T-AES Technical Area Descriptions


The specific classification of papers having an overlap within categories specified herein or with other technical areas will depend on their focus or application. A determination in this regard will be made by the Editor-in-Chief in consultation with the respective Technical Editors.

Autonomous Systems

(Editors) This technical area welcomes papers especially (but not limited to) in the following areas. An aerospace application is expected.

Aeronautics focus

  • UAV autonomous flight control
    • High-performance flight control design for enhanced flight envelopes 
  • UAV navigation (not navigation systems in general, but topics that are specific to
  • UAV issues in terms of SWAP-C (e.g., "indoor operations", “GPS-denied Navigation”) for autonomy
    • Inertial navigation, robust visual-inertial navigation, machine vision
    • Localization and mapping
    • Onboard detection, classification and tracking of obstacles and objects (static and dynamic)
    • Sensor fusion  
  • UAV Enhanced Autonomy
    • Onboard intelligence; cloud-integrated intelligence
    • Swarms and fleet coordination 
    • Path planning for UAVs and fleets
    • UAV interactions (see-and-avoid/docking/inflight refueling/inflight coordination) with:
      • Other UAVs (cooperative and non-cooperative)
      • Manned aircraft
      • The physical environment
      • Integration to NAS
  • UAV specific flight control hardware for autonomy
    • Novel Micro-avionics; sensor systems; and actuators
  • Novel flight systems and operations including
    • Micro air vehicles
    • Outdoor/Indoor operations
    • Operations on other planets
  • UAV missions with partial and/or full autonomy
    • Imaging, Communications, Search & Rescue, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance,
    • Civilian applications such as Agriculture, Forestry, Medical and Commercial Delivery, Emergency Response
  • Autonomous missions including Human(s)-in-flight
    • Optionally piloted vehicles and autonomous human transportation

Space focus

  • Autonomous and semi-autonomous robotic missions including
    • Exploration on planets
    • On-orbit Docking and Assembly
    • On-orbit Servicing such as maintenance, refueling and repair
  • Space systems that support autonomy 
    • Novel vehicles, electronics and electromechanical systems including processors, sensors and actuators
  • Space autonomy associated guidance, navigation and control algorithms
  • Autonomous missions including Human(s)-in-flight

There is some overlap with other areas, and whether a paper ought to be submitted in this technical area or another depends on its focus. If the manuscript's main thrust is aerospace autonomy and systems that support autonomy, it might be considered in this technical area.

Avionics Systems

(Editors) This technical area welcomes papers especially (but not limited to) in the following areas.

  • Net-centric operations particularly in conjunction with the next generation air transportation systems, NGATS
  • Subjects involving safety and security of aircraft electronics systems; wired and wireless; air to ground; and airborne
  • Spectrum utilization
  • Systems capable of safe increase of air traffic and delay reduction, such as improved navigation and routing
  • Airborne networking for flight-critical systems
  • Instrumentation and test for airborne systems
  • Implementation of proposed space-based navigation systems; improved GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and COMPAS
  • Antennas and electromagnetic theory having a specific aerospace application
  • Evolution of the certification framework and standards for integrated CNS/ATM and Avionics (CNS+A) systems 
  • UAS integration in all classes of airspace, UAS Traffic Management (UTM) and Urban Air Mobility (UAM)
  • Systems for future space transport, Space Traffic Management (STM) and intelligent satellite systems
  • Cyber-physical security of avionics, CNS/ATM and space systems
  • Fault-tolerant avionics and intelligent Heath and Usage Management Systems (HUMS)
  • Civil and military airspace integration and CNS+A systems interoperability
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) in avionics systems design and operations (including the challenges of certification and the role of explainable AI)
  • Evolutions of Aerospace Systems Human-Machine Interfaces and Interactions

Communication Systems and Networks

(Editors) Aerospace links and networks with an emphasis on voice, data, and multimedia links and networks in satellite, government, military, and airborne applications. While all papers reporting original results or applications on these topics are welcome, of special interest are

  • Communication links involving airborne or space-borne platforms.
  • Broadband space transmissions, including multibeam satellites, mm-wave radio frequencies (Q/V-band, W-band, and beyond) and free-space optical links.
  • Software-defined aerospace radios and networks in aerospace application including Cloud-RAN in space, resource virtualization, reconfigurability. 
  • Networking, especially physical layer and data link layer with particular emphasis on media access control.
  • LPI, LPD, anti-jam techniques
  • C4I systems
  • Surveillance applications (e.g., signal classification)
  • Secure communications (e.g., encryption, authentication)

Electronic Warfare Systems

(Editors) This technical area welcomes papers especially (but not limited to) in the following areas. An aerospace application is expected.

  • Application of Electronic Support and Electronic Attack techniques in Electronic Warfare systems.

  • Performance analysis and characterization of EW receivers.

