Meet the team
The VERTIGO consortium is composed of 9 partners from 5 European countries and consists of an interdisciplinary team from 6 European industrials (Thales Alenia Space France, Thales Alenia Space Switzerland, Thales Research and Technology, Gooch & Housego, Creonic and LEO) and 3 research organisations (ONERA, ETZH, Fraunhofer HHI) with an extensive expertise in the field of space photonics. Immarsat, a telecom operator will represent the end-users side with a contribution in the advisory board in VERTIGO.
Thales Alenia Space
Drawing on over 40 years of experience and a unique combination of skills, expertise and cultures, Thales Alenia Space delivers cost-effective solutions for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital infrastructures. Governments and private industry alike count on Thales Alenia Space to design satellite-based systems that provide anytime, anywhere connections and positioning, monitor our planet, enhance management of its resources, and explore our Solar System and beyond. Thales Alenia Space sees space as a new horizon, helping to build a better, more sustainable life on Earth. A joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), Thales Alenia Space is also teamed with Telespazio in the parent companies’ Space Alliance, which offers a complete range of services. Thales Alenia Space posted consolidated revenues of about 2.5 billion euros in 2018 and has around 8,000 employees in nine countries. www.thalesaleniaspace.com
LEO SPACE PHOTONICS R&D
LEO (www.leo-sprd.eu) is an ambitious space photonics start-up based in Athens, Greece. The company’s mission is to lead European R&D activities focusing on bringing photonics into modern satellite systems in areas of strategic interest as: high speed inter-satellite laser communications, high capacity photonic payloads, on-board high-speed digital interconnects and miniaturized micro-photonic inertial navigation systems. The company’s product development focus is on high-speed transceiver integrated circuits for high-capacity satellite optical interconnects – this is motivated by the requirements of the European space industry for hi-rel radiation hard optical interconnect systems. Parallel to building up its product portfolio, LEO offers the services of a space photonics design house by performing system-level and physical layer modelling of photonic transmission and amplification systems applicable to the areas of interest in satellite communications and sensing. Parallel to the product development efforts LEO focuses on fueling innovation with R&D activities. LEO is co-ordinating H2020-SPACE-ORIONAS and H2020-SPACE-SIPHODIAS projects and participates in H2020-SPACE-VERTIGO. All programmes target the satellite lasercom area which is the central business focal points of the company.
Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute
Fraunhofer is Europe’s largest application-oriented research organization. Customers and contractual partners are industry, service sector and public administration. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft maintains 69 institutes and research units. The majority of 24,500 staff are qualified scientists and engineers. Annual research budget 2.1 billion euros totaling. Of this sum, 1.9 billion euros is generated through contract research. More than 70 percent of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft’s contract research revenue is derived from contracts with industry and from publicly financed research projects. Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz Institute (HHI) has around 400 employees. Innovations for the digital society of the future are the focus of research and development work at the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich Hertz Institut (HHI). In this area, Fraunhofer HHI is a world leader in the development for mobile and optical communication networks and systems as well as processing and coding of video signals. The institute participates in the standardization of information and communication technologies and creates new applications together with industrial partners. The research, development and production processes of Fraunhofer HHI are certified according to DIN EN ISO 9001:2008. The Photonic Networks and Systems department develops solutions for high-performance optical transmission systems to be used for in-house, access, metropolitan, wide-area and satellite communication networks. Here researchers are focusing on increasing the capacity as well as improving security and energy efficiency. The department has the latest measuring technology, very well-equipped system laboratories, powerful simulation tools and the ability to conduct field tests.
Gooch & Housego
Gooch & Housego (LON: GHH) is a global leader in photonics solutions for Industrial, Aerospace & Defense (A&D), Life Sciences and Scientific Research applications. Founded in 1948 and with headquarters in Ilminster UK, today the company has a turnover of £112m (+30% from 2016) and employs 823 people. G&H has four manufacturing sites in the United Kingdom and five in the USA. G&H maintains sales offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, France and Germany together with an extensive network of distributors. The company is a world-leading manufacturer of optical components and sub-systems based upon key enabling optical technologies. G&H offers world class design, development and manufacturing expertise across a broad complementary range of technologies: fiber optics (FO), electro-optics (EO), acousto-optics (AO), photonic packaging and system integration. G&H (Torquay) has been supplying high-quality fibre optic components and optical modules into a variety of market sectors, including telecommunications, fibre laser, aerospace, space and biomedical since 1985. G&H Torquay has a proven track record of new product development and introduction particularly in the avionic, space and biomedical sectors. G&H Torquay fibre optic components are flying on-board the SMOS satellite and are used in inertial navigation products found in aircraft platforms, missile platforms as well as towed decoys and has also supplied passive devices for deployment on GPS satellites. The current product portfolio includes high power fused devices, photonic integrated modules and fiber-optic transmission and amplification sub-systems. G&H is currently a reliable and trusted partner of Tier-1 vendors within the space domain. The company is supplying flight hardware based on its key enabling technologies: fibre-optics, precision-optics and acousto-optics.
