Topical Collection "Feature Papers in Aerospace"
A topical collection in Aerospace (ISSN 2226-4310).
Prof. Dr. Konstantinos Kontis
Mechan Chair of Engineering, School of Engineering, University of Glasgow, James Watt Building South, University Avenue, Glasgow G12 8QQ, Scotland, UK
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Interests: aerodynamic technologies; flow and flight control systems; shock physics; aerospace design and optimization; flow diagnostics
This Topical Collection collects high quality papers (original research articles or comprehensive review papers) in aerospace research fields. Highly experienced practitioners from various fields within the journal’s scope are welcome to contribute papers, highlighting the latest developments in their research area or the detailed summary of their own work done thus far. The papers would be published, free of charge, in Open Access after peer review.
Potential topics include, but are not limited to: aerospace design and optimization; aerospace propulsion; advances in space sciences; spacecrafts; aircrafts; aerospace sensors, devices and engines; smart materials and structures; energy harvesting; alternative fuels; flow and flight control systems; aerodynamics; traffic management; navigation and control; mission design and analysis; computational techniques.
The submission deadline for this round of call for papers is 31 October 2017.
Prof. Dr. Konstantinos Kontis
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the collection website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Aerospace is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 550 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.
Title: On the Study of Ground Station Architectures for Multi-Mission Support
Authors: Miguel A. Salas-Natera 1; Ramón Martínez Rodríguez-Osorio 2; Leandro de Haro Ariet 2
Affiliation: 1 Adjunct Professor at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid; 2 Professor at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Abstract: Ground stations which integrate the control segment of a satellite mission have as a common feature, the use of large reflector antennas for space communication. Apart from many advantages, large dishes pose a number of impairments regarding their mechanical complexity, low flexibility, and high operation and maintenance costs. Thus, reflector antennas are expensive and require the installation of a complex mechanical system to track only one satellite at the same time reducing the efficiency of the earth segment [1, 2].
With the increase of new satellite launches, as well as new satellites and constellation of low earth orbit (LEO), medium earth orbit (MEO), and geostationary earth orbit (GEO), not only the data download capacity will be saturated for some satellite communication systems and applications but also the uplink for TT&C will require novel architectures. One alternative is the use of antenna arrays with smaller radiating elements combined with signal processing and beamforming . Thus, the feasibility of other antenna technologies have been evaluated during last years to improve the performance of traditional earth stations to serve satellite tracking, telemetry and command (TT&C) operation, payload and payload message or data routing .
Technological challenges have been faced during the implementation of satellite communication systems in the last decades. The design of a Test-Bed flexible and modular for testing or debugging beamforming algorithms and receiver architectures is an invaluable contribution in the educational, research and development area on satellite communication systems .
The aim of using a single antenna for tracking many satellites at the same time avoiding mechanical movements as well as its inexpensive cost make these antennas an alternative to be considered . Multi-beam ability and interference rejection are facilitated thanks to the electronic control system of such antennas that improves the versatility of the ground stations.
Main advantages of antenna arrays over large reflectors are the higher flexibility, lower production and maintenance cost, modularity and a more efficient use of the spectrum. Moreover, multi-mission stations can be designed to track different satellites simultaneously by dividing the array in sub-arrays with simultaneous beamforming processes. However, some issues must be considered during the design and implementation of a ground station antenna array: first of all, the architecture (geometry, number of antenna elements) and the beamforming process (optimization criteria, algorithm) must be selected according to the specifications of the system: gain requirements, interference cancellation capabilities, reference signal, complexity, etc. During implementation, deviations will appear as compared to the design due to the manufacturing process: sensor location deviation and sensor gain and phase errors . In an antenna array, the computation of a close approach of the direction of arrival (DoA) and the correct performance of the beamforming algorithm depends on the calibration procedure results.
In this sense, exhaustive errors analyses of antenna arrays have been done identifying main issues of arraying and challenges for calibration process . In the literature, after the analyses of calibration techniques, novel proposal for calibration assessment has been presented [8, 9].
In recent effort, new antenna array architectures have been under analyses and development. In  a highly effective, multi-function, low cost spherical phased array antenna design that provides hemispherical coverage is analyzed. This kind of novel architecture design, as the geodesic dome phased array antenna (GDPAA) presented in  preserves all the advantages of spherical phased array antennas while the fabrication is based on well-developed, easily manufacturable and affordable planar array technology [10, 11]. This antenna architecture consists of a number of planar phased sub-arrays arranged in an icosahedral geodesic dome configuration.
In contrast to the about 10 m diameters dome of the GDPAA, there is the geodesic dome array (GEODA)  with 5 m diameters dome. The GEODA was initially specified for satellite tracking at 1.7 GHz, including multi-mission and multi-beam scenarios . Subsequently, the system of the GEODA has been upgraded also for transmission .
