Analysis of the value chain of the aerospace sector


This study is titled: “Analysis of the value chain of the sector in Galicia and its integration in national and international value chains, in civilian and defence areas.”

The different parts which it comprises are set out below, along with useful information about the study.


The organisation selected to conduct the study is the Aerospace Technologies Research Group (ATRG) of the University of Vigo, whose website is

The Aerospace Technologies Research Group of the University of Vigo is composed of a group of lecturers and researchers highly specialised in the areas of aeronautics and space. They have multidisciplinary training, and the team includes members who are aerospace, industrial, telecoms and IT engineers. Furthermore, several of its members have carved our careers of over 20 years in the industry, before joining the university.
Given the different projects which it has been involved in over the years, this research group is capable of conducting a study as complex as that of analysing the value chain of the aerospace industry.

All of its members are currently lecturers and researchers belonging to the Aerospace Engineering and Signal Theory and Communications areas and the Defence University Centre of the Navy.
Over the course of its long track record, the ATRG has coordinated different projects within the aerospace sphere, notably: Xatcobeo (first Galician satellite and first Spanish Cubesat), HUMSAT-D (first satellite of the United Nations BSTI programme), DustCube, Serpens (satellite developed for the Brazilian Space Agency) and LUME-1 (communications satellite for fire control in combination with drones).
In addition to being experts in space, its members also have extensive experience in the aeronautical world, especially in solutions based on UAVs for industrial applications, as well as support for fire-fighting missions.

Their main lines of research are:

Research team

The research team is composed of large number of people with proven academic excellence and extensive sector experience. Specifically, the members who took part in this project were as follows:

Guillermo Rey González

Currently a lecturer at the School of Aeronautical and Space Engineering of the University of Vigo, he was previously the Technical and R&D Director of various private companies, where he accumulated over 15 years of work experience. Furthermore, it is important to note his participation as part of the teaching staff of the Defence University Centre of Marin from 2013 to 2019.

He is an Industrial Engineer, Industrial Organisation Engineer and has a degree in Aircraft Aerospace Engineering. Additionally, he holds a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Vigo and has several masters and postgraduate qualifications.

In addition to his academic background, he has extensive experience in R&D+i projects both in public and private calls for proposals.

Carlos Ulloa Sande​

He obtained an industrial engineering degree from the University of Vigo in 2002 and an Aerospace Engineering degree from the European University of Madrid in 2018. Dr Ulloa Sande has worked for different engineering and manufacturing companies over a period of almost 10 years. Subsequently he completed his Ph.D. on the thermal modelling of micro-CHP systems, applied to a wide range of vehicle types. After spending a year as a guest lecturer at the Mechanical Engineering Department of the University of Vigo, Dr Ulloa began his teaching work as a lecturer at the Defence University Centre of the Spanish Naval Academy, where he teaches the Mechanical Engineering programme. He is currently a senior lecturer in the School of Aerospace Engineering of the University of Vigo, in the Aerospace Engineering Area.

Dr Ulloa’s research career focuses on the field of energy systems research, as well as conducting modelling and dynamic simulation of propulsion and energy systems. He has published research works on his thesis together with other members of his research group and participated in numerous national and international teaching and research conferences.

Currently, Dr Ulloa is carrying out research in the field of renewable energies applied to UAVs and their installations in collaboration with Dr Cheng-Xian Lin, performing different periods of visiting professor practicals at the Sustainable Energy and Thermal Transport Laboratory in the Department of Mechanics and Materials Engineering of Florida International University (Miami). Furthermore, he is also carrying out research activities in satellite thermal control systems, participating as a researcher in WiPTherm, a European Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) project, modelling the thermal system of CubeSats in energy supply applications using innovative thermoelectric generators.

Fermin Navarro Medina​

Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM) in 2010. He completed the Ph.D. programme at the Institute of Microgravity: ‘Ignacio Da Riva’ (IDR), titled: ‘Ballast lifting from the passage of high-speed trains’. He performed teaching and research activities at the UPM (2010-2014) and at the European University of Madrid (2015-2019). He is currently a lecturer in the School of Aeronautical Engineering of the University of Vigo, in the Aerospace Engineering Area.

His research activity is focused on space vehicles and civil aerodynamics and aeronautics. His specialty fields in space technology are: thermal control, thermoelastic analysis, mission analysis, and attitude control. He is currently participating as a thermal and testing engineer in WiPTherm, developing a remote energy transfer technology on board small satellites. He also provides technical support in the development of Hypso nanosatellites for the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Furthermore, he is collaborating on developing a lunar vehicle in the conceptual design phase together with the University of Oviedo.

Fernando Aguado Agelet

Doctor Fernando Aguado is an adjunct lecturer in the Department of Signal Theory and Communications of the University of Vigo. Since July 2020, he has been an adjunct lecturer at NTNU (Norway) taking part in the Small Satellites Programme.

Professor Aguado’s main areas of interest are Systems Engineering for small communications satellites and small satellite constellations. From April 2016 to November 2021 he was the head of Space Projects of the Galician Aerospace Centre (CINAE).

