ESA Summer of Code in Space

BRL-CAD was accepted to participate in the 2016 European Space Agency's Summer of Code in Space!


Starting in 2011, the European Space Agency has run an open source software development program specifically for students called the ESA Summer of Code in Space (SOCIS). Under this program, ESA funds students to write space-related code for open source projects during the northern hemisphere's summer timeframe:

  • The student writes a space-related project proposal for BRL-CAD.
    • Sometimes their project idea caters to something that the open source organization suggests and sometimes it's an idea entirely of the student's conception.
  • Proposals are reviewed, evaluated, and ranked by the open source organization's mentors.
  • ESA allocates a certain number of slots to each participating organization
    • That, in turn, determines how many student developers work with that organization.

Students interested in participating with BRL-CAD in SOCIS should review our CHECKLIST to get started. Start with our Project Ideas page for a list of project suggestions that are of particular interest. Students are welcome to submit their own ideas as well but, more importantly, are encouraged to collaborate with the developers on formulating projects. Student applications for SOCIS are accepted at until May 15th.

Getting Selected

SOCIS is about getting people involved in space-related software development. As such, we heavily weight our application selection process towards students that are interested in remaining involved in BRL-CAD and space-related open source software development long after SOCIS has ended.

SOCIS is not a job. If you think this is just a summer job, then SOCIS is probably not for you. It's only like a job in terms of planning your time commitment over the summer.

Additionally, submissions are graded based on perception of the submitter's abilities to complete the task within the program timeframe, general consensus on the technical approach being proposed, and overall interest in having such modifications made to BRL-CAD. Particular notice is made of students that are responsive to questions and readily interactive in the IRC channel or on the mailing list. Communication is a great thing.

Whether or not you are accepted, contributing to open source outside of SOCIS is the best way to be noticed and get your proposal accepted. Keep that in mind. Thanks for your interest and we look forward to working with new BRL-CAD developers!

BRL-CAD participation in the ESA Summer of Code in Space


TBD ... maybe you?


Mihai Neacșu


Abhijit Nandy

For the 2011 ESA Summer of Code, we selected Abhijit Nandy to work in implementing a non-vacuum gravity simulator for BRL-CAD. See his user page at User:Abhijit for details on the progress he made on that project.