RHEA Group's Miguel a GNSS Aviation Advisor

Miguel – GNSS Aviation Advisor at European Commission

Miguel is based in Madrid where he has been a GNSS Aviation Adviser in the European Commission’s DG DEFIS, Directorate of Space, for 4 years.

What did you study and why?

I studied Telecommunication Engineering because it comprises a wide range of subjects linked with information processing and cutting-edge technologies that have the potential to transform our society and enable countless applications that enhance our lives.

What does your job involve?

I support DG DEFIS in its efforts to introduce EGNOS (the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service) and Galileo in the aviation sector. In particular, I am in charge of the unmanned aviation (drones) segment and all the activities related to the development of a new service for this new category of airspace users. I also participate in the long-term evolution of EGNOS.

What is your favourite aspect of your job?

The drone sector is a completely new area that is continuously evolving and challenging our ‘traditional’ air traffic management systems. There is a myriad of applications, some of them as futuristic as autonomous air taxis (which are actually around the corner).

Contributing to this endeavour is very inspiring and demanding at the same time, because it mixes up traditional concepts from manned aviation, where safety is the highest priority, with new technologies from the so-called Industry 4.0, like automation, digitalization and artificial intelligence. I know that we are shaping the future of air transport to enable a greener and thus more sustainable future.

What makes you want to get up for work each morning?

GNSS (global navigation satellite systems) can potentially unlock the most demanding drone applications, such as air taxis and parcel delivery. These will transform our cities, enhancing mobility and making them more friendly. I believe that such a challenge is worth it.

What differentiates RHEA in comparison with other companies is the high level of respect (personal and professional) and trust in its people. I think that this is in the DNA of RHEA and it contributes to create the perfect environment for creativity and commitment.

In what way does your role makes a difference to the success of RHEA?

I monitor the development of the drone sector in Europe in order to anticipate user needs and understand how EGNOS and Galileo can satisfy them. But it is also important to follow up the development of relevant regulations, standards and other EU policies. Only with such a wide approach it is possible to provide actual solutions in the form of recommendations, implementation roadmaps and technical analyses.

What made you want to work in this sector?

The aerospace sector is a perfect combination of the best engineering methods and leading technologies, wrapped with the inherent human appetite for understanding the universe. There is always a push to go further.

What are your aspirations for the future?

In the future, I would like to ride an autonomous air taxi fully guided by EGNOS and Galileo! I know that there is a long journey ahead, but we will get there, step by step.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I am the proud father of two boys (8 and 4 years old), so as you can imagine, my spare time is almost totally devoted to spending time with them and sharing the experience of growing up and learning. We love hiking and biking together. The rest (if any) of my spare time is split between reading, swimming and photography – I’m the president of a local photography association.

Tell us something unusual about yourself?

I grow bonsai. It helps me to keep focused and relaxed.