To summarise a long research career, it is worth underscoring that he has authored or co-authored 32 articles, three books and 90 conference papers. As head of Space Activities of the University of Vigo and CINAE, Dr Aguado has coordinated: the Xatcobeo CubeSat, the first Galician satellite and Spanish CubeSat, and in February of 2012 he launched the HUMSAT and HumSat–D CubeSat Project, which is sponsored by the ESA (European Space Agency) through the GEOID Programme (Genso Experimental Orbital Initial Demonstration) and the Fly your Satellite initiative promoted by the ESA.

At the University of Vigo, he is currently in charge of the project: “Innovative Wireless Power Devices Using micro-Thermoelectric Generators (WiPTherm)” as part of H2020- FETOPEN Programme.

José María Núñez Ortuño

He has Ph.D. in Telecommunications Engineering (2016), and a B.Sc. in Telecommunications Engineering from the University of Vigo (1999) and in Technical Industrial Engineering from the ICAI (1994). Furthermore, he has an M.Sc. in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Operations and Engineering and an M.Sc. in Radiocommunications and Electromagnetic Engineering.

He has worked as project engineer for five years at the University of Vigo taking part in a range of electronic warfare projects for the Spanish Navy, in collaboration with INDRA. He was a manager and technical director for 15 years at two companies devoted to designing and manufacturing digital home control and energy efficiency devices, as well as preparing and executing innovative home automation installations and projects. In the past 10 years, as a researcher-lecturer at the Defence University Centre of the Naval Military School of Marin he has taken part in a range of research projects related to electronic warfare systems for the Navy, passive radar and artificial intelligence (AI) techniques for signal recognition.

He is currently a senior lecturer at the Defence University Centre of the Naval Military School of Marin, where he is also the coordinator of the Radar and Communications Research Laboratory of the centre.

Dr Nuñez’s research career is focused on the field of radar, communications, electronic warfare and UAVs. He is currently researching AI techniques for classifying radar emissions, passive radar techniques, and the use of UAVs to obtain RCS measurements of ships and radiation patterns of onboard antennas.

Pedro Orgeira Crespo

He is currently a lecturer at the School of Aeronautical Engineering and Space of the University of Vigo. Dr Orgeira has 21 years of experience working as an engineer, educating clients and users in all of the projects which he has been involved in. Over 40 projects carried out in leading and internationally renowned companies, in the conception of which he was fully involved until joining the university part-time in the 2018-19 academic year.

He is an Industrial Engineer specialising in Automation and Electronics and holds a degree in Aerospace Engineering in Aircraft, as well as a Ph.D. from the University of Vigo. He holds a degree in Industrial Engineering, specialising in electronic and automated onboard systems. He completed his Aerospace Engineering degree in 2020. He is currently an adjunct lecturer in the School of Aerospace Engineering of the University of Vigo, teaching Onboard Systems and Real-Time Systems. He has been involved as a researcher in a project by several universities (Vigo, Porto, Limoges) and research centres for the European Space Agency (WiPTherm project).

Uxía García Luis

She holds an Aeronautical Engineering degree from the University of Vigo and is currently studying an M.Sc. in Aeronautical Engineering (MAE) at the Charles III University of Madrid.

She is currently a researcher in the Aerospace Technologies Research Group of the University of Vigo, where she is completing a Ph.D. titled “Thermoelastic study of the pointing platform for telescopes on board satellites” in collaboration with the IAC (Canary Islands Astrophysics Institute) as part of the Aerospace Technology Ph.D. programme at the University of Vigo.

Her prior research was focused on improving the curing process for composite material parts in the aeronautical industry. Thanks to this research, Uxía won the Boeing prize for the best dissertation.

She is currently collaborating with the research centre at AtlanTTic (Research Centre for Telecommunication Technologies) within the Aerospace Technologies group in the European WiPTherm project (part of the Horizon 2020 programme). In this context, she is conducting a study of a novel remote power transfer system, based on a laser sources and photo-thermoelectric devices housed on the exterior of a CubeSat 3U, capable of converting light energy into electrical energy.

Study summary

The main objective of this report is to analyse the value chain of the aerospace industry in Galicia, as well as its integration with other value chains, both national and international.

The analysis of a value chain consists of promoting inter-organizational knowledge and collaboration between the different links making up the chain, giving rise to synergies between companies offering added value for grounded business decision-making.

The proposed report allows for an overview to be obtained of the inventory of industrial capabilities of Galicia, comprising the different links in the value chain, enabling the region to position itself as an influential actor on the national and international stage.

The integration of the value chain allows for the creation of multi-company teams (in the same way that the public sector is attempting, in its recent R&D programs, to integrate companies in different forms of public-private partnerships). This is one of the major challenges of our industry, with a very small average business size compared to our European, Asian and American competitors. It is a scenario in which companies producing raw materials, thermal treatments, surface treatments, machined parts, stampings, etc. can be brought together, allowing us to position ourselves as top-level suppliers in the competitive market of the aerospace sector. It is necessary to cease to think about hundreds of small companies and take the step up to micro value chains which manufacture parts or components in our region.

To do so, in addition to setting out mutual knowledge in the report, techniques were covered which allowed for the establishment of team dynamics to establish pricing strategies, production time definition strategies and process definition strategies in order to attain a more competitive level in the market.

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