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Mon, 5 Oct 2015 23:34:00 +0100
The International Space Station Multilateral Coordination Board (MCB) has approved a major update to the station docking system standard. First released in 2010, the docking standard established a common station-to-spacecraft equipment interface to enable spacecraft of multiple types to dock to the space station. "The latest additions to the docking standard further open the door for contributions by international agencies, as well as commercial enterprises for the International Space Station...
Mon, 5 Oct 2015 11:00:00 +0100
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Mon, 5 Oct 2015 09:15:00 +0100
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Fri, 2 Oct 2015 16:55:00 +0100
United Launch Alliance (ULA) successfully launched its 100th mission today with an Atlas V rocket carrying the Morelos-3 satellite for Mexico's Ministry of Communications and Transportation. The mission, procured for Mexico by Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services, launched at 6:28 a.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex-41. "Congratulations to Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services and Mexico's Ministry of Communications and Transportation on today's successful delivery of the Morelos-3 ...
Fri, 2 Oct 2015 16:04:00 +0100
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Fri, 2 Oct 2015 16:00:00 +0100
A Boeing [NYSE: BA] 702HP (high power) satellite launched today will soon be part of the world's most capable and advanced mobile satellite system. The satellite, named Morelos-3, is transmitting initial on-orbit signals as it makes its way to its final orbital location within Mexico's new Mexsat system. The Ministry of Communications and Transportation commissioned Mexsat - a state-of-the-art satellite-based mobile telecommunications system. Mexsat increases communications capabilities for n...
Fri, 2 Oct 2015 13:06:00 +0100
Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) Commercial Launch Services today successfully launched the Morelos-3 satellite for Mexico's Ministry of Communications and Transportation. At 6:28 a.m. EDT, a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 421 rocketed into space from Space Launch Complex 41, carrying Mexico's next-generation communications satellite into orbit. The launch marks ULA 's 100th mission since the company was formed in late 2006 and the 57th Atlas V launch since the vehicle's inaugural mission in...
Fri, 2 Oct 2015 10:06:00 +0100
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Thu, 1 Oct 2015 14:49:00 +0100
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Thu, 1 Oct 2015 12:20:00 +0100
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Thu, 1 Oct 2015 10:28:00 +0100
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Thu, 1 Oct 2015 08:03:00 +0100
Arianespace announced today that it has signed a contract with the Argentinean operator ARSAT (Empresa Argentina de Soluciones Satelitales Sociedad Anonima) to launch its next geostationary satellite, ARSAT-3, plus options on two more launches. This strategic long-term agreement follows last year's successful launch of ARSAT-1 on October 16, 2014, and comes a few hours before the launch of ARSAT-2. It will cover Argentina's satellite launch requirements until 2023. With a liftoff mass of a...
Thu, 1 Oct 2015 08:02:00 +0100
Vega Flight VV06 Assembly of a light-lift Vega has begun for the sixth flight of this smallest vehicle in Arianespace's launch vehicle family, which is scheduled for November and will send Europe's LISA Pathfinder on its way for a pioneering space science mission. The build-up process commenced when Vega's P80 solid propellant first stage was moved to the Spaceport's ZLV facility and positioned on the launch pad. This will be followed by stacking of the launcher's solid propellant secon...
Thu, 1 Oct 2015 08:02:00 +0100
Ariane Flight VA227 The Ariane 5 for Arianespace's November heavy-lift mission continues to take shape in the Launcher Integration Building at the Spaceport, where its cryogenic upper stage and vehicle equipment bay have now been integrated. With this step completed, the Flight VA227 Ariane 5's basic build-up has been achieved, bringing together its core cryogenic stage, the two solid propellant boosters and the upper stage with its integrated vehicle equipment bay. This activity was perfo...
Thu, 1 Oct 2015 00:00:00 +0100
Airbus Defence and Space, the world's second largest space company, has successfully completed the final integration and testing of ARABSAT 6B (BADR-7) for which it is co-prime industrial contractor. The satellite today left the Airbus Defence and Space facilities in Toulouse, France, and will now be transported by air to Kourou, French Guiana. The satellite is due to be launched in the upcoming weeks by an Ariane 5 launcher. Airbus Defence and Space and Thales Alenia Space (TAS) are joint...
Wed, 30 Sep 2015 23:10:00 +0100
This evening an Ariane 5 delivered two telecom satellites into their planned orbits after lifting off from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. The launch of flight VA226 occurred on 30 September at 20:30 GMT (22:30 CEST, 17:30 local time). Sky Muster, with a mass of 6440 kg and mounted in the upper position atop Ariane's Sylda dual-payload carrier inside the fairing, was the first to be released about 28 minutes into the mission. Following a series of burns controlled by Ariane...
Wed, 30 Sep 2015 07:34:00 +0100
Ariane Flight VA226 Mission activity is in full swing at the Spaceport to support Arianespace's busy 2015 launch manifest - with the latest completed Ariane 5 rolling out for a liftoff tomorrow from French Guiana, and parallel preparations underway for two more flights involving another heavy-lift Ariane 5 and a lightweight Vega. The Ariane 5 that was transferred today from the Spaceport's Final Assembly Building to the facility's ELA-3 launch zone is now ready for final countdown to the S...
Wed, 30 Sep 2015 00:00:00 +0100
NASA has awarded a key contract to Boeing [NYSE: BA], the International Space Station's prime contractor, to continue providing key engineering support services, resources and personnel to the program through Sept. 30, 2020. The contract, valued at $1.18 billion, extends for five-years. NASA and its 16 international partners are analyzing the ability to sustain station operations through 2020. Boeing's contract includes a task to assess the feasibility of extending the life of the station's...
Tue, 29 Sep 2015 11:26:00 +0100
Thales Alenia Space today signed a contract with French space agency CNES (Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales) covering the design and development phase for the Poseidon-3C radar altimeter on the SWOT (Surface Water and Ocean Topography) satellite, new altimetry program that will demonstrate new applications. The contract signed today covers the supply of a nadir altimeter (for vertical measurement), along with the brand-new main instrument, the KaRIn (Ka-band Radar Interferometer) wide-swath...
Tue, 29 Sep 2015 08:09:00 +0100
Ariane Flight VA226 Arianespace's dual-payload mission with telecommunications satellites to serve Australia and Argentina has been approved for liftoff on Wednesday at the Spaceport, providing the go-ahead for its fifth heavy-lift flight in 2015 and the ninth overall from French Guiana this year using the company's complete launcher family. The September 30 liftoff was authorized at completion of today's launch readiness review, which confirmed the status of Ariane 5, its Sky Muster and A...
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    CV: R&D/Study Manager and Robotic Systems Engineer

