ACSER Research Seminars

ACSER's seminar series plays an important role in achieving several of its aims: outreach, engagement within and without the faculty and university, mentoring of staff, and research training for postgraduate students. The seminar series was launched when ACSER transferred from the School of Surveying and Geospatial Engineering (in whose series we participated) to the School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications (who are very welcome to attend).


Upcoming Seminars

Click here for upcoming events.
 

 
Previous Seminars

2015

[SEMINAR]
The Australian Space Eye
Dr Lee Spitler
Macquarie University & Australian Astronomical Observatory


1pm
Monday, 19th October
Lecture Theatre - Room 224
Electrical Engineering Building
UNSW Kensington Campus

The Australian Space Eye will consist of a 6U CubeSat that will house an astronomical telescope. I will detail scientific objectives of the mission and how they have driven the preliminary design of the CubeSat. I will discuss preliminary details on communication systems, the science payload, and maintaining sub-arcsecond pointing stability. The spacecraft complements a ground-based observing system, Huntsman, which is optimised for detecting extend, faint astronomical targets at shorter wavelengths of light.

Dr. Lee Spitler is a lecturer jointly based at Macquarie University and the Australian Astronomical Observatory. He uses observations of distant galaxies from large telescopes to map out the historical timeline of our universe. In 2010, he received his PhD in Astrophysics with a specific expertise in using astronomical imaging to study the evolution of galaxies.

[PUBLIC LECTURE]
BLUEsat Mars Rover In Poland
UNSW BLUEsat OWR Poland Team:
Christopher Miller
Helena Kertesz
Yilser Kabaran
Daniel Krajsic
Harry Day


6pm
Friday, 9th October
Theatre G03
Ainsowrth Building (Mechanical Engineering)
UNSW Kensington Campus

The BLUEsat Off-World Robotics team is back from Poland where they competed in the European Rover Challenge and came 15th out of 40 teams! Our Mars analogue Rover competed with teams from India, USA and Canada in several challenges, including remote control and rough terrain traversal.

Join the team as they present on their Rover design and their journey to the European Rover Challenge. The Rover itself will be making a guest appearance during the lecture!

The 45 minute presentation will be followed by an informal meet and greet where members from OWR and the Poland team will be around to answer questions and let you get up and close with the Mars Rover.

BLUEsat Off-World Robotics is a student lead project at UNSW that aims to design, build and operate Rovers designed for the Moon, Mars and beyond. To date the team has completed two major expeditions with two models of rover, including the BLUEtongue Rover which competed in the 2015 European Rover Challenge.

The OWR team consists of over 15 undergraduate Electrical, Mechanical and Computer Science Engineers and is part of the greater BLUEsat Undergraduate Space Research group at UNSW. BLUEsat is currently recruiting any interested university students.

For more information please visit the BLUEsat website.

[SEMINAR]
The miniaturized charge exchange thruster for nano-satellites
A/Prof Joe Khachan
University of Sydney


1pm
Monday, 7th September
Seminar Room G3
Electrical Engineering Building
UNSW Kensington Campus

Thrusters enable satellites to control attitude and orbital altitude. Well established thrusters include cold gas, chemical and plasma thrusters. The latter have higher specific impulse but can result in the charging up of the satellite as ions are ejected to produce thrust. Consequently, a neutralizing mechanism, such as an external electron beam is included. The Hall Thruster is the most successful plasma thruster, but has not been miniaturized, both in size and power, for it to find applicability on nano-satellites. In this talk, details will be given of a new type of plasma thruster known as the charge exchange thruster. The two standout features of this thruster is that it is self-neutralizing, without the need for an electron source, and it can be miniaturized both in size and power requirements that make it suitable for nano-satellites.

[SEMINAR]
ProtoSAT: Educational Satellite Hardware
Andreas Antoniades
Obelisk Systems


1pm
Friday, 4th September
Seminar Room G3
Electrical Engineering Building
UNSW Kensington Campus

Andreas from Obelisk Systems gives an introduction to the ProtoSAT satellite system and its place in the space industry, as well as a brief discussion about the journey and challenges associated with development of educational space hardware.

[SEMINAR]
Cooperative Positioning
A/Prof Feng Shen
College of Automation, Harbin Engineering University (China)
& Visiting Fellow, ACSER UNSW

12pm
Tuesday, 12 May 2015
Room G3, Electrical Engineering Building
UNSW Kensington Campus

Relative position awareness is a vital premise for the implementation of emerging intelligent transportation systems, such as collision warning and speed advisory. However, commercial Global Satellite Navigation Systems (GNSS) receivers do not satisfy the requirements of these applications. Fortunately, Cooperative Positioning (CP) systems, based on inter-vehicle communications, have improved performance of relative positioning in a vehicular ad hoc network (VANET). In the presentation, the enhanced tightly–coupled CP technique is presented and analysed by adding the measurements from low-cost inertial sensors, and the Doppler shift of the carrier of Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) signals, and Ultra-Wide Bandwidth (UWB), which can effectively enhance the performance of relative positioning especially in low GPS visibility and GPS outages.

Feng Shen is an associate professor with the College of Automation, Harbin Engineering University, China. He received his PhD in 2009 from Harbin Engineering University. He developed the signal acquisition and tracking of the Spread spectrum receiver for the GPS ground-based augmentation systems. His research interests include BOC signal tracking, and GNSS/INS integrated navigation system. From May 2014 to May 2015, he is a visiting academic with the Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research (ACSER) at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). During his visiting, he worked on the Cooperative Positioning in Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) which was based on fusing the measurements of Global Positioning System (GPS), Ultra-Wide Bandwidth (UWB) and Inertial Navigation System (INS).

[SEMINAR]
Flavia Tata Nardini, LaunchBox
12pm
Tuesday, 28 April 2015
Room G3, Electrical Engineering Building
UNSW Kensington Campus

All welcome, no RSVP required.


LaunchBox is an educational programme intended to put CubeSat technologies inside Australian Schools a give a boost to STEM education. The seminar will also include information about the SatCom constellation project, a fleet of 150 satellites that will bring internet to remote areas of the world.

Flavia Tata Nardini began her career at the European Space Agency, before she joined TNO to apply her technical knowledge to advanced space propulsion engineering projects. She rapidly became involved in project management and business development within the space and defence domain. She has successfully completed full lifecycle development of satellites and several micro thrusters currently flying on actual space missions and filed two patents in both rocket and satellite propulsion.

She is currently the CEO and Co-founder of LaunchBox.




[SEMINAR]
Dr Jason Held, Saber Astronautics / UNSW
12pm
Tuesday, 14 April 2015
Room G3, Electrical Engineering Building
UNSW Kensington Campus

All welcome, no RSVP required.


Find out about Saber's story as a space engineering startup in Australia, and their journey to modernize the way the space industry conducts Mission Control.

Dr. Jason Held, prior to founding Saber Astronautics, was a US Army Major and Space Support Team leader for USSTRATCOM (formerly Space Command) and deployed globally in support of military space missions. He was a flight software engineer on the Hubble Space Telescope and tester for the International Space Station, as well as a senior space instructor for USSTRATCOM and an engineer for the Space and Missile Command Battle Lab. At the University of Sydney, he founded the space engineering laboratory, providing leadership for the university small satellite project and Australia's first premix rocket engine. He is also an active member of AIAA's Space Logistics Technical Committee, and is currently lecturing with the UNSW Australia School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering.

[SEMINAR]
Development of a space habitat simulator: SHEE - Self-deployable Habitat for Extreme Environments
Dr Barnaby Osborne
ACSER / International Space University


1pm
Thursday, 26 March 2015
Room G3, Electrical Engineering Building
UNSW Kensington Campus

 

This seminar describes the lessons learnt from building a space simulation habitat. Further, it shows the versatility of the design which can be transformed from a habitable space for two into a greenhouse or into an astrobiology laboratory, all functional elements needed for extended stays on extra-terrestrial surfaces.

Read more...

Human exploration of extra-terrestrial surfaces require extensive preparation upfront. This implies the simulation of mission scenarios with simulation tools and infrastructure. Future missions will include remote and autonomous assembly of required mission elements on the Moon or Mars. In this context the project SHEE, a Self Deployable Habitat for Extreme Environments, is being developed to support these preparatory efforts. Developed under a three year European Commission FP7 grant, the SHEE is a rigid segment deployable habitat test bed designed for use in space analogous environments. SHEE is the first ever built European simulation habitat and thus presents a milestone in the European history of human spaceflight preparations.

The objective of the SHEE project is to develop a self-deployable habitat test bed that will support a crew of two for a period of up to two weeks in duration. During this time the habitat will provide for all of the environmental, hygiene, dietary, logistical, professional, and psychological needs of the crew. Unlike most space analog habitats, the SHEE will use commercial transportation infrastructure, allowing for cost effective transportation to space analog sites across Europe and also overseas. Once on site, the habitat will be autonomously deployed with no human intervention required, and will be able to re-pack itself with minimal human assistance.

SHEE is modular so that more than one habitat can be joined together to create a larger structure. Design studies were also undergone to show that SHEE can be transformed into a small experimental simulation greenhouse and into an astrobiology laboratory. Thus it can be envisioned that an assembly of more than one SHEE habitat can create a large base incorporating all functions for early surface exploration.

Qualification and testing of the fully outfitted SHEE test-bed began in April of 2015 at Compagnie Maritime D Expertises in Marseille, and will conclude in October of 2015 at the International Space University in Strasbourg. Through building this deployable test bed important experiences for building have been made starting from developing requirements to choosing the right size for easy transportation on land and by sea, appropriate structural integrity, suitable materials amongst other issues.

[SEMINAR]
Arkaroola Mars Robot Challenge Expedition
Dr Jon Clarke
12pm
Wednesday, 18 March 2015
Rountree Room 356, Level 3
Biological Sciences Building (D26)
UNSW Kensington Campus

Click here to watch this seminar on our YouTube Channel


The seminar will provide an expedition overview of the Challenge, a summary of preliminary results, and examine possibilities of future expeditions to evaluate the performance of science robots in the field.

Read more...

The Arkaroola Mars Robot Challenge Expedition was the latest of a series of expedition run by Mars Society Australia (MSA) since its inception in 2001. Destinations of previous expeditions have included the Pilbara, Woomera, and the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah, as well as Arkaroola. The expedition ran from Friday 4th July to Sunday 20th July. There were some 30 participants in all, most stayed for the full two weeks.

The aims of the Expedition were:

  1. Test a range of field robotic systems at Arkaroola with the goal of developing concepts for planetary operations, especially Mars. Participants include Murdoch University (WA), University of New South Wales, Mars Society India, and MSA.
  2. Test control of remote robotic and human field operations at Arkaroola from centralised mission control run by Saber Astronautics from their operations centre in Sydney.
  3. To test human field science capabilities while wearing simulated space suits, specially evaluating the ability of both scientists and non-scientists to recognise stromatolites at a test site.
  4. Explore astrobiological and geobiological features of the Arkaroola region. This component of the expedition by a team from Macquarie University (NSW), focussing on the putative microfossils of veins in the Tapley Hill Formation and biomarkers of the oldest known sponge-stromatolite reefs in the Balcanoona Formation.
  5. Work with teachers from NSW and South Australia, both on the expedition and those visiting Arkaroola, to better equip them in teaching of science.
  6. To stimulate and inspire students and researchers in the disciplines of field robotics, planetary geology, astrobiology, and education through multidisciplinary interaction in the field.
  7. Reach out to the public using lectures at Arkaroola and media contacts, emphasising the importance of planetary science, field robotics, and astrobiology to both the Australian and global community.

[SEMINAR]
System Engineering of a Martian Ice Miner for In Situ Resource Utilization in Support of a Mars Colony

Martian Landscape from the Pathfinder rover
Image via www.nasa.gov
Mr Thierry De Roche
UNSW School of Mining & Ecole Polytechnique Federale De Lausanne


12pm
Monday, 16 March 2015
Room G3, Electrical Engineering Building
UNSW Kensington Campus

Click here to watch this seminar on our YouTube Channel


For a number of reasons Mars' colonization is the next stop in our exploration of the Solar System. in order to sustain human presence on our neighbour planet as well as optimizing the launch mass, a colony will rely on the resources extracted from the colonized location. The most important feedstock is water, as other vital products like breathable oxygen can be derived from it. This work focuses on identifying extractable sources of water and presents a way of deriving them.

A mining site in the mid-latitudes of Mars is proposed for its high ground water ice content of 40 wt % buried under a relatively ice free layer of 15cm depth and favourable extraction conditions. The Mars I Situ Water Extraction rover concept rom Honeybee Robotics is chosen as miner and its subsystems are proposed, outlined and sized. The miner uses an auger to drill trough the ice free layer and retains only the ice rich soil on its find. The drill is retracted into a sleeve and sealed to hear up the mixture of soil and ice. The water ice is gasified and collected. The modified Snap 19RTF is chosen as power source and its excess heat is used to bake the icy soil, which requires an active thermal control system. Phase Change Materials thermal storages along with loop heat pipes are proposed to distribute and reject the RTGs heat. Power and mass budgets are dressed and the rover is estimated to weight ~100kg. The system has an estimated Efficiency of Mining Mass per Year of 2-kg/year/kg of miner mass.

[SEMINAR]
BLUEsat Stratospheric Balloon Testing:
Serving UNSW space research activities by providing a vehicle for testing space systems and space hardware in near-space conditions
Ian Bartlett
BLUEsat President

12pm
Thursday, 12 March 2015
Room G3, Electrical Engineering Building
UNSW Kensington Campus

Click here to watch this seminar on our YouTube Channel


In January, the BLUEsat team, mentored by EET’s Dr Elias Aboutanios, successfully launched a stratospheric balloon from Muswellbrook and safely recovered its payload, consisting of a control computer, tracking equipment and two GoPro cameras. The balloon rose to a height of 25,000m, and was tracked the balloon using a Spot GPS and an APRS tracker, both through the APRS network and through our own receiving station with software developed by the BLUEsat team. The BLUEsat team comprised 6 undergraduate Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering students and 2 Electrical Engineering undergraduate students.

This successful mission is a great step towards our goal of building reliable stratospheric balloon launch capabilities to take payloads to an altitude of 35-40km and recover them safely. This will serve multiple goals, including (i) serving space research activities within the faculty with a vehicle for testing space systems and space hardware in near-space conditions, and (ii) running high school outreach competitions for students to develop payloads, with the winning team or teams going with us on the launch mission to see their payload go to the stratosphere.


[SEMINAR]
Bistatic Radar
Mr Cameron Cooke
ACSER Thesis Student


12pm
Tuesday, 10 March 2015
Room G3, Electrical Engineering Building
UNSW Kensington Campus

Click here to watch this seminar on our YouTube Channel


Bistatic Radar using signals of Opportunity (eg GPS) offers the potential to develop cheap, passive and low weight sensors that can be carried on UAV's. Applications include remote sensing, altimeter and DEM creation. Find out more about the theory behind GPS bistatic radar, as well as experiments that can be conducted using real world data.

[SEMINAR]
Prof. Eduardo Bezerra
Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), Brazil
5:30pm for a 6pm start
Wednesday, 5 March 2015
Room G3, Electrical Engineering Building
UNSW Kensington Campus

Click here to watch this seminar on our YouTube Channel

Developing Projects in the Brazilian Space Program Context: A Case Study in the Design and Implementation of a Critical Embedded System for Space Applications

Read more...

The Brazilian Space Program started in 1961 as a government initiative named “Group for the Organisation of the National Space Activities Commission” (GOCNAE). In all these years, in order to cope with the deadlines and requirements associated to the variety of missions, very specific procedures and standards have been adopted. The presentation will briefly introduce the Brazilian Space Program, and how academic institutions manage to develop joint projects with the National Institute for Space Research (INPE). As a case study, the design flow and implementation of the communications subsystem of an on-board computer (OBC) will be presented.

The whole communications subsystem has been developed in a Brazilian university, under an INPE’s contract by a consortium formed by two Brazilian companies. The Telecommand/Telemetry (TC/TM) subsystem has been designed according to the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS) recommendations, and the European Space Agency (ESA) standards. In the presentation, the project roadmap will be discussed, along with some technical aspects of the design such as some of the adopted dependability features, including: ESA/CCSDS TC/TM coding scheme; hardware redundancy; radiation hardened hardware; hardware description language (VHDL) coding style; and design for metastability.

