SOCIS 2018 notification - bad and good news

Skip to first unread message

Redouane Boumghar

Jun 3, 2018, 3:36:20 PM6/3/18
Dear All,

First of all, thanks to everybody for your enthusiasm. I have received
emails from many of you asking for news about SOCIS and they were always
very positive. They helped me a lot during the last months to bring
SOCIS to a brand new dimension.

Unfortunately SOCIS 2018 can not happen as we all wanted it would.

Maxime did an excellent job and put a lot of efforts in the past years
to continue this amazing initiative, started by the Advanced Concept
Team (ESA/ESTEC). I see an excellent community here, eager to explore
space the open source way.

In parallel of the last edition Artur Scholz (Librecube) and I together
with the Libre Space foundation were organizing the first edition of the
Open Source Cubesat Workshop (2017)
Sharing openly and working together is essential and it was for us
obvious that the Summer of Code in Space should continue and persist.

As part of the Advanced Mission Concepts and Technology team at ESA/ESOC
(the European Space Operations Center), and as user of open source I was
very concerned and had proposed my help to reshape SOCIS.
Also, I do love challenges.

To keep the good vibration of SOCIS and make it a persisting resilient
initiative the following things had to be tackled:
- A new website, with the breaking of the previous website, we create a
new platform here:
It is only a maintenance page at the moment but there are tools to
manage applications behind. For this, I give big thanks to Claudiu
Cherciu (he works for mission ESA/OPS-SAT).

- In order to have a resilient initiative, we had to bring awareness to
different corners of ESA. It is a long and tedious task as one has to
speak to people one by one. Now the team has grown and things go faster.
And bit by bit things become wonderful.

- Find budget, that is where the bad news is, but also where the good
news resides. Last editions of SOCIS where kindly covered by the
TEC-SW group, nevertheless with changes in their budget that was
sadly impossible in 2018.
So I spend a great amount of my time finding who/what could cover the
SOCIS 2018, Maxime gave me all his help on this and luckily I did
find one, the *Phi Lab*.
The Phi Lab is a new ESA department with a strong focus on EO and
more especially on Open Science and AI. The Phi Lab understood the
importance of a Summer of Code in Space and are ready to support it.
Actually we already started the process.

-> The bad news is that the new budget will be set up after the North
Hemisphere's Summer, for a similar amount as past years.
So we are missing this year Edition.
When you think about it; in space, it is always summer, but in case of
eclipse or occultation.

-> This is also a good news as on the way I have gathered a lot of other
stakeholders willing to join the initiative, internally as externally.
So I am starting to build committees. The budget is also created
on new grounds with common understandings of the importance of SOCIS
and we hope this makes this a persistent initiative.

What I have exposed are the main enabling points but you can imagine
other plenty small things to do, where you could be of great help:
- Drawing a logo integrable with the rules of the ESA logo type:
I have managed to get some support for ESA corporate designers but
I need to provide them with proposals first.
I already had some cool and geeky proposals from the #LibreSpace channel
- Finding external sponsors.
- Building 2 committees: organisation and technical committees.
- Find an ESA (co-)mentor for every-project and a way to request for ESA
experts for whoever plans to participate in SOCIS.
- Motivate ambassador users/students/mentors and provide them with
material to present SOCIS wherever they think this is appropriate.
- Find a new coordinator, IMHO, it should be an ESA person.
I think in formal initiative it is called a "chair person".
- Gather ideas for a new punch line.

If you want to contribute, you are more than welcome and I'll encourage
ambition. I can share my ideas on the "how" but we've got to keep moving
so I will always be on your side if you take reasonable initiatives
first (Skunk Work).
For sharing ideas you can fill this following open calc page:
It is a convenient way to extract and save what would come from an email conversation.

I am, for the moment, an acting coordinator for SOCIS but I have been
selected for the and I will be away for
the summer. So, in any way, I'll encourage kind actions to make me
unnecessary for the sake of SOCIS.

I feel so sorry that SOCIS 2018 could not happen this year, but the
initial absence of budget made things very hard.
I hope some of you could get opportunities to run for the GSoC.
If you did, please talk about it here in a different thread.
It is actually very valuable information for the organisation of SOCIS.

SOCIS 2019 will be here, but in the mean time we are discussing with the
PhiLab to have some open calls. If you have some interest in this,
knowing that you can have students' free time before summer 2019 please
express it here and on the framacalc link.
So we know if we should test the idea for open calls.

We plan to announce the future of SOCIS during the PhiWeek in November 2018:
It is also a nice event to attend if you are interested.

Thank you very much everybody for your kind patience.
Share your ideas there:

Long live SOCIS and remember in space, summer is a solar constant.
Red Boumghar,
PhD in Robotics and Embedded Systems
Currently PostDoc at ESA for Machine Learning in Space Operations
and forever Open Source Advocate ;)


Juan Luis Cano

Jun 4, 2018, 3:18:52 AM6/4/18
to esa-socis
Hi Red,

Thank you so much for all the effort in bringing this programme forward. Although it's a pity it won't happen this year, I'm happy to read that the budget has been sorted out and that the project will have a new impulse. Thanks to Maxime again for patiently answering all our emails throughout these years :)

I added a couple of ideas in the calc. Looking forward to hearing more news about SOCIS :)

See you in OSCW 18 ;)

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "esa-socis" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to
For more options, visit

Juan Luis Cano

Kartik Kumar

Jun 5, 2018, 5:05:15 AM6/5/18
to esa-socis
Hi Red,

Looks like a lot of effort went into keeping the SOCIS initiative alive! Great work to all involved.

Although it's a shame that the 2018 edition isn't happening, I'm glad to hear that a return is slated for 2019.

In the meantime, I'm also interested in open calls, as I've got a few student projects in the pipeline.



Dizhi Zhou

Jun 5, 2018, 10:51:52 AM6/5/18
to esa-socis
Hi Red,

For external sponsors, must they be orgs/companies in ESA member countries?


Redouane Boumghar

Jun 5, 2018, 11:41:53 AM6/5/18
Hi guys,

Thanks for your kind words. This is a team effort, every little bit is appreciable.

Yes Joe you are right. I have discussed with different ESA entities. There are different matters:
- sticking to the open source attitude
- finding the right entity
- finding the right person in these org/companies/programs to understand the outcome of SoCiS.

I believe external partners would be very beneficial, so if you know anything that could be interesting, point it out in the open calc: 

That would always be a plus.

By the way, thanks for the first inputs!
Red Boumghar
S: red_boumghar
Reply all
Reply to author
0 new messages