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    Personal information
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    Candidate Profile
     Date Submitted:18-07-2011
     Last Modified:24-09-2014 (09:35)
    Job information
     Current job:R&D/Study Manager and Robotic Systems Engineer
     Employment Term:Permanent
     Job location:Europe only
     Date available:immediately
     Industry:Satellite Operators
     KeywordsTeam leadership, coaching, mentoring, people management, problem solving, R&D and Software lifecycle management, agile methodologies, sub-contractors management. Project management, budgeting, cost control and reporting, procurement processes, bid manage

    R&D/Study Manager and Robotic Systems Engineer

    Thales Alenia Space, Torino, Italy

    Jan. 2012 – Present

    I am the focal point for R&D and Technology Studies relevant to Robotics and Autonomous Systems including Autonomous Robotic Exploration, Human Collaborative Robotics, Satellites Servicing and Active Debris Removal. I am involved in multiple projects with different roles, spanning from Systems Engineering to Study Management and I am responsible and leader of the Robotics R&D team. My main responsibilities include: Robotic Systems and SW Engineering, Technical and Financial Project Management, Bid and Proposal Management (ESA, ASI, EC FP7), Procurement, Facilities Design and Scientific Dissemination. My role requires strong involvement and continuous participation to Business Development, Product Development, Marketing and Corporate Communication functions. I am the originator and responsible of Scalable and modUlar maNagement fRamework for robotIc Space Exploration (SUNRISE), Robotics Laboratory and ROvers eXploration facilitY (ROXY).


