International Workshop on
Satellite and Space Communications 2008

Panel Session

October 2, 2008 - afternoon

"Satellite Communications After-Tomorrow: A Visionary Panel... from an Unusual Perspective"


After several years of moderate growth the Satcom Industry has re-bounced in 2006. The amount of satellites that have been contracted and their capacity has made of 2006 one of the best years in history.
In addition to the usual strengths of SatCom, such as nearly global worldwide coverage and cost-effective broadcast and multicast capabilities, new opportunities are arising from the communications needs of public institutions, from the robustness of satellite networks in case of disasters and emergency scenarios and from the need for truly ubiquitous and worldwide broadband connectivity. In parallel to these trends, wireless terrestrial communications is very quickly progressing towards increasingly high data rates. On the one side, this is creating new opportunities for integration, on the other side this might represent a serious threat for the consolidation of the positive trend mentioned above, especially if associated with the usual weaknesses of SatCom, such as the relatively high cost per bit for unicast services, due to both terminal cost and achievable spectral efficiency with today technologies.
The aim of this panel discussion is to provide a long term, visionary and open-minded perspective for the future of SatCom:
  • Is the vision of a global satellite system serving both commercial and institutional markets sustainable?
  • Is integration with wireless terrestrial systems a must and how will this affect the future evolution of SatCom?
  • How could this be conjugated with SatCom today specificity?
  • Which new applications and services might make SatCom unique and indispensable for the future of ICT society?
  • Which are the enabling technological advances for that?


  • S. Kim - Chonbuk National University


  • I. Buret - Thales Alenia Space
  • M. Catalán - STM Spain
  • S. Defever - EADS Astrium
  • E. Ferro - SatNEx
  • M. Guta - ESA
  • C. Lerquin - SES Astra
  • E. Weller - Eutelsat

Sandro Scalise, Panel Chair

Biography: Sandro Scalise was born in Utrecht, Holland in April 1973. In July 1999 he graduated in Electronic Engineering specialising in Telecommunications (with honours) from University of Ferrara, Italy. In 2007, he received his PhD (summa cum laude) from University of Vigo, Spain. Since 2001, he is within the Institute for Communications and Navigation, DLR (German Aerospace Centre), Germany, where, from October 2004 to June 2008, he has been leading the Mobile Satellite Systems Group. Since July 2008, he is leading the Digital Networks Section.
His research activity deals with forward error correction and synchronization schemes for mobile satellite applications, land mobile satellite channel modelling and link performance evaluation.
He is co-author of more than 50 international journal and conference papers, co-chairman of the 3rd and 4th Advanced Satellite Mobile Systems Conferences in 2006 and 2008, and editor of a chapter devoted to satellite channel impairments within the book Digital Satellite Communications, published by Springer.
Since June 2006, he is leading the R&D Working Group of ISI European Technology Platform.

Sooyoung Kim, Chairperson

Biography: Sooyoung Kim received the B.S degree in electrical and electronics engineering from KAIST, Korea, in 1990. After having worked Satellite Communication Technology Division, ETRI, Korea from February 1990 to September 1991, she received the M.Sc and the Ph.D degree in electrical and electronics engineering from University of Surrey, U.K in 1992 and 1995 respectively. From November 1994 to June 1996 she was employed as a research fellow at the Centre for Satellite Engineering Research, University of Surrey, U.K. In 1996 she re-joined the Satellite Communication Technology Division, ETRI, Korea, and worked as a team leader until February 2004 to develop efficient transmission techniques for digital satellite communication systems. She is now an associate professor in Chonbuk National University. Her research interests include modulation and coding schemes for digital satellite communication systems. She has been working on ITU-R since 2000, and has contributed to make radio interface standard of satellite component in the IMT-2000 system. Now, she is actively working on Working Party 4B of ITU-R, and she was appointed as an international standardization expert in Korea. She has been a Technical Program Committee (TPC) member at various conferences, and co-chaired satellite systems track at VTC 2008 spring.

