Senior Researchers

Senior Researchers

Austin Tate

Austin Tate

Senior researcher

Austin Tate is the Professor of Knowledge-based Systems at the University of Edinburgh and leads its Artificial Intelligence Applications Institute (AIAI). He holds degrees in Computer Studies, Machine Intelligence and e-Learning and is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His research involves intelligent systems for planning and coordination amongst humans, systems and robots. He has both personal and professional interests in deep space exploration and spacecraft artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic systems.

Professor Tate has worked with both ESA and NASA on a range of projects involving autonomous spacecraft, spacecraft mission sequencing, on ground systems for Meteosats and on assembly, integration and verification for Ariane payloads. He teaches about AI planning technology including systems on board autonomous spacecraft. Austin is a long standing Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society and his name has already been carried on spacecraft and rovers to a comet, to Mars and on the Huygens Titan probe. He also has an interest in the support of collaboration and operations centre staff for distributed teams using virtual worlds technology, and he is the Coordinator for the Virtual University of Edinburgh.

Remo Garattini

Senior Researcher


Mike McCulloch

Senior Researcher


Raghavan Gopalaswami

Senior researcher

Born on 20 June 1936, Raghavan Gopalaswami holds a Bachelors (Honours) Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Madras University in 1959; Master of Science (M.S) Degree in Rocket Technology from the Cranfield University Institute of Technology in 1970, and fulfilled the Advanced Management Programme of the Harvard Business School in 1984. He was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in 1959; seconded to DRDO in 1964; where he founded and headed the Liquid Propulsion Division of DRDL Hyderabad up to 1980. He was Chairman of the Faculty of Guided Missiles at the Institute of Armament Technology for two years and assigned between 1982–88 to the Office of the Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister as an Officer-on-Special Duty for perspective planning, setting up of programme management structures for major integrated defence R&D programmes and organization development.

He retired from Government in 1988 as an Air Commodore, to take charge as Chairman of the Board and Managing Director of Bharat Dynamics Ltd, a public sector company manufacturing guided missile systems. He retired from Government in June 1994. He was the recipient of two Presidential Awards, in 1976 and 1987 for exceptional services to the nation for defence R&D; and received a “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the DRDO in 2011 for exceptional contributions of the highest order in a multifold array of technology and management initiatives.

He has over two decades of technical and managerial contributions to the evolution of hydrogen-fuelled, fully reusable space transportation designs called ‘Hyperplane’ and ‘Avatar’ for space solar power missions, with nearly 40 technical papers published after retirement on RLVs, space solar power and solar-powered seawater desalination technology.

Angelo Genovese


Angelo Genovese received a Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering (specialising in Space Propulsion) at the University of Pisa, Italy, in 1992. He started to work as Electric Propulsion Engineer in the Italian space propulsion research centre “Centrospazio” in Pisa, developing Field Emission Electric Propulsion (FEEP) ion thrusters for ultra-precise positioning of scientific spacecrafts.

In 2000 he moved to the Austrian Research Centres in Vienna, Austria, where he contributed to develop an Indium FEEP Micro-propulsion System from breadboard to qualification level. In particular, he led several endurance tests including one of the longest tests ever with an ion thruster at µN thrust level, 5000 hours of continuous operation with a cluster of 4 Indium FEEP ion emitters at a mean thrust of 25 µN and a mean specific impulse of more than 7000s.

He is currently working at Thales Deutschland, Ulm, Germany, on the qualification of an innovative ion thruster, the High Efficiency Multi-stage Plasma Thruster (HEMP-T) to be flown for the first time on the OHB’s SmallGEO geostationary satellite platform to perform attitude and orbit control manoeuvres with a nominal thrust of 44 mN.

Angelo has published more than 50 papers in conferences and scientific journals, he contributed to two patents on Indium FEEP thrusters, and he is in the Editorial Board of the Scientific World Journal.

Profoundly interested in deep space propulsion systems, he presented a new concept for a next-generation ion thruster, the Ultra-High Specific Impulse Indium FEEP Thruster, at the first 100 Year Starship Symposium held in Orlando, Florida, in 2011. This thruster concept has the potential to enable very challenging deep space and interstellar precursor missions thanks to a specific impulse as high as 30,000s.




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