Monitoring the high-energy sky with small satellites

2022 September 6-8

Brno, Czech Republic


Brno is the second-largest city in the Czech Republic. It is the capital of the South Moravian Region with a population of almost 400.000 people. It is a modern city with a focus on high-technology industry, trade, science, information technology, research, and innovation with business incubators and centres of excellence in science. Brno is a city of universities with more than 86,000 students and 3 university campuses. Most of the Czech space industrial companies are located in the Brno technological park. It is a dynamic lively city with plenty of restaurants, shops, and cultural centres.


The Brno Observatory and Planetarium is a modern and architecturally beautiful venue in a hilltop park, with great views, in the middle of Brno, is ideal for medium size conferences. It provides modern audiovisual equipment, excellent Wi-Fi connection, and additional rooms for side meetings and discussions. The venue provides much-needed flexibility, including the possibility of organising a hybrid event, with part of the participants connected remotely.


While Brno only has a small international airport, it has direct train/bus connections to larger airports in nearby Vienna and Prague. Both Flixbus and Regiojet operate frequent buses between Vienna Airport and Brno, as well as between Brno and Prague. For trains, please check out the website of the Czech railways . Regiojet also operates trains. If you would need to get to Vienna early in the morning, it is possible to get a taxi for around 140 EUR.

The Main Railway station (Brno Hlavní nádraží) is located in the city center close to Náměstí Svobody. When you travel from Brno Hlavní nádraží to the meeting venue - Observatory and Planetarium Brno (Hvězdárna a planetárium Brno) - the easiest is to take tram number 4 to the square at the top of Kraví hora - Náměstí Míru. The Brno Planetarium and Observatory is then within 5 minutes of walking distance across the nearby park (see the map below).


You can search for convenient hotels in Brno at or airbnb, but we can recommend staying at Hotel Kozák, Hotel Continental, or Hotel International. A convenient cheaper option, is B&B Hotel University Brno.

Covid Information

Regarding COVID-19, there are no restrictions or obligations to enter the Czech Republic. The obligation to prove infection-free status has been suspended, masks are not required in shops, public places, and public transport. However, we would like to remind you that participation at events with a large number of people presents an increased risk for COVID-19 transmission.

To limit the transmission risk, we recommend the following guidelines:
  • anyone experiencing symptoms (fever, cough, etc.) should get tested as soon as possible and only enter the venue with a negative test result and having a mask on
  • we encourage participants to bring their own self-test kit (or to buy one upon arrival) and to get tested before the start of the conference
  • the use of masks is not required, but recommended inside the venue
  • Program

    Tuesday, September 6

    Chair: Andrea Sanna
    8:55-9:00 Norbert Werner - Welcome notes
    9:00-9:30 Elisabetta Bissaldi - Gamma Ray Burst Science
    9:30-10:00 Oli Roberts - Magnetars and Terrestrial Gamma-ray Flashes
    10:00-10:30 Michele Lavagna - Distributed architectures in high-energy astrophysics

    Coffee Break 30 min

    Chair: Varun Bhalerao
    11:00-11:15 Fabrizio Fiore - HERMES
    11:15-11:30 Jeremy Perkins - BurstCube
    11:30-11:45 Ming Zeng - GRID
    11:45-12:00 Jakub Ripa - GRBAlpha and VZLUSAT-2
    12:00-12:15 Roi Rahin - GALI
    12:15-12:30 Rachel Dunwoody - EIRSAT-1

    Lunch (12:30 - 13:50)

    Chair: Fabrizio Fiore
    13:50-14:10 Leo Singer - New GCN
    14:10-14:30 Eric Burns - Joint Localization between gamma-rays & GW, new IPN
    14:30-14:50 Israel Martinez - Pipelines and response functions
    14:50-15:10 Adam Goldstein - GBM data analysis tools
    15:10-15:30 Aaron Tohuvavohu - Follow-up coordination
    15:30:15:50 Martin Jelinek - GRB followup with robotic telescopes

    Coffee break 20 min

    Chair: Ehud Behar
    16:10-16:30 Klaus Schilling - Satellite formations for astronomical observations
    16:30-16:50 Robert Mearns - Overview of inter-satellite communication (challenges and opportunities)
    16:50-17:10 András Pál - The SatNOGS network
    17:10-17:30 Fabrizio Fiore - A new equatorial ground station for HERMES and small HEA missions

    Wednesday, September 7

    Chair: Jeremy Perkins
    9:00-9:15 Matthew Kerr - GlowBug
    9:15-9:30 Adam Goldstein - MoonBeam
    9:30-9:45 Hsiang-Kuang Chang - GTM
    9:45-10:00 Dan Kocevski - Starburst
    10:00-10:15 Abe Falcone - BlackCAT
    10:15-10:30 Norbert Werner - QUVIK