    Lead Robotics Engineer

    Thales Alenia Space, Torino, Italy

    Nov. 2010 – Dec. 2011

    I was in charge of the Robotics Internal R&D Test Bench for Robotics and Autonomy (TBRA) and the focal point for several Technology Programs and Studies relevant to robotics, mainly in the Autonomous Exploration Domain. I leaded a small Robotics and SW development team. My main responsibilities included Robotics and SW Engineering and Development, Procurement and Scientific Dissemination. I was occasionally involved in activities relevant to Marketing and Communication functions.


    Robotics Engineer

    Thales Alenia Space, Torino, Italy

    Oct. 2009 – Oct. 2010

    I was in charge of the design and integration of the first Robotics R&D TBRA rover and I was designated developer of Guidance Navigation and Control (GNC) software modules based on TBRA framework. I was involved in multiple programs and project with Robotic and SW Design, Development and Test responsibilities.


    STEPS2 – Robotic Autonomous Exploration

    Thales Alenia Space, Torino, Italy

    Jun. 2012 – Ongoing

    (Project Manager and Systems Engineer)

    The project objective is the implementation of a V&V facility for robotics based on SUNRISE modular architecture, a fleet of robots and a Mars-analogue field test area with deployable logistics (ROXY). The project aims to demonstrate an autonomous sample fetching and return mission executed by one or more rovers at ROXY premises. My main duties and responsibilities are:

    §Reporting to STEPS2 Program Manager and Technical Committee, technical and financial responsibility and leadership of the Robotic Autonomous Exploration Project (>1.5MEuro, 24 months) and project team leadership (3 industrial partners, 3 academic partners, 30 people).

    §Robots and SW Design, Development Team selection, coaching and leadership (6 people).

    §Design and supervision of ROvers eXploration facilitY (ROXY) and Robotics Laboratory.


    Robotics Internal R&D – SUNRISE

    Thales Alenia Space, Torino, Italy

    Jan. 2012 – Ongoing

    (R&D Manager and Systems Engineer)

    SUNRISE is based on a core software enabling the control of a generic robot and a hardware platform easing the installation and interface with the specific robotic system (e.g. planetary exploration rover, crew assistant robot). The project is based on previous R&D heritage aiming to evolve the TBRA prototype to the SUNRISE product and facility. My main duties and responsibilities are:

    §Reporting to the Head of Avionic Systems and Robotics Unit and the Head of Robotics and Mechatronics Group, technical and financial responsibility and leadership of the Robotics Internal R&D and relevant facilities.

    §Demonstrator at Thales Technodays 2012 (Palais des Congrès, Paris) and TAS Technodays (Toulouse and Rome), RoboBusiness Europe 2013, TV and press interviews, guided visits to the facilities with demonstrations.


    METERON – OPSCOM-2 Experiment Support

    Thales Alenia Space, Torino, Italy

    Mar. 2014 – Ongoing

    (Systems Engineer)

    METERON (Multi-Purpose End-To-End Robotic Operation Network) is an ESA led international space project for advanced telerobotics technology demonstration involving the International Space Station. OPSCOM-2 is an experiment where the Eurobot will be controlled by an astronaut in ISS by means of MOPS software. As System Engineer, my main duties and responsibilities are:

    §Reporting to the Eurobot Program Manager, technical responsibility of the project and supervision of suppliers (1 industry, 1 research institution)

    §On-site support to System Verification Tests and Experiment Sequence Test

    §On-site support to Experiment execution


    Harwell Robotics and Autonomy Facility - Pilot Project 1

    Thales Alenia Space, Torino, Italy

    Jan. 2014 – Ongoing

    (Study Manager and Robotic Systems Engineer)

    The objective is to implement the HRAF core infrastructure and demonstrate, through a pilot project, the value of the facility for the validation of autonomous systems and technologies. This activity is the first in a long-term programme and is funded by the ESA MREP-2 programme and supported by UKSA. As Robotics Engineer I provide the expertise of the prime view on the requirements, design and validation process to be implemented in the facility.


