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  • richardmitnick 4:47 pm on April 9, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , UK Space Agency, UK-led ESA mission ARIEL -Atmospheric Remote-sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey   

    From UK Space Agency- “Case study: ARIEL” 

    UK Space Agency

    From UK Space Agency

    9 April 2019

    UK-led ESA mission ARIEL -Atmospheric Remote-sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey

    Overview

    Thousands of exoplanets, planets orbiting stars other than our own, have now been discovered with a huge range of masses, sizes and orbits from rocky Earth-like planets to large gas giants grazing the surface of their host star. However, the essential nature of these exoplanets remains largely mysterious. There is no known, discernible pattern linking the presence, size, or orbital parameters of a planet to the nature of its parent star. Little is known about whether the chemistry of a planet is linked to its formation environment, or whether the type of host star drives the physics and chemistry of the planet’s birth, and evolution. Progress with these questions demands a large, unbiased survey of exoplanets. The proposed ARIEL mission will conduct such a survey and begin to explore the nature of exoplanet atmospheres and interiors and, through this, the key factors affecting the formation and evolution of planetary systems.

    ARIEL seeks to answer key questions:

    how diverse are exoplanets chemically?
    does chemical diversity correlate with other planetary parameters?
    how do planets and planetary systems form?
    how do planets and their atmospheres evolve over time?

    Mission facts

    1 meter telescope, carrying out spectroscopy from visible to infrared wavelengths. Satellite in orbit around Lagrange Point 2
    modular payload design jointly delivered by consortium of 15+ ESA countries + NASA tbc, under UK science and engineering leadership
    selected by ESA Science Programme Committee in March 2018
    mission launch 2028

    UK funding and roles

    Initial two year investment of £2.8M, with plans to extend support for full mission delivery, subject to further review.

    Overall mission science lead: Prof Giovanna Tinetti, UCL, Mission Principal Investigator. Leads mission level science development and heads consortium.

    Major roles for STFC RAL Space (led by ARIEL Consortium Project Manager Paul Eccleston):

    assembly and integration of overall payload module
    project management and engineering leadership of payload consortium
    development of Active Cooler System hardware (approx. £5.5M cost)

    University of Cardiff – UK Co-Principal Investigator Prof Matt Griffin, Common Optics & Calibration Source, Science ground segment preparation, Payload Scientist and payload performance simulation.

    University of Oxford – Optical and calibration ground support equipment.

    UCL-MSSL – Payload systems engineering support, mechanical ground support equipment.

    STFC UK Astronomy Technology Centre – Common optics, and detector system engineering lead.

    UK benefits and impact

    Scientific mission leadership roles ensure UK academia is at forefront of exoplanet research as it evolves from discovery to characterisation.

    Strong commercial interest in synergies between ARIEL detector characterisation work and new ultra-low dark-current mid-infrared detectors led by Cardiff University.

    Opportunities for UK industry in Active Cooler System development work and payload detector technologies – developing solutions for ARIEL that can be reused in the future for other applications.

    Significant educational and outreach potential, to attract and develop the next generation of scientists and engineers – the discovery of 2000+ exoplanets in recent years is a major achievement in modern astronomy and resonates strongly with the general public.

    Current status and next steps

    Mission selected March 2018
    Consortium kick off meetings held, management structures established. Consolidation of consortium funding schemes ongoing
    Parallel industrial phase B1 studies are ongoing for spacecraft contractors
    Mid-Feb 2019 – ESA Intermediary review
    Early 2020 – Payload Systems Requirements Review
    July/August 2020 – Mission Adoption Review (MAR)
    November 2020 – ESA Science Programme Committee ARIEL Mission Adoption
    January 2023 – Payload Module Critical Design Review
    January 2025 – Active Cooler System delivery to Payload Module
    January 2027 – Payload Module Delivery to Spacecraft
    Early 2028 – Launch

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The UK Space Agency is responsible for all strategic decisions on the UK civil space programme and provides a clear, single voice for UK space ambitions.

