We have had a talk with Borja González, a researcher of atlanTTic COM group, after having obtained a Ramón y Cajal contract.

Context of Ramón y Cajal science program

Unlike other contracts that are associated with specific projects, the objective of the Ramón y Cajal contracts is the stabilization of postdoctoral researchers with international experience in Spanish centers. It is about five years of contract plus an economic endowment to the University for the creation of permanent jobs. I am also provided with an aid of € 40,000 to help establish me (purchase of equipment, laboratory, etc.). My contract corresponds to the 2016 call that is already resolved. I have also signed the agreement of incorporation with Uvigo and we are waiting for the Ministry to formally authorize the incorporation to sign the contract.

Lines of research

My main lines right now are two:

  • Development of new security inspection systems for airports and other control points (stadiums, demonstrations …). The systems that are being designed and built will allow the inspection of people and luggage at short or long distances. In addition, people under inspection can be scanned without having to remain static, as in the current systems. The inspection method is based on radio waves that have the ability to penetrate clothing and, in this way, detect weapons or explosives hidden under clothing or in luggage.
  • Use of radar systems and other sensors on board drones for different applications:
    • Detection of antipersonnel mines and other buried objects (pipes, holes …).
    • Non-destructive assessment of the state of infrastructures (buildings, bridges).
    • Assistance in the search for survivors in areas devastated by natural disasters.
    • In-situ measurement of antennas, such as telephone stations.

As a result of these investigations, a patent has recently been obtained in collaboration with the University of Oviedo. The developed technology allows the drone to autonomously explore a specific terrain using GPS coordinates while emitting and capturing radio signals using a radar module. These signals are sent in real time to a control post where they are processed to generate images of the subsoil with resolution of centimeters. The project already has a functional prototype with which test flights have been carried out.

I am also currently involved in a project for ESA for the development of advanced communications antennas to embark on satellites in which we collaborate with the UPM.

Your research career

Borja Gonzalez-Valdes obtained the degree of Telecommunications Engineer and PhD from the University of Vigo, Spain, in 2006 and 2010, respectively. From 2006 to 2010 he worked in the Antennas and Optical Communications group at the University of Vigo. During 2008 and 2009 he was a visiting researcher at Gordon CenSSIS, Northeastern University, Boston, USA. UU In 2011 he joined the ALERT Center of Excellence, Northeastern University, Boston, USA. UU ALERT (Awareness and Localization of Explosives-Related Threats), is a multidisciplinary research center funded by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which leads several lines of research to obtain an effective response to all types of explosives-related threats. In 2015 he rejoined the University of Vigo as a postdoctoral researcher.

International collaborations

I maintain my relationship with ALERT researchers with whom I continue to collaborate in research related to the design of imaging systems for the detection of weapons and explosives. I would also like to highlight my close collaboration with researchers from the Area of ​​Signal Theory at the University of Oviedo, with whom I collaborate in various projects and calls.

The future plans

Drones networks synchronized with different sensors for environmental surveillance, security, agriculture, search for missing persons, etc. Reduction of the number of sensors in imaging systems, material detection.