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Technical Committee

SmallSat Europe Technical Committee

Technical Committee Chair

Dr. Paul Struhsaker

Arrasar Partners


Experienced innovation and engineering executive across multiple industries including wireless networking (cellular and WiFi), consumer electronics, silicon platforms, and large-scale cloud client computing. Currently CTO of Carnegie Technologies. Other roles included SVP Software Engineering at Comcast NBC Universal, VP of Engineering at Cable Vision Systems, VP Silicon Platform at Motorola PCS, CTO of Dell’s Client Solutions Group, and CTO Broadband at Texas Instruments. He was a founder and CTO of two successful startups: Wi-Fi innovation leader Aironet Wireless (acquired by Cisco) and 4G wireless innovator Raze Technologies. He started his career at the National Security Agency.

Prof. Fernando Agelet

University of Vigo


Prof. Dr. Fernando Aguado (MSc 1992, PhD 1996) is currently Associate Professor (Full Professor accredited since October 2016) at Signal Theory and Communication Department at Vigo University and since April 2016 is also the CTO and responsible for Space Projects of the recently established Galician Aerospace Centre. Prof. Aguado’s main areas of interest are System Engineering for small satellites, Space communication, and small satellite constellations.

As head of the Space Activities, Prof. Aguado has coordinated: The Xatcobeo CubeSat, the first ever Galician satellite and Spanish Cubesat, developed in collaboration with INTA, and launched on February 2012 the HUMSAT Project and HumSat–D CubeSat (launched in November 2013), which was selected by the Space office of the United Nations to be the core of the BSTI and the Sector B of the Brazilian Satellite SERPENS, launched in September 2015 and second HUMSAT satellite.

Prof. Aguado was also the PI of the concept of operation of Dustcube, selected by the ESA within the Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM) and the LUME satellite to be developed within the FIRE-RS project financed by the European Union SUDOE-Interreg Programme.

He is currently responsible at the University of Vigo for the project (WiPTherm) within the H2020-FETOPEN programme.

Dr. Marco Esposito

CEO, cosine


Dr Marco Esposito is Managing Director at cosine Remote Sensing.

Marco completed his PhD in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Naples, specializing in airborne remote sensing for air quality and land management. Having worked on various aerospace projects in Italy, most recently as coordinator of the Environmental Research Aircraft Lab of the Italian National Research Council, Marco moved to the Netherlands.

Marco spent almost 4 years at ESA ESTEC as calibration engineer first, in the science department working on EUV to IR sensors calibration for future planetary missions, and then as performance engineer in the Earth Observation department working on Sentinel 5 Precursor spectrometer TROPOMI.

Marco has been involved in a variety of research and development activities at cosine, all focusing on the miniaturization of optical instruments for Earth Observation and miniaturized suites of instruments for planetary exploration. Marco has been leading the development of space products including space Lidars for vegetation and bathymetry, as well as intelligent spectral imagers for EO from small satellites. He has produced more than 40 scientific publications, either as first author or as a co-author.

Having gained experience as system and performance engineer, project manager, program manager and team leader at cosine, Marco became managing director of cosine Remote Sensing as well as of the Italian branch of cosine.

Marco led the commercialization of the hyperspectral product line at cosine, the first ever miniaturized class of imagers able to connect hyperspectral, thermal imaging and artificial intelligence techniques in one compact solution for the Earth observation market.

Marco is currently leading the scale-up of the remote sensing business at cosine as well as the setup of the space factory for the series production of smart remote sensing instruments for Earth Observation.

Prof. Michèle Lavagna

Politecnico di Milano


Michèle Lavagna is Full Professor in Flight Mechanics at Politecnico di Milano, Aerospace Science & Technology Dept; she has been the Principal Investigator and Project Manager of more than 50 research projects, competitively awarded, with national, international Space Agencies and main players in the Space Sector. She founded and led the ASTRA team. on spacecraft Operations on behalf of ASI.

Dr. Massimiliano Pastena

ESA - European Space Agency


Massimiliano Pastena is a PhD in Aerospace Science and Technologies and holds a post graduate certification in Technology Management at the Open University and a micro master in Business leadership at University of Queensland. At the European Space Agency he takes care of the development of technologies for the future missions of Earth Observation for the Agency and Technical leader for the development of PhiSATs, and for most of the cubesat missions of the Earth Observation Directorate of the European Space Agency.

