Distinguished Lecturers and Invited Speakers – INCAS 2021

IEEE Distinguished Lecturer: Dr. Jade Morton

Professor, Helen and Hubert Croft Professor, Director of CCAR
University of Colorado Boulder, USA

Title: Satellite Navigation and Sensing

Satellite-based navigation has impacted nearly every aspect of our modern society. Yet, this powerful technology relies on extremely low power, vulnerable signals traversing a vast space to reach receivers on the Earth surface or near-Earth space environments. Many complex elements interfere with the signals along their propagation path, including plasma in the upper atmosphere, water vapor in the lower troposphere, as well as physical objects and electromagnetic sources in the user environments. These nuisance factors degrade and limit navigation systems performance. Understanding their effects on navigation signals is the pre-requisite for developing robust navigation technologies that can mitigate these elements impact. Moreover, these effects enable satellite navigation signals to function as signals-of-opportunity for low cost, distributed, passive sensing of our space and local environments. This presentation will first discuss efforts in developing a worldwide network of software-defined sensors to capture and characterize the effects of the space and local environments on satellite navigation signals, followed by the latest technology development to mitigate these effects, and finally case studies demonstrating the potential powerful applications of the satellite navigation sensor network for environmental monitoring.

Bio Summary

Dr. Jade Morton is the Helen and Hubert Croft Professor and Director for Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research (CCAR) in the Ann and HJ Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences Department at the University of Colorado (CU), Boulder.  Prior to joining CU in 2017, she was an electrical engineering professor at Colorado State University and at Miami University.  Dr. Morton’s research interests lie at the intersection of satellite navigation technologies and remote sensing of the Earth’s space environment, atmosphere, and surface.  She is an author/co-author of over 300 technical publications and the lead editor of a two-volume set of books titled Position, Navigation, and Timing Technologies in the 21st Century published by Wiley-IEEE Press.  She has led numerous projects sponsored by AFOSR, AFRL, ARMY, DARPA, DHS, NASA, NOAA, NSF, ONR, Lockheed Martin, Septentrio, etc., and served as a Technical Editor, associate editor, guest editor, and a member of editorial board for several journals.  She was a President of the ION, Program Chair, General Chair, session chair, and panel member for numerous conferences. She is a distinguished lecturer of the IEEE Aerospace and Electronics Systems Society and a recipient of the Institute of Navigation’s Burka, Thurlow, and Kepler award, and the IEEE PLANS Richard Kershner award.  Dr. Morton is a fellow of IEEE, ION, and the Royal Institute of Navigation (RIN).

Invited Speaker: Dr. José Bellido

Senior Research Associate
University of Adelaide, Australia

Title: Signal Processing in a Gamma Ray Observatory

The SWGO scientific collaboration plans to build a Gamma Ray Observatory in the Southern Hemisphere. The ideal place to build the Observatory must be at a height of 5000 meters above sea level. In this presentation I will describe the detectors and the detection process. I will emphasize signal processing. The signals consist of very fast pulses, on the nanosecond scale.

Bio Summary

Study: Bachelor of Physics at the National University of San Agustin de Arequipa, Master in Nuclear Physics at the University of Sao Paulo (Brazil), and PhD in Astrophysics at the University of Adelaide (Australia).
Work experience: University of Utah (USA), Penn State University (USA) and The University of Adelaide (Australia)
Acknowledgments: 2011 Young Scientist who contributed the most to the development of Astrophysics worldwide. Prize awarded by the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics; 2008 Honorary Professor of the National University of San Agustin Arequipa and 2021 Nominated for Co-spoke-person of the International Pierre Auger Collaboration (Collaboration that operates the world’s largest cosmic ray detector in Argentina).
Activities: Study of the directions of arrival of cosmic rays of the highest energies with the events detected by the HiRes Cosmic Ray Observatory in the USA. Design of the optics of the Fluorescence Telescopes of the Pierre Auger Cosmic Ray Observatory in Argentina. Author of the official software used by the Pierre Auger Collaboration for the reconstruction of the direction of arrival of cosmic rays. Responsible for a variety of calibration and performance monitoring works at the Pierre Auger Observatory. Leader of the group in charge of identifying the composition of high-energy cosmic rays within the Pierre Auger Collaboration (from 2010 to 2021). Leader of the group of Peruvian researchers participating in the SWGO international scientific project. This project seeks to build a Gamma Ray Observatory and we are working so that the SWGO collaboration decides to build the Observatory in Peru.
Experience as a Pre and Postgraduate Thesis Advisor University of Adelaide – Australia, Brazil, Germany, and Peru (UNSA and UNSAC).