Isabelle Buret

Biography: Isabelle Buret is currently at the head of the Advanced Telecom Satellite Systems section, in the Research Department of Alcatel Alenia Space in Toulouse. She graduated from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications of Paris in 1990. She has been working for 16 years in space telecommunications, starting at NTT Personal communication Systems labs, in Japan, working on modulation schemes for satellite access networks. She joined Alcatel Space in 1993 as system engineer on the GLOBALSTAR program. She then moved to satellite OBP equipments design and development, being responsible for digital front-end receivers developments for WORLDSTAR DAB processor and STENTOR DVB processor. In 1997 she became in charge of R&D studies on next generation OBP products for satellite multimedia applications. Since 2000, she has been leading research activities on advanced telecommunication satellite systems, addressing future broadband and mobile satellite systems.

Miriam Catalán

Biography: In September 2004, she started her professional carrier at Indra, as a Java Development Engineer and then, in April 2005, she became Management Support Engineer involved in the coordination, planning and resources management of the Mobile Services Department. In December 2005 she joint HISPASAT as Project Engineer, involved in SATLIFE and SATSIX projects (6th European Framework Program), together with other ESA projects such as "DVB-RCS opportunities in Latin America and Africa" (ESA, Telefónica I+D) or "Multinational Telecom Adaptors" (ESA, Telespazio). In June 2007 she became SATLIFE Project Manager (developing new applications and services based on AMERHIS), coordinating more than ten European entities in the satellite sector, closing the project with success. Being also responsible for other R&D National & ESA Projects, Miriam has represented HISPASAT in high level forums such as DVB-Technical Module, pushing for new satellite standards as DVB-RCS+M and DVB-SH. She also represented the Spanish Satellite Operator in ISI (Integrated Satellite Initiative) for the 7th Framework Program. In December 2007, she signs for STM Spain, assuming the Management of Strategy and Innovation, leading UMO R&D Project for Mobile Broadband Communications for land vehicles. In May 2008, she starts also to be in charge of the Operations Department, coordinating the 24 x 7 service and responsible for the definition of operation procedures. In July 2008, she becomes Head of Strategy & Operations, leading internal Implementation projects for STM clients, pushing the development of services with multispot satellites, and defining the R&D strategy identifying new business opportunities for STM Spain.
She is also member of the Program Committee for the ASMS (Advance Satellite Mobile Systems) Conference 2008 and Telecom I+D, the most important event in Telecommunication R&D in Spain.
EDUCATION: University Polytechnic of Madrid, Post graduate course on satellite communications (2007); University Carlos III of Madrid, Telecommunication Engineer (2005); Reading University (UK), 4th year of Telecommunication Engineer (2003); Lycée Sainte Marie des Champs, Toulouse (France), High School.

Sophie Defever

Biography: Sophie Defever is graduated from Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications (Paris, France). She joined Matra Marconi Space (now EADS Astrium) in 1990. In the Telecom Systems department of Telecom Satellites Business division, she was involved in mobile and broadband advanced projects, and responsible for satellite system architecture activity in the past few years. She is now leading the TANGO project, one European Commission FP6 project dealing with telecommunications for GMES.

Erina Ferro

Biography: Erina Ferro received her Laurea degree with distinction in Computer Science from the University of Pisa, Italy, in 1975. Since 1976 Dr. Ferro was with CNR (National Research Council), and she is currently employed as a Director of Research at the Institute CNR-ISTI. The National Research Council (CNR) is a public governmental organization, whose headquarter is in Rome; its duty is to carry out, promote, spread, transfer, and improve research activities in the main sectors of knowledge growth and its applications for the scientific, technological, economic and social development of the Country. The CNR Scientific Network is constituted by about 107 Institutes, aggregated in 11 thematic Departments. ISTI belongs to the ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) Department.
In 1980 Dr. Ferro started working on digital satellite communications. She participated to several international and national projects where some systems co-designed by her were implemented and used on the Eutelsat, Olympus, and Italsat satellites. Working in the TDMA satellite access schemes, field she obtained two patents, in 1989 and 1996, respectively, together with other colleagues of her group.
Dr. Ferro is head of the Wireless Networks Laboratory (WNLAB) at ISTI, and since 2006 she is responsible of the "Devices and Technologies for Telematic Networks" scientific sector of the ICT Department of CNR ( Her main research activities cover sensor networks, wireless networks, ad-hoc networks, satellite networks, and the interconnection aspects. She is associated editor of the International Journals on Communication Systems (IJCS). She is reviewer for several international journals and congresses. She authored about hundred international journal and congress papers.