Before joining the Agency, he worked for more than 20 years in the space industry, pioneering the small satellite developments in the early ’90s and then cubesat development in the second half of the 2000s.

Prof. Sir Martin Sweeting

Surrey Satellite Technology


Professor Sir Martin Sweeting is an international leader in satellite engineering research and applications. He holds both a position at the University of Surrey and also at Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.

Sir Martin studied for his PhD in the late 1970s on HF (shortwave) antennas but, with a passion for space and in his spare time, he built a tracking station at the University to receive images from US and Soviet weather satellites and a telecommand station for amateur radio satellites in the OSCAR series. In 1979, he started designing and building UoSAT-1, the first modern 70kg 'microsatellite', and persuaded NASA to launch it 'piggyback' on a DELTA rocket. UoSAT-1 was controlled in orbit after launch in 1981 from the ground station on the Surrey campus and its transmissions were monitored by thousands of radio amateurs and schools worldwide. Following the launch of the University's second satellite (UoSAT-2) in 1984, Martin vigorously pursued research funding to develop this new concept of 'microsatellites' using the emerging microelectronics revolution to meet applications in satellite communications and Earth observation. With modest research funding, he formed a young and dynamic research group that developed more sophisticated and capable satellite subsystems and payloads.


Dr. Ane Aanesland



Ane Aanesland is a Norwegian deep-tech entrepreneur with deep roots in scientific research. She is the co-founder, president, and CEO of ThrustMe, an industrial space startup providing streamlined solutions to maneuver satellites in space. In 2020, ThrustMe became the first company to successfully demonstrate an iodine-propelled electric propulsion system in space and now deliver products to clients worldwide.

Ane Aanesland is a recognized expert in plasma physics and was leading a research team at the Ecole Polytechnique in France and conducted research at the Australian National University in the past. Ane obtained her PhD in physics from the Arctic University of Norway (the northernmost university in the world) and received the Innovation medal of the Centre Nationale De La Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in 2019.

Prof. Adriano Camps

Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya


Adriano Camps joined the Electromagnetics and Photonics Eng. Group, Dept. of Signal Theory and Communications, UPC, as an Assistant Professor in 1993, Associate Professor in 1997, and Full Professor since 2007. In 1999, he was on sabbatical leave at the Microwave Remote Sensing Lab., of the Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst. Since September 2022 he is a visiting professor at the UAE University, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, UAE. His research interests are focused in: 1) microwave remote sensing, with special emphasis in microwave radiometry by aperture synthesis (PhD Thesis was about the MIRAS instrument which became the single payload of ESA’s SMOS mission), 2) remote sensing using signals of opportunity (GNSS-R), 3) radio frequency interference detection and mitigation, and 4) nanosatellites as a tool to test innovative remote sensors. His publication record includes over 251 papers in peer-reviewed journals, 9 book chapters and the book Emery and Camps, “Introduction to Satellite Remote Sensing. Atmosphere, Ocean, Land and Cryosphere Applications,” Elsevier, 2017, 860 pages), and more than 515 conference presentations. According to Google Scholar/Scopus his h-index is 58 / 46, and his publications have received more than 13611 /9415 citations. According to the 2020 Stanford ranking, he is ranked in the top 1% of all researchers in all categories (https://elsevier.digitalcommonsdata.com/datasets/btchxktzyw/3/files/b3e31af2-054c-4b3a-b9c5-6fd9bf10557a).

He holds 12 patents, and has advised 29 Ph. D. Thesis students (+ 9 on-going), and more than 150 final project and M.Eng. Theses. These PhD students have now responsibility positions at Universities, companies and research centers. It is worth mentioning that 4 are at NASA/JPL, 1 at U. Michigan, and 2 have started their own companies (BALAMIS and MITICS) with A. Camps’ participation. A total of 5 patents have been transferred to them.

