Creating and sharing knowledge for telecommunications

Portugal Space visits ISTSat-1 lab

on 08-01-2021


PT Space president, Ricardo Conde, took the opportunity to visit the ISTSat-1 lab in IST’s Tagus Park campus to discuss potential collaboration initiatives, in order to strengthen links between academia and industry within the Portuguese space ecosystem.


The president of the national space agency met with IT researcher Rui Rocha, coordinator of the ISTSat-1 project, as well as university students who are working towards the launch of the satellite, expected to take place this summer.


“I am here to see if this project can be part of the programs and initiatives we have at a national level, and particularly in our upcoming challenge which is a satellite constellation for the Atlantic”, said Ricardo Conde.


“Universities and research institutions should be part of something bigger than themselves, they should be part of programs together with industry. In that sense, it’s quite important to understand the national capabilites that we can use, to leverage our industrial sector and, particularly, the agenda we want to build in the upcoming years”, he added.



ISTSat-1 is the first-ever satellite built by a university student team in Portugal. Students from IST designed, built, and tested their own structure, on-board computer, electrical power system (including the battery pack), communications subsystem and the ADS-B antenna and receiver. 


The satellite’s mission is to carry out a feasibility study of the use of nanosatellites to track and characterize aircraft’s transponder signals (ADS-B) over the globe’s more remote areas. This is especially relevant when we look at air disasters, like the mysterious disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines and AirFrance flights.


PT Space’s visit comes as Rui Rocha prepares to announce the launch of a new laboratory in IST, which gathers space expertise from IT, INESC, ISR and IDMEC.


“This is going to be a consortium of the major four research institutes, so we are seeking ways of cooperating with PT Space and with the projects that are created and motivated by PT Space”, Rui Rocha explained.


Portugal Space is a private, non-profit organization, created by the Portuguese government in March 2019, with the collaboration of the Regional Government of Azores. It assumed the role formerly held by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) in the representation of Portugal in the European Space Agency (ESA), Europe South Observatory (ESO) and in all space-related programs of the EU.


The agency acts as a business and development unit for universities, research entities and companies, as stated in the Portugal Space 2030 Strategy.

IT alumna in the newly elevated IEEE Fellow Class 2021

on 05-01-2021


Jun Li, former PhD student at IT, has recently been nominated fellow of the IEEE, “for contributions in hyperspectral image processing”.


Supervised at the time by IT’s José Bioucas-Dias, Jun Li received her PhD in 2011, in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), for her thesis “Discriminative Hyperspectral Image Segmentation”.


She is currently a Professor with the School of Geography and Planning, Sun Yat-sen University, in Guangzhou (China), where she founded her own research group on hyperspectral image analysis in 2013. 


Jun Li was elevated to IEEE Senior Member status in 2016, and is also serving as the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing (JSTARS).


The newly achieved status of IEEE Fellow is a distinction reserved for select IEEE members whose accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields are deemed fitting of the prestigious grade elevation. 


In addition to this achievement, Jun Li has published a total of 69 journal citation report papers, 48 conference international conference papers, and one book chapter. Her research interests include remotely sensed hyperspectral image analysis, signal processing, supervised/semisupervised learning, and active learning.