    At the heart of UK efforts to explore and benefit from space, we are responsible for ensuring that the UK retains and grows a strategic capability in space-based systems, technologies, science and applications. We lead the UK’s civil space programme in order to win sustainable economic growth, secure new scientific knowledge and provide benefit to all citizens.

    We work to:

    co-ordinate UK civil space activity
    encourage academic research
    support the UK space industry
    raise the profile of UK space activities at home and abroad
    increase understanding of space science and its practical benefits
    inspire our next generation of UK scientists and engineers
    licence the launch and operation of UK spacecraft
    promote co-operation and participation in the European Space programme

    We’re an executive agency of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, made up of about 70 staff based in Swindon, London and the UK Space Gateway in Oxfordshire.

    We are responsible for:

    leading the UK civil space policy and increasing the UK contribution to European initiatives
    building a strong national space capability, including scientific and industrial centres of excellence
    co-ordinating strategic investment across industry and academia
    working to inspire and train a growing, skilled UK workforce of space technologists and scientists
    working on national and international space projects in co-operation with industry and academia
    regulating the UK civil space activities and ensuring we meet international treaty obligations

     
  • richardmitnick 2:33 pm on February 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Affordable worldwide internet coverage, , GOV.UK, , This ESA project will span seven nations including Canada and is an example of how the UK will continue to work across Europe and globally, UK Space Agency   

    From UK Space Agency for GOV.UK: “£18m for OneWeb satellite constellation to deliver global communications” 

    UK Space Agency

    From UK Space Agency

    for

    GOV.UK

    Affordable worldwide internet coverage is one step closer today, after £18 million of UK Space Agency funding was awarded to OneWeb through the European Space Agency, to aid the development of its next generation satellite constellation.

    18 February 2019
    Chris Skidmore MP

    2
    Artist’s impression of OneWeb satellite constellation. Credit: Airbus.

    A global communications network in space, the system will be comprised of approximately 650 satellites initially and scale to more than 900 satellites over time.

    Science Minister Chris Skidmore is visiting the European Space Agency in the Netherlands today. He will say:

    Fast internet access is something many people take for granted but in many areas of the world connectivity is still hit and miss.

    This new £18m investment will go towards meeting the significant technical challenges of the project, putting the UK at the forefront of cutting-edge research and development.

    The commercial potential for a cost effective worldwide telecoms satellite system is huge, and the UK space sector is playing a leading role in delivering it. It is made possible by our ongoing commitment to the European Space Agency and our world-leading capabilities in space and telecommunications, which we are supporting through our modern Industrial Strategy.

    UK business OneWeb, which is headquartered in London and will employ up to 200 staff at its’ White City offices, is poised to take advantage of cost effective spacecraft launch and manufacturing to deploy hundreds of satellites that could provide more affordable internet connectivity to people and businesses across the world.

    The OneWeb Sunrise programme will initially focus on technologies for the next generation of satellite payloads, ground connections and space debris removal.

    The UK Space Agency investment will also support novel automation techniques and artificial intelligence to manage the proposed constellation of spacecraft and its interaction with terrestrial networks to realise global 5G connectivity.

    Adrian Steckel, CEO, OneWeb said:

    Providing access to people everywhere has been the mission and vision of OneWeb since the very beginning. We will be able to realize this vision in part because of important partnerships like this one with the UK Space Agency, ESA and a range of other important partners including our European and Canadian partners. Thanks to this support, we will focus together on next generation technologies that will be game changers for realizing global 5G connectivity.

    We are excited about the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to develop novel automation techniques that could help manage our constellation in future and ensure we do so safely and responsibly so that we can protect space for future generations.

    Today’s announcement comes as a result of the UK’s leading investment in the European Space Agency’s telecommunications research programme (ARTES).