  • Digital receiver architectures, technologies and algorithms.

  • Measurement and estimation of radar and communications signal parameters.

  • Detection techniques of Low-Probability-of-Intercept (LPI) signals.

  • Passive direction-finding and geo-location techniques.

Electro-Optic and Infrared Systems

(Editors) This area welcomes novel papers covering the technology used to collect measurements in the optical through infra-red region of the electromagnetic spectrum, and on the processing used to draw inference from those measurements.   Technologies of interest include (but are not limited to):

  • Broadband imagers
  • Multi/hyperspectral imagers
  • Lasers
  • Spatial light modulators

The EO/IR systems area is also interested in new approaches to processing these measurements in order to perform various tasks such as:

  • Target detection, tracking, recognition
  • Image registration and/or stabilization
  • Image enhancement (turbulence mitigation, superresolution, etc.) 
  • Free Space Optical Communications

Acceptable papers will focus on the hardware and/or algorithms necessary to generate and/or utilize the measurements. Papers that mainly focus on the application of the measurements for specific applications such as navigation, robotics, target tracking, communications, etc., should be submitted to those technical areas.

Energy Conversion Systems

(Editors) This technical area welcomes papers that address topics in (but not limited to) the following areas.

Power Electronics

  • voltage, current, and frequency conversion
  • Electric motors and actuators
    • high-performance drives and controls

Energy storage and management

  • electrochemical (batteries)
  • electrostatic (capacitors)
  • electromagnetic (superconducting coils)
  • electromechanical (flywheel)

Power generation

  • photovoltaic
  • radioisotope
  • electrostatic
  • fuel cell
  • electromechanical
  • energy harvesting

Transmission and distribution

  • power distribution architectures
  • wireless power transmission

Power System Integrity

  • power quality
  • reliability
  • stability
  • diagnostics
  • health management

An aerospace, shipboard, or undersea system application is expected. Other applications that advance emerging technologies, or unusual applications to systems not falling within the scope of other IEEE Societies will also be considered. The treatment should address a problem specific to a particular system of interest, in contrast to a general description that merely suggests possible applications to such systems. Where there is some overlap with other areas, the manuscript's focus and emphasis on energy conversion will indicate that it might be considered in this technical area. Papers that treat topics in energy conversion or power electronics for general commercial, industrial, or utility applications should be submitted to another journal.

Fault-Tolerant Systems

(Editors) Fault tolerance or graceful degradation is the property that enables a system to continue operating properly in the event of the failure of (or one or more faults within) some of its components. This technical area welcomes papers in the following areas:

  • Redundant and seamlessly-switching systems
  • Roll-forward and roll-back recovery
  • Widely available systems
  • Failure and fault detection/isolation
  • Component and system prognostics
  • Real-time fault detection
  • Fault containment and robustness
  • Fault-tolerant design
  • Byzantine fault tolerance
  • Reliability analysis
  • Mean time between failure analysis
  • Lifetime distributions and hazard functions of systems

An emphasis on either a direct or a potential aerospace application is expected.

Guidance and Control Systems

(Editors) This technical area welcomes papers especially (but not limited to) in the following areas. An aerospace or undersea application is expected. Modern guidance laws

  • Modern flight control methods involving state-of-the-art estimation and control techniques
  • Fusion of guidance and autopilot systems
  • Spacecraft and missile integrated estimation/control
  • Missile applications including national or theatre defense systems
  • Vision-based guidance and navigation
  • Autonomous guidance, navigation, and control (including GNSS applications)
  • Spacecraft/aircraft formation flying
  • Spacecraft/aircraft cooperative control
  • FDIR/redundancy management systems
  • Interdisciplinary flight control systems
  • Control of morphing aircraft
  • Spacecraft attitude and orbit determination and control systems
  • Aerospace man-machine (pilot in the loop) systems
  • Applications of optimization, estimation theory, identification, nonlinear filtering and smoothing, detection/tracking, and multiple model/multi-hypothesis methods

There will be some overlap with other areas, especially Aerospace related Robotic Systems (as pertaining to UAVs), Navigation, and Target Tracking and Multi-Sensor Systems, and whether a paper ought to be submitted in this technical area or another depends on its focus.

Intelligent Systems

(Editors)  This technical area welcomes papers describing intelligent systems supporting aerospace applications and complex decision environments. While all papers reporting original results on growing resilience under uncertain and unexpected conditions, operational efficiency, dynamic effective teaming, verification and validation are welcome, of special interest are:

Collaborative teaming of aerospace systems for initiating and completing complex missions

  • Computational intelligence with big data handling
  • Designs and operations for collaborative systems
  • Protected, assured, resilient communications for machine-to-machine operations

Flexible autonomy aerospace systems with dynamic effective human-machine teaming

  • Trust between humans and machines
  • Common understanding and situational awareness between humans and machines
  • Environments for effective decision making under uncertainty

Safe and effective aerospace systems in uncertain and unexpected environments

  • Verifiable architectures for data-centric autonomous systems
  • Verification and validation collaborative systems
  • Information assurance of human-machine communications and interactions

When there is overlap with other areas, the manuscript’s focus and emphasis on robust machine learning, artificial intelligence computer vision and/or game theory that are demonstrated to span multiple aerospace applications; e.g., knowledge representation and transfer, system-of-systems-wide sense-decide-act cycles, etc. makes it appropriate for Intelligent Systems. Other such papers that support only one particular application should be submitted to that corresponding technical area.