    Coffee Break 30 min

    Chair: Sheila McBreen
    11:00-11:20 Hiromitsu Takahashi - In-orbit degradation of the Hamamatsu MPPCs (SiPMs)
    11:20-11:40 Lee Mitchell - Low-Earth background and SiPM detectors
    11:40-12:00 David Murphy - Authorisations and other paper-work challenges
    12:00-12:20 Ming Zeng - Educational experience with the GRID mission
    12:20-12:40 Lorraine Hanlon - Educational experience with the EIRSAT-1 mission

    Lunch (12:40 - 14:00)

    Chair: Judith Racusin
    14:00-14:15 Aaron Tohuvavohu - LUVS
    14:15-14:30 Shaolin Xiong - GECAM
    14:30 -14:45 Merlin Reynaard Kole - Polar-2
    14:45 -15:00 Lolowa Alkindi - Light-1
    15:00-15:15 Laszlo Meszaros - CAMELOT prototype design
    15:15-15:30 Giulio Lucchetta - MeVCube

    Coffee Break 15 min

    Chair: Judith Racusin
    15:45-16:00 Michael Briggs - Fermi GBM GRB localization algorithm
    16:00-16:15 Michael Burges - A statistical approach to GRB triangulation
    16:15-16:30 Sharon Mitrani - Sky localization of long gamma ray bursts from an orbiting satellite

    Moving to Mendel’s monastery, visit and dinner in a nearby brewery

    Thursday, September 8

    Chair: Jakub Ripa
    9:00-9:15 Robert Mearns - SpIRIT/SkyHopper
    9:15-9:30 Andreas Sanna - ALBATROS
    9:30-9:45 Olivier Godet - 3UTransat
    9:45-10:00 Yoichi Yatsu - PETREL (Wide field UV Transient survey)
    10:00-10:15 Sheila McBreen - GIFTS
    10:15-10:30 Varun Bhalerao - Daksha

    Coffee Break 30 min

    Chair: Andras Pal
    11:00-11:15 Stéphane Schanne - SVOM
    11:15-11:30 Andrew Inglis - Solar flare science with smallsats: possibilities and challenges
    11:30-11:45 Lian Tao - Introducing CATCH: the Chasing All Transients Constellation Hunters
    11:45-12:00 Julia Salh - The GALI-ISS Mission - a Gamma-ray Burst Localizing Instrument
    12:00-12:15 Philippe Laurent - COMPOL: a gamma-ray polarimeter in a 3U nanosat
    12:15-12:30 Alexey Uliyanov - The COMCUBE project for GRB polarimetry

    Lunch (12:30 - 14:00)

    Thursday (14:00 - 15:00): Breakout Session 1

    Coffee (15:00-15:10)

    Thursday (15:10 - 16:10): Breakout Session 2
    Thursday (16:10 - 17:30): Reports from the Breakout and discussion (80 min)

    Topics of breakout session focussed on standardisation:
  • Group 1: Data Sharing (common formats etc.)
  • Group 2: Communications (Including utilisation of amateur networks)
  • Group 3: Hardware development
  • Group 4: Software Development

  • Science Organizing Committee

    Ehud Behar (Technion)
    Varun Bhalerao (Indian Institute of Technology Bombay)
    Abe Falcone (Penn State)
    Fabrizio Fiore (INAF Trieste)
    Sheila McBreen (University College Dublin)
    Andras Pal (Konkoly Observatory)
    Jeremy Perkins (NASA GSFC)
    Judith Racusin (NASA GSFC)
    Andrea Sanna (University of Cagliari)
    Michele Trenti (University of Melbourne)
    Norbert Werner (Masaryk University)
    Yoichi Yatsu (Tokyo Institute of Technology)
    Ming Zeng (Tsingua University)

    The workshop is co-organised by the High Energy Astrophysics Group in the Department of Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics at Masaryk University and the Brno Observatory and Planetarium.