    Eurobot Ground Prototype – CARE

    Thales Alenia Space, Torino, Italy

    Mar. 2012 – Jul.2013

    (Lead Robotics Engineer)

    The project objective was to improve the EGP robot and control station leading to increased robustness and reliability of the overall system. The project is a first step to prepare EGP for the METERON program scenario. My main duties and responsibilities were:

    §Reporting to the Eurobot Program Manager and the Eurobot System Engineer, technical responsibility of EGP hardware and software upgrades.

    §Design of EGP upgrade solutions and sub-contractors supervision (1 industrial partner, 2 academic partners, 15 people).

    §Acceptance tests preparation and execution at TAS-I and ESA/ESTEC premises.


    XROB – Visual Odometry Breadboards

    Thales Alenia Space, Torino, Italy

    Oct. 2010 – Oct.2012

    (Lead Robotics Engineer)

    In the frame of this technology program two Visual Odometry Bread Boards have been parallel developed by TAS-I and SCISYS. These breadboard have been integrated on the EGP robot for testing and performances comparison.  My main duties and responsibilities were:

    §Reporting to XROB Program Manager, technical responsibility of TAS-I Visual Odometry Breadboard design, development integration and test.

    §TAS-I Visual Odometry Breadboard Design and sub-contractor development team supervision (2 people).

    §Acceptance tests preparation and execution at ESA/ESTEC premises.

    §Support to SCISYS Visual Odometry Breadboard design, integration and testing at SCISYS and ESA/ESTEC premises.


    RdV&D 3D Camera Technology Trade-off and BB Demonstration

    Thales Alenia Space, Torino, Italy

    Apr. 2012 – Present

    (Study Manager and Robotics Vision Specialist)

    The project objective is to develop a 3D Camera breadboard based on Time-of-Flight technology suitable for a wide range of space applications including Rendez-Vous and Docking (RdV&D), Rover Exploration and Entry Descent and Landing (EDL). My main duties and responsibilities are:

    §Mission requirements definition for Rover Exploration and Entry Descent and Landing scenarios.

    §Support to Time-of-Flight technology trade-off and selection.

    §Definition and supervision of integrated testing on TAS-I SUNRISE platforms for Rover Exploration scenario.


    STEPS – Rover Autonomous Navigation

    Thales Alenia Space, Torino, Italy

    Jan. 2011 – May.2012

    (Lead Robotics Engineer)

    The project objective was the development of innovative rover GNC algorithms to be integrated ant tested on TAS-I Robotics Internal R&D TBRA robotic platforms. The project aimed to demonstrate the capability of exploring a completely unknown environment relying only on rover onboard resources. My main duties and responsibilities were:

    §Reporting to the Study Manager, Robot and SW Design and coordination of the Robot Autonomous Navigation Team (3 partners, 12 people).

    §Final Presentation and Demonstration to ESA, ASI and Regione Piemonte representatives.


    Robotics Internal R&D – TBRA

    Thales Alenia Space, Torino, Italy

    Nov. 2010 – Dec.2011

    (Lead Robotics Engineer)

    The project objective was to improve TBRA modular architecture, relevant GNC algorithms and to implement a robotics laboratory. TAS-I development team supported the integration and test of innovative GNC algorithms developed by STEPS project partners. My main duties and responsibilities were:

    §Reporting to R&D Manager, technical responsibility of the development team and robotics laboratory implementation.



    Thales Alenia Space, Torino, Italy

    Oct. 2011 –Present

    (Robotics and Vision Specialist)

    The project objective is to design and develop a breadboard of the core components of a vision-based navigation system consisting in an optical camera, an image processing unit and relevant algorithms for Rover and EDL applications as well as the relevant V&V environment. My main duties and responsibilities are:

    §Reporting to VisNav Study manager, technical supervision of Joanneum Research partner on rover exploration related activities.


