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Research and Faculty

Find here a summary of the research groups and faculty members supporting the Ph.D. program and their main research interests.

ADVANCED CONTROL SYSTEM (SAC). Contact: Vicenç Puig ( Advanced Control Systems is a research group of the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC). The beginning of the SAC group dates from the late 80's and was acknowledged as a 'consolidated research group' in 1998. Members of SAC are teachers and researchers of the following departments: Automatic Control and Computer Engineering Department, Institute of Roborics and Industrial Informatics, Applied Mathmatics II and Fluid Mechanics. The main activities of group SAC are centered arround the following main topics: Advanced control; modeling, identification and simulation of uncertain systems; supervision and fault diagnosis of industrial processes; fault tolerant systems; problem solution using optimisation and constraint satisfaction tools. Recent research in the aeronautics field include a contract on Fault tolerant control with Boeing, and autonomy enhancement of helicopter UAVs through identification, control and vision.

ASTRONOMY & ASTROPHYSICS GROUP. Contact faculty: Enrique García-Berro (, Eduard Bravo ( The research interests of our group at the U.P.C encompass a broad range of both astronomical and physical phenomena, and space projects. All this is done in collaboration with other institutions, like the Institute for Space Studies of Catalonia. We have participated in the design and development of space missions, focusing mainly in the field of scientific payloads and astronomical detectors. We also actively participate in the conceptual design of the ground and user segment of other planned missions. This is done in combination with our basic research projects in theoretical astrophysics. We also have been involved in the simulation of intrinsically three-dimensional problems which are very demanding from the computational point of view, like combustion and flame propagation, among others, using innovative numerical grid-less techniques which we are now applying to other non-astrophysical problems, like thermonuclear fusion by inertial confinement.

ASTRONOMY & GEOMATICS GROUP (gAGE/UPC): Manuel Hernández-Pajares (, J. Miguel Juan Zornoza ( and Jaume Sanz ( Ionospheric Tomography: Use of GPS satellite constellation, earth receivers and LEO sounding. Real-Time Ionospheric Models for Precise Radionavigation using GPS: subdecimetric navigation algorithms and strategies for WADGPS networks GPS (hundreds of kilometers far from reference stations), based on accurate real-time ionospheric models.

COMMUNICATIONS AND ARRAY SIGNAL PROCESSING GROUP. Contact: Meritxell Lamarca (, Montse Nájar ( Space-related research activities and commercial applications include Ground and On-Board Satellite Processing for Digital Communications (synchronisation, multiplexing and demultiplexing, adaptive beamforming, On- Board-Processing for multiuser demodulation, channel coding, ASIC implementation), Satellite Navigation Systems (synchronisation, multipath and interference cancellation), Array processing (adaptive beamforming, wideband array processing, spatial source localisation and tracking).
INTELLIGENT COMMUNICATIONS AND AVIONICS FOR ROBUST UNMANNED (AERIAL) SYSTEMS (ICARUS), Contact faculty: Enric Pastor (, Cristina Barrado ( Research on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and on the Air Operations Optimisation. In the UAS area the target is the development of systems that allow UAS efficient solutions for the civil world. The group is working on the identification of high added value applications for UAS utility demonstrator. The UAS airspace integration is also a target of the group. Our target is to build a prototype of a UAS capable to fly autonomously to obtain useful data for end users which are not expert on aeronautics. Technical research topics are: the aircraft avionics and payload, the ground stations, the communications and the software. In the Air Operations Optimisation area the group is proposing new procedures that minimize the environmental impact and the economical cost of the general aviation without comprimising the security of the airspace.
INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR NUMERICAL METHODS IN ENGINEERING (CIMNE) Sergio Oller ( Constitutive models of the behavior of the materials. Numerical and mechanical treatment of the fatigue in metals and composites, powder metallurgy and ceramics. Dynamics of structures and study of the damage. Numerical and mechanical study of geomaterials and their interaction with thermal and mechanical loads, Parallel computing of industrial processes, Metal forming studies. Eugenio Oñate ( Development of stabilized numerical methods for fluid flow problems. Advanced finite element methods for incompressible and compressible flows. Mesh-free finite point method for fluid flow analysis. Coupled fluid-structure interaction analysis. Numerical methods for fluid-thermal problems. Mesh generation and visualization of results in fluid flow problems.
, Contact faculty: Oscar Casas (, Ramon Pallàs ( Research on novel sensors and on measurement methods based on electrical impedance variations, and on their electronic interfaces for signal conditioning and processing. Particular interest on macrosensors based on low-cost technologies, autonomous and smart sensors, sensor networks, analog signal processing, data acquisition systems, impedance spectroscopy and tomography, noise and interference reduction in instrumentation, noninvasive physiological measurements and biotelemetry. Technology transfer in sensors and engineering measurement systems.
MESTASTABLE AND NANOSTRUTURED MATERIALS GROUP, Contact faculty: Daniel Crespo ( Our research is focused in the study of metaestable and nanocrystalline materials, new and ancient. We study the production processes, microstructural development and properties of materials obtained far from the thermodynamic equilibrium. That includes nanoparticulate materials, amorphous, vitreous (metallic or on a ceramic substrate), multicomponent, and micro or nanostructured materials.
NONLINEAR PHYSICS AND FAR FROM EQUILIBRIUM SYSTEMS. Contact faculty: Ricard González ( The group studies out-of-equilibrium systems by means of nonlinear dynamics techniques and their application to the self-organisation of complex systems, spatiotemporal pattern formation, biophysical systems, materials science, nanometric devices, studies and measurements in architectural and environmental acoustics and energetic efficiency in buildings.
NUMERICAL CALCULUS LABORATORY (LaCàN). Contact faculty: Antonio Huerta (, Sonia Fernández Mendez ( Rodríguez-Ferran (, Josep Sarrate (, Adeline de Villardi de Montlaur ( Computer methods in applied sciences and engineering, concerning both (1) the development, analysis, implementation and validation of numerical methods and (2) the application to real problems in applied sciences and engineering. Methods: finite elements, mesh-free methods, error estimation and adaptivity, error control, mesh generation, nonlinear systems of equations. Applications: quality of the computations, aeroelasticity, convection-diffusion, flow & acoustics, fluid-structure interaction, failure and postfailure, large-strain problems, shape optimization.

