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The University of Southampton

Dr Adrian R L Tatnall BSc, PhD

Visiting Fellow

Dr Adrian R L Tatnall's photo

Dr Adrian R L Tatnall is now retired but still collaborates within Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Southampton.

Adrian joined the department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the University of Southampton in 1988. Prior to this appointment he was a senior space systems engineer at British Aerospace and was responsible for several contracts concerned with remote sensing instrumentation. From 1999 - 2004 he was the Aerospace Teaching coordinator. He has been the organiser and lecturer of spacecraft engineering courses run for industry at the European Space Agency  and Southampton for the last 20 years. For many years he served on the Space Committee of the Royal Aeronautical Society.  He retired in 2015 but still lectures on the Space Systems short courses.

Research interests

  • Aerostat power generation- the transmission of power generated onboard an aerostat to disaster areas or other areas that need power
  • Cubesat data processing and onboard compression
  • The use of fractionated satellites-a number satellites that are free flying each with a subset of the required subsystems that make up a complete satellite system
  • Calibration of satellite microwave instrumentation used to measure atmospheric temperature and water vapour
  • The use of navigational satellite systems such as GPS and the new European navigational system, Galileo, for ship structural monitoring
  • The investigation of the dimensional stability of spacecraft structures in low cost spacecraft
  • Using radar to measure ocean turbulence from space

Research group


Research project(s)

Remote sensing of turbulence

Research is currently underway  developing the necessary algorithms which would relate visible surface signatures (detected using satellite-mounted synthetic aperture radars) to their sub-surface turbulent phenomena.  This project thus needs to consider both remote sensing technology available on satellites  and issues relating to fluid dynamics. 

Fractionated satellites

A new way of implementing space systems.

Structural monitoring

The use of navigational satellite systems ship structural monitoring.

Aeostat Power Generation

Transmitting power from an aerostat flying above the clouds.

Cubesat on-board processing

The development of techniques to improve the capability of very small satellites to store and transmit data.

Satellite Microwave Calibration

Calibration of satellite instruments is vital. Meteorological applications require absolute measurement to a fraction of a degree and this cannot be achieved without a sophisticated calibration system.

Dr Adrian R L Tatnall
Southampton Boldrewood Innovation Campus
University of Southampton
Building 176
Burgess Road
SO16 7QF
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