AIR- Space and Aeronautics

Space is both a strategic asset and enormous opportunity for our society and economy. Space technologies, infrastructure, services and data provide the tools needed to address many societal challenges and big global concerns, such as climate change and mobility.

It is also a strategic economic cluster for Portugal (with the Embraer center in Évora) envisioned further by the AIR Center initiative. Research will chase the emerging challenges open to related industries in the area of engineering space systems, which can contribute to increase the amount of exports of engineering products and services in Portugal. In this context, this thematic line aims at expanding the work on industrial dynamics which generated a number of national and international collaborations with relevant players.

Adding and gaining from the synergies between diverse R&D units and Industries (e.g., ESA, Embraer, PEMAS, CEIIA, Tekever; NASA, MITSSL, etc.) research will now progress to address specific technologies, based on an interdisciplinary organization of the several groups at LARSyS to cover:

  • Propulsion;
  • Human-robot interaction;
  • Guidance navigation and control;
  • Satellites and satellite-borne instruments..

Main contributions are:

  • The competence building and technology adoption in supply chain management, namely Metal Additive Manufacturing and Aircraft Interiors;
  • The development of micro turbine engines and hybrid-electric propulsion systems for UAVs;
  • The development of robots for collaborative tasks with astronauts inside a space station environment, as the ISS;
  • The improvement of mass center and inertia estimation techniques and motion control of single and multiple aerial vehicles, namely using image based visual servoing;
  • The development of a low-cost modular satellite platform with a suite of remote-sensing and communication systems;
  • The development of methods for integration of field data, proximal sensing and remote sensing (UAV and satellite based) for environmental monitoring.

A recent project was launched to develop and demonstrate in orbit a microsatellite to be launched in 2020, articulated in a national consortium integrating 9 companies and 10 internationally R&D centers, which is expected to establish the basis for new lines of business, based on new products, services and processes, contributing to strengthen the position of Portugal in the international AIR landscape.

AIR will follow the strategic opportunity of using space technologies to contribute for interdisciplinary education of highly talented students and industrial fellows from diverse backgrounds through exposure to leading-edge research and large scale collaborative research ventures. This is expected to be strengthened with the inclusion in the team of LARSyS of members of the Centre of Engineering and Product Development (CEIIA), which has a solid international activity in aeronautics, centered in product development and structural testing.

Research Groups that contribute to the Thematic Line

Computer and Robot Vision Group (VisLabISR)
Intelligent Robots and Systems group (IRSgISR)
Dynamic Systems and Ocean Robotics group (DSORgISR)
Laboratory of Thermofluids, Combustion and Energy Systems (LTCESIN+)
Laboratory of Technology Policy and Management (LTPMIN+)
MITI Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute