The Space Sciences and Technology group, CTE (IEEC-UPC), is a multidisciplinary group which integrates all of the researchers from the UPC who actively participate in space missions and scientists in collaboration with other IEEC groups.
The principal areas of research are:
Development of numerical and analytical techniques applied to celestial mechanics and astrodynamics. The principal applications are flight training, satellite constellations, celestial mechanics and low energy transfers to the Solar System. The principal objectives of this research are to optimise the consumption of fuel in mission analysis, to determine a database of asteroids susceptible to capture and mineral exploitation, and to calculate the probability of collision of space waste.
Application of passive remote sensing for the observation of the Earth. Researchers participated in the data analysis of the space mission SMOS in order to improve the spatial resolution and precision of maps of soil humidity and salinity of the marine surface. Another active area of research is the Global Navigation Satellite Systems Reflectometry (GNSS-R), in which satellite navigation signals are used to calculate the status of the sea, soil humidity, vegetation height and water content, snow thickness and ice tracking. CTE (IEEC-UPC) has participated together with ICE (IEEC-CSIC) in Phase A of the Paris IoD (In Orbit Demonstration) study and, most recently, in viability studies from GEROS ISS and the GARCA proposals for the design of the reflectometre GNSS-R which will go on board the International Space Station and associated scientific studies.
Development of nanosatellites (Nanosats) of scientific research and the validation of space technology (UPC NanoSat Lab). Since 2013 more than XX students of various undergraduate and Master's degrees collaborated in the development, final integration and launching of two nanosatellites: 3Cat-1 and 3cat-2. Students at the Lab are currently working on two differents projects, 3Cat-4 and the pair 3Cat-5/A and 3Cat-5B winner of the ESA’s “Sentinel Small Sat (S^Cube) Challenge Award”.
Development of scientific instrumentation for large missions. Researchers of CTE (IEEC-UPC) have participated in the validation of thermal and magnetic subsystems for LISA Pathfinder in collaboration with the Gravitational Astronomy group of the ICE (IEEC-CSIC). Now they are working together on the development of new systems of thermal and magnetic diagnostics for a future LISA mission.
Stellar evolution and nucleosynthesis. The activity of this group is centred on the study of the evolution of the AGB stars, white dwarfs, novas and supernovas and also the simulation of the coalescence of white dwarfs[h], among other relevant aspects of current astronomy. This research has an important component of intensive numerical computation, for which their own resources have been used, such as computational clusters, together with other supercomputers which they have access to, the Mare Nostrum BSC being the most represented. Regarding the participation in scientific missions, it should be noted that they have formed part of the design and development of the programming in the GAIA, LISA and LOFT mission, and in the simulation of various of their subsystems, allowing the Astronomy and Astrophysic Group (GAA) of the UPC to participate in the design and development of the payload of some of these scientific missions.