    (Editors) The requirements for a Letter are as follows:

    • A Letter must be short, no more than 4 pages long as published.
    • A Letter must be submitted in single-spaced/double-column format so that we can check the length.
    • A Letter must treat a subject that is within the AES Transactions purview – that is, it must fit within at least one extant Technical Area description as found on this website.
    • A Letter must fit the requirements for a Letter, specifically that its expeditious publication be demonstrably important.

    Author stipulations

    • The corresponding author must understand that there is no stage of revision: the manuscript will be either accepted as is or else rejected – this means that the development must be clear and the language without flaw.
    • The corresponding author must signal his or her willingness to pay mandatory charges of $250 per printed page at the time of submission in a cover letter.
    • The corresponding author must submit his/her manuscript to the “Letters” Technical Area (as opposed to Radar or to Guidance & Control, etc.)

    The AES Transactions promises

    • We will offer thorough reviews with speedy decisions: our target turn-around time will be two months.
    • We promise that an accepted manuscript will be sent to the head of the publication queue. We anticipate that it will appear in the second-to-next Transactions issue: in fewer than six months.

    (Editors) This technical area welcomes papers especially (but not limited to) in the following areas.

    • GNSS design and signal generation
    • GNSS signal processing and utilization
    • Space-based and ground-based augmentation systems
    • Multi-constellation GNSS
    • Inertial measuring unit and Inertial navigation systems (INS)
    • GNSS-INS integration
    • Multi-sensor systems
    • Opportunistic and Alternative Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Systems
    • Advances in estimation, detection, and exclusion techniques applied to navigation
    • Availability, accuracy, continuity, integrity and security measures
    • Outdoor-indoor vehicular and personal navigation systems
    • Navigation for connected and automated land, sea, air, and space vehicles

    ​​​​​​​Networked Sensor Systems

    (Editors) This technical area welcomes papers especially (but not limited to) in the following areas. An aerospace or undersea application is expected.

    Integrated Sensor Management and Target Tracking

    • radar resource management and multifunction radars for multiple target tracking.
    • sensor scheduling and applications of stochastic control
    • net-centric systems and cooperative engagement.
    • Optimal trajectory design and path planning.

    Sensor Networks

    • networks of radars, unattended ground sensor networks.
    • decentralized/distributed sensor coordination
    • game-theoretic methods in sensor network management.
    • intent and situation assessment using sensor networks.
    • joint medium access control (MAC) and sensing

    There is some overlap with other areas, and whether a paper ought to be submitted in this technical area or another depends on its focus: if the manuscript's main thrust is in managing and scheduling sensor resources, it directly falls in this technical area. If a manuscript's focus is tracking or data fusion alone, or detection and estimation then authors may wish to consider submitting it to Target Tracking and Multi-sensor systems, or Signal Processing in Aerospace and Acoustic Systems.

    Radar Systems

    (Editors) In this area of radar systems, we welcome technical papers in the following areas.

