AI technologies for time/resources planning and scheduling

Automated planning and scheduling based on Artificial Intelligence technologies for the optimization of action sequences to be executed by space missions, ground-based observatories or astronomical instruments. Planning solutions are complex and have to be discovered and optimized in a multidimensional space. A combination of Metaheuristic Optimization (e.g., genetic algorithms, multiobjective evolutionary algorithms) and ad-hoc heuristics is applied to obtain a flexible, robust and optimal schedule of operations to be performed in a specific observatory for a period of time that can range from minutes (short-term schedule) to several months or years (long-term schedule). Action sequences are derived for unknown, dynamic and nondeterministic environments -such as astronomical observatories-, and are reviewed and adapted during their execution, which adds significant complexity to the solution of the problem.

  • TJO robotic telescope (
  • CTA (
  • EChO (ESA M3 candidate mission)
  • ARIEL (ESA M4 candidate mission)
Potential applications
  • Industrial and flexible manufacturing control.
  • Smart cities and smart buildings.
  • Flight control systems for airports and airlines
  • Logistics management.
Control software: suite for the Operation of Robotic Telescopes

Autonomous operation of astronomical observatories. Software and hardware operation and control architectures for robotic telescopes. Development, integration, verification and operation of robotic infrastructure. Intelligent algorithms for unattended operations. Robotic Operating System (ROS) and OpenROCS.

  • TJO robotic telescope (
  • SQT robotic telescope
Potential applications
  • Industrial manufacturing control.
  • Intelligent buildings.
  • Smart cities.
Control software: critical and real-time embedded software
  • On-board Critical software for payload computers.
  • Scientific real-time algorithm process at High Frequencies with low hardware resources.
  • ESA ECSS-E40/E80 Standard development.
  • CCSDS/PUS communication protocol over MIL-STD-1553 bus.
  • High-rate Testing approach.
  • Real-time embedded systems.
  • Software Verification andFunctional Tests Facility.
  • LISA Pathfinder (ESA)
  • STE-Quest (ESA M3 candidate)
Potential applications
  • Payload Computer Software and Software Verification infrastructures.
  • Critical Software.
  • IoT Software solutions.
  • Smart Cities.
  • Autonomous Driving (software quality).
Data analysis: signal processing and statistics for space missions
  • Bayesian techniques for parameter estimation
  • Markov Chain Monte Carlo parameter estimation methods
  • Optimal design of input signals

  • LISA Pathfinder (ESA)
  • LISA (ESA)
Measurement and control of very low frequency variations of temperature
  • High precision temperature sensors and front-end electronics to perform ultra-stable temperature measurements, with performance of 10-5K/√Hz down to 1mHz.
  • Noise reduction techniques in signal conditionings circuits (Lock-in Amplification, Ratiometric Conversion, Dithering and Flipping ) to supress the sub-milli-Hertz frequency noise contributions.
  • Vacuum chamber with active and passive thermal control.
  • LISA Pathfinder (ESA)
  • LISA (ESA)
Potential applications
  • Physical or chemical processes with very slow temperature variation needs
  • Advanced materials manufacturing
Measurement and control of very low frequency variations of magnetic field
  • Measurement and control of very low-frequency variations of magnetic field down to 1mHz by means of fluxgate magnetometers with performances of 10-8 T/√Hz.
  • Development of Ultra-stable current sources to produce controlled magnetic field with performances of 10-7 A/√Hz.
  • In-house developed magnetometers based on anisotropic magnetoresistors (AMR).
  • Noise reduction techniques in signal conditionings circuits (Lock-in Amplification, Ratiometric Conversion, Dithering and Flipping ) to supress the sub-milli-Hertz frequency noise contributions.
  • 3D Helmholtz coils setup to induce controlled magnetid field and gradient
  • Mu-metal shielding.
  • LISA Pathfinder (ESA)
Potential applications
  • Advanced manufacturing.
  • Characterization of magnetical properties.
  • Medical instrumentation.
Mineralogical characterization of solar system materials

Characterization of meteorites and other solar system materials using Petrographic microscopy (in transmission and reflected light). Support for the characterization and material analysis based on a wide spectra of technologies under collaboration with external private and public entities: scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) to identify minerals, X-Ray microprobe to precisely determine bulk elemental chemistry in micron-sized regions of interest in meteorites, High-resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy (HRTEM), Raman spectroscopy to identify minerals and shock-transformation in extraterrestrial samples, UV to IR reflectance spectroscopy to remotely characterize solar system bodies, and their link with meteorites, Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS and ICP-AES) to establish bulk elemental abundances in extraterrestrial samples, nano-indentation of materials in order to establish mechanical properties of meteorites.