Prof. Eduardo Bezerra is a Researcher and Lecturer of Computer Engineering at Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), Brazil, where he is with the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering since 2010. He was formerly with the Faculty of Informatics, Catholic University (PUCRS), Brazil, from 1996 to 2010. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from the University of Sussex (Space Science Centre), England, UK, in 2002. He is the author and co-author of papers published covering a broad range of scientific topics within the disciplines of Computer Engineering. His research interests are in the areas of embedded systems, space applications, computer architecture, reconfigurable systems (FPGAs), software and hardware testing, fault tolerance and microprocessor applications. At PUCRS, he was the head of the Embedded Systems Group (GSE) where he led and managed several research projects funded by Brazilian Government Agencies and also by the industry. In 2004 he set up a company named Innalogics at PUCRS Technological Park. Innalogics is a spin-off of GSE aiming the improvement of industry-university collaboration in the field of embedded systems design.

[SEMINAR]
Prof. Eduardo Bezerra
Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), Brazil
12pm
Monday, 16 February 2015
Room G3, Electrical Engineering Building
UNSW Kensington Campus

All welcome. No RSVP necessary.

Prof Bezerra is visiting Australia until mid-March. Please join us if you believe there are opportunities for future collaboration based on his areas of research.

Embedded Systems for Space Applications at UFSC/Brazil

Read more...

The Embedded Systems Research Group was set up in 2002 targeting opportunities provided by the Brazilian space industry. Since then, several research works have been conducted, and a couple of products have been delivered to the Brazilian space program, in partnership with local companies. The projects are, basically, in the computer engineering field, where the hardware and software aspects of on-board systems are investigated. The main project delivered so far was a communication module to be employed in future missions. The Telecommand/Telemetry (TC/TM) subsystem has been designed according to the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS) recommendations, and the European Space Agency (ESA) standards. The implemented communications flown is straightforward. Basically, the TC module receives telecommands from ground stations, decodes and unpacks them, and deliveries to the OBC and on-board instruments. The TM module, receives telemetry packets from the OBC, pre-processes and encodes them, and sends to the ground station. The TC and TM channels connecting the subsystem to the OBC are redundant, as well as the OBCs themselves. The TC/TM subsystem has been designed, implemented and tested following strict rules and requirements provided by INPE. It is a vital module for the mission as a whole as, in case of any problem, a TC may not arrive at its destination resulting, for instance, in an engine for attitude control turned on/off at the wrong moment, or the solar panel pointed at the wrong direction. Nevertheless, it is well known that data in an Earth/space link can be easily corrupted, and there are strategies in the ESA/CCSDS recommendations for coping with this communication hazard. Besides the technical aspects of the TC/TM subsystem, other on-going embedded system designs and technologies will be discussed.

Prof. Eduardo Bezerra is a Researcher and Lecturer of Computer Engineering at Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), Brazil, where he is with the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering since 2010. He was formerly with the Faculty of Informatics, Catholic University (PUCRS), Brazil, from 1996 to 2010. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from the University of Sussex (Space Science Centre), England, UK, in 2002. He is the author and co-author of papers published covering a broad range of scientific topics within the disciplines of Computer Engineering. His research interests are in the areas of embedded systems, space applications, computer architecture, reconfigurable systems (FPGAs), software and hardware testing, fault tolerance and microprocessor applications. At PUCRS, he was the head of the Embedded Systems Group (GSE) where he led and managed several research projects funded by Brazilian Government Agencies and also by the industry. In 2004 he set up a company named Innalogics at PUCRS Technological Park. Innalogics is a spin-off of GSE aiming the improvement of industry-university collaboration in the field of embedded systems design.


[SEMINAR]
Mr Sanat Biswas
ACSER PhD Candidate
2014 IAF Emerging Space Leader


1pm
Wednesday, 11 February 2015
Room G3, Electrical Engineering Building
UNSW Kensington Campus

Click here to watch this seminar on our YouTube Channel


ACSER PhD Student, Mr Sanat Biswas, was selected by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) to participate in the 2014 IAF Emerging Space Leaders Grant Programme. Sanat will provide an overview of his experience of the programme, which was based at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Toronto, Canada, in September/October 2014.

Only fourteen awards were made from more than 109 students and young professionals applying from 40 countries. More information about the award and a full list of the winners is available here.

Advancement in Space Science, Technology and Exploration: Is it Beneficial and Necessary?

Read more...

Space Agencies around the world have dedicated their work force not only to communication, navigation and Earth observation missions, but also to planetary exploration and development of cutting-edge technology for ambitious interplanetary missions. There is however a debate as to whether spending money for space exploration and related technological developments is justified. In 2014 Sanat was named one of only a handful of IAF Emerging Space Leaders and was granted an opportunity to attend International Astronautical Congress where scientists, engineers, lawyers, entrepreneurs, space agency leaders and legislators from different countries came together to showcase advances in space technology and discuss future policy ideas for space. One of Sanat’s goals while interacting at the IAC was to understand the socio-economic benefits expected from future space exploration missions from the perspectives of the varied participants. In this presentation, Sanat will share his views developed at the IAC on the necessity of space exploration. Sanat Kumar Biswas is a PhD student at The Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). Sanat received B.E. degree in Instrumentation and Electronics from Jadavpur University in 2010 and M. Tech degree in Aerospace Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay in 2012. During his M. Tech program he researched on spacecraft navigation in lunar trajectory. He worked as Senior Engineer at Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions from 2012 to 2013. His research interest is spacecraft navigation, GNSS based navigation, satellite attitude control, optimal estimation, nonlinear systems. His current research focus is real-time on-board satellite navigation using multi-GNSS receiver.


[SEMINAR]
Mr Xiaobo GU
ACSER PhD Practicum student

1pm
Wednesday, 6 February 2015
Room G3, Electrical Engineering Building
UNSW Kensington Campus

Click here to watch this seminar on our YouTube Channel

Xiaobo will speak about the research he has completed during his 12 month stay with ACSER on satellite time synchronization systems based on remotely disciplined VCXOs.

[SEMINAR]
Mr Siddharth Pandey
Doctoral Researcher
Space Systems Engineering
SEIT-UNSW Canberra


1pm
Wednesday, 4 February 2015
Room G3, Electrical Engineering Building
UNSW Kensington Campus

Click here to watch this seminar on our YouTube Channel

Investigating Fluidized Granular Flow Behaviour under Martian Surface Conditions for a Pneumatic Regolith Acquisition System

Read more...

Keeping in mind the enormous scientific benefits of returning Mars samples to Earth, efforts are undertaken to improve the performance of a Pneumatic Regolith Acquisition System. Positive pressure pneumatic conveying systems rely on complex layouts for particle transport and require efficient designs. For it to function with redundancy and without human interaction in extra-terrestrial environments, it becomes imminent to model gas-solid flow behaviour and put forth critical findings. These findings shall induce design adjustments that will improve gas- regolith mixing for efficient transport of the samples under Martian conditions. Critical areas to model the flow were singled out: presented here, is the “pneumatic injection- Martian Surface regolith zone” Effects of pneumatic injection velocity vectors upon regolith volume fraction distribution and subsequent transport within the system is studied within a cylindrical pipe with inlets for gas injection onto the exposed regolith surface area. Key gas nozzle design variations are modeled and tested for appreciation of captured regolith mass. Increasing nozzle injection angles are compared to swirl injected nozzles and regolith volume fraction distributions are studied in radial and axial planes. Effect of gas velocity on the regolith lift rates is studied and basic conclusions are drawn regarding the applicability of certain nozzle configurations. Challenges faced during modelling and future work to be carried out are listed. The CFD results are used to design and fabricate nozzle prototypes that are tested with two different regolith simulants and air for varying inlet pressures. The final sets of results attained are compared with the theoretical results and the set requirements are met. Key challenges faced and future work is laid out.

Siddharth Pandey is a PhD student at University of New South Wales at Canberra, Australia. His work is on Understanding Thermal Convection on Martian Surface to aid Design of a Mars bound Rover. Previously, he was an Education Associate at NASA Ames Research Center. He worked on investigating Fluidized Granular Flows in reduced gravity to aid design of Pneumatic Sample Acquisition Systems. He also worked with the Space Biosciences Division to design and develop Microgravity Bioscience Payload for research conducted on board the International Space Station. He holds a Master’s degree in Space Systems Engineering from Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands and a Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering from Amity University, India.

