Space Communication and Sensing

Space Communication and Sensing

See the MSc programme here

Putting men on the Moon and robots on Mars might be the most eye-catching achievements of space technology, but its real weight and potential to impact our everyday lives actually lies elsewhere and is more pervasive than we believe. The space industry offers an ever-expanding array of space products and services, which are changing the way people go about their daily lives. Examples may be cited from GPS navigation, telecoms, weather forecasting, satellite monitoring of Earth surface.

They continue to evolve in technological sophistication and capability, and their applications continue to change and adapt with the needs of the economy. Space manufacturing and service industries are the strategic high-tech sectors driving growth and innovation well beyond the space sector, delivering value across all economic areas.

The global space industry is a highly strategic sector, helping our communities to both face societal challenges and create innovative technologies and services - ultimately generating employment and welfare. In Europe, for example, existing space programmes Galileo and EGNOS are expected to generate economic and social benefits worth around €60-90 billion over the next 20 years.

To catch up with the explosive growth of space applications, a specialized workforce is needed, and will be increasingly needed, in the space sector.

With our minds set to hooking to this growth, and building on our experience in space-related applications ranging from Earth Observation to Space Communications, from Space Antennas Technology to Space Signal Processing, we decided to launch the new "Space Communications and Sensing" MSc programmme.

The envisaged objective is to prepare graduates with a well-fitting background to the foreseen expanding space employment areas. A solid theoretical and practical education on different issues connected to space will be the first pillar on which a successful curriculum will be built up for our students. Our courses will indeed cover different topics, from hardware (e.g. antenna design) to software (Digital Signal Processing, networks, pattern recognition), from physics (scattering models) to system-oriented design (satellite systems), from hard-wired electronic circuits to immaterial laser communications.

In terms of our students’ curriculum, SPACE is intended to be an opportunity, not a constraint.

To keep our teaching at the forefront of science advancement, a vital contribution comes from the dense connections with other Universities and research centres scattered around the world. Among the most notable examples are Rio (Brazil), Hannover and Technical University Munich (Germany), Extremadura (Spain), China University of Mining and Technology (China), Grenoble Institute of Technology (France), Ecole Politechnique Federale de Lausanne (Switzerland), Chiba and Tohoku (Japan), Nottingham and Cambridge (UK), Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford (USA).

A second pillar is enabled by our well-established network of collaborations with Space Agencies and international Space Companies and Corporates, besides the local high-tech companies and spin-offs. A non-exhaustive list includes: European Space Agency (ESOC, ESRIN, ESTEC), EUMETSAT, Italian Space Agency, Selex Electronic Systems, Telerilevamento Europa, Aresys, Compagnia Generale dello Spazio, GalileianPlus, Callisto Space, ACS, Cobham, Risk Management Solutions, EUCENTRE, ImageCat UK, ImageCat US, Cambridge Architectural Research, SARMAP, Geoscience Australia, US Geological Survey, NASA, the Surrey Space Centre, the Global Earthquake Model.

The second pillar will indeed consist of a wide offer of valuable internships and vocational training opportunities. Many of our students in the past have found their workplace as the natural follow-up to an intern.

Our graduates, boasting an all-round technical and operational background, will be set to an excellent launch in the employment market in a fascinating, innovative, and appealing hi-tech environment.