He was the Scientific Coordinator of the CommSensLab Research Center (María de Maeztu Excellence Research unit 2016-2020) at the Dept of Signal Theory and Communications. Within CommSensLab, he co-leads the Remote Sensing Lab (https://prs.upc.edu/), and leads the UPC NanoSat Lab (https://nanosatlab.upc.edu/en). He is the PI of the first four UPC nano-satellites: 1) 3Cat-1: 1U CubeSat with 7 tech demos, 2) 3Cat-2, a 6U CubeSat an innovative dual-frequency dual-polarization GNSS-R payload, 3) 3Cat-4, a 1U Cubesat with a SDR implementing a microwave radiometer, a GNSS-Reflectomer, and AIS receiver, and 4) FSSCAT, a tandem mission formed by two 6U CubeSats. FFSCAT is the first mission contributing to the Copernicus System based on CubeSats and it has produced for the first time using CubeSats scientific quality soil moisture, sea ice extent, concentration and thickness, and sea salinity maps in the Arctic.

He has participated in all Technical Committee Programs of the International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS) since 2000, was Chair of uCal 2001, Technical Program Committee Co-chair of IGARSS 2007, co-chair of GNSS-R ’10, general co-chair of IGARSS 2020, the 6th Fractionated and Federated Satellite Systems Workshop, and was a member of the organizing committee of the ESA 4th Symposium on Space Educational Activities (SSEA).

He was Associate Editor of Radio Science, and the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters, and he is Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, and has been guest editor of several special issues. He was the President-Founder of the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society (GRSS) Chapter at Spain, and 2017-2018 President of the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society.

He has received several awards for his contributions to:

Research: 1) 2nd National Award of University Studies (1993); 2) INDRA award of the COIT to the best PhD in Remote Sensing (1997); 3) UPC extraordinary Ph.D. Award (1999); 4) Research Distinction of the Generalitat de Catalunya (2002); 5) the European Young Investigator Award (2004), 6) the ICREA Academia award (2009, 2015), and 7) the grade of Fellow of the IEEE (2011).
Technology transfer: As a member of the Microwave Radiometry Group, he received 1) the 1st Duran Farell award (2000) and 2) the Ciutat de Barcelona award (2001) for Technology Transfer, and 3) the “Salvà i Campillo” Award of the COETC for the most innovative research project for MIRAS/SMOS activities (2004), and 5) the 7th Duran Farell award for Technological Research for the work on GNSS-R instrumentation and applications (2010), 6) he and Mr. Querol received the ESNC Award-Barcelona Challenge for the FENIX system to detect and mitigate RFI in GNSS receivers (2015), and 7) the 2017 ESA Sentinel Small Satellite Challenge and the Overall Winner of 2017 Copernicus Masters Competition.
Education: 1) Jaume Vicens Vives award 2012 (17/9/2012) from the Generalitat de Catalunya for the Project “Concepció, Disseny, Implementació i Operació de l’itinerari d’assignatures de projectes d’acord amb la iniciativa International CDIO”, and 2) UPC award to the Teaching Quality at the University 2012 from the Social Council of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (collective awards together with Profs. Bragós, Alarcón, Sayrol, Oliveras, and Pegueroles), and 3) IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society – Education Award 2021

Dr. Nicola Garzaniti

Cranfield University


Dr. Garzaniti is a space systems engineer interested in the New Space Economy. His research interests include product development for New Space missions, mathematical models to optimize engineering systems design and development, applied AI, as well as technology management and roadmapping.

He received the M.Sc. in Aerospace Engineering from Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy, in 2017, and the Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, an international research university, founded in 2011 in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Nicola is the co-founder of Golbriak Space OÜ, a European startup operating in the Aerospace sector, developing free-space optical communication solutions for airborne platforms. From 2017 to 2021, he served as Chief Technology Officer and Chief Operating Officer of the startup. He has also been actively involved in the design and development activities of the optical intersatellite link payload within the framework of the FSSCAT mission funded by the European Space Agency.

Dr. Garzaniti served as a member of the ECSS New Space Task Force, supporting the definition of ECSS standards for New Space missions.

Nicola joined Cranfield University (UK) in January 2022 as a Lecturer in Space Engineering.

Dr. Tanja Masson-Zwaan

Universiteit Leiden


Tanja Masson-Zwaan is Asst. Professor and Deputy Director of the International Institute of Air and Space Law at Leiden University, and President Emerita of the International Institute of Space Law (IISL).