[SEMINAR]
Mr Peeter Wilkinson
Project Controller for the Future Missions Office
under the Science Programme (Cosmic Vision 2015-2025)
European Space Agency


Tuesday, 13 January 2015
Room G3, Electrical Engineering Building
UNSW Kensington Campus

Click here to watch this seminar on our YouTube Channel

Mr Wilkinson, a UNSW Alumnus (and ex-BLUEsat Team), will provide an overview of ESA activity along with personal insights based on his 8 years of service with the organisation. He is presently the Project Controller for the Future Missions Office under the Science Programme. Cosmic Vision 2015–2025 is the current cycle of ESA's long-term planning for space science missions. It is the latest in a series of mechanisms through which ESA's science missions are implemented and provides the stability needed for activities which typically take over two decades to go from initial concept to the production of scientific results. For more information on Cosmic Vision 2015–2025 visit the ESA website.

2014

Annual Space Industry Association of Australia Distinguished Lecture:

The UK Space Transformation - Lessons for Australia

Dr David Williams
Executive Director, National Facilities and Collections, CSIRO
Former Chief Executive, UK Space Agency and former Chairman of the European Space Agency


6pm - 7pm
Thursday, 27 November 2014
Law Theatre G04, Law Building
UNSW Kensington Campus

Click here to watch this seminar on our YouTube Channel

Dr Williams joined the CSIRO in Australia in 2013, bringing with him a wealth of experience in space agency leadership in the UK and Europe. He will speak about the remarkable transformation taking place in the UK space sector as a result of renewed government and private sector cooperation and investment. He will relate his European experience to the challenges faced by the Australian space sector and will comment on the opportunities as well as the challenges that lie ahead.

For further information see the SIAA website.

SPACE TALK:
How the Ukraine Crisis will shape US Space activity in the next 10 years

30th October 2014
6pm
Room G3, Electrical Engineering Building
UNSW Kensington Campus

All welcome, no RSVP required.


In this talk, our speaker Wayne Short, will explain why the recent events in the Crimea will probably force the USA to develop new rocket engines for space missions.

Wayne Short has University degrees in both engineering and information technology. He grew up in Sydney in the 1960’s where as a child he was enthralled with the space exploration achievements of America and the Soviet Union in the race to first land on the moon.

He is currently president of the National Space Society of Australia (NSSA) and also co-chair of the Australian Space Research Conference (ASRC). The NSSA is a not-for-profit advocacy organisation whose goal is to “Create a Space-faring Civilisation”.

With members across the country; the NSSA runs local chapter meetings to the public as well as organises conferences on behalf of the NSSA for Educators (the Australian Space Research Conference) and Business, Industry and government (Australian Space Development Conference).

SEMINAR:
Australian Space Research Conference 2014 Presentations
by ACSER/UNSW Staff and Students

26th September 2014
1pm
Room G3, Electrical Engineering Building
UNSW Kensington Campus

All welcome, no RSVP required.


  • William Crowe (PhD Candidate)
    Robotic swarms as means to autonomously and rapidly characterise small celestial bodies
  • Scott Dorrington (PhD Candidate)
    Trajectory Design for Asteroid Retrieval Missions
  • Joshua Brandt (PhD Candidate)
    The Breakup of Liquid Jets in Reduced Gravity Conditions
  • Dr Joon Wayn Cheong (Research Associate)
    Real-Time Acquisition and Tracking of Galileo E1 Signals in Low Earth Orbit Scenarios
  • Steph McArthur (BLUEsat Off World Robotics)
    BLUEsat Robotics to Mars: Lessons on real world testing for student projects

The 14th Australian Space Research Conference (ASRC, formerly the Australian Space conference or ASSC), will be held in Adelaide at the University of South Australia. This will be the eighth ASRC jointly sponsored and organised by the National Committee for Space and Radio Science (NCSRS) and the National Space Society of Australia (NSSA), with the support of the Australian Space Research Institute (ASRI) and the Mars Society of Australia AMEC.

In 2014 ACSER team members are contributing 11 presentations and 3 posters to the conference, comprising over 10% of the total number of submissions. This is in addition to a very strong turn out from fellow UNSW Faculty of Engineering and Faculty of Science representatives.

SEMINAR:
International Astronautical Congress 2014 Presentations

17th September 2014
1pm
Room G3, Electrical Engineering Building
UNSW Kensington Campus

All welcome, no RSVP required.


(1) Sanat Biswas (ACSER PhD Candidate)
Real-Time On-Board Satellite Navigation using GPS and Galileo Measurements


Abstract:
Use of GPS for real-time on-board navigation of LEO satellites is an intriguing and cost effective technique. GPS measurements using post processing can produce orbit estimation within centimetre level accuracy. It is well-established that using space borne GPS receivers, an on-board navigation computer can estimate satellite position with accuracy of 10 metre in real-time. Inclusion of GLONASS and Galileo measurements in the process can make the real-time navigation system of spacecraft more reliable, robust and accurate by reducing the chance of blind spots and increasing the number of measurements. In the present work, a simulation platform for the real-time navigation using a multi-GNSS receiver is developed for navigational performance analysis. TanDEM-X is chosen as a test satellite with Galileo measurements simulated for the known satellite using a SPIRENT simulator. The measurement simulation includes receiver clock bias, ionospheric delay and random noise. The simulated Galileo measurements are used in an Extended Kalman Filter to estimate the position and velocity of TanDEM-X in an inertial Cartesian frame. Publicly available TanDEM-X GPS receiver measurement data are used in a separate Extended Kalman Filter and the navigation solution is compared with the solution obtained from simulated Galileo measurement for verification. For the multi-GNSS receiver experiment, Hardware in the Loop Simulation is designed which includes a UNSW Namuru GNSS receiver. GPS and Galileo constellation signals simulated by a Spirent GNSS signal simulator are captured by the Namuru receiver and the measurements are used to estimate the position and velocity of the satellite.

Sanat Kumar Biswas is a PhD student in School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunication at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). His research interest is spacecraft navigation; GNSS based navigation, optimal estimation, satellite attitude control. His current research focus is real-time on-board satellite navigation using multi-Global Navigation Satellite System receiver. He is also associated with Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research and worked on de-tumbling of cube-sat UNSW-EC0. Sanat received his Bachelor of Engineering in Instrumentation and Electronics from Jadavpur University in 2010 and M. Tech in Aerospace Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay in 2012. During his M. Tech program he researched on spacecraft navigation in lunar trajectory. He worked as Senior Engineer at Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions from 2012 to 2013.



(2) Thien Nguyen (BLUEsat)
Tracking Aircraft via CubeSat Constellations


Abstract:
Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) is currently being adopted by aviation authorities around the world as the standard method for tracking aircraft during flight. ADS-B coverage is available on most of the landmass in Europe, North America, Australia and South East Asia. However, gaps in coverage exist over regions where installing ADS-B receiver stations is not economically viable or feasible, such as over oceans and poles. To close these gaps, ADS-B signals can be received and retransmitted from satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). There is an increased commercial interest in implementing ADS-B re-transmitting satellite constellations. The Iridium NEXT and second Globalstar constellations of LEO satellites that are currently under development will provide a space based ADS-B service. Using a constellation of CubeSats provides a more economical solution, with lower production, launch and satellite replacement costs. The key challenge in the design of such system entails balancing coverage area and revisit times against cost and CubeSat technological limitations.
In our research, we performed analysis of these trade-offs and provide an insight into requirements of such a system. We modelled popular flights over the North Pole and Pacific and Atlantic Oceans (where ADS-B coverage is not available) in Systems Tool Kit (STK) with standard commercial ADS- B transmitters. These flight paths were analysed to determine the coverage requirements of a space based ADS-B system. Aviation safety requirements from various global authorities were researched to determine the system update rates necessary to provide a safety critical service. These requirements lay the groundwork for the systems development necessary to launch and operate an ADS-B constellation.

Thien Nguyen is a final year Engineering and Mathematics student at UNSW Australia. During his undergraduate career, Thien has completed industry projects with Thales Alenia Space, Genesys Electronics Design and has participated in numerous research initiatives under ACSER and the BLUEsat Group. Thien has been directly involved in BLUEsat's recent revitalisation and helped spearhead numerous new project initiatives, including the Off World Robotics Team and CubeSat research arm of BLUEsat. Thien recently completed an honours research thesis on Satellite Constellation design and is set to graduate with First Class Honours at the end of 2014. He remains an ongoing member of the BLUEsat project and aspires to be a leader in the Australian Space Industry.

SEMINAR: 2014 Institute of Navigation GNSS Conference Papers
Ryan Thompson
ACSER


5th September 2014
Time 12pm
Room 224, Electrical Engineering Building
UNSW Kensington Campus

All welcome, no RSVP required.

SEMINAR: UNSW Canberra Space Initiative
Professor Russell Boyce
Chair for Space Engineering, UNSW Canberra


26th August 2014
4pm Room G3, Electrical Engineering Building
UNSW Kensington Campus

All welcome, no RSVP required.

UNSW Canberra is investing heavily to develop the capability and capacity to routinely develop and fly low-cost in-orbit missions, in ways that set us apart, for performing innovative science in space.

Such missions would be supported by innovative ground-based experiments and supercomputer simulations, following the SCRAMSPACE embodiment of world best practice for aerospace research. The capability rests on 7 areas of activity, ranging from engineering to operations to science, and builds on existing in-house expertise.

Significant opportunity exists for exciting international space research, including PhD research for outstanding engineers and scientists.

Professor Russell Boyce holds the position of Chair for Space Engineering at UNSW Canberra, bringing 25 years experience (including leading the $14M international SCRAMSPACE project) in studying the interaction between high speed vehicles and their environment in the field of hypersonics and scramjets, to the interaction between satellites / space debris and their near-Earth environment. He is the Chairman of the Australian Academy of Science’s National Committee for Space and Radio Science, and is a member of the Executive Council of the Space Industry Association of Australia.

SEMINAR: Off World Robotics
(1) BLUEsat Off World Robotics Team
(2) Steven Hobbs, UNSW Canberra PhD Candidate


13th August 2014
12pm Room G3, Electrical Engineering Building
UNSW Kensington Campus

All welcome, no RSVP required.

Today's presentations cover the work of two separate UNSW teams at the recent Arkaroola Mars Robot Challenge Expedition hosted by Mars Society Australia (MSA). For more information on the Arkaroola Mars Robot Challenge click here.

SEMINAR: Delta-V, CubeSats & Rocket Lab - Space 2.0 Hotting Up
Dr Tim Parsons
Advisor, Saber Astronautics
Member and Sydney Chapter Representative, Space Angels Network
Founding Executive, delta-V SpaceHub


6th August 2014
12pm Room G3, Electrical Engineering Building
UNSW Kensington Campus

All welcome, no RSVP required.


Last week's launch party for NZ startup Rocket Lab's Electron smallsat launch system shows that local aerospace talent - when properly pitched - can attract Silicon Valley investors. Delta-v founding exec Tim Parsons will argue that Australian startup talent is uniquely positioned to take a major role in the global Space 2.0 market, and needs to get cracking now to open up huge commercial opportunities.

SEMINAR:
University College London (UCL) Electronic and Electrical Engineering Research Overview and Radar Activities - Prof Karl Woodbridge (University College London)


2nd May 2014
Room G3
Ground floor
Electrical Engineering Building (G17)
UNSW Kensington Campus

University College London is one of the world’s premier Universities with Nobel Prizes being awarded to 21 former academics and graduates. The Electronic and Electrical Engineering Department was the first to be established in the UK in 1885 with J.A. Fleming as it’s first Professor. Today Internationally leading research is carried out in a range of areas including communications, electronic materials, photonics, optical networks and sensor systems. Within the Systems, Circuits and Sensors group there is an active radar systems research group involving a total of around 30 academic and research staff, visitors and students. Research activities range from simulation and modeling through signal processing and hardware design to system build and field trials. Areas of interest cover a wide range of applications and include, target recognition and classification, multi-static/netted sensing, sea clutter/maritime target detection, passive radar, land mine detection and terrain monitoring. In this seminar, following some brief background on UCL and the EEE Department some selected examples of research in the areas of micro-Doppler target classification, multi-static sea clutter/maritime target detection and airborne passive radar will be presented.

Karl Woodbridge is Professor of Electronic Engineering in the Electronic and Electrical Engineering Department at University College London. Prior to joining UCL he worked for 10 years in semiconductor device research at Philips Research Laboratories. Current research interests include semiconductor devices, multi-static radar systems, maritime surveillance, target tracking and classification and passive sensing. He has published over 200 journal and conference papers in the above areas and has been involved in organizing and technical committees for many national and international seminars and conferences. He is a Fellow of the IET, a Fellow of the UK Institute of Physics and a Senior Member of the IEEE. He is also currently a visiting Professor at the University of Cape Town and Chairman of the IET Sonar, Radar and Navigation Technical and Professional Network Executive.

SEMINAR:
Research Under Reduced Gravity Conditions
- Dr Barnaby Osborne (ACSER, UNSW Australia)

1st May 2014
Room G3
Ground floor
Electrical Engineering Building (G17)
UNSW Kensington Campus

Research under reduced gravity conditions allows the investigation into physical phenomena that are typically masked by gravitational forces. This has implications for both purely scientific research as well as applied research. Reduced gravity experimentation is important to many diverse fields of research including materials science, biotechnology, fluid dynamics and combustion. Experimentation in reduced gravity is difficult to carry out with limited access to both terrestrial and extra-terrestrial experimental facilities. This seminar will present on two aspects of microgravity experimentation being carried out in ACSER: 1. A novel ground based microgravity test facility; and 2. A microgravity fluid dynamics experiment for the International Space Station (ISS).

  1. Novel microgravity catapult - The Microgravity catapult is a novel ground based microgravity testing facility that utilises a linear motor actuated catapult mechanism to drive the experiment up and down a 8m column. For 2.2 seconds the experiment experiences a reduced gravity environment. This approach differs from traditional methods of ground based microgravity testing (drop towers) and gives significant advantages in the control of the environment and frequency of the testing.
  2. SMiLE - The Spun Microgravity Liquid Experiment (SMiLE) is a fluid dynamics research project that is to be carried out onboard the ISS. The experiment investigates two phase fluid flows in reduced gravity. Specifically, two phenomena are investigated: Centrifugal separation in low rotation rate spun tanks; and Liquid drop formation, both in a reduced gravity environment. The experiment has been designed to interface with commercially available experiment slots for small experiments (10cm x 10cm x 10cm) on the ISS and will run for a minimum of 1 week.

This seminar will provide an overview of both projects, the operational capabilities and an update on the current status of each.

Dr Barnaby Osborne received his BEng and PhD from the University of Queensland in 1999 and 2008 respectively. Between 2006 and 2007 he worked as a testing and instrumentation engineer for an engineering firm specialising in failure analysis and design optimisation and from 2007 through to 2012 as a senior lecturer and field leader for the astronautics and space systems degree at Kingston University. He is currently a academic fellow at UNSW working primarily on the QB50 and Warrawal projects. He has research interests in microgravity physics and microgravity facility design, hybrid, solid and monopropellant propulsion and space composites. Dr Osborne has a published over 30 papers in peer reviewed journals and conferences.

2013

Seminar Title Presenter Time Location
"LEO Precise Orbit Determination &Spacecraft Relative Navigation using GPS Observations-Final Review" Yang Yang 1:00 - 1:30pm,
12th December 2013

Room G3, Ground Floor Electrical Engineering (G17) UNSW

"The Garada Project" Andrew Dempster 1:00 - 2:00pm,
2nd May 2013

Room G3, Ground Floor Electrical Engineering (G17) UNSW

"A Radar Imaging Satellite for Australia" Gordon Roesler 1:00 - 1:30pm,
9th May 2013

Room G3, Ground Floor Electrical Engineering (G17) UNSW

"Garada's SAR Solution" Mauro Grassi 1:30 - 2:00pm,
9th May 2013

Room G3, Ground Floor Electrical Engineering (G17) UNSW

"Garada SAR Formation Flying, Applications and Mission Concept" Steven Tsitas 1:00 - 1:30pm,
16th May 2013

Room G3, Ground Floor Electrical Engineering (G17) UNSW

"Satellite Orbit Model for Garada Project" Li (Lily) Qiao 1:30 - 2:00pm,
16th May 2013

Room G3, Ground Floor Electrical Engineering (G17) UNSW

"Developing an Australian GPS Receiver for Operation in Space" Garada Receiver Team 1:00 - 2:00pm,
6th June 2013

Room G3, Ground Floor Electrical Engineering (G17) UNSW

"GNSS Bistatic Airborne Experiments for Remote Sensing" Kegen Yu 1:00 - 1:30pm,
20th June 2013

Room G3, Ground Floor Electrical Engineering (G17) UNSW

"UNSW QB50 CubeSat Project" Barnaby Osborne 1:30 - 2:00pm,
20th June 2013

Room G3, Ground Floor Electrical Engineering (G17) UNSW

"Warrawal - Australia's First Masters in Satellite Systems Engineering" Elias Aboutanios 1:00 - 1:30pm,
27th June 2013

Room G3, Ground Floor Electrical Engineering (G17) UNSW

"Analysis of Performance Degradation Due to RF Impairments in Quadrature Bandpass Sampling GNSS Receivers" Vaidhya Mookiah 1:00 - 1:30pm,
4th July 2013

Room G3, Ground Floor Electrical Engineering (G17) UNSW

"Timing Performance of V2R3 Namuru Operating in Position-Hold Mode" Joseph Gauthier 1:30 - 2:00pm,
4th July 2013

Room G3, Ground Floor Electrical Engineering (G17) UNSW

"Low Cost Adaptive Array Signal Processing by Subarray Selection" Xiangrong Wang 2:00 - 2:30pm,
4th July 2013

Room G3, Ground Floor Electrical Engineering (G17) UNSW

"Analysis of Receiver Observables to Spoofing Attacks Using Software Receivers" Ryan Thompson 1:00 - 1:20pm,
11th July 2013

Room G3, Ground Floor Electrical Engineering (G17) UNSW

"Ionospheric path delay modelling for spacecraft formation flying" Yang Yang 1:25 - 1:45pm,
11th July 2013

Room G3, Ground Floor Electrical Engineering (G17) UNSW

"A Comparison of Algorithms Adopted in Fingerprint-based Indoor Positioning Systems" Kai Zhao 1:45 - 2:30pm,
11th July 2013

Room G3, Ground Floor Electrical Engineering (G17) UNSW

"Vectored Thrust Aerial Vehicles: Design and Control" Jay Katupitiya 1:00 - 1:45pm,
1st August 2013

Room G3, Ground Floor Electrical Engineering (G17) UNSW

"Composites in Space Applications" Garth Pearce 1:00 - 1:30pm,
8th August 2013

Room G3, Ground Floor Electrical Engineering (G17) UNSW

"Examples of Perception Applied to Autonomous Systems" Jose Guivant 1:00 - 1:30pm,
15th August 2013

Room G3, Ground Floor Electrical Engineering (G17) UNSW

"Behaviour-based Control Law for Spacecraft Swarm Operations" Nathan Kinkaid 1:30 - 2:00pm,
15th August 2013

Room G3, Ground Floor Electrical Engineering (G17) UNSW

"Plasma nozzles, thruster testing and space simulation at the ANU" Rod Boswell 1:00 - 2:00pm,
22th August 2013

Room G3, Ground Floor Electrical Engineering (G17) UNSW

"Telemetry, Command and Ranging Subsystem for LEO Satellite" Kiho Kwon 1:00 - 1:30pm,
26th August 2013

Room G3, Ground Floor Electrical Engineering (G17) UNSW

"Biomimetic Structures - Nature as Inspiration for Engineering Design" Naomi Tsafnat 1:00 - 1:30pm,
30th August 2013

Room G3, Ground Floor Electrical Engineering (G17) UNSW

"Research on Technologies for Space Mining and Construction Spawns Dual-Use Applications" Leonhard Bernold 1:00 - 1:30pm,
5th September 2013

Room G3, Ground Floor Electrical Engineering (G17) UNSW

"QB50: Rapid Manufactured Satellite Structure" Jendi Keple 1:00 - 2:00pm,
12th September 2013

Room G3, Ground Floor Electrical Engineering (G17) UNSW

"GNSS Reflectometry - An Overview" Scott O'Brien 1:00 - 1:30pm,
10th October 2013

Room G3, Ground Floor Electrical Engineering (G17) UNSW

"A custom multicore architecture for GNSS baseband receiver" Vinh Tran Tuan 1:30 - 2:00pm,
10th October 2013

Room G3, Ground Floor Electrical Engineering (G17) UNSW

"NASA Ames Academy Experience" Thomas Cooney 3:00 - 3:30pm,
21st November 2013

Room G3, Ground Floor Electrical Engineering (G17) UNSW

"Design and Performance of the Fingerprinting Technique for Indoor Location" Vahideh Moghtadaiee 3:30 - 4:00pm,
21st November 2013

Room G3, Ground Floor Electrical Engineering (G17) UNSW

"The Feasibility of a Dedicated Satellite End-Of-Life Disposal Mission in Geostationary Earth Orbit " Joseph Duong 12:00 - 12:15pm,
25th November 2013

Room G3, Ground Floor Electrical Engineering (G17) UNSW

"Thermal Vacuum Outgassing Testing of Rapid Prototyped Material used in QB50" Henry Kuo 12:15 - 12:30pm,
25th November 2013

Room G3, Ground Floor Electrical Engineering (G17) UNSW



Seminar Abstracts

A Radar Imaging Satellite for Australia - Gordon Roesler

Perhaps the most critical resource for Australia's economy and environment is fresh water. In addition to water in lakes, rivers and reservoirs, there is a large amount retained in Australia's soils. However, it is difficult to get timely, comprehensive measurements of soil moisture from the ground or aircraft, given Australia's vast size. A space-based platform can obtain soil moisture measurements at the rate of millions of square kilometres per hour. The physics of radar acquisition of soil moisture information will be briefly explained. Several top-level requirements provide a basis for spacecraft and mission design. Were such a system available, the soil moisture data would find numerous applications in agriculture, environmental protection and restoration, land use planning, climate change assessment and adaptation, and meteorology.


Garada's SAR Solution - Mauro Grassi

The scope of this talk will be the whole signal chain from the antenna to the final image product. We will explore the microwave RF front end proposed for Garada as well as the signal processing steps required for focusing to obtain an SLC (Single Look Complex) image. From the SLC image, the application of interest, extracting soil moisture, will be explained.


Garada SAR Formation Flying, Applications and Mission Concept - Steven Tsitas

The applications and mission concept for the GARADA SAR Formation Flying mission are described. It is demonstrated how design decisions flow from the requirements described in the GARADA requirements summary. The mechanical design of the spacecraft defined in baseline is described and CAD models and results of FEM analysis are presented.


Satellite Orbit Model for Garada Project - Li Qiao

The Garada project Work Package 7 is focussed on determining the optimum orbit for the mission and selecting the candidate launcher vehicle. The key application is soil moisture monitoring over an agricultural area (predominantly the Murray Darling Basin - MDB). A coverage revisit interval of 2-3 days would be required. To best satisfy the mission requirements, a frozen, repeating, circular sun-synchronous orbit (SSO) is the best candidate orbit.


Developing an Australian GPS Receiver for Operation in Space - Garada Receiver Team

Surveying and Geospatial Engineering at UNSW has been developing FPGA based GPS receivers for almost a decade, although the use of these receivers for real world applications has been limited, if non-existent. This all changed with the receipt of the 'Formation Flying SAR' ASRP grant and the formation of the Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research (UNSW) at UNSW. Not only were significant resources available for very significant upgrades to the Namuru series of FPGA based GPS receivers designed for research purposes, but the project resulted in an unexpected invitation from DSTO to participate in a multi-lateral cubesat project called Biarri. In this project, ACSER is responsible for the the delivery of a Namuru based receiver designed specifically for the mission.

In this talk, we describe the Namuru based receivers, the very significant firmware updates to create a fully Australian/New Zealand based receiver design, the efforts required to get the new boards up and running, some of the problems we experienced, as well as the latest test results for the project. This includes the challenging tasks of porting the software to the new boards and adapting the GPS only firmware to be capable of processing Galileo signals, all in a very tight schedule. We also discuss the receiver development road-map and the beneficial opportunities they present for UNSW.


