Satellite Communications and Navigation: Technologies, Markets and Applications


This 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 all times are approximate. Timings and tutors may be subject to change.

Day 1: 11:45 - 17:30 registration and lunch, followed by 13:00 opening session
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

The full course timetable from 2023 can be found here.

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, panellists will give their views on a wide variety of questions/topics addressing the future of Satcom.

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 the Oxford Union to allow for informal discussions and exchanges (there is no additional fee for attendance at this event).

What people say about this course


Digital Certification

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 £1975.00


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.


Ben Allen

Guest Speaker

Professor Ben Allen is Director of Communication Systems Engineering with OneWeb and Visiting Professor at the University of Surrey. His career has spanned academia and industry, including as a Royal Society Industry Fellow with the University of Oxford and Network Rail. He has led numerous R&D activities relating to communications   engineering, several of which exhibited state-of-the-art advances. Over the years he has published numerous papers and several books on radio and telecommunications research developments. He is a Chartered Engineer, Fellow of the Institution of Engineering & Technology, Institute of Telecommunications Professionals, and the Higher Education Academy. 
His current responsibilities include air interface definition and technical lead for the UK-Space Agency / ESA “5G-piliot” project. This is a collaboration with the University of Surrey where we are back-hauling a 5G mobile network over the OneWeb LEO system.

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.  

Cristiano Benzi

Guest Speaker

EUTELSAT Communications - Paris FRANCE 

Cristiano Benzi is SVP Global – Professional Video at Eutelsat, the global Satellite Operator based in Paris. 

Cristiano is an expert in TV Production and broadcasting technologies and during his 24 years spent within Eutelsat has held positions in Procurement, Operations, Marketing and Product Development, Sales and Sales Support. 

Prior to joining Eutelsat Cristiano has worked for 7 years as a researcher for RAI Radio Televisione Italiana, specializing in the design of future Broadcasting Systems and supporting the development of the DVB set of Standards. 

Cristiano represents Eutelsat at the DVB Steering Board, is Administrator of the French FAVN (Forum Audiovisuel Numérique) and served as the Chairman of the Italian HD Forum during a 3-year mandate.  

Jean-François Boutillon

Guest Speaker

Constellation Architect
Thales Alenia Space

Jean-François Boutillon, from Thales Alenia Space, is a senior constellation system architect. He has been working on constellations for more than 12 years, on many different constellations (including Iridium, lightspeed, O3B…) from early capture phase to full turnkey constellation project. He has initiated several tools for constellation sizing and architecting(capacity computation, optimal coverage under constraint, optimal ground segment …). Jean-François Boutillon is also involved in training futures generations of engineers by giving courses in universities and engineering schools, and by training newly hired people in Thales Alenia space that aim at working in constellations.

Harriet Brettle

Guest Speaker round table coordinator

Harriet Brettle is the Head of Market Analysis and Business Intelligence at the European Space Agency in the Telecoms & Integrated Applications (TIA) directorate.
In this role, Harriet is responsible for the analysis of markets relevant to satellite communications and space solutions.

Prior to joining ESA, Harriet was Head of Business Analysis at Astroscale and was Chair of the Space Generation Advisory Council.
With a background in finance as well as degrees in planetary science and mathematics, Harriet is passionate about commercial sustainability and emerging market opportunities within the space ecosystem.

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.

Virginie Dominguez

Guest Speaker and business game coordinator

Thales Alenia Space

"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. I 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."

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.

Mr Stewart Hall

Guest Speaker and business game coordinator

“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."

Antonios Maillis

Guest Speaker

European Space Agency

Antonios is an experienced Satellite Applications Engineer holding a MSc in Satellite Communications and Space Systems and a BEng in Electronic Engineering.  He has extensive knowledge in Systems level analysis and design, while able to approach downstream space solutions from an end-to-end perspective.

Antonios is a certified Six Sigma and MoR professional. He is an expert in DMAIC, Waterfall and Agile methodologies.

Antonios’ projects portfolio involves activities in the domains of IoT, Hybrid communications, energy, agriculture, commodities, aquaculture, maritime, aviation, connectivity (emergency services, rural regions, offshore), e-health and structural monitoring.

In his current role at ESA, Antonios leads ESA funding initiatives addressing diverse market verticals. He’s the lead of the inter-directorate’s working group on ‘energy assets operations and maintenance’ aiming to leverage space applications in innovative, sustainable services to support the energy sector. Prior to joining ESA, Antonios was a Satellite Communication Engineer at the Satellite Applications Catapult while earlier in his career, he was licensing and managing Spectrum as a Spectrum Delivery Manager for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Miguel Manteiga Bautista

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.

Monica Mezzadri

Guest Speaker

Monica Mezzadri has been working at the European Space Agency since September 2000. For the last four years she has been the head of the Telecommunications and Integrated Applications Procurement Section. Previously Monica has been Head of the Navigation Procurement Service. She has handled satellite procurements on Earth Observation, Navigation, Operations, Telecommunications and Integrated Applications.