    Eurobot Ground Prototype – Joint Mars-Analogue Field Test

    Thales Alenia Space, Torino, Italy

    Mar. 2011 – May 2011

    (Field Test Engineer)

    This project consisted in a joint field test involving EGP robot team and Aouda-X Astronaut Suit team from OEWF. The field test campaign aimed to investigate synergies between the crew (remote control center and astronaut) and the robot, simulating real-like mission conditions and testing the EGP capabilities in the field. My main duties and responsibilities were:

    §Field Test Campaign preparation and execution (1 month placement at ESA/ESTEC, Noordwijk, NL and at Field Tests Area in Minas de Rio Tinto, ES).


    Eurobot Ground Prototype – End-to-End Test

    Thales Alenia Space, Torino, Italy

    Jan. 2010 – Mar. 2010

    (Lead Test Engineer)

    The Eurobot Ground Prototype (EGP) program objective was to design and develop a crew assistant robot able to operate on a planetary surface either autonomously or cooperating with astronauts. My main duties and responsibilities were:

    §End-to-End test preparation and execution (2 months placement at EADS Astrium – Dutch Space, Leiden, NL).


    Exomars – Drill Tests

    Thales Alenia Space, Torino, Italy

    Dec. 2009 – Mar. 2010

    (SW Engineer)

    In the frame of Exomars program, 2018 mission foresees an exploration rover equipped with a drilling system capable of acquiring Mars soil samples down to 2 meters below planetary surface. I was part-time involved in the program with the following duties:

    §Development of a data acquisition SW supporting Exomars Rover Drill Tests.


    Robotics Internal R&D – TBRA

    Thales Alenia Space, Torino, Italy

    Oct. 2009 – Oct.2010

    (Robotics Engineer)

    TBRA is based on a modular and flexible software framework where each module implements a key functionality of the rover GNC. My main duties and responsibilities were:

    §Design, Development, Testing, of C/C++ SW modules and algorithms on Linux/RTAI and Windows (e.g. 3D Digital Elevation Map Reconstruction by means of Stereo Vision, 3D Laser Scanner and 3D Time-of-Flight Camera; Rover Localization; Path Planning; Traversability; Locomotion; SLAM; Multi-Robot Cooperation).

    §Robotic Platforms Setup, Hardware/Sensors Integration, Unit and System Testing.



    Soft Skills

    §Italian (native proficiency), English (full professional proficiency).

    §Team leadership, coaching, mentoring, people management, problem solving, R&D and Software lifecycle management, agile methodologies, sub-contractors management.

    §Project management, budgeting, cost control and reporting, procurement processes, bid management.

    §Business development; customer focus; internal, B2B and B2G communication.

    §Capable of working under stress on multiple projects; respect of deadlines and commitments; proactive self-starter.

    Technical Skills

    §Robotics: robotic systems engineering; robots architectural design; mobile, service and space robotics, modular robotics; active debris removal; in-orbit servicing; manipulation; vision; mapping; localization; human-robot interaction; robotic platforms (MobileRobots PowerBot, Pioneer3-AT and SeekurJr; LEGO MindStorms NXT, Lynxmotion, Schunk).

    §Software Engineering: software systems engineering, architectural design, design patterns, networking

    §Programming: Proficiency in C, C++ Java (J2SE, Android), Assembler (PIC, dsPIC); Starter in Python, html5, XML, JavaScript. Working knowledge of OpenCV, Pointgrey Research Flycapture and Triclops, Digia QT; Starter in Robot Operating System (ROS), Point Cloud Library (PCL), jQuery, jQueryMobile, Phonegap.

    §IDE and Development Tools: Microsoft Visual Studio, Eclipse, Microchip MPLAB, Mercurial SCM/Tortoise Hg, Doxygen, Unity3d.

    §Simulation, Control and Data Acquisition: basic knowledge of MatLab/Simulink, NI Labview, NI Labwindows/CVI.

    §CAD/CAM: OrCAD/PSpice, PTC ProEngineer.