GNSS Bistatic Airborne Experiments for Remote Sensing - Kegen Yu

The fourth work package of Garada project has focused on GNSS bistatic sensor experiment. Four low-altitude airborne experiments have been conducted by flying a UNSW-owned light aircraft over sea and land areas. The experimental data have been used to investigate GNSS-based near sea surface wind speed estimation, sea level estimation, forest abnormal condition detection, and ground/field soil moisture retrieval. This presentation will give some details of these airborne experiments and show some results of the geophysical parameters estimation using the real measurements.


UNSW QB50 CubeSat Project: Experiments in radiation tolerance critical systems, GNSS remote observation and 3-D printed satellite structures - Barnaby Osborne

The University of New South Wales is participating in the FP7 Funded QB50 program as a satellite builder/operator of the CubeSat UNSW EC0. UNSW EC0 will be a 2U CubeSat that will carry the customer supplied atmospheric science payload INMS as well as incorporating four additional payloads. There are three payload boards: 1. Namuru - a new space GPS board developed at UNSW that will carry out positioning functions as well as operating as a GNSS remote observation platform, 2. seL4Bit - a radiation tolerant systems computer board running a robust microkernel operating system developed by NICTA and 3. RUSH - A FPGA based systems computer board that will test algorithmic radiation tolerant processes and partial reconfiguration. In addition to the payload boards, there is a structural payload: RAMSES - A rapid manufactured thermoplastic CubeSat structure that will demonstrate the application of 3-D printed structures in the space environment.

This presentation will give an overview to the UNSW QB50 EC0 CubeSat project, with the system design, the payloads and the main experiments discussed. Experiment methodology will be presented for the UNSW/NICTA payloads as well as the expected results from these at the completion of the program.


Warrawal - Australia's First Masters in Satellite Systems Engineering - Elias Aboutanios

The Australian Space Research Program (ASRP) is a government initiative to bolster the Space Industry in Australia. In 2011, we were successful in obtaining a grant for the establishment of Australia's first masters in Satellite Systems Engineering. Other elements of the project involved the completion of BLUEsat and the establishment of a follow-on project. The Warrawal project is now near its end and the main tasks in the development of the masters are complete. This talk reviews the activities of the Warrawal project. It describes the masters, the lessons and achievements of BLUEsat, and briefly overviews its replacement, the QB50 project.

Analysis of Performance Degradation Due to RF Impairments in Quadrature Bandpass Sampling GNSS Receivers - Vaidhya Mookiah

Quadrature Bandpass Sampling is a direct RF samping method which downconverts and digitises the signal in a single step using two ADCs. These ADCs are separated with a time delay equal to one quarter of the carrier signal period. Accuracy of this delay directly corresponds to phase delay in the quardature component and any error in the delay results in performance degradation in the receiver. The scope of this talk will be to investigate RF impairments and noise folding associated with QBPS. These results are compared with the tradional homodyne systems and the potential for performance improvement is explored.

Timing Performance of V2R3 Namuru Operating in Position-Hold Mode - Joseph Gauthier

Quadrature Bandpass Sampling is a direct RF samping method which downconverts and digitises the signal in a single step using two ADCs. These ADCs are separated with a time delay equal to one quarter of the carrier signal period. Accuracy of this delay directly corresponds to phase delay in the quardature component and any error in the delay results in performance degradation in the receiver. The scope of this talk will be to investigate RF impairments and noise folding associated with QBPS. These results are compared with the tradional homodyne systems and the potential for performance improvement is explored.

Low Cost Adaptive Array Signal Processing by Subarray Selection - Xiangrong Wang

The high cost of an entire front-end and limited signal processing resources make large (or oversampled) antenna array a luxury for GNSS receivers. Therefore, a low cost adaptive array processing strategy by subarray selection is proposed in this work, while with maximum preserved performance. Then the problem becomes how to define the cost function and select the optimum subarray, which is usually an NP-hard optimization problem. An 8-antenna circular array is used to do the experiment. The experimental results show that the optimum subarray can reduce the hardware cost dramatically with maximum preserved performance. In other words, the optimum subarray can achieve the best performance given the fixed hardware cost.

Analysis of Receiver Observables to Spoofing Attacks Using Software Receivers - Ryan Thompson

Spoofing attacks, where false satellites signals are broadcast to trick the operation of a GNSS receiver, present a serious threat to GNSS security. There are a number of receiver observables, such as C/No, correlator function shape, pseudo-range, and clock offset, which will show variations during spoofing attacks. The aim of this work is to investigate the response of these observables, using a commercial and a MATLAB based software receiver, to different types of spoofing attacks. This work will make use of the Texas Spoofing Test Battery, a collection of scenarios for evaluating spoofing detection techniques, provided by the Radionavigation Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin.

Ionospheric path delay modelling for spacecraft formation flying - Yang Yang

In addition to absolute orbit determination information, many current and future space missions require onboard relative navigation solutions between multiple satellites. GNSS is ideal for satisfying such requirements because of its long-term stable accuracy and global availability. It is well known that of the various error sources in the GNSS observations, the ionospheric path delay is one of the largest. Even though most common GNSS errors can be eliminated by double-differencing (DD) the observations, the DD residuals of the ionospheric delay may still be significant when the spacecraft separation is large. An accurate model of the ionospheric delay can improve relative navigation accuracy. This paper describes a method for solving the zero-differenced (ZD) ionospheric delay in dual-frequency measurements. The geometry-free combination of code phase observables is formed after pre-processing the measurements. In the observation model equation, the ionospheric error is transformed into a function of the vertical total electron content (vTEC) using the modified Lear mapping function. Then the differential code biases (DCBs) of all the GNSS satellites and the receivers are estimated using a Least Squares method on the basis that the vTEC is parameterised by the spherical harmonic (SH) function. Once the DCBs are obtained from a long arc of GNSS observations (about 1 hour of data), they are then substituted into the observation equation to calculate the ionospheric delay. The vTEC can also be predicted directly from the ZD and single-differenced (SD) measurements. Twin satellite data from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission are used to test the proposed method.

A Comparison of Algorithms Adopted in Fingerprint-based Indoor Positioning Systems - Kai Zhao

Fingerprinting technology has been widely used in indoor positioning systems such as Wi-Fi positioning systems. Its performance depends on not only the measurement of signal strength, but also the algorithm used. In this paper, an overview is given of the current popular algorithms adopted in Wi-Fi indoor positioning system, including deterministic method (K nearest neighbour, K weight nearest neighbour), probabilistic method and neural network. In order to get reliable and representative result, those algorithms are evaluated based on same database. Comparisons were made with respect to positioning accuracy, computing power requirement and the complexity of creating the database. Furthermore, details of choosing parameters and implementation of these algorithms are discussed.

A performance evaluation of the RFID method in indoor positioning fingerprinting database collection and maintenance - Kai Zhao

Fingerprinting technology has been widely used in Wi-Fi indoor positioning systems. However, the major disadvantage of this technology - the requirement to generate and maintain the location fingerprinting database remains. We have proposed an approach to use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to significantly simplify the process of location fingerprinting collection. In this method, we use the RFID tags to mark and represent the reference points. An electronic device can be used to collect fingerprinting data automatically while people carry it walk around. Thus, the process of fingerprinting data collection can be done by the staffs like security guards in their common patrol. We have developed an experimental system called Geni Wi-Fi, to test the proposed method. The impacts of different factors to the positioning performance are analysed. A potential approach to utilize RFID devices in indoor positioning is tested.

Biomimetic Structures � Nature as Inspiration for Engineering Design - Naomi Tsafnat

Nature abounds in examples of structures that are strong, lightweight, and well adapted to withstand applied loads. Plants and animals use the raw materials available to them to build structures which are suited to their needs, in an energy efficient manner. The same design parameters apply for engineers planning construction of structures in space with in-situ resource utilization. We want to use the available materials (e.g. regolith) to build strong, lightweight structures for specific needs, with minimal energy expenditure. With the development of novel manufacturing methods such as 3D printing and selective laser sintering, we are now able to construct complex structures similar to those found in nature. In this talk I will introduce some examples of natural structures and their potential application in space-based construction.

