Vanessa Duarte is the winner of the Altice International Innovation Award 2018. The researcher from IT in Aveiro and the University of Aveiro received the 25.000€ prize for presenting a photonic processor thinking about the next generation of communication satellites. The competition took place this October 10 in Lisbon. Vanessa Duarte´s project was also distinguished with the Born From Knowledge Awards, in the amount of 5.000€, given by the Agência Nacional de Inovação.
The work presented by Vanessa Duarte was carried out during her PhD in Physical Engineering at IT, under the supervision of Rogério Nogueira and Miguel Drummond (both researcher from IT in Aveiro and UA) and at the IHP - Leibniz-Institut für innovative Mikroelektronik (Germany), under the supervision of Lars Zimmermann. The work was developed within the framework of the European project BEACON where companies such as Airbus Defense and Space participated.
"The project consisted in developing a photonic processor integrated in a silicon chip to be applied in the new generation of telecommunications satellites in order to reduce the weight, cost and energy consumption of the satellite, yet increasing the capacity of data transmission and, which is very important, to give the satellite a flexible coverage. The launching of new generation satellites will bridge the existing digital gap and bring the Internet to rural and remote sites where it does not exist, "explains Vanessa Duarte. According to the researcher, "this innovation also opens the way for the introduction of emerging technologies in satellite communication services, namely 5G and IoT services".
The Altice International Innovation Award 2018 is an initiative that includes Portugal, France and Israel and aims to promote and aknowledge entrepreneurship and technological talent, contributing to greater development and competitiveness in the markets where Altice operates.
After four and a half years, the international Telescope Manager (TM) consortium has formally concluded its work on the architectural design of a fundamental part of the software for the Square Kilometre Array: the nervous system of the Observatory, which is called the Telescope Manager.
Formed in November 2013, the consortium was tasked with designing the crucial software that will control, monitor and operate the SKA telescopes. TM brought expertise in the field of Monitoring and Control for large-scale, complex systems and design of user interface experience.
Led by India’s National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA), the international consortium comprised nine institutions in seven countries.
Portugal’s ENGAGE SKA Consortium through IT and the Faculdade de Ciências of the University of Porto was one of the TM consortium members. Domingos Barbosa, João Paulo Barraca, Miguel Bergano and Dzianis Bartashevich formed the research team from IT. The national team has had a particularly important role, leading the design of the execution environment for the Telescope Manager. “We applied our expertise with distributed and scalable software architectures, typical of 5G telco environments, introducing concepts related to a Software Defined operation, services and product orientation, virtualization and quality monitoring, with impact to the entire telescope. We also impacted other areas such as reliability and security. Given the impact in such large collaboration context, I consider that it shows the quality of our engineers and companies”, said João Paulo Barraca.
The TM work was part of a global effort by 12 international engineering consortia representing 500 engineers and scientists in 20 countries. Nine of the consortia focus on a component of the telescope, each critical to the overall success of the project, while three others focus on developing advanced instrumentation for the telescope.
After four years of intense design work, the nine consortia are having their Critical Design Reviews or CDRs. In this final stage, the proposed design must meet the project’s tough engineering requirements to be approved, so that a construction proposal for the telescope can be developed.
The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project is an international effort to build the world’s largest radio telescope. The SKA will conduct transformational science to improve our understanding of the Universe and the laws of fundamental physics, monitoring the sky in unprecedented detail and mapping it hundreds of times faster than any current facility
Photo: Members of the Telescope Manager consortium gathered at SKA Global Headquarters in the UK for the Critical Design Review in April. Credit: SKAO