Tanja advises various bodies on space law issues, teaches and supervises students at Bachelors, Masters and PhD level, carries out research and publishes on a broad range of space law topics. She co-authored the 4th edition of ‘Introduction to Space Law’ (Kluwer 2019) and serves on the Board of Editors of Kluwer’s journal Air and Space Law.

Tanja is member of a team of experts advising the Dutch government on the implementation of the Netherlands Space Activities Act. She attends the annual sessions of the Legal Subcommittee of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space as an observer, and co-founded the Hague Space Resources Governance Working Group.

Prof. Jaan Praks

Aalto University


Jaan Praks (Member, IEEE) received the D.Sc. (Tech.) degree in space technology and remote sensing from Aalto University, Espoo, Finland, in 2012.,He is currently an Assistant Professor of electrical engineering with the Department of Electronics and Nanoengineering, School of Electrical Engineering, Aalto University. His research team is a member of the Finnish Centre of Excellence in Research of Sustainable Space. He is a principal investigator of several small satellite missions. He led a project that produced two first Finnish satellites. He has been involved also in spinning off several companies in the field of satellite remote sensing. He has been working on microwave remote sensing, scattering modeling, microwave radiometry, hyperspectral imaging, and advanced synthetic aperture radar (SAR) techniques, such as polarimetry, interferometry, polarimetric interferometry, and tomography. One of the most visited topics in his research is remote sensing of the boreal forest. Since 2009, he has taken interest in emerging nanosatellite technology.,Dr. Praks is an Active Member of the Scientific Community, a member of the Finnish National Committee of Committee on Space Research (COSPAR), the Chairperson of the Finnish National Committee of International Union of Radio Science (URSI), and the chair and the co-chair of many national and international conferences.

Dr. Marco Villa

Terran Orbital


Dr. Marco Villa grew up in Italy and developed an early passion for airplanes and spacecraft. After obtaining his private pilot license and serving in the Italian Parachutists Corp, Dr. Villa received his Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering in 1999 from Politecnico di Milano, Italy.

Throughout his career Dr. Villa has worked on some of the most advanced and cutting-edge programs in the industry, from technology demonstration satellites to leading commercial efforts, and he has developed a unique expertise that combines management, finance and technical knowledge.

Following a brief stint as a structural analysis at Carlo Gavazzi Space in Milano, Italy, he moved to the United States and earned his Doctoral Degree in Aerospace Engineering in 2005 while also leading a small satellite development projects. Dr. Villa also earned his Master’s Degree in Engineering Management while working as system engineer and project manager for Swales Aerospace and as a contractor for NASA and the Air Force. This period provided Dr. Villa with a broad understanding of spacecraft systems as he performed leading roles for many innovative small satellite and launch vehicle systems, including the Air Force sponsored TacSat 3 spacecraft and the Autonomous Flight Safety System.

In 2007, Dr. Villa joined Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), where he served as Director of Mission Operations, with direct responsibility over the definition and execution of the Dragon spacecraft’s mission to the International Space Station. Dr. Villa was integral in the effort to secure and execute $2.5B in contracts for ISS cargo resupply and crewed Dragon development programs while also supporting the sales and business development department. Before leaving SpaceX in 2013, Dr. Villa played an important role in the on-going effort to develop the crewed version of the Dragon capsule, with responsibilities ranging from the definition of the overall concept of operations, to the establishment of the crew training methodology.

In 2010 Dr. Villa and Max Vozoff founded mv2space LLC, a Business Development, Strategy formulation and support services consultancy. Its clients include both start-ups and established companies in the government and commercial space domains, energy, automotive and digital media sectors.

With mv2space, Mr. Villa brings deep experience in strategy formulation and implementation, program management and systems engineering, and has developed advanced financial modeling and analysis tools that, when customized for each client, form the basis for their business plans, strategies and priorities.

Dr. Villa currently serves as the President and COO of Tyvak Nan-Satellite Systems Inc. His responsibilities span from day-to-day management of the company, to direct the company strategic efforts, to acquisition and execution of all nanosatellite opportunities for government, commercial and university customers both nationally and internationally.