Vectored Thrust Aerial Vehicles: Design and Control - Jay Katupitiya

Vectored Thrust Aerial vehicles (VTAV) are unconventional aerial vehicles that fly with the assistance of forces, of which the magnitude and more importantly the directions can be changed drastically. This type of aerial vehicles can at best be at unstable equilibrium and hence need controllers to stabilize them. The advantage is that they can deliver excellent manoeuvrability with the help of controllers. The locally built VTAV has been mathematically modelled and controllers developed to achieve stable hover. The presentation will describe its design, modelling and control.

Composites in Space Applications - Garth Pearce

Composite materials have a large role to play in the future of space transport and infrastructure. This presentation will provide an overview of the role that composite materials play in the current suite of space vehicles and launchers and the many advantages they offer for future designs. A key UNSW contribution to this field, EU 7th Framework Project DESICOS, will be discussed as well as a novel proposal for on-orbit rigidisation of inflatable composite booms.

Examples of Perception Applied to Autonomous Systems - Jose Guivant

The talk will include the presentation of cases of perception that were applied, by the author, to diverse platforms ( car, bicycle, mining truck, Mechanical School's UGV ).

Behaviour-based Control Law for Spacecraft Swarm Operations - Nathan Kinkaid

A behaviour-based control method to reposition a swarm of spacecraft is developed in order to balance the fuel consumption among agents in a satellite swarm. Under the influence of the J2 perturbation, the agents with larger orbital elements differences with respect to the reference orbit consume more energy to maintain their position within the configuration. The proposed control law can guide the spacecraft in the high-fuel-consumption positions to switch with those in the low-fuel-consumption positions. This approach does not require any centralised command and control. The coordination is achieved through agent-level interactions. From the simulation data, the extension of mission lifetime is demonstrated.

Plasma nozzles, thruster testing and space simulation at the ANU - Rod Boswell

The Space Plasma Power and Propulsion Laboratory at the ANU has developed two new plasma thrusters and large plasma simulation chambers in collaboration with the astronomers and astrophysicists at Mt Stromlo observatory. One thruster uses a magnetic nozzle to generate thrust from electron pressure and forces generated by dia-magnetic currents. The second thruster is aimed at small satellites and uses the hollow cathode effect to generate a radio frequency plasma that heats the neutral gas which expands creating thrust. These systems, and those developed by the astronomers for large telescopes, will be tested in a large (3 metre diameter x 4 metre long) space simulation facility with cryogenic pumping speeds over 100,000 litres per second.

Telemetry, Command and Ranging Subsystem for LEO Satellite - Kiho Kwon

The talk will include the Korea space program overview, my research experience of on-Board computer and GPS receiver at KARI and research topic at UNSW.

Research on Technologies for Space Mining and Construction Spawns Dual-Use Applications - Leonhard Bernold

The exploration of space offers the engineering profession an exciting opportunity to re-examine our present way of doing things on Earth. This seminar will show how research on lunar mining and construction has opened new ways of thinking. One key constraint, of course, are the high launching costs for material and equipment that "encourage" a heavy reliance on ISRU's referred to as In-Situ Resource Utilization. The lack of an atmosphere and the 1/6 gravity, on the other hand, create drastically different conditions. For example, terrestrial mining and construction technologies depend profoundly on 1 g and the presence of air. On the other hand, the lack of clouds promise consistent solar power during a lunar day and heat energy that can be stored in the ground and covered during the night. Also, the lunar regolith (soil) contains an abundance of material that can be utilized to produce for example glass, oxygen, hydrogen sulphur or even polymer.

The presenter will discuss a pneumatic mining system that takes advantage of several ISRUs including 1/6 g, silicates to make glass, solar power and even the low permeability of the dense lunar regolith. The need to power the operation during the seventeen days night led to the design of a lightweight alternative to solar cells with batteries, again using several ISRU's. Portland cement concrete is a main construction material on Earth that cannot be readily produced in space. However, cement can be substituted with binders such as polymer or sulphur. The seminar will close with a discussion of how the experiments with polymer concrete led to ongoing work on self-healing concrete for terrestrial applications.

QB50: Rapid Manufactured Satellite Structure - Jendi Kepple

Recent advances in rapid manufacturing capabilities allow the application to satellite structures. Satellites made using rapid manufacture techniques may be made more cost-effectively, be able to incorporate structural complexity previously impossible and provide increased functionality among other benefits. One of the main experiments on the UNSW-EC0 is to develop, deploy and demonstrate the technology of a satellite structure utilising rapid manufacturing processes. The design process includes materials selection, initial structural hand-calculations, finite element modelling and experimental testing before and during satellite deployment. This seminar will provide a general overview of the benefits of using 3D printing techniques and bring you up to date with the current progress of this research and future work.

GNSS Reflectometry - An Overview - Scott O'Brien

With the forecast dramatic increase in numbers of global navigation satellites (GNSS) in our skies over the next 10 years comes with it the increased opportunity to use these "free" signals-of-opportunity for purposes other than positioning, navigation and timing. This talk will examine recently developed techniques for earth remote sensing using these signals.

A custom multicore architecture for GNSS baseband receiver - Vinh Tran

GNSS receiver technology has changed dramatically since the first reception of a GPS signal. It evolved from complex electrical circuits-partly analogue- tracking only one satellite at a time to today's sophisticated, small multi-channel receivers. Nowadays, improvement in software and hardware technology seem to promise reduction in future receiver development costs by using application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC), field programmable gate arrays (FPGA), digital signal processing (DSP) and general purpose processors (GPPs) to realise a complete GNSS receiver. Relying on a custom FPGA multicore design, we introduce a new GNSS baseband receiver's architecture, that not only aims to inherit the flexibility of software defined radio but also comes into a high throughput of hardware processing.

NASA Ames Academy Experience - Thomas Cooney

Earlier this year Thomas had the privilege of attending the 2013 NASA Ames Academy for Space Exploration in California. The Academy consists of a 10 week research experience at NASA Ames Research Center during the US Summer. This seminar will talk about his experience, and how to apply for the 2014 Academy.

Design and Performance of the Fingerprinting Technique for Indoor Location - Vahideh Moghtadaiee

In recent years, a variety of techniques have been proposed for indoor localisation, most of which consider location fingerprinting (LF) the key technique. This technique locates the user by trying to find a match between the received signal strength (RSS) measurements of the user and of formerly fingerprinted reference points (RPs) with known locations in the area of interest. This research contributes to the conceptual foundation, methods, protocols, and techniques for the indoor location fingerprinting technique by recommending four performance enhancement methods which are fusing signals of opportunity to build a hybrid system, deriving optimum vector distance in location fingerprinting, design protocol and error estimation technique.

The Feasibility of a Dedicated Satellite End-Of-Life Disposal Mission in Geostationary Earth Orbit - Joseph Duong

The current paradigm in satellite engineering is that they are designed with the goal of having just enough station-keeping propellant to meet a predetermined useful life, after which they become obsolete. This methodology is conducted regardless of whether the payload is still capable of performing its function. International space law dictates that a satellite in geosynchronous earth orbit (GEO) must have sufficient reserve propellant on-board in order to perform an orbital manoeuvre into a graveyard orbit at the end of its useful life for disposal. A study is conducted using current satellite data to determine the feasibility of extending a satellite’s service life by allowing it to use up the reserve propellant and for a dedicated spacecraft to perform the disposal manoeuvre.

Thermal Vacuum Outgassing Testing of Rapid Prototyped Material used in QB50 - Henry Kuo

This project focuses on the design and manufacture of an apparatus that is used to test the outgassing characteristics of materials. This will be in compliance with thermal vacuum outgassing standards specified by ECSS-Q-ST-70-02C (2008). The test rig will be used on the rapid prototyped material polyetheretherketone (PEEK), which will be used in the QB50.

LEO Precise Orbit Determination & Spacecraft Relative Navigation using GPS Observations-Final Review - Yang Yang

In this presentation, Yang will talk about the GPS positioning technology applied to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites orbit determination and relative navigation. Both kinematic and dynamic/reduced-dynamic approaches will be introduced. And a so-called 'SatNav' software based on the open-source software 'RTKLIB' is build up to extend the original software for space applications. Several innovative concepts are implemented in 'SatNav'---Receiver clock modelling for kinematic orbit determination and inter-satellite ranging system augmented GPS relative navigation for formation flying missions. To conclude, all his research work in the last two years is summarised and the outlook of future work is given out.