THALES Research and Technology
THALES Research and Technology France (TRT-Fr), located in Palaiseau, is the main multidisciplinary research unit of THALES group, one of the major world players in professional electronics. Through its internal activities and scientific links with industries and universities, either in France or internationally, TRT-France is participating in the preparation of THALES industrial future in strategic R&D fields. With over 250 highly skilled staff, 13000 sq. m of labs of which 1700 sq. m clean rooms, TRT-France’s research teams perform pioneering work in the most advanced areas of optics & optoelectronics, electronic components for microwave applications and materials. S&T skills, ranging from materials elaboration (epitaxy of various semiconductors or magnetic thin films, ceramics, polymers), through component modelling, processing, testing, assembly and packaging, to integration in appropriate demonstrators are available on site and allow full validation of the technologies investigated before their transfer to operational divisions of THALES Group. TRT-Fr has been active in the field of solid-state lasers for more than 30 years and in fiber lasers for almost 20 years. TRT has developed specific skills to realize monolithic all-fiber high-power fiber lasers and amplifiers emitting at around 1 μm, 1.5 μm, or 2 μm. Fiber laser systems with up to 100 W average power have been developed up to a TRL 5. At 1.5 μm, up to 50 W have been obtained in continuous wave and pulsed operation in almost diffraction limited beam quality. TRT-Fr is also a world leading research group on coherent beam combination of fiber amplifiers with up to 64 phase-locked fibers demonstrated at 1.5 μm (world record) and a large patent portfolio. Coherent beam combination of short pulses which further requires pulse synchronization has also been demonstrated with up to 19 channels.
Creonic is a 2010 founded spin-off of the University of Kaiserslautern, Germany. Created as a privately controlled micro SME, the Creonic GmbH received the “Founder of the Year” award in 2010. Creonic develops IP cores as ready-for-use solutions for many algorithms of communications as defined in IEEE and ETSI standards. The company has deep knowledge in algorithm design, system design, as well as integration for FPGA and ASIC. Creonic’s core competences lie in the fields of advanced channel coding (e.g., LDPC and turbo coding), multi-antenna systems (MIMO), time, phase, and frequency symbol synchronization, double or triple iterative systems like turbo synchronization, interleaver architectures, and soft-decision de-mapping. One major focus of the product portfolio is channel coding as one of the most complex building blocks of state-of-the-art wireless and wired receiver modems. Besides communications, Creonic offers comprehensive design and consulting services for FPGA integration covering embedded systems design as well as the adaptation of provided algorithm to heterogeneous platforms. Already implemented algorithms cover various application domains, ranging from high finance to dedicated accelerator platforms. Creonic utilizes the most advanced design technologies available to optimize development time and to maximize energy efficiency, focusing on the novel SOC platforms from Altera and Xilinx (ZYNQ) including High Level Synthesis (HLS) design methodologies in OpenCL or C + +.
Since 1963, ONERA contributes to progress in aerospace techniques with its fundamental research, complementing university laboratories; with its applied research preparing long and medium-term projects and with its direct technical assistance to industry, either by making the testing potential of its centres available or by studying problems raised by projects under development or difficulties encountered on operational equipments. Thus, ONERA serves as a link between Science and aerospace manufacturers’ programs in the design and production stage, whether for civil or military use. ONERA’s activities covers many fields, as the solutions of the difficult and varied problems raised by aircraft and spacecraft design involve multiple disciplines and techniques. The High Angular Resolution (HRA) Team is part of the Optics Department (DOTA) of ONERA. For more than 20 years, HRA has developed methods, components and systems to reach the theoretical limits induced by diffraction, in spite of environmental or instrumental perturbations. One of the major activities of the HRA Team of ONERA is the design and the manufacturing of adaptive optics systems, dedicated to image formation and to beam focusing. To ensure that the expected performance of a given system is reached, the team is deeply involved in the design of the system, the specifications of every main subsystem (wavefront sensors, deformable mirrors, real-time computers, control algorithms, post-processing algorithms), the assembly of each subsystem, the integration of the system and its qualification. The expertise is built on a long-term development of analytical performance prediction tools, end-to-end simulation tools, laboratory experiments and field experiments.
ETH Zurich, Switzerland, is a top ranking international university in the fields of technology and natural science. ETH has more than 19,000 students from whom 4000 are doctoral students. ETH has more than 500 professors engaged in teaching and research. Till today, 21 Nobel laureates are linked with ETH. The Institute of Electromagnetic Fields (IEF) at ETH is headed by Prof. Leuthold. It is involved in research and development of optical communication devices and systems. Areas of interest include silicon photonics, plasmonics and novel modulation formats, beam forming and pulse shaping as well as Tbit/s transmission systems. The IEF Institute is further known for the expertise in antenna design, metamaterials and for its work with electromagnetic fields