FEE CTU Space Activities Report 2019

Institution Profile and SWOT Analysis 2019

CTU is the oldest and most prestigious technical university in the Czech Republic. The Faculty of Electrical Engineering (FEE) itself ranks among top ten research institutions in the Czech Republic in the long run. We produce approximately 30 % of research results of the whole CTU. FEE comprises 17 departments. Our faculty provides first-class educations in the fields of electrical engineering and informatics, electronics, telecommunications, automated control, cybernetics and computer engineering. Our faculty has wide-ranging scientific collaboration with top universities and research institutes in the world. We work on specific research and innovation projects per order of our industrial partners as well as security and military institutions. We participate in space projects, we work for government agencies. We solve a wide range of international and national grant projects of primary and applied research.

Strengths: Tradition, link to education, dedicated PhD students, collaboration with the Academy of Sciences

Weaknesses:  dissipation, under-funding

Opportunities: New international programmes

Threats: brain-drain, some teams rejected by well-established exclusive consortia

Information about participation of your institution in the area of space activities


FEE CTU participated considerably in the Interkosmos programme since 1975 in collaboration with AsÚ ČSAV (Astronomical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic). We took part in AUOS, FOBOS I and FOBOS II projects. Our activities were related to the development of GSE and image sensors for the X-ray area. Besides that, we actively collaborated with the group of dr. Barta, FzÚ ČSAV (formerly ÚFPL, Institute of Physics of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic) to develop new materials, where we participated in measurement of the optical properties of these materials. Dr. Barta also worked on the preparation of materials in the micro-g environment at MIR space station.


Three-axis fluxgate magnetometer for the Czech MIMOSA satellite (P. Ripka).

Complete design, fabrication, calibration and testing. The device worked flawlessly in orbit. Solar-panel geometry design to minimise disruptive magnetic fields (in cooperation with EPFL).

Space stations – collaboration with DLR Germany

The staff of the Department of Electrical Drives and Traction (K13114) of FEE CTU in Prague participated in the projects of designing and implementation of experimental scientific appliances for space research at MIR and ISS space station. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) catered for the projects; Humboldt University in Berlin, DLR Köln and BBT companies and many others participated in the partnership. The realised appliance was designed for the European Space Agency (ESA). The designed appliance served for physicals experiments at high temperatures and microgravity at a space station. The first type named TITUS was placed to MIR space station and within the frame of EUROMIR programme, astronauts from Germany, France and Russia successfully performed their experiments on it. TITUS worked smoothly at MIR station from 1996 to 2001. The next appliance, AdvancedTITUS, significantly extended and more complicated and further equipped with non-vibrating platform is designed for ISS space station.

ESA – Direct Participation in ESA Satellite Projects

Direct participation in ESA satellite projects is very important, specifically direct participation (consortium membership). We participate in the ESA INTEGRAL satellite -  OMC (Optical Monitoring Camera) onboard experiment and the satellite’s data centre –IDSC INTEGRAL Science and Data Centre (ESA, 2002). Doc. R. Hudec – consortium member. The satellite and the data centre are still in operation.

Direct participation in large satellite ESA XEUS, IXO, and recently ATHENA research (Doc. R. Hudec – member of committees for space X-ray telescope preparation).

Direct participation in design and research of ESA LOFT satellite project – candidate ESA mission in M3 mission contest. CTU and Doc. R. Hudec – co-designers of the satellite and main satellite consortium members, a number of CTU employees in the team.

Direct participation in design and research of ESA THESEUS satellite project – candidate ESA mission in M5 mission contest. CTU and Doc. R. Hudec – co-designers of the satellite and main satellite consortium members, a number of CTU employees in the team.

Direct participation in design and research of ESA - CAS satellite project SMILE – approved ESA - China mission in ESA S mission contest. CTU and Doc. R. Hudec – main satellite consortium members, a number of CTU employees in the team.

ESA PECS Projects

The Department of Electromagnetic Field is involved in space activities in the area of propagation of electromagnetic waves. The activities take the form of collaboration with ESA/ESTEC. ESA PECS project No. 98069 "Building Penetration Measurement and Modelling for Satellite Communications at L, S and C-Band" was researched at the Department in 2009-2010, and at the present time, the project "Propagation Models for Interference and Frequency Coordination Analyses", ESA Contract No. 4000105298/12/NL/CLP within the frame of Artes 5.1 is being researched. The proposal for goal supplementation and contract extension for three more months is in process. See below for project details. Furthermore, Prof. Pavel Pechač is a member of The Network of Experts on Propagations with ESA/ESTEC.

In particular, the mentioned project was ESA PECS project No. 98069, Building Penetration Measurement and Modelling for Satellite Communications at L, S and C-Band, 2009-2010, Prime contractor: FEE CTU in Prague, K13117, Main researcher: prof. Ing. Pavel Pechač, Ph.D. The aim of the project was the measurement and modelling of penetration of signal into buildings for satellite communications in L, S and C-bands. ... study of propagation of electromagnetic waves from a satellite into buildings in house-buildings for use in future satellite systems. In the summer of 2009, extensive measurements of losses during signal penetration into buildings for satellite services in L, S and C bands took place in Prague, in five representative types of buildings. A small remotely controlled airship carrying the broadcasting part of the measuring equipment was used as the so-called “pseudo-satellite”. The main contribution was the design of new empirical models for inhibition of signal penetration into buildings for satellite systems in L, S and C bands. Results were published in international magazines and presented at several conferences. For new models, see Kvicera, M. - Pechac, P.: Building Penetration Loss for Satellite Services at L-, S- and C-band: Measurement and Modeling, IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation. 2011, vol. 59, no. 8, p. 3013-3021.

ESA Direct Contracts

The employees of FEE CTU also succeeded in obtaining direct ESA contracts, namely:

Within the European Space Agency´s ARTES 5.1 programme project MOFINT - Propagation Models for Interference and Frequency Coordination Analysis (ESA Contract No. 4000105298/12/NL/CLP. Budget: 253 k€, Prime Investigator: prof. Pavel Pechač, K13117, Prime contractor: Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague, Sub-contractor: Czech Metrology Institute, a consortium led by the Czech Technical University in Prague focused on modeling of interference signal propagation. Total duration: 22 months (April 2012 – February 2014).

The project was driven by the recent development in both the terrestrial and satellite systems which resulted in sharing a number of frequency bands. As a consequence, interference analysis becomes very critical especially for the case of ground stations for deep space research. In order to address all the areas of interest, the objectives of the activity were to develop and experimentally validate propagation models and relevant input data for the statistical prediction of radio interference on ground terminals of satellite systems, and implement the models into a software tool. Some of the results were submitted to ITU-R SG3 and can also be found in: M. Kvicera, P. Valtr, T. Korinek, P. Pechac, M. Grabner, V. Kvicera and A. Martellucci, “Short-term terrain diffraction measurements from L- to Q-band: results and analysis,” IEEE Trans. Antennas Propagat., vol. 62, no. 7, July 2014.;M. Grabner, V. Kvicera, P. Pechac, M. Kvicera, P. Valtr, and A. Martellucci, “World Maps of Atmospheric Refractivity Statistics,” IEEE Trans. Antennas Propagat., vol. 62, no. 7, July 2014, M. Kvicera, P. Pechac, P. Valtr, T. Korinek, V. Kvicera, M. Grabner and A. Martellucci, “Influence of Input Terrain Profile Resolution on Diffraction Modeling,” IEEE Antennas and Wireless Propagat. Letters, 2015, and M. Kvicera, P. Pechac, M. Grabner, V. Kvicera, P. Valtr and A. Martellucci, “Experimental Study on Terrestrial Links Enhancement at 11 GHz and 38 GHz ” IEEE Trans. Antennas Propagat., vol. 63, no. 7, July 2015.

M. Klíma, P. Páta, P. Janout, J. Bednář, Cooperation with BBT Materials Processing company, led by Dr. Barta jr., has currently resulted in our collaboration in ESA DEMON project, within the scope of GTSP ESA programme "Development of Quality Evaluation Methods for Calomel Optical Elements" No. 4000104863/11/NL/PA, 2011-2014. The project was related to designing optical methods for new material quality assessment and potential optical application of these materials.Calomel Packaging/Housing, optical Tests

M. Klíma, P. Páta, P. Janout, J. Bednář, IAPETHOS (Infrared Advanced Polarizer for Space and Other Applications) – 2013, 2014. Calomel-Based Polarizer Design, Preliminary Testing and Design optimization, Detailed Assessment and Final Selection, Polarizer Manufacturing and Test Design, Automated Optical Test Setup for Quality Evaluation

