Satellite Communications and Navigation: Technologies, Markets and Applications


This 5-day course gives a complete introductory overview of satellite communications and navigation.

The target audience is graduates and young professionals with an engineering and/or financial background and senior professionals wishing to expand their background towards satcoms systems and services.

The course has been developed by specialists from the European Space Agency (ESA) in conjunction with leading industry experts.

This course is supported by: 

Thales Alenia Space logo



The course investigates the technical, financial and business aspects of satellite communications, linking market requirements to technical capabilities while considering the crucial aspects of costs and financing.

The objectives of the course are to provide a complete overview of the world of satellite communications, including:

  • satcoms in the telecoms world
  • satcoms systems architecture, characteristics and performance
  • markets and business aspects of satcom systems and services
  • satcoms commercial potential and evaluating potential opportunities
  • satellite navigation systems and services

We are also offering a separate online course in Satellite Optical Communications.

Course timetable (all UK time):

Please note that the below details and speakers are subject to change

Day 1: 12:30 - 17:30
Day 2: 09:00 - 17:00
Day 3: 09:00 - 17:00 followed by evening industry presentations and networking event, drinks reception and dinner from 18:00 onwards (all included in the course fee)
Day 4: 09:00 - 17:00
Day 5: 09:00 - 14:30

Please note that all times are approximate. Timings and tutors may be subject to minor change.

Programme details

1. Introductory Lectures

The course starts with a general overview of the world of satellite communications including topics such as satcoms in the telecom world, types of satellites and their missions and the interrelation between technology and markets.

This is followed by a similar general overview of navigation systems.

2. Markets and Finance

After introducing the basics of satcom and navigation systems, the course will focus on markets, services and integrated applications. The business and financial aspects of satcoms will also be discussed.

3. Industry and Operator Sessions

The 3rd and 4th day of the course will be dedicated to lectures from key industry players and operators who will present their view of satellite systems, services, markets and business.

4. Satellite and Ground Segment Architecture and Technologies

Industry lectures will focus on the space and ground segment architectures and technologies. This part of the course will provide a snapshot of different communication satellites architectures and related technologies, with a particular focus on current European space industry examples.

5. Theory to practice: satcom business case simulation

The last part of the course will be dedicated to a business case simulation that will be carried out by the participants organised in teams. The goal of this exercise is to reach a better understanding of how operators use satcoms for their business. This exercise enables the course participants to analyse an operator's decisions and motivations as well as their business cases.



In this interactive round table, the panellist will give their views on a wide variety of questions/topics addressing the future of Satcom.

Coordinator: Francisco Javier de Pablos Martin

Ground Segment Engineer 
European Space Agency (ESA)


Philip Haines

Head of Telecoms Business Development
European Space Agency (ESA)

Glyn Thomas

Payload Product Manager and Senior Expert
Airbus Defence and Space

Ruy Pinto

Chief Technology Officer

More participants to be confirmed.

Evening networking event

At the end of the third day, the course participants are invited to an evening networking event with speakers from industry and operators.

The networking event will include:

  1. short presentations from both industry and operators
  2. a round table Q/A session

The event will be followed by a drinks reception and dinner at Jesus College to allow for informal discussions and exchanges (there is no additional fee for attendance at this event).

(Note that the syllabus and tutors listed on this webpage may be subject to revision during the ongoing course development process.)

What people say about this course



Participants who attend the full course will receive a University of Oxford certificate of attendance. This will be presented to you prior to the end of the course wherever possible.

The certificate will show your name, the course title and the dates of the course you attended.


Description Costs
Standard course fee £1650.00


Fees include course materials, tuition, refreshments and lunches. The price does not include accommodation.

All courses are VAT exempt.

Register immediately online 

Click the “book now” button on this webpage. Payment by credit or debit card is required.

Request an invoice

If you require an invoice for your company or personal records, please complete an online application form. The Course Administrator will then email you an invoice. Payment is accepted online, by credit/debit card, or by bank transfer. Please do not send card or bank details via email.


Martina Angelone

Course Director and Speaker

Martina is the System Engineer of the IRIS programme of the Telecommunications and Integrated Applications Directorate (TIA) at the European Space Agency (ESA).  

Since 2018, she is responsible for all the system aspects concerning Iris project implementation, targeting the development of a satellite-based communication system for Air Traffic Management (ATM) and the design of its long-term evolution.  