Maria Guta

Biography: Maria Guta is Head of Commercial Applications Section in the Strategy & Future Programmes Division of the Directorate of Telecommunications & Integrated Applications, ESA. In this position she contributes to the management of ARTES1 -the ARTES strategic element, covering mainly the commercial applications. She prepares and implements annual work plans covering study activities which aim to analyse and develop new system concepts and techniques for advanced satellite missions and foster the use of satellite solutions for user driven applications. She interfaces with external relevant stakeholders (space and non-space organisations and entities) to develop common understanding for the requirements for future satellite systems considering short, medium and long term perspectives. She coordinates standardisation activities in liaison with international bodies and specific users groups, especially those covering the broadand multimedia sector, advanced TV (3D TV & mobile TV) and finally frequency spectrum management sector. She has 18 years of experience in satcom field in Europe. In her previous positions, she was with Eutelsat in the Systems Studies Division and the Space Engineering SPA in the Telecom Programmes Division.

Christine Lerquin

Biography: Christine Lerquin is VP, Institutional Relations at SES S.A. Positioning the Company within the European Union and other European institutions, such as ESA or OECD, she regards regulations, provides political support, and engages in setting-up research and Development and institutional projects. She follows the European Institutions' political issues and debates of interest to her company, especially those concerning the satellite broadband and mobile multimedia sector. She is also the key person in the company as regards the European Satellite navigation project called Galileo. She has 22 years of experience in the satellite telecommunications field in Europe. In her previous position, she was the CEO of a company which she started and which introduced new satellite services in Belgium. She turned it into a successful and profitable business. With her ability to speak various languages, Mrs Leurquin has been able to market in the areas that services are not yet established and she provides SES with that extra incentive to attaining clients in the regions.
Career Steps: Vice-President, European Programs, SES (2006-2007); Senior Manager, European Programs, SES-GLOBAL (1999-2006), President and CEO, Sait Videohouse SA (1992-98) ; Head of Space Data Division, Sait Systems SA (1989-92).
Associations and Accomplishments: Founder of ESOA and Chairman of the Executive Committee of ESOA (European Satellite Operators Association)( 2004-2006), Regular Expert in Advisory groups, European Institutions.
Education: University of Chicago, Management Courses (2001); H.E.C. OF St-Louis, Brussels, M.B.A. (1987-89), Germanic Languages (English/ German/ Passive Dutch/ American Culture), Master's degree, ULB, (1983).

Elisabeth Weller

Biography: The group she manages today at Eutelsat, develops, engineers and puts in place new interactive and broadcasting multimedia products (eg dstar, tooway, bouquet bis). The group as well takes care of the business development for institutions and public markets, in the fixed or mobile environment. Contributions to ESOA and standardization bodies are under her group's responsibility and pave the way for the future products and services. She has been working for more than 30 years in the telecommunications over satellite field.
Her previous responsibilities were:

  • New missions and system coordinator in Eutelsat multimedia department on the period 01/2000-12/2003, where she was in charge of the
    • Development of the platform for the Eutelsat interactive internet star services.
    • Elaboration of the technical features and specification and testing of the mesh interactive data networks.
    • Participation in the new satellite missions definition (eg Skyplex, eurobird) from the ground segment and network perspective.
  • Network aspects of satellite systems senior engineer in Eutelsat technical department during the period 01/1986-12/1999, where she was in charge of
    • ITU-T and ETSI participation in the elaboration and development of specifications and standards for satellite systems in the ISDN, ATM domain.
    • Projects for ESA and EU.
  • System Development and design engineer with Thomson CSF and then Alcatel space during the period 09/1977-12/1986, where she was in charge of the design and development of a 120Mbit/s TDMA trunk telephony system, amongst other subjects.


© 2008 TéSA