P. Páta, M. Klíma, P. Janout, J. Bednář, THETIS (Thermal Hyperspectral Imaging System Breadboard Requirement Definition and Design) – 2016 ,2017. Application Analysis of AOTF, Optical Test Design, Preliminary Design of Calomel-Based AOTF Imaging System and Test Plan, System Electronics, Performance Analysis, OGSE/EGSE

P. Páta, M. Klíma, P. Janout, J. Bednář, CALIOPE (Calomel-Based TIR AOTF breadboarding)– planned for 2019-2020. Breadboarding of Calomel-Based AOTF Imaging System, Thermal Analysis

S. Vítek, Robotic Telescopes Demonstration, ESA P3-SST-III, 2018 – 2020. Space Debris / Ground- and Space-based Debris and Meteoroid Measurements / In situ Radar and Optical Measurements of Debris and Meteoroids

Projects within the scope of ESA Task Force CZ

David Šišlák, a member of K336 (Department of Computer Science) submitted a project to ESA dealing with autonomous planning, execution and monitoring of a mission. The aim of the project was to support the PhD studies of David Kabath, who came from an ESA internship in the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt. The project is related to planning goal-oriented missions for satellites using multi-agent technologies with the aim to develop a system capable of fully autonomous “on-board” operation. As of now, we don’t know whether the project was successful or not.

Other projects within the scope of ESA Task Force were submitted by the teams of Doc. J. Roháč (Optical Star Tracker) and Doc. R. Hudec (X-ray Monitor), but these were not admitted for funding.

Microaccelerometer Tester

The appliance was developed to order for VZLU (Aerospace Research and Test Establishment). It facilitates testing and calibration of the device under land conditions. The appliance is used in the SWARM satellite project.

Satellite Navigation

At the Department of Radioelectronics, Radio Signals and Systems Group led by Prof. F. Vejražka started to research satellite navigation in the 1970s. The work was influenced by the fact that information in CSR at that time was unavailable due to an “internal embargo” when all public sources were confiscated by the Ministry of the Interior. In spite of that, experiments with signal reception from NNSS naval system and later GPS were successfully performed.

The experiments were later performed with the support of MESIT (later DICOM) company in Uherské Hradiště, and then military research institute VÚ 060. Several variations of an experimental GPS receiver were constructed; the location of the school building was determined for the first time in 1984.

At the end of the 1980s, a prototype of the receiver was developed at the department. The prototype was put into production on 1 January 1990 in the company MESIT in Uherské Hradiště.

At the same time, GPS precision research and a study on the applicability of DGPS corrections were carried out. In 1995, a reference DGPS station was activated, which, in its upgraded form, is still in use today. The reference station broadcasted corrections partly through radio transmitter Poděbrady 111.8 kHZ (until 2000), which was covering the whole central Europe, partly through RDS system of Regina Praha radio station 92.6 MHz. Receivers of these signals were developed, which were leased to users in terms of secondary economic activity. The records of the reference station were used by, amongst others, Prof. Kleusberg from the University of Stuttgart. The current reference station processes signals of all GNSS systems and provides GPS corrections. The corrections are available online.

Given the interest in certified receivers for which a signal processing algorithm is known and publishable (requested for example in aeronautics or rail transport), the team of Prof. Vejrazka has been focusing on designing such receivers for GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and Bei-Dou systems (collectively referred to as GNSS).

A prototype of a so-called multi-constellation receiver is being built. It will be able to process the data of all four systems and it will be supported by RTK corrections. Currently, experiments with a functional sample are performed. Corrections are transmitted from the reference station situated at the Department of Radioelectronics. In the simplest configuration, the accuracy of the position determination is 20 cm at the 100 km distance from the reference station. The receiver is supported by an inertial system (INS), and the position is acquired based on the fusion of data obtained from the signals of the satellite systems and the INS. This leads to improved location accuracy and is significant in the case of GNSS systems loss (due to an insufficient number of visible satellites in narrow canyons, in a city or under tree canopy).

