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Glue Technologies for Space Systems Technical Panel

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The third meeting of the IEEE AESS Glue Technologies for Space Systems Technical Panel was held on Thursday, October 22, 2020.


The IEEE AESS Glue Technologies for Space Systems Technical Panel in conjunction with Professor Alessandro Golkar of the Skoltech Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation has launched a New Space Video Series initiative on YouTube. The series consists of video lectures, and video interviews. It is an attempt to explore the phenomenon of New Space using different lenses - both technical and engineering oriented, and with different formats, such as lectures, and interviews.

More Information  |  YouTube Channel

1. Charter

1.1 Technical focus of the panel

The proposed panel is focused on those technologies that constitute the necessary common platform for the innovative systems based on Space components (satellites, UAV, rovers, landers, orbiters, etc.) that will be deployed in the near future in various application fields (satellite and aerospace communications, interplanetary communications, planet exploration, Internet of Space Things, etc.). In our view, we introduce the concept of “glue technology” that, like in global enterprises, integrates the subsidiaries and other producing units, saving their own need of autonomy[1]. In this panel, rather than “technologies”, we might deal with “technological tools” that will be used (and reused) in different and heterogeneous sectors of Space Science and Engineering. The most important “glue” in Space ICT is the exchange of data among different entities that should work in seamless networked manner. But, also data and signal processing constitutes another form of “glue” that is essential to connect the remote processing machines to the human comprehension and investigation of what happens in the Space.

The urgency of this new panel is highlighted by the change of perspective known as “Space 2.0”[2], where it is explicitly stated the concept of “Space Intelligence”, meaning the capability of building a networked cognitive Space environment, able at supporting the endeavors of Space technology researchers and developers.

The main thematic areas of the new proposed panel can be listed as follows:

  • Broadband space transmissions, including multibeam satellites, mm-wave radio frequency (Q/V, W-band and beyond) and free-space optical links, to be employed for feeder link, IOL, etc.;
  • Softwarization of space networking (Software Defined Radio, Software Defined Networking, Cloud RAN in the Space, resource virtualization);
  • Internet of Remote Things (IoRT) and Internet of Space Things (IoST) using, among the others, small satellites and cubesats;
  • Seamless integration of intelligent aerial networks and with cognitive and softwarized sky networks;
  • Augmented 3D reality for manned exploration missions (e.g. on Mars);
  • End-to-end system considerations of space systems;
  • Integrated communication, navigation and sensing;
  • Advanced signal processing and data fusion techniques for Space applications.

1.2 Major activities of the panel

  • Organization of special sessions and/or workshops in IEEE AESS conferences and workshops;
  • Organization of new conferences and events;
  • Organization of special issues in IEEE journals concerning the topics listed in the technical areas;
  • Coordination with the activities of international standardization bodies and funding agencies working in the field of satellite communications and networking;
  • Operative liaisons with other IEEE satellite panels and committees (e.g. Satellite and Space Communications (SSC) technical committee of ComSoc) and with other scientific and technical associations (AIAA, ACM, etc.);
  • Support of the panel to AESS awarding activities;
  • Supporting student grants, Master and PhD thesis award, stimulating the participation of the students to the AESS activities and to the panel activities;
  • Supporting international doctoral summer schools.

1.3 Key panel members: qualification and background

1.3.1 Panel organizers

Claudio Sacchi has a 20-year experience in satellite and Space communications. He had been actively involved since 1999 in research projects related to multimedia satellite communications and EHF satellite experimentations, funded by qualified research institutions and Space agencies (CNR, ASI, CNIT, MIUR). He obtained his PhD in Space Science and Engineering in 2003 at the University of Genoa (Italy), discussing the thesis entitled: “Advanced Signal Processing and Data Transmission Techniques for New-Generation Multimedia Satellite Networks”. Besides AESS, he is member of various IEEE societies having “satellite” among their keywords and activity fields, namely: Broadcast Technology Society (BTS), Communication Society (ComSoc) and Vehicular Technology Society (VTS).

Dr. Sacchi is author of more than 100 publications in international journals and conference, many of them dealing with topics related to satellite communications and networking. He has been lead guest editor in the following special issues:

  • Proceedings of the IEEE, “Aerospace Communications and Networking: History, Trends, and Future” (vol. 99, no.11, November 2011)
  • IEEE Communications Magazine, “Toward the “Space 2.0 Era” (March 2015).

Since 2012, Dr. Sacchi is co-organizer of the session 4.09 of IEEE Aerospace Conference: “Wideband Communication Systems”. Since 2005, he is TPC member of IEEE ICC, IEEE GLOBECOM and IEEE PIMRC conferences. In 2008, he was co-chair of the workshop: “Exploitation of Higher Frequency Bands in Broadband Aerospace Communications” (EHF-AEROCOMM), co-located with IEEE GLOBECOM 2008 conference, while, in 2009 he was co-chair of the Selected Areas on Communications (SAC) symposium for the track “Satellite and Space Communications”. 

Marina Ruggieri is Full Professor of Telecommunications Engineering at the University of Roma “Tor Vergata” and therein member of the Board of Directors; co-founder and Steering Board Steering Board Chair of CTIF, an Interdisciplinary Research Center on ICT and its verticals.

She has been Vice President with responsibility of the ASI Technical and Scientific Council and member of the Ministry Research Policy Experts Advisory Committee. She is arbitrator of the Italian Industries Federation for Aerospace, Defense and Security; Principal Investigator of the 40/50 GHz TPD#5 Communications Experiment on board Alphasat (launched on July 2013); 2019 IEEE Technical Expert for the Public Visibility Committee; IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society (AESS) Officer and member of the Board of Governors (2019-2021). She has been IEEE 2017 Vice President, Technical Activities. She is recipient of 1990 Piero Fanti International Prize; 2009 Pisa Donna Award for women in engineering; 2013 Excellent Women in Roma Award; 2011 AESS Service Award. She has been inducted as a Professional into the IEEE Honor Society Eta Kappa Nu (HKN); IEEE Fellow “for contributions to millimeter-wave satellite communications”. Author/co-author of 350 papers, 1 patent and 12 books.

1.3.2 Panel founding members

  • Claudio Sacchi (University of Trento, Italy)
  • Marina Ruggieri (University of Roma “Tor Vergata”, Italy)
  • Kar-Ming Cheung (Jet Propulsion Lab, Pasadena, CA)
  • Nicola Conci (University of Trento, Italy), IEEE member, SPS member
  • Fabrizio Granelli (University of Trento, Italy), IEEE Senior member, ComSoc member
  • Mario Marchese (University of Genoa, Italy), IEEE Senior member, ComSoc member
  • Maurizio Murroni (University of Cagliari, Italy), IEEE Senior member, BTS member
  • Michael Noble (L3 Technologies, New York, NJ), IEEE AESS, GRSS, APS, and Photonics Society member
  • Vlad Popescu (University of Transilvania, Brasov, Romania), IEEE member, BTS member
  • Michael Rice (Brigham Young University, Provo, UT), Fellow IEEE, AESS member
  • Tommaso Rossi (University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Italy)
  • Christian Schlegel (HCDC llc, Park City, UT, Acoubit Communications, Halifax, NS, Canada), IEEE Fellow

1.3.3 Panel members

Chair: Claudio Sacchi
Vice Chair: Mike Noble
Secretary: Riccardo Bassoli

  • Mohammed Slim Alouini (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology – KAUST, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) 
  • Giuseppe Codispoti (Italian Space Agency, ASI, Italy)
  • Mauro De Sanctis (University of Rome "Tor Vergata", Rome, Italy)
  • Michael Devetsikiotis (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA)
  • Barry Evans (University of Surrey, UK)
  • Eugene Grayver (Aerospace Corporation, El Segundo, CA, USA)
  • Giorgia Parca (Italian Space Agency, ASI, Italy)
  • Paolo Tortora (University of Bologna, Italy)
  • Simone Morosi (University of Florence, Italy)
  • Sean Malek (University of Dayton, OH, USA)
  • LaMont McAliley (The Aerospace Corporation, Chantilly, VA, USA)
  • Alessandro Golkar (Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Skoltech, Skolkovo, Russia)
  • Alessandro Guidotti (University of Bologna, Italy)
  • Ben Glass (Altaeros Energies, Boston, MA, USA)
  • Erik Perrins, (EECS Department of the University of Kansas, KS, USA)
  • Ernestina Cianca (University of Roma,Tor Vergata, Italy)
  • Puneet Kumar Mishra (Indian Space Research Organization, India)
  • Walt Downing (Southwest Research Institute, TX, USA) 

2. Organization

  • Membership: the panel is open to all persons that are interested to novel technologies for satellite and aerospace communications, coming from academia, industry, space agencies etc. It is not required the IEEE membership. Members of other technical societies are welcome. However, only active AESS members may serve as chair/vice-chair.
  • Panel meetings: two panel meetings per year will be planned. The first one will be organized in the month of March during the IEEE Aerospace Conference in Big Sky (MT). The second one will be organized in Rome (Italy) in the second week of September. The proposed location of the September meeting will be the Italian Space Agency (ASI) headquarter.
  • Major responsibilities of the panel: three operative positions are established for the panel: chair, vice-chair and secretary. Basically, the chair and the vice-chair will manage the election process and the organization of the panel meetings. The secretary will manage the communication with the AESS Chair, the Board of Governors and the rest of the community. Planning of panel activities and endorsement of the activities of single panel members will be decided during the panel meetings. In case of disputations among panel members, concerning the panel activities, the panel chair will take decision after consulting the vice chair and the secretary.
  • Process of electing leadership: the panel chair, the panel vice chair and the panel secretary will be elected during one of the panel meetings. The candidatures must be presented to the electoral committee of the panel within the term of one month before the panel meeting designed for the election. The elected posts have a duration of 2 years with a single renewal option for other 2 years.

3. Objectives

  • Establish an enduring relationship with the IEEE Aerospace Conference, as main AESS event of Space Science and Technology. Organization of one or two special sessions during the IEEE Aerospace Conference, since the first edition of the conference after the panel approval and, in two years, organization of a track in the aforesaid conference;
  • Organization of a conference in Europe, sponsored by IEEE AESS, and focused on the panel topics at most 2 years after the panel approval;
  • Journal special issue proposals: at least one every two years;
  • Support and organization of a yearly or bi-annual international doctoral Summer school with the AESS panel label;
  • Setting up a panel web site and publication of periodical newsletters. Publication of a yearly panel activity report, approved during the September meeting.

[1] P. Evans, “Management Development as Glue Technology”, ISEAD report, N°95/59/0B, Fontainebleau (France), 10/1991, http available.

[2] C. Sacchi, K. Bhasin, N. Kadowaki and F. Vong, “Toward the “Space 2.0” era” [guest editorial], IEEE Communications Magazine, vol.53, no.3, March 2015, pp. 16-17

Field of Interest

“The field of interest shall be the organization, systems engineering, design, development, integration, and operation of complex systems for space, air, ocean, or ground environments. These systems include but are not limited to navigation, avionics, mobile electric power and electronics, radar, sonar, telemetry, military, law-enforcement, automatic test, simulators, and command and control."


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