Prof Anu Ojha


Anu Ojha OBE is a member of the Executive Committee of the UK Space Agency (UKSA) and director for the Championing Space Directorate. Included in his portfolio is leadership of the agency’s International and ESA Policy teams as well as UKSA’s public and parliamentary affairs, communications and education, skills development and inspiration programmes.​

​Prior to joining the Agency in May 2023, Ojha was the founder of the UK National Space Academy programme and a director of the National Space Centre. Appointed honorary professor in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Leicester in 2016, he is a co-investigator in the University’s programme for nuclear power applications for exploration and has also been involved in data analysis from ESA’s Rosetta, Mars Express and SOHO missions. He continues to teach on the University’s MSc course in space exploration systems specialising in human survival in extreme environments.​

​From 2018 to 2023, Ojha was a member of ESA’s Human Spaceflight and Exploration Science Advisory Committee (HESAC) based at ESTEC. ​

Ruy Pinto

Guest Speaker


Mr. Ruy Pinto was appointed Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at SES in January 2019. He had been the Deputy Technology Officer since 2017 and took on the additional role of Chief Information Officer (CIO) at SES in 2018, responsible for starting a Digital Transformation program at SES.

Mr. Pinto joined SES from Inmarsat where he covered various technical and managerial roles between 1990 to 2016, including two years as CTO of the company. His last position at Inmarsat, from December 2013, was Group Chief Operations Officer (COO), responsible for all Inmarsat operational functions.

His external positions portfolio included two years as the Chairman of UKSpace, the UK space industry trade association, and four years as a Director and VP of Space for the Association of Defence, Security and Aerospace Companies (ADS).

Mr Pinto has just completed a six-year appointment as Non-Executive Director of the Space Application Catapult, established by the UK government to foster the development of space applications in the UK. Previously, Mr. Pinto worked with VSAT data communication networks and data communications software. Mr. Pinto holds a degree in Electronics Engineering and completed post-graduate studies in Digital Telecommunications Systems, both from the Rio de Janeiro Catholic University (PUC-RJ).

Mr. Pinto is a dual British and Brazilian national.

Stewart Sanders

Guest Speaker

As Executive Vice President (EVP) of Technology at SES with responsibility for the Space Programmes and O3b mPOWER program development, Stewart Sanders plays a leading role in ensuring all technical and commercial aspects are aligned to ensure the business case is fully realised to the benefit of the SES’s customers.

Prior to SES, Stewart held the role of CTO of O3b Networks, which later combined with SES’s data business to form SES Networks.
SES’s Networks division provides end-to-end network solutions to some of the world’s largest Telecommunications, Maritime and Energy companies as well as to Governments.

Stewart is a direct report to the Chief Technology Officer.
Stewart’s former position of SVP of Planning & Procurement at SES made him responsible for satellite and launch vehicle procurement activities, satellite fleet technical planning and innovation program management.
His team also performed technical risk analysis as well as support of the fleet launch and in-orbit insurance placement activities.
In a prior role as SVP Customer Service Delivery at SES, Stewart also supported O3b activities.

He has fulfilled various satellite and payload operations roles for BTI, Intelsat, ICO, NEW SKIES SATELLITES and SES. One of the highlights of his career prior to this was his role as a team member of the Intelsat/NASA satellite re-boost mission in 1992.
Stewart was instrumental in forming the Space Data Association for which he was the founding Chairman; the unique industry data-sharing organization won both SSPI and World Space Risk Forum innovation awards in 2012.
He has also worked closely with a number of other industry bodies such as sIRG, WBU-ISOG, GVF, EUI and other satellite operators in a number of initiatives targeting RF Interference.

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.  

Paris Skoutaridis

Guest Speaker


Paris’ 17-year career to date has focused on satellite communications. Paris is currently the Director of Systems Engineering Space at Avanti Communications, responsible for Operations and Engineering activities related to Avanti’s space segment, and encompassing responsibilities such as operations planning, capacity and resource management, end-to-end design and dimensioning, to name a few.

Paris has previously held the posts of Capacity Manager and Senior Satellite Communications Systems Engineer at Avanti Communications, as well as Strategic Services Lease Engineer at Inmarsat and   Research Fellow at the University of Surrey.

Paris holds a BEng in Electronics and Electrical Engineering from Glasgow University, as well as an MSc in Mobile and Satellite Communications and a PhD in Satellite Communications, both from the University of Surrey.

Glyn Thomas

Guest Speaker


Glyn has the role of lead engineer for the key Airbus programme :  Enchanced Mobile Broadband and Very High throughput Satelltes.  This programme includes the development of new generation of digital processors, active antennas, preparation for future MILSATCOM missions  and the extension of our E3000 NEO platform to higher power.

Glyn is a Senior Expert in flexible, processed and HTS payloads, and is using this capacility to co-ordinate an end to end approach to the design development and specfiction of end to end future flexible high throughut payloads.

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.

Giuseppe Tomasicchio

Guest Speaker

Giuseppe Tomasicchio is currently Head of System Engineering & Design Authority of the TELESPAZIO CTIO.

He received his Master's Degree in 1989 at the University of Bari (Italy) in the science and engineering field of Computer Vision/Artificial Intelligence, applied to Nuclear Physics. He has also a postgraduate Engineering Specialization in Signal Processing in 1994 and a Postgraduate diploma in Educational Communication Technologies in 1991.

He has been working in the field of Satellite System Engineering for 24 years. In the past, he was a Senior System Engineer at THALES ALENIA SPACE Italy and Technology Researcher at INFN (Italian Institute of Nuclear Physics) and CERN (European Center for Nuclear Physics, Geneva, Switzerland).

Currently, within the Department of Innovation and Technological Governance (CTIO), he coordinates the Concurrent & Collaborative Design Facility (C2DF) and deals with feasibility studies for new initiatives in the field of Navigation, Telecommunications and Space Exploration Missions. He is author of two patents and numerous scientific and engineering articles.


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.