The research was supported by the following grants:

Research project MSM 6840770014 “Research of Prospective Information and Communication Technologies” (main researcher, 2005 – 2010)

Ministry of Transport project 802/210/112 “Participation of the Czech Republic in GALILEO project”, where the group of Prof. Vejrazka was the main researcher and coordinated the efforts of three other subjects (2001 – 2006)

The Competence Centre Programme of the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic "Integrated Satellite and Terrestrial Navigation Technologies Centre" TE01020186 (main researcher, 2013 – 2019)

Further activities of the Radio Signals and Systems Group are determined by the participation of Prof. F. Vejražka in the MEAG (Mission Evolution Advisory Group) EC committee in Brussels, dealing with the advancement of Galileo and EGNOS systems, and in the GSAC (Galileo Scientific Advisory Committee) group with ESA. He also serves as Vice-President for Europe in the Civil GPS Information Committee - International Interface Subcommittee (CGSIC IISC). This allows his research group to have up-to-date information on GPS parameters.

Miniature Satellites – Picosatellites

Mini-satellite project "The CzechTechSat Project - Experimental University 1U.format Picosatellite" - see http://www.czechtechsat.cz/. K138 (Department of Measurement). The CzechTechSat team is composed of space enthusiasts, fans, amateur astronomers, electrical and mechanical engineers fascinated by the human conquest of space. The main future goal is to help people to visit Mars safely by hands-on project like this. It’s a great instructive run, following-up the long Czech Small Satellite heritage since 1978.

Martin Urban, Veronika Stehlíková, Ondřej Nentvich, Tomáš Báča, Ladislav Sieger and René Hudec participated in the Czech VZLUSAT-1 nanosatellite. VZLUSAT-1 was built with cooperation of a czech companies VZLU, 5M, Rigaku, TTS, IST, HVM Plasma and universities CTU in Prague (on behalf FEE: Martin Urban, Veronika Stehlíková, Ondřej Nentvich, Tomáš Báča, Ladislav Sieger and René Hudec) and UWB in Pilsen and its goal is to verify new technologies related to radiation hardened carbon composites and X-ray optics lobster-eye type together with Timepix detector. It mainly research mechanical, radiation and outgassing properties. X-ray optics with Timepix detector is primarly used for imaging of the our nearer star, Sun and for dosimetric measure of the Earth. VZLUSAT-1 was launched on June 23, 2017 from India during internation mission QB50 and now is orbiting at altitude about 510 km.

More information about nanosatellite on http://vzlusat1.cz. More information about ground station on http:// pgs.zcu.cz

More information about ground station on http://pgs.zcu.cz

EU Projects Tied to Space Activities

FP 7 GLORIA Global Robotic-telescopes Intelligent Array international project (P. Pata, S. Vitek, R. Hudec). The aim of the project was to create a unique network of robotic telescopes with free access and didactic overlap for elementary school pupils and secondary school students.

FP7-SPACE In Space Propulsion, Researchers P. Ripka and V. Petrucha. Development of a new cryogenic multi-spark ignition  propulsion – we researched testing and diagnostics of a new cryogenic fuel pump including its new electrical propulsion. Cooperation with Snecma, EADS Astrium, CNES, DLR, ONERA, ULg, Mikroma, UniRoma, Avio, Bonatre

FP6 “Garda” project (coordinator Laben, Italy, 2004 – 2006)

ACFA 2020: Active Control for Flexible Aicraft. European FP7 project, 2008 – 2011, coordinated by EADS Innovation Works, Munich. www.acfa2020.eu. K135 (Department of Control Engineering).

Robust Hinfinity controller for VLT telescope in Atacama, Chile. Design and assessment of robustness and performance. In cooperation with ESO. 2004 K135

EU IST – 034026: FRESCOR – Framework for Real-time Embedded Systems based on COntRacts. European FP6 project. 2006 – 2009. K135.

EU NMP4-CT-2006-033211: GOLEM – Bio-Inspired Self-Assembly Process for Mesoscale Products and Systems. EU FP6. 2006 – 2009. K135

EU IST-004527: ARTIST 2 – Embedded Systems Design, Z. Hanzalek, 2004- 2008 (European Network of Excellence for embedded systems). K135

The team of T. Pajdla from the Department of Cybenetics has been involved in FP7-SPACE projects since 2008, namely FP7-SPACE-218814 PRoVisG - Planetary Robotics Vision Ground Processing (2008-2012) project developed visual data processing tools for future robotised missions on Mars, the Moon, and other planets. FP7-SPACE-241523 PRoViScout – Planetary Robotics Vision Scout (2010 – 2012) project demonstrated automatic terrain analysis, navigation, identification and localization of samples on an autonomous robot under conditions that simulated a real mission. FP7-SPACE-312377 PRoViDE – Planetary Robotics Vision Data Exploitation (2013 – 2015) project collects and processes data from missions on Mars, the Moon and other planets to create a database of 3D reconstructions of surfaces and artifacts and to facilitate their easy visualisation.