She joined ESA in 2010 in the Communication systems and techniques section of the RF Payload system division, Technology, Engineering and Quality Directorate where for more than 8 years she has been responsible of many Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) projects, focusing on high throughput satellite systems end-to-end performance, successfully developing technologies to improve Satellite Communications and contributing to the related standards 

Martina received her M.S. degree, in Telecommunication Engineering from the University of Pisa, Italy, in 2008. Before joining ESA, she worked at M.B.I. s.r.l., a telecommunication company in Pisa, as a communication system engineer 

Claudia Fiorentino

Course Director and Speaker

Claudia Anita Maria Fiorentino started her career in the space sector joining Alenia Spazio spa (ALS now Thales Alenia Space Italia) where she has he held different positions in the field of Satellite AIV/AIT working 12 years in several GEO and LEO TLC satellite projects (SICRAL, Globalstar, ARTEMIS, Italsat FM2), and LOE OE projects as  Radarsat-2 and PRIMA, the TAS “Common Platform” for LEO Earth Observation programmes. She joined the Italian Space Agency (ASI) in 2006 where she has been involved in the Cosmo-SkyMed integrated ASI/It-MoD Programme Office as E2E System Verification Manager of the first generation and then Mission Manager of the Cosmo-SkyMed Second Generation Programme. At ESA since 2017 as Senior Satellite System Development Engineer in the Directorate of Telecommunications & Integrated Applications (TIA), she is also currently the TIA Directorate Security Officer.


Philip Haines

Guest Speaker - round table coordinator

Head of Telecom Market Analysis and Business Intelligence, European Space Agency (ESA).

With a university degree in Physics and Mathematics Philip promptly went into engineering, and has spent the vast majority of his working life in the satellite sector.

His time has been split between employed roles with major satellite operators (including Eutelsat, GE Americom, New Skies Satellites and Es'hailSat) and self-employment working as an over-employed consultant for 12 years. His roles have spanned from hands-on engineering through operation to sales and general management.

In 2014 Philip joined ESA, working first in business development but then building a new role the sector.


Javier de Pablos

Guest Speaker - round table coordinator

Javier de Pablos has been supporting ESA Member States Industry for the development of novel technologies and evolution of products in the Satellite Communications domain for more than five years as a Ground Segment Engineer, in the Telecommunications and Integrated Applications directorate at ESA.

Javier de Pablos has worked in the research and development of satellite ground segment solutions since the start of his career. His work focuses on the digital transformation of the satellite ground segment area, in particular, the evolution of satellite management and control, the transition of legacy hardware components to software-based solutions (e.g. Digital IF ecosystem), and the use of new techniques for the orchestration and automation of satellite operations (e.g. Artificial Intelligence).

Javier de Pablos previously held various positions in Industry (GMV, Avanti Communications, Indra). He graduated from the Polytechnic University of Madrid with a degree in Telecommunication Engineering and also holds an MSc and an MBA.

Nil Angli

Guest Speaker

Nil joined the European Space Agency in 2016, after 8 years working as Space Systems Engineer at Surrey Satellites Technology Ltd and LuxSpace Srl. In his first role at ESA he worked on the assessment of new concepts and techniques to be applied to next

generation satellite communication as part of the Future Projects Division of the Telecommunications and Integrated Applications Directorate.

In 2019 Nil moved to his current role in the Space Solutions and Business Applications department, where he supports the space industry to develop innovative, commercially viable services, which leverage on space data, while encouraging cross-sector collaborations. Nil also coordinates the Maritime Working Group, and the Safety & Security Working Group for downstream applications.

Nil has a combination of technical and scientific academic background: after graduating in Aerospace Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, he completed a Master of Science in Astrophysics from the University of Barcelona, a Specialised Masters in Space Systems Engineering from ISAE-SUPAERO, and a Post-Graduate Diploma in International Security from the University of Leicester.

Miguel Manteiga Bautista

Guest Speaker

Guest Speaker  

Miguel Manteiga Bautista is the Galileo Second Generation Project Manager, inside the Directorate of Navigation of the European Space Agency. 

Miguel Manteiga Bautista obtained his Bachelor and Master in Science degrees on Telecommunications Engineering from the University of Valencia in 1999.  

He also obtained in 2005 an International Executive Master on Business Administration from the IE Business School.  

After spending his early carrier in the field of development and deployment of high speed telecommunication networks in Telefonica SA, he moved to the ESA Galileo Team in 2001.  

Throughout the last 21 years, he has developed his career in the Galileo Programme, in a wide variety of positions covering all areas of the Galileo environment (space, ground, user, launcher, system, security and operations).  

In 2015, he took over the position of Head of GNSS/Galileo Evolution Programme and he was confirmed as Galileo Second Generation Project Manager in July 2020.  

He is responsible for the overall project-level implementation of G2G Phase CDE activities in close coordination with the European Commission and European GNSS Agency representatives.

Jean-François Boutillon

Guest Speaker

Constellation Architect
Thales Alenia Space

Jean-François BOUTILLON graduated from Ecole polytechnique and SUPELEC with a specialty in electronics and numeric communication. He has been working for Thales Alenia Space since 2004 in various positions. In 2010 he joined the Iridium project and designed the network aspects of the system. He now is technical responsible for the system part of constellation bids.

Virginie Dominguez

Guest Speaker

I graduated with an engineering degree from Institut National des sciences appliquées (INSA - in Toulouse/France with a Speciality in Mathematics and Modelling.

I joined Thales Alenia Space in 2000 as System Engineer, and have contributed to the design of a DVB-S2/RCS based Satcom Product.