ANTONIO MATEO ( Fatigue, fracture and micro-mechanisms of deformation of materials with application in aeronautics: metals, ceramics and composites. Development of new techniques of instrumental indentation and finite-element modelling of contact mechanisms. Study of the structural integrity and reliability of multi-layer ceramics, ceramic coatings and thermal shields.

EDUARD BERTRAN ( Flight surface control. Estimation and filtering of trajectories. Vibration adaptive control. Telecommand and telemeasure. Aeronautical telecommunications.

ANTONI BROQUETAS ( Radar systems and technologies for air traffic control and surveillance. Bistatic radars. Inverse synthetic aperture radar imaging of aircraft. Microwave Remote Sensing. Synthetic Aperture Radars and Scatterometers for ground based, airborne and spaceborne applications. Electromagnetic scattering modeling of natural surfaces and retrieval of geophysical parameters. Radar interferometry and polarimetry for topographic and thematic mapping. Integrated processing systems for automatic exploitation of remote sensing spaceborne and airborne data. Part of this work is being carried out at the Insitute of Geomatics devoted to spatial information related disciplines.
Web pages: Departament de Teoria del Senyal i Comunicacions, Institut de Geomàtica

JOAN CABESTANY ( Artificial Neural Networks Models and Fuzzy Systems for information processing tasks (classification, decision, regression, prediction, ..). Theoretical study of models and development of new learning strategies. Suitability of models for real-world applications. Electronic implementation. Hardware architectures for programmable integrated systems. Strategies for including dynamic reconfiguration capabilities. Specification and design techniques for dynamically reconfigurable systems. Virtual emulation and prototyping platforms. CAD/CAE tools for programmable integrated systems.
Web page:

IGNACIO CAROL ( Behavior of materials under mechanical and environmental actions; damage processes; life cycle analysis; constitutive equations; fracture mechanics and numerical models, including microstructural analysis of heterogeneous and composite materials.

IGNASI CASANOVA ( Payload design and operation, with special emphasis on X-ray and gamma-ray technologies. Radiation detection and measurement: space and ground-based. Microanalytical methods. Planetary geochemistry and Cosmochemistry. Space Resources. Applied Thermodynamics. Exploration, Engineering, Construction and Operations in Space (E2COS).
Web page:

AMADEU DELSHAMS ( Dynamical Systems: effective stability of reversible Hamiltonian systems, Celestial Mechanics, Arnold Diffusion.
Web page:

JORDI J. MALLORQUI ( and Joan O’Callaghan ( Radionavigation systems and beacons (GPS, GNSS, Loran, DECCA, Omega, Cosspass-SAR, Argos, etc). Air traffic control and landing systems (VOR, NDB, DME, ILS). Integration of GPS with inertial sensors and Kalman filtering. Remote Sensing applications based on radar technology (SAR) from both airborne and satellite platforms. Radar fundamentals and applications to aeronautics.

JOAN JOSEP MARTINEZ-BENJAMIN ( Altimetric data processing. Altimeter calibration. GPS. Sea level determination. Climate change.

JOSEP MASDEMONT ( Celestial Mechanics and Astrodynamics. Libration Point Orbits, transfer orbits and station keeping. Dynamical Systems and Optimal Control in Mission Design. Formation Flight. Solar system mass transport.

FRANCESC ROBUSTÉ ( Airport design and operations, airplane occupation strategies and optimization, road management, planning and functional design of transportation systems, operations optimization and quality of public transportation, logistics and transport of goods.
Web page (

Find additonal information in the Aeronautics & Space Research Centre website.