A professional space technology engineer, academic & director with a strong, proven and international record of accomplishment. I am the Director of the Scottish Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications, and a Non-Executive Board Member of the UK Space Agency.
I was awarded the 2016 Royal Society of Edinburgh Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane Medal in recognition of my “outstanding research work in the development and application of space mission systems to challenge conventional ideas and advance new concepts in the exploration and exploitation of space.”
Distinctively for an engineer, my publications are in journals such as Scientific Reports, and Physical Review E, as well as top-ranking engineering journals. I also led the development of “The International Handbook of Space Technology”, which has sixty contributing authors, including high-profile contributors from Japan, the USA and Europe.
I was the only non-US member of a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s committee on ‘Achieving Science Goals with CubeSats’, and I am one of only two European Associate Editors of the Journal of Guidance, Control and Dynamics, the top-ranked archival journal in Aerospace Engineering. I am a member of Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) Study Group on ‘Small Satellites for Space Sciences’, as well as providing expert advice to, amongst others, the Institute for Defense Analyses, Science and Technology Policy Institute, based in Washington, D.C.
Distinctively my work spans both the upstream space sector (building and operating spacecraft), and downstream space sector (the services and data that come from the spacecraft). With a focus on the end-to-end development and application of space mission systems my work enables new space-derived data product concepts through advances in space technology.
My specific interests are in the use of advanced concepts, such as solar sailing, and multi-spacecraft platforms to enable new space services through the application of concepts from networked systems and swarm engineering, combined with astrodynamics and space system design. The recent development of small, low-cost spacecraft has led to increased interest in deploying large or even very-large constellations of spacecraft to enable new space-derived datasets and services. To-date, this remains challenging due to the limited resources on-board such platforms coupled with the limited payload capacity. By spanning the up and downstream my fundamental research is developing the means to maximise the performance of these resource-limited, low-cost platforms to enable radical enhancements of, or completely new space-derived services and data. As such my research seeks to develop concepts in, and applications of space technology, including solar sailing, nanosatellites, and constellations, by developing research into astrodynamics, networked systems, swarming, and distributed and collaborative systems.
- Integration of an LED/SPAD Optical Wireless Transceiver with CubeSat On-board Systems
- The New Peers Review podcast episode 3
- The New Peers Review podcast episode 2
- "New markets: Scottish space industry grows in value to £4bn"
- The New Peers Review podcast pilot
- Agile Satellite Systems for Responsive Earth Observation
- Invited speaker
More professional activities
- UK Space Agency Business Support Programme
- Macdonald, Malcolm (Principal Investigator)
- 29-Jan-2021 - 31-Jan-2021
- eXtended Satellite Production And Constellation Operations
- Macdonald, Malcolm (Principal Investigator) McLaughlin, Graeme (Co-investigator) Clark, Ruaridh (Research Co-investigator) Lowe, Christopher (Research Co-investigator) McGrath, Ciara (Research Co-investigator)
- 04-Jan-2020 - 03-Jan-2023
- Safe Passage – the shifting sands of the Solway Firth
- McGrath, Ciara (Principal Investigator) Clark, Ruaridh (Co-investigator) Macdonald, Malcolm (Academic)
- Innovation Voucher project with Creative Help Ltd to develop tidal channel mapping services using satellite imagery.
- 18-Jan-2020 - 12-Jan-2021
- NSIP (phase 1) - Global Lidar Altimetry MISsion: GLAMIS
- Lowe, Christopher (Principal Investigator) Macdonald, Malcolm (Co-investigator)
- 02-Jan-2020 - 31-Jan-2021
- Satellite data for Condition monitoring & Archaeological Rapid Assessment
- McGrath, Ciara (Principal Investigator) Werkmeister, Astrid (Researcher) Macdonald, Malcolm (Academic) Cowley, Dave (Co-investigator)
- SCARA is supported through the PLANET ESA Third Party Missions Programme.
This project will assess the suitability of SkySat and PlanetScope imagery for a) detection of buried archaeological and cultural heritage sites, for b) monitoring the condition of known archaeological assets and for c) land-use change assessment on a national scale. The suitability of the data will be assessed in terms of frequency of coverage, the ease and accuracy with which proxy indicators of archaeological features (such as crop and soil marks) can be identified, and the ease and accuracy with which land-use changes which have particular implications for cultural heritage sites can be determined. Scotland will be used as a trial region, with the understanding that the developed methodology could be applied to other regions with similar climates, land-use and geology.
- 01-Jan-2020 - 28-Jan-2021
- SFC GCRF Pump Priming - Cleaner Air for Kolkata
- Bellingham, Richard (Principal Investigator) Beverland, Iain (Co-investigator) Ferguson, Neil (Co-investigator) Kelly, Nicolas (Co-investigator) Macdonald, Malcolm (Co-investigator) Rogerson, Robert (Co-investigator)
- 01-Jan-2018 - 31-Jan-2019
Electronic and Electrical Engineering
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