Radio Technologies for Broadband Connectivity in a Rapidly Evolving Space Ecosystem

PhD Studentship: Downhole Wireless RF Communications


There is an industry desire to create and extend the usage of RF wireless technologies to develop future digital-based oil fields. In particular, this PhD project will assess current evolving aspects of wireless technology to be adapted for providing sub-surface monitoring of Oil and Gas wells. Currently most well measurement communications systems employ permanently installed electrical cables or acoustic technologies.

OGIC logoThe intention of this project is to assess and model the physical wellbore architecture and EM environment for the application of wireless RF communications in shallow sub-surface well environments; initially identifying the potential transmission schemes and then developing a wireless RF communications system (early prototype) to prove and validate the novel concept. The prototype, once developed, is patentable and will involve the development of new antennas and RF components as well as the system modeling, design, and implementation. At least two IEEE publications are expected from this research as well as conference publications and travel. This engineering research also has the opportunity to deliver low cost well performance for monitoring well head operational efficacy and crude throughout. Applications are expected for the Global Oil & Gas market sectors. Moreover, this proposed wireless well communications modem system can benefit the Global Oil and Gas industry by reducing the high cost of well interventions ($1 million / well) and can provide a key enabler for deploying low cost well measurement technology in wells and further allow for the introduction of new wireless RF sensor technologies.

In addition to this cost savings, there are significant benefits to production optimization by measuring more wells on a continuous basis. It is expected that this PhD research project, to develop the first RF wireless modem system for wells in the Global Oil and Gas Industry, will change the conventional approach to well measurements and monitoring. This can deliver a cost effective technology solution to enable the monitoring of more wells on a continuous basis. Ultimately this RF communications technology implementation can lead to the lowering of the number of routine well interventions, and, it may be a key enabler to lowering crude costs. In addition, the proposed wireless RF sensor communication system may foster the permanent monitoring of Oil and Gas wells with enhanced efficacy.

Eligibility: Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Interested potential PhD candidates, please contact Prof. Symon K. Podilchak, for enquires. Applicants should apply through the Heriot-Watt University portal.

Electromagnetic sensors for wearable healthcare applications

Wearable electronics technology for healthcare management, personal safety, and consumer products enhancement has the potential to transform our everyday life and improve the quality of living of healthcare patients and athletes. Non-invasive healthcare monitoring of body signal bio-parameters – such as movements, respiration, and temperature – without physical intervention or interaction with the patient is particularly of interest in this project. To date, the widespread adoption of many body wearables is limited due to intrinsic limitations mainly related to the flexible/rigid interface: complex wiring, mechanical/electrical reliability, presence of rigid and bulky batteries and charging circuits, washability. Seamless integration is key for user convenience that will ultimately lead to adoption of the technology in everyday applications.

This PhD research project envisages developing a wireless body sensor reader that can detect and estimate human body signals through a passive radio-frequency interrogation process and will be integrated with a sensing antenna. It is expected that this PhD research project will change the conventional approach to wearable healthcare electronics, ultimately leading to novel RF circuit architectures that take advantage of modern System-on-a-Package and System-on-a-Chip technology developments, and it may be a key enabler in lowering healthcare costs, particularly for the elderly.

Eligibility: DTP (UK nationals, or EU citizens who lived in the UK for the past 3 years)

Interested potential PhD candidates, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.for enquires. Applicants should apply by 26th June 2018 through the Heriot-Watt University portal.

REVOLVE key speakers at Eucap2018

a2Eucap 2018 in London UK was the perfect location for the convened session on Antenna Needs and Solutions for Future Space Missions organized by Dr. Ettorre and Dr. Legay. Key players from Europe, USA, Canada and Japan showcased their latest results for Space. It proved to be the perfect time to disseminate the latest achievements of REVOLVE to an audience exceeding the 150 attendees. Indeed there was the need for additional chairs to be brought in to accommodate the never ending new attendees. In the future, we can look to some exciting future collaborations that will generate some great Space solutions. Thank you to the organizers for supporting such a successful convened session…way to go REVOLVE!”

Congratulations also to Dr. Mauro Ettorre, REVOLVE Fellow, who was co-recipient of the 'Best Paper Award in Electromagnetics and Antenna Theory'. 

