UZAY - The Space Technologies Research Institute (formerly known as TUBİTAK BİLTEN-Information Technologies and Electronics Research Institute) is founded in 1985, under the framework of a protocol signed between the Middle East Technical University (METU) and The Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TUBİTAK) as a publicly funded research institute.

The aim of UZAY is to identify and solve research problems in the space technologies, specifically satellite systems and in information technologies domain and become a pioneer, proactive, effective and influential center of attraction, which focuses on sub areas having strategic importance for public interest and creates an integrated approach in space technologies, information technologies and electronics research fields. The Institute gives prominence to

  • Creating and acquiring know-how,

  • Developing prototypes for or with the Turkish industry,

  • Providing technical consultancy services,

  • Training of researchers and technical staff and

  • Establishing necessary infrastructure

in research areas of interest. The Institute conducts national or international projects with the industry in space technologies, information technologies or other areas related to electronics. The goal is to keep up with the state-of-the-art and to have a pioneering role in the national research community. UZAY also helps the industry in solving technical problems encountered during system design, selection and use, product development and manufacturing.
Research Areas:

TUBİTAK BİLTEN conducts its research and development activities in the following areas with a total of 150 staff members, out of which 115 are researchers and technical support personnel.

  • Space Technologies: Satellite systems, satellite sub-systems, satellite ground station sub-systems, satellite test and integration systems.

  • Electronics: Communication systems, electronics system design, electro-optic mission payload, high-speed digital design, IC design.

  • Software: Computer vision, speech processing, pattern recognition, remote sensing, multimedia technologies.

  • Power Electronics: Power quality, compensation systems, electrical motor drives, switching power supplies, renewable energy resources.

  • Power Distribution Systems: Analysis of electric production and transmission systems, strategic research and development in distribution automation, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition Systems (SCADA).

Activities in Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems

UZAY has participated/conducted various projects employing GIS and RS. TU-REMOSENS is one of those projects. The project was supported by NATO and conducted together with Middle East Technical University. The main objectives of the project were:

  • Installation and operation of a NOAA/HRPT receiving station

  • Implementation of a NOAA/HRPT image archive of the region and a database of the snow cover and hydrologic parameters of the study region

  • Operation of a snowmelt run-off model of the study area, with the data collected from field and extracted from satellite image data

  • Establishment of an operational Dust Transport Model for the detection and deposition of dust.

In the project the main GIS and RS studies were conducted in UZAY.

Another area of study in UZAY related to GIS is AM/FM systems as they applied to electric distribution systems. Creating synergy with other studies conducted in UZAY, on electric distribution system master planning, an original approach for modelling Turkish urban electric distribution system was created. This approach later used in pilot projects for Istanbul.

In addition to the ones mentioned above, some other small size RS and GIS projects conducted as well and consultancy services have been provided.

UZAY has gained the capability to build small satellites in the framework of BILSAT technology transfer project realized in cooperation with Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL). Currently, BILSAT imaging satellite is operated from the ground station located in UZAY premises. The software necessary for pre-processing and achieving of images had been developed and currently in the phase of further development.

Another satellite named RASAT is also under development in UZAY and it is expected to be in space in late 2008 and send images in early 2009.

UZAY has also made projects on developing tools for low cost remote sensing and photogrammetry. In this framework, a coastal zone in Turkey has been imaged using commercial off the shelf cameras, using various manned and unmanned vehicles as imaging platform. Also some software for bundle adjustment, mosaicing and stereoscopic matching has been developed in house. Also, various partnerships and projects are being developed for photogrammetry and RS from UAVs.

UZAY has also been working on various branches of computer vision. One of the projects of computer vision is a product named BALISTIKA. In the project, a system has been developed to obtain 3D information of cartridge cases and bullets and match them automatically. The system uses photometric stereo method to obtain 3D data and uses various computer vision techniques to process and match them.

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