As explained, novel systems are more and more size reduced, and new trends and available technologies encourage to the development of lighter and handle systems for satellite communications opening a bridge from the technical viability to the presence of novel light multi-mission systems and multiplatform devices.
This paper will present a full review of the actual requirements for small ground station aimed at multi-mission purposes, the challenges to be achieved in the early future, and error analysis method review for a realistic case study.
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 M. A. Salas Natera, A. García Aguilar, J. Mora Cuevas, J. M. Fernández, P. Padilla de la Torre, J. García-Gasco Trujillo, R. Martínez Rodríguez-Osorio, M. Sierra-Pérez, L. De Haro Ariet and M. Sierra Castañer, "New Antenna Array Architectures for Satellite Communications," in Advences in Satellite Communications, InTech, 2011, pp. 167 - 194.
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 R. Martínez and M. A. Salas Natera, "On the use of Ground Antenna Arrays for Satellite Tracking: Architecture, Beamforming, Calibration and Measurements," in 61st International Astronautical Congress, Prague, 2010.
 M. Salas Natera and R. Martínez, "Analytical Evaluation of Uncertainty on Active Antenna Arrays," IEEE Transaction on Aerospace and Electronic Systems , vol. Accepted for publication, pp. 1 - 8, March 2011.
 M. A. Salas Natera, R. Martínez, L. De Haro Ariet and M. Sierra Pérez, "Calibration Proposal for New Antenna Array Architectures and Technologies for Space Communications," IEEE Antennas and Wireless Propagation Letters, vol. 11, pp. 1129 - 1132, August 2012.
 M. A. Salas Natera, R. Martínez and L. De Haro Ariet, "Procedure for Measurement, Characterization, and Calibration of Active Antenna Arrays," IEEE Transactions on Intrumentation and Measurement, vol. 62, no. 2, pp. 377 - 391, September 2012.
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 M. A. Salas Natera, R. Martínez Rodríguez-Osorio and I. García-Rojo López, "Design of an Adaptive Antenna Array Test-Bed based on Software Radio for Tracking LEO Satellites," in IEEE EuCAP, Edinburgh, 2007.
 M. A. Salas Natera, I. Montesinos, M. Sierra Pérez, J. L. Fernández-Jambrina and R. Martínez Rodríguez-Osorio, "Desarrollo de Sistemas de Medidas y caracterización automatizado para la Antena GEODA," in XXIV Simposium Nacional de la Unión Científica Internacional de Radio, URSI2009, Santander, Spain, 2009.
 M. A. Salas Natera, R. Martínez, L. De Haro Ariet and J. Fernández Jambrina, "Automated System for Measurement and Characterization of Planar Active Arrays," in IEEE Internationa Symposium on Phase Array Systems and Technology, Boston, 2010.
 M. A. Salas Natera, R. Martínez and L. De Haro Ariet, "Automated Procedure for Measurement, Characterization and Calibration of Active Antenna Arrays," IEEE Transactions on Intrumentation and Measurement, vol. Acepted for publication, pp. 1 - 8, 2011.
 M. A. Salas Natera, R. Martínez and L. De Haro Ariet, "Automated measurement procedure for the calibration of planar active arrays," in Proceedings of the Fourth European Conference on Antennas ans Propagation EuCAP, Barcelona, Spain, 2010.
 M. Salas Natera and R. Martínez, "Analytical Evaluation of Uncertainty on Active Antenna Arrays," IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, vol. Accepted for publication, March 2011.
 M. A. Salas Natera, R. Martínez Rodríguez-Osorio and L. de Haro Ariet, "Analysis of antenna array receivers configurations for satellite earth station modems," in International Symposium on Wireless Communication systems, ISWCS2007, Trondheim, 2007.
 M. A. Salas Natera, R. Martínez Rodríguez-Osorio, A. Antón Sánchez, I. García-Rojo and L. Cuellar, "A3TB: Adaptive Antenna Array test-bed for tracking LEO satellites based on software-defined radio," in 59th International Astronautical Congress, Glasgow, 2008.
 M. A. Salas Natera, R. Martínez Rodríguez-Osorio and L. de Haro Ariet, "Preliminary Analysis of the Calibration Procedures for a Geodesic Antenna Array (GEODA)," in IEEE International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation, AP-S 2008, San Diego, USA, 2008.
 M. A. Salas Natera and R. Martínez Rodríguez-Osorio, "Prototipo Software Radio de receptor CFD-FED para seguimiento de satélites," in XXII Simposium Nacional de la Unión Científica Internacional de Radio, URSI2007, Tenerife, Spain, 2007