Scientific Workshop on Satellite On The Move User Terminal Antennas at EUCAP 2018 

workshopRevolve together with the European Space Agency, Harwell (Dr. Fabrizio de Paolis) organised the Scientific Workshop “Satellite On The Move User Terminal Antennas” as part of the European Conference on Antennas and Propagation, 2018 in London. The workshop consisted of a series of academic and industrial colloquia from experts, start-ups and key providers of On-The-Move (OTM) connectivity including the European Space Agency:'Ground Segment for Satcom on the Move: the customer perspective'; Thales Alenia Space: 'Active Antenna for SOTM'; Viasat: 'Mobile Satellite Communication Terminals at Ku- and Ka-band at Viasat'; Satixfy: 'Integrated solutions for Satcom on the move'; Wave-up: 'LC-based reconfigurable metasurface antennas for SOTM user terminals'; Universita della Calabria: 'Active antennas for SOTM'; and, Heriot-Watt University: 'Recent Developments at Heriot-Watt: Antenna Technology for future Satcom on the move systems'.

The workshop aimed to cover aspects from user terminal requirements (cost, performance), overview of 5G requirements, state of the art on SOTM user terminal antennas, and in general applications to business that are timely demands to the antenna community. With a focus on high growth markets such as aeronautical, maritime, defence, as well as public transit, the workshop allowed for a highly interactive and engaging session for both the invited speakers and the more than 40 participants.

REVOLVE partner was key-note speaker at JCMM2018

bandeau 20nov980pxx313 logo titrev2Hervé LEGAY was invited to give a key-note presentation at ‘Journées de Caractérisation Microondes et Matériaux’, on the 20th of March, in Sorbonne University, Paris. The topic of the presentation was : “Which materials for future space missions”. The advent of novel materials are essential for the emergence of disruptive antenna concepts for space missions. Approximately an hundred of engineers and scientists, mostly specialized in material engineering, attended the presentation. Technical exchanges followed in the area of reconfigurable materials, absorbers, thermal engineering.

REVOLVE teaming up with ESA in European PhD School on Antennas for Space Applications Course

ESoA2REVOLVE has teamed up with the Research and Technology Centre of the European Space Agency (ESA-ESTEC) for the delivery of the Course on Antennas for Space Applications, organised by the European School of Antennas (ESoA). The course will take place at ESTEC (Noordwijk, The Netherlands) from 12 to 16 March 2018.  The general objectives of the European School of Antennas are:
• strengthening the European excellence on antennas
• completing the individual PhD curricula of students in Electrical and Information Engineering by offering interaction with the best trainers in Europe
• increasing the link between European Universities and Industries in antenna research and development
• facilitating the interchange of ideas among early stage researchers and teachers, thus increasing the future mobility and synergy

The school is coordinated so that the courses have the same format and apply common basic rules for exams and credits.

The specific objectives of the Course on Antennas for Space Applications:
• provide an overview of design approaches, constraints and technical solutions for Space Antennas addressing both theoretical and technological issues  
• focus on main space applications such as telecommunication, earth observation and science, navigation, data transmission antennas
• address radiofrequency, mechanical and thermal design, material technology and test aspects
• provide an insight of satellite and space antenna testing with a visit to ESTEC satellite and antenna test facilities.
More information on the course, on the venue and the registration form can be found on the ESA Conference Website: 

 38th Antenna Workshop

ESA news pictureDr. Carolina Mateo-Segura , Marie-Curie Fellow, attended the 38th Antenna Workshop organised by the Antenna and Sub-Millimetre Wave Section, from the Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality (D/TEC-EFA) of the European Space Agency (ESA) with the support of the Application Directorates of ESA. The workshop was held from the 3rd to the 6th of October 2017 at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), Noordwijk, The Netherlands. Dr. Mateo-Segura presented gave an oral presentation on novel circularly polarised lens antennas based on transformation electromagnetics and presented 2 more papers in the shape of posters about microwave dielectric waveplates and bifocal lenses for multibeam antenna applications.