The team of Prof. Pěchouček participated in a (closely) failed FP7 project proposal for planning of missions for autonomous Moon prospecting – NIght high–Mobility Robotic Discoverer: A Rover for Exploration in Harsh Environments. The project was concerned with development of a system for autonomous control of a robotic appliance mission on the poles of the Moon, when it is not within the radio range of the base, including integrated navigation and important object recognition with the help of cameras and sensors (it was submitted in coordination with the CMP unit of the Department of Cybernetics  - K133).

Doc. R. Hudec is involved as CTU PI in the H2020 AHEAD Project (Integrated Activities on High Energy Astrophysics), 2016-2019.

COST project IC1101 Optical Wireless Communications - An Emerging Technology, OPTICWISE (Prof. S. Zvánovec). Free-space optical links between ground station and satellites. Diversity techniques to increase link availability, influence of atmosphere (turbulence, fog etc) and the analyses of the system performance (laboratory tests, outdoor experiments, etc).

Collaboration with NASA – USA

Doc. R. Hudec researched a joint Czech-American project AMVIS KONTAKT MŠMT (Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports) targeted at collaboration with NASA and development of innovative technologies based on active X-ray optics for the intended USA Generation X mission (2008 – 2012). Another project of Czech-American collaboration in the field of space technologies resulted from the previously mentioned one, with the aim of research and development of wide-angle X-ray optics for space satellite experiments.

Doc. R. Hudec acts on behalf of CTU as a co-applicant for a proposal of a space shuttle experiment with X-ray optics submitted to NASA.

Martin Urban, Ondřej Nentvich, Tomáš Báča participated in REX (X-ray rocket experiment). This X-ray rocket experiment was developed in cooperation with the Czech Technical University in Prague (on behalf FEE: Martin Urban, Ondřej Nentvich, Tomáš Báča) and Pennsylvania State University in USA. Cooperation was established also with Aerospace and research centre in Letňany, Prague, University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Rigaku and HVM plasma to verify new technologies in space such as two X-ray lobster-eye telescopes with multifoil optics in 1D and 2D arrangement with an X-ray detectors Timepix, camera in visible spectrum, infrared grid sensor, etc. The goal of the experiment was imaging of the Vela nebula by an X-ray optics camera in visible spectrum. Rocket experiment was launched on April 4, 2018 to altitude 209 km from Kwajalein atoll on Marshalls Islands.

European Structural and Investment Funds

P. Kovář and P. Puričer, CRREAT. Nuclear Physics Institute of the CAS (NPI), Institute of Atmospheric Physics of the CAS (IAP) and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the Czech Technical University in Prague (CTU) have joined their human and instrumental sources to create the Research Center of Cosmic Rays and Radiation Events in the Atmosphere (CRREAT) team that will address so far unanswered questions of detection and dosimetry of ionising radiation both of cosmic and terrestrial origin. Cosmic rays are the key phenomenon for investigation of the origin and composition of the universe, ionising radiation in the atmosphere also represents a significant health risk for passengers onboard aircraft.

Main outputs of CRREAT are (i) building an excellent team of researchers that will contribute to clarifying the unexplained radiation phenomena in the atmosphere, (ii) modernisation of the research infrastructure, (iii) increasing the scientific performance of the collaborating subjects, and (iv) enhancing the international cooperation.

The project is supported by the European Structural and Investment Funds by means of Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MEYS) Operational programme research, development and education, MEYS, (project Reg. No. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/15_003/0000481) in combination with institutional support of NPI, IAP, and CTU.

In the frame of CRREAT project the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of CTU Prague focuses on a study of the impact of Sun radio emission and physics phenomena in upper atmosphere and stratosphere on the function of the radio communication systems and satellite navigation systems in L band. For this reasons, we operate a multi-frequency and multi-system GNSS receiver at Milesovka observatory.

GA ČR Projects

R. Hudec was PI of GA ČR project Lobster Eye All Sky Monitor dealing with advanced satellite payloads for sky monitoring.

Projects of Ministry of Interior CR

In the frame of the project Strategic infrastructure protective system detecting illegal acts intentionally affecting GNSS signals, (Security research of the Czech Republic 2015 – 2020) P. Kovář a P. Puričer are developing a detection and localization system for detection of the GNSS jamming and spoofing. They also deal with the development of the signal processing for the detector.

The results of CRREAT project and Security research of CR can improve quality of operation of services using satellite based position information.

Educational Activities

The master study programme “Aircraft and Space Systems” has been accredited at FEE since 2010. The programme is a part of the Cybernetics and Robotics programme.

More information at:




Master degree study programme Aerospace Engineering, since 2016, taught in Czech language and in English in parallel. The program is unique by its well-chosen structure providing students with high quality education in aeronautics and astronautics as well as in electronics and informatics. Graduates will be well prepared to start their career wherever it may be in the Czech Republic, Europe, or worldwide.

More details at https://aerospace.fel.cvut.cz/overview

Space engineering course within this programme https://www.fel.cvut.cz/en/education/bk/predmety/47/49/p4749406.html

SpaceMaster: European Joint Master in Space Science and Technology. ERASMUS-MUNDUS programme, since 2004. www.spacemaster.eu. Direct participation in the European educational master programme in space technologies.

In 2011 – 2012, T. Pajdla supervised four master theses, one of them together with ESA ESTEC – The European Space Research and Technology Centre.

Seminars “KOSMICKÁ TECHNIKA ZNÁMÁ NEZNÁMÁ” (“The Other Side of Space Technology”) continued – see http://measure.feld.cvut.cz/groups/lis/seminare.php?v=CZ.

Proposed cycle of lectures for PhD Students – Introduction to Space Science and Technology, Doc. R. Hudec, in process

SEMO (European Student Moon Orbiter), Attitude Interface Module, Researcher P. Pačes

Development of the on-board data handling (OBDH) system – both hardware and software

Partners in the ESERO, ESA program for education.The Department of Computer Graphics and Interaction (DCGI - K13139) cooperates on the ESERO project with the creation of educational programs for tablets, augmented reality and virtual reality and by the organization of seminars for teachers (Astro-PI, CanSat, Lego robotics). The responsible person for this area is Ing. David Sedlacek, Ph.D., Head of the Virtual Reality Lab (VRLAB). He realized the first public video connection with the ISS in the Czech Republic In December 2017.

More about the project (in czech): https://esero.sciencein.cz or at ESA:


Cooperation with lower levels of education chain in CR

Within the popularisation of science at elementary schools, P. Kovář a P. Puričer have developed a system for tracking of the stratospheric balloons. The system has been several times successfully tested in experimental flights with succesfull baloon and payload retieval and data analysis.

Organization of Space Summer School within PRAGUE BEST, August 2018, focussing on space science and engineering, Doc. R. Hudec, Ing. P. Skala, Ing. M. Urban and Ing. O. Nentvich.

Post-doctoral Programmes

Doc. R. Hudec was the supervisor of the 2 advertised post-doctoral positions within the scope of EU education projects within the “Education and Human Resources” programme. These two vacancies are space-themed, i. e. focused on research of wide-angle optics for space telescopes.

International Conferences and Workshops Organisation

International space-themed conferences and workshops are organized (or co-organized) every year; namely, AXRO (International Workshop on Astronomical X-Ray Optics) will be taking place in December 2019 for the 12th time, and IBWS (INTEGRAL-BART workshop) for the 6th time this year (2019). Main administrator – Doc. R. Hudec.

SPIE International Conference EUV and X-ray Optics: Synergy between Laboratory and Space organized in Prague bi-yearly since 2009 within the SPIE Europe Optics + Optoelectronics Congress (next edition in April 2019), Conference Chair Doc. R. Hudec.

T. Pajdla co-organized a series of workshops “CVVT:E2M – Computer Vision in Vehicle Technology: From Earth to Mars” (http://www.cvc.uab.es/adas/cvvt2013/)  in Queenstown in 2010, in Barcelona in 2011 and in Florence in 2012. The next workshop will take place in Sydney in December 2013.

ITU Symposium and Workshop on small satellite regulation and communication systems, 2. - 4. March 2015 (Petr Ondráček).

Ground Support of Space Activities

Since 1994, we have been partaking in development and operation of BOOTES (The Burst Observer and Optical Transient Exploring System) – an international network of robotic telescopes. The primary objective of the experiment is detection and surveillance of optical counterparts of gamma flashes.

P. Páta, S. Vítek, K. Fliegel participated in MAIA (Meteor Automatic Imager and Analyzer) representing a high-sensitivity and high-time-resolution imaging device for the detection of faint meteor events under cooperation with Astronomical institute AS CR. The system has been in continuous operation since 2013 and has successfully captured hundreds of meteors belonging to different meteor showers, as well as sporadic meteors.

P. Janout, P. Páta, M. Blažek, P. Skala, L. Krauz are involved in WILLIAM – WIde-field aLL-sky Image Analyzing Monitoring systém. A wide-field all-sky image analyzing monitoring system (WILLIAM) is a system for night sky observation and evaluation. It is an auxiliary unit for weather condition monitoring based on the algorithms for a stellar object detection. http://william.multimediatech.cz/meteorology-camera.

TAČR (Technology Agency of the Czech Republic)

Effort to obtain accurate position data using satellite navigation is reflected in the solution of the project "Integrated Satellite and Terrestrial Navigation Technologies Centre" supported by the Competence Centre Programme of the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic (2012 - 2019). The aim of the project is to build a multi-constellation receiver capable of receiving GNSS systems signals and supporting them with other sources of suitable radio signals, especially terrestrial ones. The goal is to determine position under difficult conditions, during failures or satellite systems jamming in various applications.

The project provides not only research but above all the transfer of the technologies into practice and their implementation leading to innovations in industry as well as in applications. The research group of the Department of Radioelectronics coordinates the cooperation with four other (industrial) subjects.

In addition to the Competence centre, the research group participated in the following projects:

TAČR “Safeloc” project (main researcher AŽD Praha, 2011 – 2013)

TAČR “ADS-B/TIS-B Integrated System” project (main researcher Honeywell, 2011 – 2013)

TAČR project “Space gradiometer”. Researchers P. Ripka and M. Janošek. The aim of the project was to develop a new type of a magnetic gradiometer, which will be capable of fulfilling the demands imposed on the instrument used in space environment and will keep low noise levels in ultra-low frequencies while having small dimensions. A prototype of the vector fluxgate magnetometer was also made, which meets the requirements for a standard instrument for attitude control of satellites by its functional parameters.

Other Space Related Research

Tomas Markvart participated in the patented design and development of a new type of radiation resistive solar cell (tested in space), in the study of defects in silicon with DLTS methods, and in simulations of radiation influence on solar cells.

Plan of Further Development of Your Institution in the Field of Space Activities  (especially concerning premises, facilities, technical equipment, operation and number of employees, including their qualification)

Based on agreement of the departments and teams involved, we are planning on establishing the IVKT (Institut kosmických věd a technologií - Institute of Space Science and Technologies) – for the time being, just within FEE CTU, which will coordinate the now-scattered groups with space activities, with the prospect of future extension of subjects participating in space activities even outside FEE. We assume that the development of IVKT will be gradual, in relation to successfully acquired grants and projects. The same applies to premises, equipment, appliances and staff. We would like to emphasise educational activities and education of students in the field of space science and technologies as well.

Members of the multimedia technology and imaging photonics assume activities in the field of processing visual information for space applications, a share in developing methods of quality measurements of new materials, namely for optical components, acoustic-optical components and image scanners for IR range in terms of collaboration with BBT Materials Processing Company, which deals with developing new optical materials for space applications. The fundamental focus will be on development of methods of optical materials quality assessment in IR range. In the upcoming years, their following work will be focused on analysis and development of algorithms for processing of image data from wide-angle optical systems. These systems have spatially-variant impulse response and are not sufficiently solved at present. For the MAIA experiment, reconstruction procedures will be developed to suppress noise from optical amplifiers, and new effective algorithms for weak meteors in the field of vision of the system will be created.

Further activities of the Radio Signals and Systems group are determined by the participation of Prof. F. Vejražka in the MEAG (Mission Evolution Advisory Group) EC committee in Brussels, dealing with the advancement of Galileo and EGNOS systems, and in the GSAC (Galileo Scientific Advisory Committee) group with ESA.

Main Objectives and Milestones Regarding Space Technologies Development that Your Institution Intends to Reach, and the Strategies for Reaching them.

We consider successful participation of FEE CTU in space research and projects mainly from ESA and NASA, specifically these, where CTU is the official promoter, or the member of the main consortium (e.g. ESA LOFT), supported by funds from TA ČR or EU projects, to be the main objective.

Amongst other activities, we are planning on participating in ESA DEMON project research and other linked projects in collaboration with BBT Materials Processing company.

