Featured Speakers

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Dawn Trout
NASA Kennedy Space Center

Dawn Trout

Launch Vehicle and Spacecraft Transmitter Electromagnetic Compatibility

Abstract & Bio


The Launch Services Program at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) is the primary gate for acquiring commercial vehicles to provide a cost-effective ride to space for NASA spacecraft.  With the lunar Gateway, more human tended elements are planned for launch.  One challenge facing the space industry is the proliferation of communication and science transmitters at frequencies beyond the qualification of space avionics and instruments.  Studies have ensued to examine the intricacies of performing radiated susceptibility testing and analysis above 18 GHz.  Changes in the launch vehicle communications interface to the range have also led to new launch vehicle antenna systems and more reliance on GPS and telemetry systems.  Finally, research initiated at KSC in the area of predicted electric field distributions in launch vehicle payload fairings have spawned Small Business Technology Transfer initiatives for industry to investigate statistical algorithm and computational improvements in large payload fairing modeling of transmitters at frequencies in the GHz range.  These topics, along with electromagnetic compatibility testing for launch vehicles will be discussed.


Dr. Trout received her B.S.E.E from Memphis State University in 1989, her MSEE from the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 1995 and her PhD in Electrical Engineering at University of Central Florida.  In her thirty years at NASA, she has served as lead of electromagnetic teams at Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama and at Kennedy Space Center in Florida and is now the electromagnetic discipline expert.  She has initiated multiple electromagnetic related studies in her career and her current research interests include electromagnetic fields in large composite cavities, radiated testing above 18GHz, and indirect lightning effects.

IEEE AP-S Invited Speaker

Dr. Reyhan Baktur
Utah State University

Antennas for CubeSats— from Concept to Orbit
Abstract & Bio


CubeSat, a modular type of standardized modern small satellites, has become increasingly popular. With advancements in digital signal processing, power electronics, and packaging technology, it is feasible to fit science instruments and communication devices (traditionally carried by larger satellites) on CubeSats. “The rise of the CubeSat”, as coined by the Science, indeed states the growth of CubeSat research and industry.

Antennas are critical components for CubeSat missions. A CubeSat antenna may provide some or all of the following functions: telemetry, tracking, command (TT\&C), high speed downlink for payload data, receiving positioning data, and inter-satellite cross links. Most often, different antennas are required to keep the CubeSat assembly in modular fashion. On the other hand, antenna engineers strive to create solutions that could pack more functionality into one unit. This brings up a need to understand basics of CubeSat development cycle and link budget analysis, so that an electrical engineer would have sound knowledge of limiting factors (posed by the mechanical system and hardware of a CubeSat ) to the antennas design,.

With rapid advancement of electronics, novel mechanical design, and aerospace technology, new progress in CubeSats is emerging every day. This calls for interests and early involvements of creative young minds. The objective of this presentation is to convey the basics of CubeSat development cycle, launch methods, typical CubeSat orbits, link budget analysis, various antenna solutions, and feasible classroom projects.


Dr. Baktur is an associate professor at the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), Utah State University (USU). Her research interests include antennas and microwave engineering with a focus on antenna design for standardized small satellites, CubeSats. She is affiliated with the Center for Space Engineering at USU, the Space Dynamics Laboratory (the university affiliated research center) and collaborates with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Dr. Baktur is active in US National Committee of the International Union of Radio Science, serving as the vice chair for commission B, and the inaugural chair for the Women in Radio Science. She is passionate and committed to electromagnetic education and student recruiting by introducing CubeSat projects in undergraduate classrooms. She is the recipient of the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society’s (APS) the Donald G. Dudley Jr. Undergraduate Teaching Award in 2013 and has been actively serving IEEE APS student paper competition and student design contest.

EurAAP Invited Speaker

Maria Alberica Saporetti
Italian Space Agency (ASI)

The European Association on Antennas and Propagation: past, present and future perspectives

Abstract & Bio


The European Association on Antennas and Propagation was created in 2006 with the aim of gathering the  European researchers, experts and institutions in Antennas and Propagation field from academia and industry. The association, formally registered in Bruxelles, is subject to Belgium law and is regulated by approved statutes and internal rules. The EurAAP Governance is formed mainly by the Delegate Assembly and the Board of Directors. The former is composed by Delegates which are elected by all the EurAAP Members; the latter is composed by Directors which are appointed by the Delegate Assembly.

Since the beginning, the activity of EurAAP has been structured with the aim of organising and managing:

  • the “European Conference on Antenna and Propagation” (EuCAP),
  • “European School of Antennas” (ESOA) courses,
  • Working groups.

In the frame of the working groups activities, antenna measurement intercomparison campaigns have been conducted and supported from EurAAP continuously since 2006.  Thanks to such campaigns, antenna measurement procedures and protocols in facilities have been improved providing also contributions to standards.  EurAAP intercomparison activities have fostered fruitful discussions and led to modernization and harmonization of comparison techniques, attracting participants from different countries not only in Europe but also in USA.

In the past two years new initiatives have taken place: the organization of a new working group to promote the involvement of women in STEM and the creation of EurAAP Reviews of Electromagnetics journal. At the end of 2021 many current directors, including chair and vice-chair will end their mandate and a new Board of Director will be constituted with take up duty on January, 1st 2022.


Maria Alberica Saporetti received the MSc degree in “Astronautic Engineering” cum laude from Sapienza Rome University (Italy) in 2008.