Space Tech's entrepreneur programme

SR Picture1Mr. Samuel Rotenberg, PhD student of Revolve Fellow Dr. Carolina Mateo-Segura, attended the fully funded 2-day Space Tech Entrepreneur's Programme organised by SETsquared Partnership, 1st-2nd of November 2017. This high-impact, fast-track programme is specially designed for entrepreneurs with an idea for a new technology product or service or founders of existing high-tech companies needing a boost to the next level. Samuel, who has an entrepreneur spirit, learnt the essential elements of starting a business such as getting to problem/solution fit, identifying the market opportunity and building a financial plan. He also had a fantastic opportunity to present our new innovations in relation to downstream space applications.

Future space engineers boldly go....

20171016 doctorants students1Heriot-Watt University has welcomed its next generation of space engineers. An international cohort of seven PhD students have embarked on a new four-year course named the REVOLVE project.  The project aims to examine and utilise latest technology in order to address a rapidly growing need to simplify the build process of satellites at reduced costs. Project Coordinator, Professor George Goussetis of Heriot Watt University explained: “This is the start of an extremely interesting but ultimately exciting journey for these PhD students. “The REVOLVE project provides them with a unique, multi-disciplinary learning experience to ensure they are industry ready. As such, the REVOLVE project not only has a great deal of learning elements at Heriot Watt but also allows students to carry out their valuable research work at five other European institutions including universities, research centres and large satellite integrators.” REVOLVE is coordinated by Heriot-Watt but run in partnership with leading research and development laboratories around Europe that specialise in satellite technology, namely; radio frequency electronics and antennas. The students will spend time at each laboratory - located in universities, industry and technology institutes – where they will develop their scientific knowledge. Prof. Goussetis continued: “As part of their learning programme, the young researchers will spend two months at Thales Alenia Space in France where they will branch off into their own research path. 

“Thanks to the rapid evolution of new technologies, this is a very exciting time to be involved in the space industry.  These students will be at the coal-face, so to speak, when it comes to developing new technology. They will help shape the future of space telecommunication missions, which effects everyday services including broadband, mobile phones and social media.”

Later this month the team will travel to Toulouse in France to attend the projects annual workshop at Thales Alenia Space. There they will be joined by representatives from the other agencies involved in REVOLVE.

Thales Alenia Space is committed to training tomorrow's European engineers and researchers

Cr NewstartsA warm welcome to our seven new doctoral candidates who have started their programmes as part of the H2020 project REVOLVE. They will spend the next two months at Thales Alenia Space and will be mentored by Hervé Legay from the Research & Technology Department along with 15 experts from the company. The young researchers will use this two month period to settle into their own research path. They will plunge into real 'industry culture', familarize themselves with the Thales work environment, and also meet specialised engineers who will introduce them to the challenges inherent in the world of space communications.

The objective of our doctoral candidates is develop their scientific excellence so they will be capable of proposing disruptive solutions, techniques and methods, especially for very high throughput satellites (VHTS), mini-geo satellites, mega-constellations, convergence with 5G and more.They will then join our partners in this program to continue their research over the next two to three years. Each PhD student has a specific research project, with a personal secondment plan. Joint research is fostered through collaborative preparation of demonstrators and training in cohort. The student will be back in Toulouse for the last year, they will transfer to Thales Alenia Space the results of their research and any products that have been developed.

The REVOLVE project reflects our close relationship with our partners in academia, such as Heriot-Watt University in Edinburg and the IETR electronics and telecom research center in Rennes, with which we operate a joint lab dubbed Merlin. We have also teamed up with two partners specialized in new technologies, LSS in Munich, an expert in deployable structures, and Prodintec in Gijón (Spain), for additive manufacturing.

REVOLVE is presented at the UK's 5G Innovation Centre to a list of industrial attendees

REVOLVE 5G Innovation Centre

An overview of the REVOLVE project was presented by Prof. George Goussetis to an audience of UK industrialists from the space sector including operators, integrators and terminal manufacturers as well as space agencies. The event took place on 28 September at the UK’s 5G Innovation Centre and was co-organised with the Satellite Terminal Working Group Knowledge Transfer Network of Innovate UK with a theme addressing the role of satellite communications in 5G systems.