    Lolowa Alkindi (NYU Abu Dhabi) - Online
    Jean-Luc Atteia (IRAP - Toulouse - France) - Online
    Merlin Barschke (DESY) - Online
    Ehud Behar (Technion) - In person
    Varun Bhalerao (Indian Institute of Technology Bombay) - In person
    Elisabetta Bissaldi (Politecnico and INFN Bari) - In person
    Terri Brandt (NASA Headquarters ) - Online
    Jean-Paul Breuer (Masaryk University) - In person
    Michael Briggs (University of Alabama in Huntsville) - In person
    J. Michael Burgess (MPE) - In person
    Eric Burns (Louisiana State University) - In person
    Hsiang-Kuang Chang (National Tsing Hua University) - In person
    Vladimír Dániel (Czech Aerospace Research Centre) - In person
    Cuán de Barra (University College Dublin ) - In person
    Jan Dražka (VZLU) - In person
    Rachel Dunwoody (University College Dublin) - In person
    Abe Falcone (Penn State) - Online
    Fabrizio Fiore (INAF Trieste) - In person
    Afshin Foroutan (Department of Physics Sharif University of Technology) - Online
    Yatsushi Fukazawa (Hiroshima University) - In person
    Abhijeet Ghodgaonkar (IITB) - Online
    Olivier Godet (IRAP) - Online
    Adam Goldstein (USRA) - In person
    Alejandro Guzman (Tübingen University) - In person
    Lorraine Hanlon (University College Dublin ) - In person
    Rupali Hatte (University of Mumbai ) - Online
    Paul James Hedderman (University of Tübingen) - In person
    Michelle Hui (NASA Marshall Spaceflight Center) - Online
    Andrew Inglis (The Catholic University of America / NASA Goddard Space Flight Center) - In person
    Martin Javorka (Zaitra) - In person
    Martin Jelinek (Astronomical Insitute of the Czech Republic) - In person
    Jakub Kapus (Spacemanic) - In person
    Taishu Kayanoki (Hiroshima University) - In person
    Matthew Kerr (US Naval Research Laboratory) - Online
    Daniel Kocevski (NASA) - In person
    Merlin Kole (University of Geneva) - In person
    Irfan Kuvvetli (DTU Space, Technical University of Denmark) - Online
    Jakub Lajmon (GROUNDCOM.SPACE) - In person
    Philippe Laurent (CEA/DRF/IRFU/DAp) - Online
    Michele Lavagna (POLIMI) - In person
    Václav Lazar (Brno University of Technology) - In person
    Giulio Lucchetta (IFAE-BIST) - In person
    Joseph Mangan (University College Dublin) - In person
    Israel Martinez-Castellanos (UMD/NASA-GSFC) - In person
    Sujay Mate (TIFR Mumbai) - Online
    Sheila McBreen (University College Dublin) - In person
    Robert Mearns (University of Melbourne) - In person
    Laszlo Meszaros (Konkoly Observatory) - In person
    Lee Mitchell (US Naval Research Laboratory) - Online
    Sharon Mitrani (Technion) - In person
    Teruaki Morishita (Hiroshima University) - In person
    Filip Munz (Masaryk University) - In person
    David Murphy (University College Dublin ) - In person
    Ryota Niwa (Hiroshima university) - In person
    Pi Nuessle (NASA Goddard/George Washington University) - In person
    Andras Pal (Konkoly Observatory) - In person
    Igor Paulíček (GROUNDCOM.SPACE) - In person
    Jeremy Perkins (NASA GSFC) - In person
    Samuel Pliego Caballero (University of Tübingen) - In person
    Tomáš Plšek (Masaryk University) - In person
    Nicolas Produit (university of Geneva) - In person
    Judith Racusin (NASA/GSFC) - In person
    Roi Rahin (Technion, Israel Institute of Technology) - In person
    Alessandro Riggio (Università degli Studi di Cagliari) - Online
    Jakub Ripa (Masaryk University) - In person
    Oli Roberts (NASA Marshall Spaceflight Center) - In person
    Julia Salh (Technion) - In person
    Andrea Sanna (University of Cagliari) - In person
    Stéphane Schanne (CEA) - In person
    Klaus Schilling (Zentrum für Telematik) - Online
    Leo Singer (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center) - In person
    Hiromitsu Takahashi (Hiroshima University) - In person
    Lian Tao (Institute of High Energy Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences) - Online
    Aaron Tohuvavohu (University of Toronto) - In person
    Michele Trenti (University of Melbourne) - Online
    Anastasia Tsvetkova (University of Cagliari) - Online
    Alexey Uliyanov (University College Dublin) - In person
    Inna Uwarowa (SAB Aerospace s.r.o.) - In person
    Jan Vaclavik (TOPTEC) - In person
    Jan Vaverka (SAB Aerospace) - In person
    Norbert Werner (Masaryk University) - In person
    Shaolin Xiong (Institute of High Energy Physics) - Online
    Kazutaka Yamaoka (Nagoya Univ. ) - Online
    Yoichi Yatsu (Tokyo Institute of Technology) - Online
    Michal Zajaček (Masaryk University) - In person
    Ming Zeng (Tsingua University) - Online


    Brno Observatory and Planetarium

    Kraví hora 522/2, 616 00 Brno-střed
    Czech Republic

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