From 2010 to 2012 she worked as project engineer at “Deimos Engenharia”, Lisbon (Portugal) in “Mission Analysis”, “Guidance, Navigation and Control” and “Global Navigation Satellite System” units. From 2012 to 2021 she has been working at “MICROWAVE VISION ITALY” (MVI), Rome (Italy), part of MICROWAVE VISION GROUP (MVG).  At MVI she managed the R&D projects about electromagnetic software for measurement post-processing, antenna diagnostic and electromagnetic propagation in complex environment.  She has also been responsible for MVI of several European Space Agency projects.

She is leader of EurAAP Working Group on Antenna Measurements since 2018 (in 2021 she has started her second mandate).   In June 2021 she has been elected Director in the EurAAP Board of Directors. She is also part of the EurAAP Working Group on Women on Antennas and Propagation to promote the involvement of women in STEM.

Since October 2021 she works at the Italian Space Agency as technologist in the Telecommunication and Navigation Unit.

She regularly participates at the EuCAP symposium and has contributed with papers on technical finding and research related to the EurAAP Intercomparison campaigns activities, techniques linking measurements and simulations, satellite antenna modelling and fast measurement methodologies and low frequency measurements for space antennas. At the EuCAP 2022 symposium she is the Technical Program Committee Chair for the area of measurements.

Other than regularly submitting papers to the annual EuCAP symposiums, she has authored many publications at EurAAP and IEEE supported conferences such as AMTA, APS, ICEAA, Metrology for aerospace. She has also co-authored book chapters on measurement post-processing and intercomparison campaigns.

Lunch and Learn Speaker

Dr. Nacer Chahat
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Mars Helicopter communication link and innovative antenna for Cubesats, Landers, and Rovers

Abstract & Bio


Recent progress in antenna design and propagation modelling for Space Exploration will be discussed and illustrated through a wide range of successful NASA missions.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has developed the first Mars helicopter: Mars Ingenuity. The helicopter has the capability to transmit to and receive data from a Mars Rover located at a distance ranging up to 1 kilometer. The antenna designs and propagation on the Mars surface will be addressed in this talk. After multiple successful flights, our team collected enough data to compare the accuracy of our models accounting for shadowing effect, multipath, polarization loss, and fading. This involved highly accurate modeling of the Mars Rover and helicopter. Comparison between calculation and measurements will be presented for multiple flights.

The second part of the presentation will discuss recent progress on antennas for Cubesats. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has significantly contributed to the rapid growth of CubeSat antennas with the development of very innovative deployable antennas at X- and Ka-band. The Mars CubeSat One (MarCO) was enabled by a deployable X-band reflectarray that successfully transmitted back to Earth critical data from Insight during its Entry Descent and Landing (EDL) phase. A deployable Ka-band mesh reflector was developed for Raincube, the first radar in a CubeSat, which after a successful deployment on-orbit, is currently collecting precious precipitation data all over the globe. This presentation will also cover technology development for future mission covering larger mesh reflectors and metasurface antennas.


Nacer Chahat received the Master’s degree in electrical engineering from the Ecole Supérieur d’ingénieurs de Rennes (ESIR), Rennes, France, in 2009; the Master’s degree in telecommunication and the Ph.D. degree in signal processing and telecommunications from the Institute of Electronics and Telecommunications of Rennes (IETR), University of Rennes 1, Rennes, France, in 2009 and 2012, respectively. He is a Senior Antenna/Microwave Engineer with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA. Since 2013, he has been a Microwave/Antenna Engineer with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and he has been Technical Section Staff and Product Delivery Manager since 2017. He has authored and coauthored more than 100 technical journal articles and conference papers, has written four book chapters, and also holds several patents. He also wrote the textbook entitled “CubeSat Antenna Designs” published by Wiley describing all of his innovative work on CubeSat antennas developed at JPL. He has developed key antenna technologies enabling new types of mission for Deep Space Exploration. He is co-inventor of the iconic deployable reflectarray used on the Mars Cube One (MarCO) mission, the world’s first interplanetary CubeSat. He also co-invented the award-winning Raincube mesh reflector antenna used on the first active radar on a CubeSat. He also invented the Europa Lander antenna enabling direct communication from the surface of Europa (600 million km away), capable of surviving the harsh environment of icy moon of Jupiter.

Dr. Chahat was the recipient of the 2011 CST University Publication Award, the 2011 Best Paper Award from the Bioelectromegnetics Society, and the IEEE Antenna and Propagation Society Doctoral Research Award in 2012. He was awarded by Foundation of Rennes 1, Best Ph.D. of University of Rennes. In 2013, he received the Best Ph.D. thesis in France in electrical engineering awarded by club EEA. In 2013, he was awarded the Airbus Group Foundation’s Best Thesis Prize in France. In 2015, he received a French Early Career Award for Researchers (Prix Bretagne Jeune Chercheur) for his significant scientific contribution in his early career. In 2017, he received the IEEE A. Schelkunoff Transactions Prize Paper Award. In 2017, he also received the prestigious Lew Allen Award for Excellence awarded by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory “for demonstrated unique talent as a leader in rapid spacecraft antenna development and telecom systems engineering”. In 2018, he was awarded the Future Technology Leader Award by the Engineers’ Council and the NASA Early Career Achievement Medal Award. In 2020, he received the IEEE Outstanding Engineer of the Year from IEEE Region 6.