REVOLVE Outreach and Space for Kids!

large space for kids logoJuline Legay is presently preparing for her exams for a Business School in France and has created and developed this Outreach Initiative for REVOLVE! Juline has a strong interest in communication and enjoyed a short internship in the communication department of Thales Alenia Space in Toulouse 4 years ago. This summer, Juline volunteered for a one month internship in Heriot-Watt University, where she worked on outreach activities as part of the Revolve project. She was supervised by Prof. George Goussetis and Dr. Carolina Mateo-Segura and during the internship the main focus was on two objectives: Dissemination of the research and space telecommunications activities for kids and finding ways to dismantle the barriers that prevent girls from becoming engineers. With the assistance of Lynn, REVOLVE Administrator, Juline set up the Revolve Outreach website, developing a website that is more accessible for the younger audience. Juline also created a series of short videos that explain what a satellite is and how it moves in orbit. She included some videos promoting women for engineering along with an additional video of Herve Legay, Technical Director at Thales Alenia Space (France), presenting the Revolve project. Juline also suggested the communication project ‘Space for Kids’, the objective of which is to create a regular link with young pupils throughout Europe and their research team. Some details surrounding Space for Kids and the PhD students have already been presented on REVOLVE Outreach. The REVOLVE group agree that it will be a great platform to carry out their dissemination activities, and give sense to the scientific adventure! It will be also a great opportunity for the kids to follow our group of researchers, learn more about space, and hopefully encourage them to consider engineering as a vocation. This link could be implemented with the use of social networks and we have planned a competition which will include ludic activities. Juline hopes that this project will interest the wider public and that both the kids and students will be happy to take part in the exciting initiative!! about space, and hopefully encourage them to consider engineering as a vocation. This link could be implemented with the use of social networks and we have planned a competition which will include ludic activities. Juline hopes that this project will interest the wider public and that both the kids and students will be happy to take part in the exciting initiative!!

2nd REVOLVE General Assembly and Interviews

General Assembly IIThe second general assembly of REVOLVE took place during 12-13 June at Thales Research and Technology premises in Palaiseau. In addition to its purpose of providing an opportunity to refine the schedule of the technical activities, a key element of this meeting was to interview selected and shortlisted candidates. It was very promising for REVOLVE that all interviewed candidates were of very high quality. Another focus of the meeting was the planning of the 1st REVOLVE training event, scheduled for the last quarter of 2017.

Antenna workshop hosted by Catapult 

Antenna workshopDr. Carolina Mateo-Segura was invited to give a talk at the Antenna Workshop hosted by the Catapult (Satellite Applications) in collaboration with the KTN’s Satellite Terminals Working Group (STWG) Dr. Mateo-Segura discussed the most “Recent developments at Heriot-Watt University in Antenna Technology for future satellite communication systems” highlighting the key findings of several EU and national projects. The workshop aimed to inform delegates on current challenges and share the latest in technological developments. It attracted over 30 satellite operators, terminal manufacturers, antenna suppliers and academics (Delegate list: and was a great networking opportunity.

Revolve partner attends the Aurora Leadership Development Programme 

antenna 2Antenna 3

Dr. Carolina Mateo-Segura has completed the Aurora Leadership Development Programme 2017 run by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education. The programme consisted of 4 development days, 1 action learning day, self-directed learning and a 5 month mentoring partnership. Dr. Mateo-Segura said: “It is being an absolute great experience, very inspirational, a fantastic opportunity for networking and to understand that you are not alone; that your worries are the worries of others, that your challenges are common and that failing is also a way to succeed much faster.” This women's leadership development initiative aims to encourage women in academic and professional roles to think of themselves as leaders and develop leadership skills, and to help institutions maximise the potential of their female staff.

1st REVOLVE General Assembly

General AssemblyThe 1st REVOLVE General Assembly took place on Wednesday 22 March 2017 in the fringe of the European Conference on Antennas and Propagation (EuCAP 2017) in Paris. The meeting was organised in a dedicated meeting room within the conference venue and in addition to in person representation by all project partners, we were delighted to have the participation of Dr. Hector Fenech (Director of Future Satellite Systems at EUTELSAT) in an advisory role as well as Dr. Cyril Mangenot (Head of Radio Frequency Payloads & Technology Division at ESA/ESTEC) as an observer. During the meeting, preliminary presentation for each of the seven PhD projects associated with the Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) were given by the corresponding supervisory teams followed by technical discussions. The possibility of organising a visit by the ESR cohort to EUTELSAT was positively approached. Moreover during EuCAP it was in principle agreed to co-ordinate the REVOLVE training schools with the European School on Antennas PhD school on satellite antennas organised by ESA. Overall it has been a very fruitful week for REVOLVE with good progress on the links across the project and its partners and significant contribution towards the refinement of the project activities.

