Birth of a New Conference: IEEE International Conference on Wireless for Space and Extreme Environments (WiSEE)

By Ali Abedi - IEEE COMSOC North American Region Board Member and Maine Chapter Chair, USA

The history of this conference dates back to the late 1990s with the inauguration of an informal series of NASA workshops called “Fly by Wireless” to address the important topics of wireless communication and sensing in the context of space applications. Later Fly by Wireless Workshops sponsored by CANEUS resulted in meetings with an expanded focus. Finally, beginning in 2010, the IEEE Maine and Montreal sections collaboration brought all these activities under one umbrella with the 2010 Fly by Wireless Workshop in Maine and the 2011 Workshop in Montreal.

Noting the successful series of similar workshops in Europe called WiSense4Space organized by the European Space Agency (ESA) and similar events hosted by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), space agency, academic, and industry representatives joined forces in 2011 to organize IEEE WiSEE 2013 (with a new name) in Baltimore, MD to bring NASA, CSA, and ESA together with IEEE to create a larger, international conference that brings together all interested parties in the use of wireless in space and related extreme environments. This conference included a tour of the NASA GSFC center.

The interdisciplinary nature of this conference calls for several IEEE technical society sponsorships to assure the selection of high-quality papers. These societies include, IEEE APS, ComSoc, UFFC, CRFID, and international bodies such as URSI and ISA.

Creating this conference would not have been possible without generous financial sponsorships from IEEE USA, IEEE Canada, the IEEE UFFC, and industry donors. WiSEE 2014 was hosted by ESA in the ESA/ESTEC facility in Noordwijk, Netherlands, followed by WiSEE 2015, which was co-hosted by NASA KSC and the University of Central Florida in Orlando, FL, including a NASA KSC tour.

In 2016, WiSEE was located in Europe again, co-hosted by RWTH Aachen University and German DLR, including a tour of the TIRA space observation system at Frauenhofer Inst. and the Effelsberg Radio Telescope.

This year WiSEE 2017 is held on October 10–12, 2017 in Montreal, Canada, co-hosted by Concordia University and CSA. The event included a tour of CSA as well as participation in the 375th anniversary celebrations in Montreal.

WiSEE 2018 will be co-hosted by the University of Alabama and NASA MSFC, and will take place in Huntsville, AL December 11–13. WiSEE 2019 will be held in Ottawa, Canada from October 8–10, and will be co-hosted by Ottawa University and CSA.

If your chapter is interested in hosting WiSEE in 2020, please send your proposal to the WiSEE Steering Committee Chair, Dr. Ali Abedi at

For more information visit: