Applications are invited for a fully funded PhD studentship at Cranfield University, in the field of space systems engineering, satellite telecommunications and security. The project aims to explore and develop new approaches and enabling technologies for autonomous interconnected space systems networking.
The increased performance and higher cost efficiency in both platforms and launch services enabled the development of constellations of hundreds (even thousands) of small satellites. Constellations have become a predominant phenomenon of the New Space ecosystem. They have fostered the development of new downstream services such as global broadband coverage and low latency data communications in the telecommunication field, or high-resolution global-scale coverage and near real-time measurements in the Earth observation field.
Despite the large number of satellites in space, space missions, including satellite constellation missions, mostly operate independently from each other, even though many of the resources required might be common among them. Furthermore, most missions still rely on the traditional ground centralized mission planning that struggles to keep pace with the new requirements imposed by the rapid growth in scale of the space segment. The isolation, together with the low level of autonomy, is preventing the exploitation of the full potential of space assets limiting, in turn, the value delivered to the end customer.
This research aims to address some of the current challenges in this field by exploring and developing new approaches and enabling technologies for autonomous interconnected space systems networking. The outcome of such research is of great interest for both commercial and military applications.
Research areas include:
• Space systems and constellations
• Cutting-edge space telecommunication systems (e.g., Free-Space optical communications)
• Network of networks
• Variable trust networking/transport-aware data (e.g., blockchain-based transport-aware data, tagged based on the path travelled)
• Software-defined wide area network for GEO-LEO-Terrestrial
• Edge and distributed computing