I have led the development of a GNSS simulator constellation under a French Space Agency contract and contributed to the design of a GNSS based location based service platform.
As Telecom System Architect, I have led the assessment of the Iridium mobile satellite system capacity as part of the development of the constellation.

In 2016, I turned to marketing and carried out market analyses as well as value propositions on space solutions and developed a business case tool for satcom markets.
I am currently a senior marketing manager in charge of the telecom segment. 

Mr Stewart Hall

Guest Speaker

I joined Thales Alenia Space in the UK in 2019 to help develop UK business beyond the existing perimeter.

From 2014-2019 I was the senior Business Development Manager for SCISYS UK Space Team, also expanding its perimeter beyond ESA business, including successful sales to EUMETSAT, OneWeb and “new space” companies.

From 2007 until 2014 was the SCISYS UK Ground Segment Architect and project leader designing mission operation systems for Galileo, ESA and EUMETSAT.
From 2011-2014 was a UK Space Agency representative to the Consultative Committee for Space Data Services as an expert in mission operations systems.
From 2000 until 2007, designing and developing Space mission operations software for ESA Rosetta, Mars-Express, Beagle-2 (with the University of Leicester and JPL), Smart-1, Venus express, designing and developing MoD systems for the Land domain (secondment to Thales).

From 1992 until 2000, with Thales designing and developing MoD software for radar processing, Link 16, and secure network management. Chartered Engineer (Software) with the British Computer Society. Batchelor of Engineering (hons) in Systems and Systems Engineering from the University of Portsmouth. 


Guest Speaker

Massimiliano heads the engineering teams and satellite operations at OneWeb. He is responsible for the next generation of system infrastructure aspiring to achieve outstanding technical solutions and innovation. He leads the R&D, design, manufacture and delivery of OneWeb’s satellites, launch programme, systems, ground and user terminal engineering as well as satellite operations.

OneWeb is the global connectivity platform powered from space, headquartered in London, enabling connectivity for governments, businesses, and communities. Owned by global consortium of shareholders including: Bharti Global, the UK Government, Eutelsat, Softbank, Hughes and Hanwha, OneWeb is implementing a constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites with a network of global gateway stations and a range of user terminals to provide an affordable, fast, high-bandwidth and low-latency communications service, connected to the IoT future and a pathway to 5G for everyone, everywhere.

Ruy Pinto

Guest Speaker

Chief Technology Officer

Ruy Pinto was appointed Chief Technology Officer of SES in January 2019.

He previously held a number of positions at Inmarsat including Director of Satellite Operations and Navigation, Vice President of Satellite and Network Operations and Group Chief Technology Officer. Ruy Pinto also served on the Boards of INVSAT, Inmarsat Navigation Ventures and PT-ISAT, and was Chairman of UKSpace, the UK space industry trade association. Ruy is currently VP of Space and a board member of the Association of Defence, Security and Aerospace Companies (ADS) and a Non-Executive Director of the Space Application Catapult (SCA), established by innovateUK to foster the development of the space sector in the UK.

Ruy Pinto has a background in electronics and satellite data communications having graduated in Electronics Engineering in 1981, followed by a post-graduate degree in Digital Telecommunications Systems.

Mr Patrick Sharkey

Guest Speaker

Patrick is a satellite systems engineering leader with expertise in adapting terrestrial mobile communications technology for use over satellite as well as the design and operation of large-scale multi-beam satellite communications networks.

Patrick has been at the Mobile Satellite Services Operator Inmarsat for the last 20 years in a variety of roles in Operations, Product Strategy, Research and Development covering ground-segment, user terminal and satellite network operations.

Prior to Inmarsat, Patrick was an engineering manager working on fixed and broadcast telecommunications satellite payloads at EADS Astrium (now Airbus Space and Defence).   Patrick holds an BSc and MSc in Physics from the University of Birmingham.  

Glyn Thomas

Guest Speaker

Payload Product Manager and Senior Expert
Airbus Defence and Space

Glyn is a Senior Expert in flexible, processed and HTS payloads. Glyn is currently working within the payload R&D division helping to define Airbus Roadmap for advanced payloads and the supporting digital and RF equipments needed to make these payloads an industrial reality.

Glyn was deputy chief engineer for Airbus Defence and Space payload equipment's division during the period 2010 to 2014. Glyn previously managed research and development where he generated a number of key patents in the fields of flexible communications payloads.

Prior to this Glyn worked in both systems engineering and microwave design roles on the RADARSAT 2 Synthetic Aperture RADAR system. Glyn graduated from St. Andrews University with a degree in theoretical Physics and also holds a Master's degree in Microwave Solid State Physics.


If you would like to discuss your application or any part of the application process before applying, please click Contact Us at the top of this page.


Although not included in the course fee, accommodation may be available at our on-site Rewley House Residential Centre. All bedrooms are en suite and decorated to a high standard, and come with tea- and coffee-making facilities, free Wi-Fi access and Freeview TV. Guests can take advantage of the excellent dining facilities and common room bar, where they may relax and network with others on the programme.

To check prices, availability and to book rooms please visit the Rewley House Residential Centre website.