REVOLVE convenes a special session at EuCAP 2017

EuCAP Session 2017REVOLVE convened a special session on Recent developments in antenna technologies for emerging  satellite systems as part of the schedule of the 2017 European Conference on Antennas and Propagation (EuCAP 2017). The session, which was convened by Dr. Mauro Ettorre and George Goussetis of REVOLVE in collaboration with Dr. James Nessel of NASA, provided a forum to showcase latest developments in ground and space segment antennas and systems for a range of emerging space missions. The session (which included presentations by Thales Alenia Space, European Space Agency, NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratories and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) was very well attended by 100 conference participants and triggered interesting discussions throughout. With an attendance over 1000 delegates, EuCAP is providing the ideal place for the exchange of scientific and technical information, and to foster collaboration and cooperation in the Antenna and Propagation domain, at both European and global levels

1st REVOLVE General Assembly at EuCAP

The 1st General Assembly of REVOLVE is scheduled for Wednesday 22 March 2017. The meeting will be held together with the 2017 European Conferences on Antennas and Propagation (EuCAP) (room 313/314 reserved in the conference venue) between 9.30am to 11.30am. The scope of the meeting will be to review the technical details of the PhD programmes planned for REVOLE with the view of refining and integrating those. A report from the day will be available after the event has taken place.

PhD student positions with REVOLVE

REVOLVE 1Structured around a major European satellite integrator (Thales Alenia Space), REVOLVE brings together a further  4 leading European R&D laboratories from universities, industries, and technology institutes in the domain of radio frequency electronics and antennas for space applications that are located in France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom. REVOLVE addresses the rapidly growing need for performance and cost in emerging satellite missions focusing on new technologies and design methods for antenna and radio front-ends. Selected candidates from this process will receive an offer of employment for 36 months with one of the consortium partners. All PhD students will be expected to enrol in a doctoral programme that is jointly supervised by supervisors from the academic and industry sector. During the course of the PhD training, each PhD student will be seconded to at least three of the partners and spend as a minimum 50% of their time in the industry sector – including a minimum of 6 months with Thales Alenia Space France. Candidate students cannot have resided for more than 12 months during the period of 3 years immediately before the start of the PhD in the prospective host country (Example: a candidate student who has stayed in The Netherlands for more than 12 months in the last 3 years cannot be hired by the university in The Netherlands). Applicants should have a Master of Science degree or equivalent in a relevant electrical engineering or applied physics discipline. Selection is also based on the performance of the candidates in other works (e.g. thesis and advanced level courses), as well as through interviews and assignments. Besides good subject knowledge, emphasis will be on creative thinking, motivation, ability to cooperate, initiative to work independently and personal suitability for research training. Gender equality will be ensured in the recruitment process. 

Previous experience in the area of antennas, radio electronics and signal processing as well as proficiency in using scientific and engineering software packages such as Matlab, CST, HFSS etc. are meritorious. Experience in mechanical engineering will also be appreciated.

Examples of topics: frequency dispersive designs for payload, quasi-optical reconfigurable beam formers, graded index optical techniques, compact and highly efficient feeds, reconfigurable reflectarray using mechanical techniques, advanced synthesis of reflectarray, deployable structures for antennas.

Please apply onThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with a CV, a transcript, the contact details of three referees and a cover letter.

Further informal information (no applications) can be obtained by contacting Professor George Goussetis (Heriot-Watt University, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Dr. Hervé Legay (Thales Alenia Space, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.); Dr. Mauro Ettorre (IETR, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.); and, Dr. Leri Datashvili (Large Space Structures - LSS - GmbH, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).


Thales Alenia Space committed to training tomorrow's European engineers and researchers