Lars Dyrud, PhD


President and CEO, OmniEarth

Lars P. Dyrud, PhD – President and CEO, founded OmniEarth to provide comprehensive Earth observation information to traditionally-underserved industries like agriculture, insurance, and civilian government organizations. Dyrud was a Fulbright Scholar in space and plasma physics at the University of Oslo and received a PhD in astronomy from Boston University. He has led space-related missions and projects for NASA, the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, US Air Force, and industry. Prior to OmniEarth, Dyrud held positions at Draper Laboratory and the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

Viewing Earth as a Complete & Interactive System
Food, water and energy are the building blocks of life on Earth. How they connect and interact is known as the water-food-energy (WFE) nexus. The global community is well aware of food, energy and water challenges, but addresses nexus issues in isolation and within sectoral boundaries. As the world’s population approaches 8 billion, increasing demands are being placed on all resources and innovative solutions are needed. Satellite constellations give us a unique opportunity to view Earth – and, consequently, the water-food-energy nexus – as a complete and interactive system, potentially providing new insights. In their 2014 report, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations recognizes the value of satellite observations to understanding the complex feedback processes between the natural environment and human activities. In his keynote address, Dr. Lars Dyrud of OmniEarth, Inc. explores the potential of constellations to answer questions such as what is Earth’s current energy balance and how does it affect climate change? and how does the large-scale transport of water affect and respond to changes in climate?


Prof. Christoph Günther


Director of the Institute of Communication and Navigation at the German Aerospace Center (DLR)

Christoph Günther studied theoretical physics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland.
He received his diploma in 1979 and completed his PhD in 1984. He worked on research in cryptography, coding, communication, and information theory with Asea Brown Boveri, Ascom and Ericsson. At Ascom he also had the responsibility for the development of GSM and GSM/Satellite mobile phones. Since 2003, he is the Director of the Institute of Communication and Navigation at the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The institute employs around 160 scientists. Its areas of work include amongst others optical free-space communication, coding and random access, robust navigation, integrity, and the conception of satellite systems for communications and navigation. Since 2004, Günther is additionally holding the Chair of Communication and Navigation at TU-München, where he and his team are developing algorithms for positioning.

Optical Links – Networking Technology for Satellite Communications
Since Marconi, radio frequencies (RF) are used in every form of wireless communications. Internet access via satellites is currently realized using spectrum in the Ku and Ka-band. Higher RF-frequencies are considered as well, but suffer from a decreasing transparency of the atmosphere. The RF spectrum is currently sufficient for serving individual users but not for connecting satellites to the internet in an efficient manner. Fortunately, the atmosphere has other windows of transparency. At infrared (IR) frequencies the 1550 nm window is more than 1000 times broader than the complete RF spectrum allocated to satellite communications. Additionally, IR signals can be collimated very effectively with small apertures. Unfortunately, IR signals are absorbed by clouds and are distorted in the otherwise transparent atmosphere. Absorption can be handled in the networking scenario by routing the signal around cloudy paths. For the distortion, various methods of mitigation are currently considered and analyzed. At DLR we are convinced that one of them can be implemented with a complexity that is sufficiently low to make this approach viable. This will provide an equivalent of fiber optical transport to space. The keynote will address selected scenarios and the current status of work at DLR.


 Massimo Comparini

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e-GEOS Chief Executive Officer

Telespazio Chief Technical Officer

Chairman – EarthLab Luxembourg

Chairman – Space Innovation in Italy – Italian Space Technology Platform

MIUR National Expert Horizon 2020 Configuration Space

Novel space system architectures and the evolution of downstream services: from geo spatial applications to global connectivity services, pillars of the emerging space economy

Massimo Claudio Comparini holds a Master Degree in Electrical Engineering, Remote Sensing and Radar Systems, University of Rome “La Sapienza” (Italy), and a Degree in Strategy from Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, CA (USA).

He began his career in the space industry in 1983 at Selenia Spazio (later Alenia Spazio), holding positions of increasing responsibility, up to that of Chief Technology Officer. After the establishment of the joint venture Thales Alenia Space (Thales 67%, Finmeccanica 33%), he took up the role of Deputy Chief Technical Officer, CTO of TAS Italia and Vice President for R&D, Technology, Product Policy and IPR. In 2013 he was appointed Chief Technical Officer at Telespazio, a joint venture between Finmeccanica (67%) and Thales (33%).

Author of over 80 papers, he published works in the field of space and microwave technologies, innovation and technology management. He holds seats in several steering committees and boards of scientific associations and International conferences. He has had several Academic chairs in the Engineering and Management Departments of Italian Major Universities (Perugia, Alma Mater Studiorum Bologna, LUISS Roma).

Comparini is Chairman of the Space Innovation technology platform in Italy SPIN-IT, and is a National expert in the space configuration of the European Horizon 2020 programme.

In 2016, he has been appointed as CEO of e-GEOS, an ASI 20% / Telespazio 80% company, which has the mission to commercialize world-wide COSMO-SkyMed radar Constellation data, applications and services and to provide multimission Geospatial integrated solutions, based on innovative satellite data and advanced information technology processing chain.


Jean-François Charrier


Head of Institutional Business, Markets and Telecom Systems at Airbus Defence and Space, Telecommunications Satellites

Jean-François Charrier is Head of Institutional Business, Markets and Telecom Systems at Airbus Defence and Space, Telecommunications Satellites, where he focuses on strategy and product planning, R&D budgets and coordination, market and environment analysis, and relationships with institutions. Before he was appointed to his current role at the inception of Airbus Defence and Space in 2014, he held a number ofsenior management positions in marketing and sales in the successive organizations of Matra Marconi Space, EADS Astrium and Astrium Satellites, mainly focusing on telecommunications satellites. Prior to joining Matra Marconi Space in 1996, he worked in the field of telecommunications with Wavetek and Schlumberger, where he held the post of Sales and Marketing Director. He is a graduate in engineering from INSA Lyon and holds an Executive MBA degree.

OneWeb Satellites Series – A Game Changer in the Design and Production of Microsatellites
OneWeb has selected Airbus Defence and Space as its industrial partner to design and build its fleet of 900 LEO microsatellites (648 operational satellites plus replacement satellites) to provide high-speed internetservices with global coverage. A high-volume manufacturing capacity is being set up to support series production at an unprecedented rate of several satellites per day. This will involve state-of-the-art robotics, inspection methods, test equipment and automated data acquisition systems to support end-to-end integration and test activities. Design-to cost, design to manufacture and test approaches have been implemented throughout the programme, from the selection of components, production of equipment and satellite assembly, integration and testing. In his keynote address, Jean-François Charrier of Airbus Defence and Space will recall the unique features of this development focusing on the industrial aspect, address some of the innovative solutions implemented and the expected experience return for other programmes.