Invited Speaker: Dr. Enrique Rojas

Postdoctoral Associate
Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, Cornell University, USA

Title: Revisiting ionospheric forecasting and estimation: Applications to ionograms, storms, and density reconstruction

Modern technology has allowed us to expand the coverage of our measurement of space. On the ground, one way this has manifested is through the popularization of software-defined radio and its applications to sense the ionosphere. Nevertheless, optimal ways to harness these new data are still under active research. Furthermore, these novel measurements often come with new challenges that are forcing us to extend our standard estimation models. In this talk, I will present some research projects exploring new ways of tackling some classic estimation problems. First, I will show some preliminary results on the use of neural networks to forecast ionograms and Spread-F occurrence. Then, some approaches to potentially improve previous work on ionospheric refraction tomography for the estimation of electron density distributions using oblique ionospheric sounders. These projects are being developed in collaboration with Jicamarca scientists and Peruvian undergraduate students.

Bio Summary

Enrique studied physics in the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru and worked in the Jicamarca Radio Observatory for two years. In 2014 he went to Cornell to work in the space plasma physics group under the supervision of David Hysell. He continues working there now as a postdoc associate.

IEEE Distinguished Lecturer: Dr. K.V.S. Hari

Vice President-Membership, IEEE Signal Processing Society
Professor, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore

Title: Experiments in Sensing and Signal Processing for Autonomous Navigation

The emergence of autonomous navigation systems has spurred many innovations in the design of sensing, computing, communication, and control systems. In this talk, we will present experiments related to the design and development of autonomous navigation platforms and algorithms based on neural networks.  In the first experiment, the design and performance of a simple camera-based system deployed in large vehicles for collision avoidance will be presented. In the second experiment, results related to the identification of vehicles on Indian roads using traffic camera videos will be presented. A brief description of the efforts of building an open dataset for Indian road traffic will also be presented.

Bio Summary

K V S Hari is a Professor in the Department of ECE, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. He holds a PhD from U C San Diego and has been a visiting faculty at Stanford University and Affiliate Professor at KTH- Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm. His research interests are in Signal Processing with applications to 5G wireless communications, radar systems, autonomous vehicles, neuroscience, and affordable MRI systems. He is a co-author of an IEEE standard on wireless channel models. He was an Editor of EURASIP’s Signal Processing and is currently the Editor-in-Chief (Electrical Sciences) of Sadhana, the journal of the Indian Academy of Sciences published by Springer. He is a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of IEEE and also on the Board of Governors, IEEE Signal Processing Society, as Vice President-Membership (2020-22).

Invited Speaker: M.Sc. Jeff Berner

Deep Space Network Project Chief Engineer
Jet Propulsion Laboratory – NASA, USA
Title: Deep Space Network (DSN)

Title: Deep Space Network (DSN)

NASA’s Deep Space Network (DSN) provides communication services to spacecraft from beyond geostationary orbit to beyond our solar system, supporting missions that have extremely low data rates (10 bps) to missions that have data rates higher than 100 Mbps.  First, the DSN’s current capabilities are discussed.  Some key design considerations are then reviewed.  Finally, the near term and longer-term plans are shown.

Bio Summary

Jeff B. Berner (S’82-M’84-SM’98) received the B.S. degree (with honors) in electrical engineering and the M.S. degree in electrical engineering from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Pasadena, in 1983 and 1984, respectively.  He has been with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Caltech, since 1982. Early in his career, he worked on projects such as the Galileo and Mars Observer spacecraft and the Mobile Satellite Experiment (MSAT-X). Since 1989, he has worked in the Deep Space Network, starting as the Cognizant Development Engineer of the Block V Receiver, the tracking and telemetry receiver of the Deep Space Network. He has been the Chief Engineer for the Deep Space Network for over ten years.  Mr. Berner received the NASA Exceptional Service Medals in 1996 and 2009, and the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal in 2003.  He was named a JPL Fellow in 2018.