehicle, in spaceflight, is a rocket-powered vehicle used to transport a spacecraft beyond Earth’s atmosphere, either into orbit around Earth or to some other destination in outer space. Launching systems include the launching vehicle, launching pad and the infrastructure. This thematic area is mainly focused on the overall system design, analysis and development of different launching systems and sub systems, design of efficient propulsion systems, selection of proper types of the propellants, develop new types of propellants, the physical and chemical properties of the propellants used for aerospace system and system miniaturization.

   Title: Aerospace Avionics


In this research theme we deal with the electronic systems used on aircraft, artificial satellites, UAVs, Spacecraft. The Avionic systems include communications, navigation, the display and management of multiple systems, and the hundreds of systems that are fitted to perform individual functions. The research is focused in five prioritized areas. These are control systems design, RF and Microwave engineering design, Electronics/sensors and navigation systems design, signal processing and communication systems design and IC design.

Project on Progress

   Title: CubeSat

There is no doubt that modern technology has done wonders to improve the livelihood of people and satellite technology is no exception. There are various studies that point out the miniature of satellite to develop and operate with reasonable cost and time that uses the same application of the large one. Benefits of having a CubeSat from drought and disaster monitoring to land and forest management is unparalleled. In order to move forward with this enlightening project SERDD has proposed to design a CubeSat which will be used for earth observation. The project is currently in its second phase which is the critical design of the satellite. SERDD firmly believes that the project will eventually lead to the development of satellite technology in Ethiopia.

   Title: UAV

As a result of enhanced civilization and modernization, human beings demand more comfort and seeks ways to do things which saves time, accurate, reliable and real-time information. An unmanned aerial Vehicle (UAV), an aircraft without a human pilot on board, is one of the technologies used to achieve human needs. Space Engineering Research and Development directorate is currently working to develop a multi-purpose UAV. While designing the UAV, SERDD has taken what the Ethiopia needs from this technology into account and plans to integrate it with good performance and affordability. Having in mind that this technology is supposed to assist the socio-economic development of the country, the UAV has a multi payload system that can be adjusted/replaced for multi- purpose uses. Accordingly, the UAV may use for the applications including but not limited to: Aerial survey, Wildlife tracking/monitoring, Inspection, and monitoring.

   Title: Curriculum Development

One of the objectives of the Ethiopian Space Science and technology institute is produced a knowledgeable, skilled and competent manpower in Aerospace science and technology. Now Ethiopia is motivated to participate in aerospace industry to share the wide market, to keep its sovereignty, to boost the economy as e general to support the socio-economic activities of the nation. As a result, SERDD is taking the responsibility to develop a curriculum of Aerospace Engineering, Satellite Engineering and Aeronautical Engineering to satisfy its manpower need as well other aerospace participant institutions in the field.

   Title: AIT and laboratory

In order to realize the mission of the ESSTI, SERDD has been working on acquiring various facilities that will aid in this endeavor. One of these facilities is Assembly, Integration and Testing (AIT) facility. SERDD is currently working on building an AIT center feasibility study that can assemble, integrate and test up to medium size satellites. The other facility currently under construction is a mechanical and electrical laboratory. The directorate believes that having these laboratories will aid in the research and development of new technologies in Aerospace field.

   Title: Earth Observation Micro Satellite

ESSTI is currently working on launching of the first ever Ethiopian satellite into space called ETRSS-I. The satellite is a multi-spectral earth observation satellite will be operational in low earth sun synchronous orbits and with expected service life of more two years. Since the satellite is a remote sensing observation satellite, mainly will used for water resource monitoring, disaster management, vegetation coverage mapping, land management, crop distribution, and other application services.

   Title: Communications Satellite

It is no secret that communication facilities play an important and leading role in the socio-economic development of the nation and taking that into account, ESSTI is working on developing a communication satellite. The benefit of owning a communication satellite is unparalleled for the use of mobile and fixed telecom service, mobile service, broadcast service, distance education, telemedicine, high throughput data services, internet access, VSAT to reach to the remote area, DTH and other communication services. While this project is in its infancy stage as a result the technical and financial documents are being evaluated. Therefore, the SERDD has a responsible in the development of this communication satellite in comply with its mandate.


SERDD works in partnership and collaboration with various industries (national and international) that will help advance aerospace technology in Ethiopia. These industries include:

  • METEC –Deien Aviation Industry
  • Aeronautical Professional Society
  • China Aerospace Science and Technology
  • China Aerospace vehicle technology Corporation
  • China great wall industrial corporation
  • Ariane group (France)
  • Ministry of Health
  • Agricultural council
  • Defense University
  • Kale General Electronics and Machinery Manufacturing Plc
  • Other none listed government and private institutions, organizations, universities
  • Internet network security agency
  • Minister of Health of the Federal democratic republic of Ethiopia

Staff Profile

NameTitleResearch AreaContact Address
Shimeles Kebede TegawMScSatellite and UAV system Development, Aerospace materials
Phone: +251-913-012-430
Yeshirun Alemayehu AddeMScSpace Robotics, Structural Modeling and Analysis, Aerodynamics, Smart Materials, CFD AnalysisEmail:
Phone: +251-928992614
Salem Sintayehu GizieBScSustainable Energy system for Aerospace vehicle, Smart material development, Satellite system development and application technique
Phone: +251913007919
Denekew Ejigu AlebelBScsatellite system, electro-optical payload design, satellite mission design
Phone: +251-921-292-569
Eshet Tesfaye TafesBScSpace Vehicles Structural, Space Vehicles Payload Systems and sub system, Space Vehicle Propulsive System
Phone: +251 -92 3-72 2-003
Lidya Rezene EliasBScAerodynamics, Smart MaterialsEmail:
Phone: +251911316359
Eskedar Gebeyehu AyeleBScSatellite Communication System, Satellite
Phone: +251-913-405-440
Samuel Tilahun AyeleBScAerodynamics, UAV system Development
Phone: +251-910-957-871
Wondimagegn Melaku Mesifin BScSpacecraft structure and material, Fluid dynamics, Structural modeling and FEM
Phone: +251-920-480-482