•    Stardust (NASA)
•    Asteroid Impact Mission-COPINS (ESA candidate mission)
•    Hayabusa (JAXA)

Potential applications

•    Physical or chemical processes in space exploration, search for bio-markers, and mining of Moon and asteroids.
•    Advanced materials manufacturing.

Opto-mechanical design and space-qualified gluing of optics

Opto-mechanical design. Gluing of optics with mechanical parts.

  • Euclid (ESA).
Optical metrology
  • Solid state (Nd:YAG) and diode laser sources for laser interferometry.
  • Ultra-stable Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) optical bench to implement metrology experiments. For instance, Mach-Zehnder interferometer to study thermo-elastic distortions in the low-frequency regime.
  • In-house developed phasemeter based on a System-on-Chip LEON3 soft-core processor implemented in a FPGA.
  • Opto-mechanical resonators for laser frequency stabilization.

  • LISA (ESA)
Optical surfaces: interferometric characterization

Characterization of optical surfaces by reflection or transmission in 633 nm with a maximum diameter of 6 inch (i.e. 152 mm) using an interferometer.

  • Euclid (ESA)
Potential applications
  • Optical characterization
Optical system collimation

  • Euclid (ESA)
Potential applications
  • Collimation of lens and mirrors in a optical system.
Passive bi-static remote sensing instruments (reflectometry and radio-occultation)

Design of GNSS & Sources of Opportunity Reflectometry (GNSS-R & SoOP) and radio-occultation methods and instrumentation for Earth observation. Operational applications in oceanography (altimetry, surface roughness), cryosphere (ice characterization) and atmospheric sensing (heavy rain). Developments are based on proficient mastering of different supporting technologies:
  • RF & digital electronics
  • Real-time signal processing using embedded systems
  • Precise (radio-) interferometric measurements
  • High-speed data recording: 320MB/s
  • Beam steering and polarimetric antennas
  • Airborne experience
  • Paris-IoD (ESA)
Potential applications
  • Sea state determination.
  • High precision altimetry.
  • Sea wave height and surface winds.
  • Tsunami detection system.
Visible and near infrared characterization of detectors and optical elements
  • Characterization of CCD detectors and cameras.
  • Spectral characterization of optical filters.

  • PAU camera (Physics of the Accelerating Universe,
  • DESI (Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument,
Potential applications
  • Spectral characterization of (semi-)transparent materials, líquids & gases.
X and Gamma Ray Detectors

Cd(Zn)Te and Si pixelated / stripped detector hybridization.
Design and manufacturing of the read-out electronics associated with X and Gamma ray sensors.
Implementation of the detector DAQ.
Testing and Characterization of CdTe / Si detectors with radioactive sources in a controlled environment (temperature and pressure).

Potential applications
  • Compton camera
  • Hard X-ray polarimetry (space application)
  • Medical devices
  • Radiation surveillance
  • X-Ray Instruments
X-Ray Instrumentation

Mechanical design and analysis of wide field monitoring cameras.
Mechanical Simulations (FEM models, SSM models, thermal and launch loads).
Coded mask design, analysis and fabrication.
Thermal analysis and simulation using ESATAN-TMS software (TMM and GMM models).

Portfolio Potential applications
  • X-ray instrumentation
  • High Stability Thermal Measuring and Control
Institute of Space Sciences (IEEC-CSIC)

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An institute of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas

An institute of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas
Affiliated with the Institut d'Estudis Espacials de Catalunya

Affiliated with the Institut d'Estudis Espacials de Catalunya