    §IT: Systems and Networks Administration; Windows 95/98/2000/XP/Vista/7/8; Linux (Ubuntu), Linux/RTAI, Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Project, Visio, Outlook).

    §Laboratory: Signal Analysis, Hardware Design, Integration and Test (Robot, Sensors, PCs, PCBs), Thermoforming.

    §Web Design: Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Photoshop.



    Master of Science in Computer Science Engineering (Robotics & Automation, summa cum laude)

    University of Genova, Italy.

    2006 – 2009

    Thesis:Towards a Bio-Inspired Dexterous Robotic Hand: Methods and Solutions for the Design of Actuation System and Embedded Tactile Sensors.

    Extracurricular Activities:

    §Student at 8th International UIJ Robotics School on Rescue Robots (2008), Benicàssim, ES.

    §Student with Scholarship at Summer School on Image & Robotics 2008, LESMEA, Clermont-Ferrand, Lyon, FR.

    §Student at COGNIRON 2008 Winter School on Human-Robot Interaction, EPFL, Lausanne, CH.

    §Student at 7th International UIJ Robotics School on Assistive Robots (2007), Benicàssim, ES.

    §Student with Scholarship at 3rd NEUROBOTICS Summer School 2007: Brain-Machine Interfaces, Volterra, IT.

    §Visiting Student at ICRA 2007 (International Conference on Robotics and Automation), Roma, IT.

    §Visiting Student at HUMANOIDS 2006, Genova, IT.

    §Visiting Student at ETHICBOTS 2006, Napoli, IT.

    §Attended EURON Roboethics Atelier 2006, Genova, IT.


    Bachelor in Computer Science Engineering (108/110)

    University of Genova, Italy.

    2003 – 2006

    Thesis:Project and development of microcontroller modules enclosed in an automatic measure bench remotely controlled through Internet.

    Extracurricular Activities:

    §Attended “Silicon Valley Study Tour” 2006 – “La Storia nel Futuro”®, Silicon Valley, CA, US.

    §Attended “La Storia nel Futuro”® 2nd and 3rd Entrepreneur Culture conferences cycles, Genova, IT.

    §Visiting Student at IWUR 2005 (International Workshop on Underwater Robotics), Genova, IT.


    Educational Excellence Program in ICT Management

    Institute of Advanced Studies in Information and Communication Technologies, Genova, Italy.

    2003 – 2009

    ICT Management school requiring outstanding curricula, renewed the scholarship for the whole cycle.

    Topics: Marketing, Project Management, Business Plan, Economics, Corporate Communication, Robotics, Neurosciences, Nanotechnologies, Interplanetary Missions.


    Technical Diploma in Industrial Electronics and Telecommunications (100/100)

    I.T.I.S. “G.V. Deambrosis – G.Natta”, Sestri Levante, Italy.

    1998 – 2003

    Thesis:Project A.C.R.A.B., design of the robot architecture, focused on programming microcontroller and Graphical User Interface.


    §“Test Bench for Robotics and Autonomy: Advancements in Navigation for Space Exploration”; A.Biggio, A.Merlo, A.Tramutola; I-SAIRAS2012, Sep. 4th – 6th 2012, Turin, IT.

    §“Test Bench for Robotics and Autonomy: Overview and Tests Results”; A.Merlo, A.Biggio, E.Zereik, G.Casalino; ASTRA2011, Apr. 12th – 14th 2011, ESA/ESTEC, Noordwijk, NL.

    §“Vision-Based Perception and Sensor Data Integration for a Planetary Exploration Rover”; E.Zereik, A.Biggio, A.Merlo, G.Casalino; ASTRA2011, Apr. 12th – 14th 2011, ESA/ESTEC, Noordwijk, NL.

    §“Towards a Skin-Like Embedded Tactile Sensor for Robotic Hands”; A.Biggio, P.Maiolino, G.Cannata; AISB2010, Mar.29th – Apr. 1st 2010, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK.


    §IEEE and IEEE-RAS Member since 2007.

    §Interests/Sports: role-playing games, LEGO, reading, travelling, scuba diving. 



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