Robotic Telescopes

Joan Oró and SQT Telescopes

  • Software/hardware control architecture
  • Open source software for monitoring and control of complex systems: OpenROCS
  • STRIPS intelligent decision core
  • Dynamic closed loop control
  • Distributed system

Potential applications

  • Industrial manufacturing control
  • Intelligent buildings
  • Smart Cities

Artificial Intelligence Scheduling

  • Scheduling of Astronomical Observations
  • Optimisation of multi-constraints problems
  • Dynamic change of constraints
  • Genetic, greedy and constraints propagation algorithms

Potential applications

  • Smart cities
  • Logistics
  • Flexible manufacturing

Control software: critical and real-time embedded software

  • On-board Critical software for payload computers.
  • Scientific real-time algorithm process at High Frequencies with low hardware resources.
  • ESA ECSS-E40/E80 Standard development.
  • CCSDS/PUS communication protocol over MIL-STD-1553 bus.
  • High-rate Testing approach.
  • Real-time embedded systems.
  • Software Verification and Functional Tests Facility.

Potential applications

  • Payload Computer Software and Software Verification infrastructures.
  • Critical Software.
  • IoT Software solutions.
  • Smart Cities.
  • Autonomous Driving (software quality).

Data analysis: signal processing and statistics for space missions

  • Bayesian techniques for parameter estimation
  • Markov Chain Monte Carlo parameter estimation methods
  • Optimal design of input signals

Visible and Infrared Optic Characterization

PAU: Physics of the Accelerating Universe

  • Characterization of CCDs
  • Spectral characterization of optical glass

Potential applications

  • In-house test set-up
  • Spectral characterization of (semi-)transparent materials, liquids, gases. . .

X and Gamma Ray Detectors

Cd(Zn)Te Detector Hybridization

  • Design and manufacturing of X and Gamma ray sensors
  • Read-out electronics
  • Laboratory testing and characterization with radioactive sources

Potential applications

  • Compton camera
  • Hard X-ray polarimetry (space application)
  • Medical devices
  • Radiation surveillance

X-Ray Instruments

LOFT: Large Observatory for X-Ray Timing

  • Mechanical design and analysis of wide field camera
  • Simulations
  • Thermal analysis
  • Potential applications
  • X-ray instrumentation

High Stability Thermal Measuring and Control

LISA Pathfinder

  • Measurement and control of very low frequency variations of temperature
  • ST < 10-5K/?Hz

Potential applications

  • Physical or chemical processes with very slow temperature variation needs
  • Advanced materials manufacturing

High Stability Magnetic Measuring and Control

LISA Pathfinder

  • Measurement and control of very low frequency variations of magnetic _elds (10-3 < f < 10-1Hz)
  • Magnetometers: SH ?10-8T/?Hz
  • Coils: SI ? 10-7T/?Hz

Potential applications

  • Characterization of magnetic properties

Passive bi-static remote sensing instruments (reflectometry and radio-occultation)

Design of GNSS & Sources of Opportunity Reflectometry (GNSS-R & SoOP) and radio-occultation methods and instrumentation for Earth observation. Operational applications in oceanography (altimetry, surface roughness), cryosphere (ice characterization) and atmospheric sensing (heavy rain). Developments are based on proficient mastering of different supporting technologies:

  • RF & digital electronics
  • Real-time signal processing using embedded systems
  • Precise (radio-) interferometric measurements
  • High-speed data recording: 320MB/s
  • Beam steering and polarimetric antennas
  • Airborne experience

Potential applications

  • Sea state determination.
  • High precision altimetry.
  • Sea wave height and surface winds.
  • Tsunami detection system.

Mineralogical characterization of solar system materials

Characterization of meteorites and other solar system materials using Petrographic microscopy (in transmission and reflected light). Support for the characterization and material analysis based on a wide spectra of technologies under collaboration with external private and public entities: scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) to identify minerals, X-Ray microprobe to precisely determine bulk elemental chemistry in micron-sized regions of interest in meteorites, High-resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy (HRTEM), Raman spectroscopy to identify minerals and shock-transformation in extraterrestrial samples, UV to IR reflectance spectroscopy to remotely characterize solar system bodies, and their link with meteorites, Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS and ICP-AES) to establish bulk elemental abundances in extraterrestrial samples, nano-indentation of materials in order to establish mechanical properties of meteorites.

Potential applications

  • Physical or chemical processes in space exploration, search for bio-markers, and mining of Moon and asteroids.
  • Advanced materials manufacturing.High speed data grabbers

Data Compression and Analysis

Nowadays, the sophisticated experiments conducted by the scientific community usually produce huge amounts of data which are needed to be treated before it is possible to extract from them any results. Data processing and analysis is concerned with the performance of the necessary manipulations on a given set of data, in order to extract the required information in an appropriate form such as diagrams, graphics, reports or tables.

The problems of reducing, mining, modeling, and presenting data are challenging parts within the data processing and analysis activities. These, contribute to the achievement of high quality datasets which in the end give significance to the experiments, and hence, to the Physics behind.

The ICCUB’s researchers are engaged since 1998 in the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC) in charge of designing, implementing, managing and running the whole data reduction of the Gaia mission, from the storage of the telemetry to the production of the final catalogue.

Based on the expertise of our team on efficient compression systems for space, DAPCOM was created as a spin-off company dedicated to efficient data compression systems.

Main topics

  • Data reduction of space missions.
  • Data compression.
  • Data mining.
  • Software engineering.
  • Parallel processing & massive data.

The Astrodynamics Network

Dynamical Systems and Numerical Analysis to Mission Design, Formation Flight and Astronomy with special emphasis on Libration Point Orbits for the design of zero-fuel and low-fuel spacecraft trajectories. Marie Curie ITN for astrodynamical projects. Synergies: mathematics, engineering and industry. Interdisciplinary and multi-sectorial overview of the field.

Main topics

  • Trajectory Design and Control
  • Formation Flying
  • Attitude control and Structural Flexibility and spacecraft


  • Reconfiguration of formation with satellites
  • Capturing asteroids for mining
  • Space debris collision probabilities and satellites
  • Low energy mass transport at solar system

Generalitat de CatalunyaUniversitat de BarcelonaUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaUniversitat Politècnica de CatalunyaConsejo Superior de Investigaciones CientíficasCentres de Recerca de Catalunya