    • Radar Phenomenology
      • Propagation / scattering effects
      • Clutter modeling
      • Interference modeling
      • Low observables
      • Radar performance prediction modeling
      • Radar signatures & target modeling (e.g. kinematics)
    • Radar Technologies (broader topics below are relevant when explicitly in the context of radar)
      • Array processing & adaptive beamforming
      • Adaptive detection & estimation techniques
      • Bio-inspired sensing
      • Cognitive sensing (e.g. reconfigurable hardware, responsive/predictive sensing)
      • Constant false alarm rate (CFAR) detection
      • Counter-stealth
      • Covariance estimation
      • Detection in non-Gaussian clutter
      • Direction-of-arrival (DOA) estimation
      • Electronic Countermeasures (ECM) and ECCM
      • Frequency diverse array
      • Human gesture recognition
      • Interference cancellation
      • Knowledge-aided sensing
      • Machine learning (ML) for sensing
      • Metamaterials for radar
      • Multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) radar
      • Phased arrays and AESA technology for radar
      • Polarimetric sensing
      • Radar/communications (e.g. spectrum sharing, dual-function)
      • Radar compressive sensing
      • Radar detection theory
      • Radar resource management
      • Radar spectrum management
      • Radar-specific subsystems (e.g. antenna concepts, calibration, T/R modules)
      • Reconfigurable intelligent surfaces (RIS), RF tags & transponders
      • Simultaneous transmit/receive architectures for radar
      • Software-defined radar technologies
      • Space-time adaptive processing (and emerging variants)
      • Sparse arrays
      • THz and mm-wave radar technologies
      • Ultrawideband radar
      • Waveform diversity & design
    • Radar Modes/Applications
      • Air traffic control radar
      • Airborne / space-based radar
      • Atmospheric / ionospheric sensing
      • Automatic target recognition
      • Automotive radar
      • Autonomous vehicles
      • Bistatic/multistatic/networked radar
      • Drone/UAV detection
      • Fire-control radar
      • Foliage penetration
      • Forward scatter radar
      • Ground penetration
      • Health/environment/industrial monitoring
      • Moving target detection
      • THz and mm-wave sensing applications
      • Over-the-horizon (OTH) / HF surface-wave radar (HFSWR)
      • RF sensing for cyber-physical systems (CPS) and human-computer interaction (HCI)
      • Imaging (e.g. SAR, ISAR, Interferometric SAR)
      • Low probability of intercept (LPI) radar
      • Missile defense
      • Multi-band radar
      • Multifunction radar / common aperture systems
      • Naval, maritime, coastal surveillance
      • Nonlinear / nonconventional radar
      • Passive radar
      • Quantum radar
      • Radar altimetry
      • Radar classification / identification / discrimination
      • Radar for remote sensing & planetary exploration
      • Radar sensor fusion
      • Radar tracking
      • Sense-and-avoid
      • Short-range 3D imaging
      • Space observation / debris detection
      • Thru-the-wall sensing
      • Tomographic radar
      • Weather radar

    Papers can represent theoretical/mathematical, system, or experimental advances in the state-of-the-art radar technology for a wide range of military and civilian applications.

    Signal Processing in Aerospace and Acoustic Systems

    (Editors) This technical area welcomes papers especially in (but not limited to) the subjects listed below. An application in aerospace, remote sensing, defense electronics, or homeland security is expected. Applications in both electromagnetics and acoustics (underwater acoustics, aero-acoustics) are welcome.

    • Detection, estimation, or classification systems; 
    • Signal representation (sparse, frequency, scale); 
    • Modeling, sampling, filtering, or reconstruction of signals; 
    • System modeling or system identification; 
    • Adaptive techniques, automated learning systems, or machine learning techniques.

    This technical area has substantial overlap with many (or even most) other technical areas. If a manuscript has a clear application to one of these other areas, the manuscript should be submitted to that technical area. On the other hand, authors whose signal processing research could be applied to multiple technical areas should consider submission to this one. Note that the relationship to application areas of interest to our Transactions must be made clear in the submitted manuscript; manuscripts that are purely of theoretical interest should be submitted to other publications.

    Space Systems

    (Editors) This technical area welcomes papers focused on the following topics related to Space Systems:

    • Missions (manned, unmanned, satellite and ISS-based)
    • Design
    • Technology
    • Development
    • Experimental tests
    • Operations
    • Applications and services.

    In particular, coverage of (but not limited to) the following items is of particular interest:

    • Launchers
    • Spacecrafts
    • Constellations
    • Formation Flying
    • Payloads
    • On-board electronic and mechanical sub-systems, antennas and materials
    • Ground segment (terminals, control segment, networking)
    • Integration with terrestrial systems
    • Integration of services (communications, navigation, earth observation).

    There is limited overlap with navigation and radar areas. However, we would expect that algorithm and data-based manuscripts would be submitted in the specific areas while contributions, where the system or the service is mainly dealt with, will apply to the Space Systems area.

    Target Tracking and Multi-Sensor Systems

    (Editors) This technical area welcomes papers, especially in the topics listed below. Applications of interest include (but are not limited to) aerospace, maritime and undersea domains. Sensor systems typically include one or more modalities including RF, EO/IR, and acoustic propagation.

    Multi-Target Tracking

    • techniques to deal with measurement-origin uncertainty (MHT, PDA, parametric methods, etc.)
    • kinematic tracking (Kalman techniques, alpha-beta, etc.)
    • nonlinear filtering (particle filtering, UKF, etc.)
    • automatic track management
    • joint tracking and identification
    • track-before-detect

    Multi-Sensor Systems

    • data fusion
    • bistatic and multi-static systems
    • decentralized/distributed detection
    • decentralized/distributed estimation

    There is some overlap with other areas, and whether a paper ought to be submitted in this technical area or another depends on its focus: if the manuscript's main thrust is tracking or fusion it might be considered in this technical area. If a manuscript's focus is on the sensing modality/technology or on sensor management, its authors may wish to consider submitting it to Radar Systems, to Electro-Optic and Infrared Systems, or to Networked Sensor Systems.