The plan of Radio Signals and Systems group is determined by the Competence centre project and international activities – i. e. to participate in the search for signal receiving methods under difficult conditions (jamming, indoors, etc.) on one hand, and on the other, by proposals dealing with improvement of space, eventually, control segment of satellite navigation systems. In terms of these activities, IAIN 2015 world congress will take place in Prague, besides other things.

The staff of FEE CTU participated in the preparation of several proposals for future ESA space satellite missions, e. g. ATHENA+ and ESA-S (Doc. R. Hudec).

The team of T. Pajdla intends to continue their collaboration with partners taking direct part in activities in space within EU projects. In the longer run, we would like to aspire to ESA partnership in the field of image processing in robotics and photogrammetry.

Plan of Transferring Space Technologies Outside the Space Activities including an Overview of Transfers already Made

Most of the space activities executed at FEE CTU have the potential to be applied in other fields as well. We give several examples.

Algorithms and processes being developed for the MAIA, GLORIA and BOOTES experiments will be tested for image data from the area of security systems and biomedical image data processing. Image analysis from spatially variant optical systems is very relevant to the current situation, and very important especially in the field of security data.

Activity in the area of space communications in the framework of Competence centre automatically improves and updates the technologies of companies involved.

Technologies being developed for space experiments with X-ray optics find application also for laboratory optical components for ground applications, such as x-ray reflex sights, microscopes, biomedical optical equipment, optical equipment for synchrotrons with many potential applications, etc.

Technologies developed for ESA LOFT satellite – glass reflex sights and SID detectors – will also find a number of possible applications.

Based on materials submitted by individual FEE CTU departments and the faculty chair for space activities– doc. RNDr. René Hudec, CSc., mailto: hudecren@fel.cvut.cz

Plans for Future

Optical wireless communications (Prof. S. Zvánovec). Free-space optical links between ground station and satellites. Diversity techniques to increase link availability, influence of atmosphere (turbulence, fog etc) and the analyses of the system performance (laboratory tests, outdoor experiments, etc).

Future Minisatellite projects

Several research groups at the FEE are involved in future minisatellite projects and/or related plans.

Doc. R. Hudec and his team are involved in proposals for future nanosatellite projects such as CZ BRITE X and UV, with emphasis on development of miniature scientific payloads for cubesatellites.

Petr Ondráček also plans activities in the field of use of minisatellites, for details see next session.

Ladislav Sieger also plans activities in the field of use of minisatellites with emphais on development of ground stations in polar regions.

Future collaborative minisats strategy

In line with global trends in the development of space technologies using small satellites on low Earth orbits (LEO), the FEL activities are proposed to be focused on the supporting their application in science, research and teaching at the CTU in Prague (as suggested by P. Petráček).

One of the basic and fundamental assumption is the development of a medium-term strategy of the CTU in Prague in the field of use of small satellites for the needs of science, research, cooperation with industry and in the teaching. In view of the professional potential of all university faculty departments of the CTU in Prague and their development associated with increasing the professional qualification of employees and the attractiveness of studies at the university, including ways to ensure the necessary funding.

The strategic objective is to build the university satellite network consisting of two small satellites CVUT-1 and CVUT-2 following the standard CubeSat in the LEO, implemented on the basis of coordinated co-operations of all relevant faculty departments of the CTU in Prague.

In order to obtain the necessary financial resources, the participation will be required in the international bodies ESA, NASA and Space X programmes and others, in EU initiatives and programmes and to establish of co-operation with universities and institutions operating their own small satellites networks. Then, through grants from GAČR, TAČR and orders from the industry and the government.

Following this strategy, FEL activities in the field of small satellites are planned to focus on the creating conditions for the co-operative collaborations of all faculty departments for the achieving of development of science, research, development of commercial applications and the innovation of teaching in the using of outer space and space technologies. For this purpose, the intention will be to establish the Institute of Space Sciences and Technologies.

The main initial assumptions for the implementation of the above-mentioned goalsat the FEE are:

  1. the building a satellite ground station located on the FEL building in Prague – Dejvice,
  2. the implementation of software resources to simulate planning, development, test – bed testing and operation of both, own small satellites design and their payload (scientific and research experiments) and their use for scientific and research work and education,
  3. the innovation of the Aviation and Space Technology study programme.

The participating Departments at the recent time are Dept. of Telecommunication, Dept. of Radioelectronics, and Dept. of Physics.

Responsible person: RNDr. Patrik Mottl, Ph.D.