    ESA is independent of the European Union and hosts its European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications (ECSAT) in Harwell, Oxfordshire, furthering the UK’s world-leading position in satellite communications.

    Magali Vaissiere, ESA Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications said:

    Sunrise is a prominent endeavour falling under our Satellite for 5G Initiative.

    It represents the exciting and required new direction ESA is taking in support of our Member States’ industry to remain at the forefront of not only the most advanced developments within the space world, but also to enable the necessary complement to the terrestrial networks that satellites will have to play to ensure a successful and fully inclusive digitalisation of industry and society.

    This ESA project will span seven nations including Canada and is an example of how the UK will continue to work across Europe and globally.

    The news comes as the first batch of 6 satellites of the OneWeb constellation are due to be launched on an Arianespace Soyuz rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana next week (26 February).

    The UK is a world leader in telecommunications satellites. Last month EUTELSAT QUANTUM, the first satellite capable of being completely reprogrammed after launch left the UK for final assembly and testing in France.

    And in November last year, Eutelsat and Airbus signed a new contract worth hundreds of millions of pounds that will see components and parts for two further communications satellites assembled in the UK. This means that 6 out of 7 of the company’s next satellites will be partially built in Britain.

    The UK space sector is growing rapidly, employing 42,000 people and playing a major role in the global shift towards the commercialisation of space activities – known as ‘New Space’.

    The UK space industry is commercially focused with 82% of income from sales to consumers and businesses. The latest industry figures show it has an income of £14.8 billion, employment of 41,900 and exports worth £5.5 billion, while supporting a further £300 of UK GDP through the provision of satellite services to other sectors.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The UK Space Agency is responsible for all strategic decisions on the UK civil space programme and provides a clear, single voice for UK space ambitions.

    At the heart of UK efforts to explore and benefit from space, we are responsible for ensuring that the UK retains and grows a strategic capability in space-based systems, technologies, science and applications. We lead the UK’s civil space programme in order to win sustainable economic growth, secure new scientific knowledge and provide benefit to all citizens.

    We work to:

    co-ordinate UK civil space activity
    encourage academic research
    support the UK space industry
    raise the profile of UK space activities at home and abroad
    increase understanding of space science and its practical benefits
    inspire our next generation of UK scientists and engineers
    licence the launch and operation of UK spacecraft
    promote co-operation and participation in the European Space programme

    We’re an executive agency of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, made up of about 70 staff based in Swindon, London and the UK Space Gateway in Oxfordshire.

    We are responsible for:

    leading the UK civil space policy and increasing the UK contribution to European initiatives
    building a strong national space capability, including scientific and industrial centres of excellence
    co-ordinating strategic investment across industry and academia
    working to inspire and train a growing, skilled UK workforce of space technologists and scientists
    working on national and international space projects in co-operation with industry and academia
    regulating the UK civil space activities and ensuring we meet international treaty obligations

     
  • richardmitnick 2:01 pm on December 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , £200000 of funding for 4 new business incubators, , , UK Space Agency   

    From UK Space Agency: “New business incubators will help space industry grow” 

    UK Space Agency

    UK Space Agency

    7 December 2017
    No writer credit

    The UK Space Agency has announced £200,000 of funding for 4 new business incubators to boost the number of start-up companies in the space sector across the UK.

    1
    UK and Ireland from space. Credit: ESA.

    The incubators, in Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Leicestershire and London, will provide world-class science innovation support for entrepreneurs and small businesses to help grow the UK space industry.

    The funding follows the launch of the government’s Industrial Strategy, which includes a £50 million programme to enable new satellite launch services and low gravity spaceflights from UK spaceports, to boost the economy and inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.

    UK Space Agency Chief Executive, Dr Graham Turnock, who made the announcement at the STFC RAL Space Appleton Space Conference at Harwell in Oxfordshire, said:

    “The funding for these new business incubators will see the excellent network of support we have in the UK expand and provide further opportunities for exciting start-ups in the space sector, with 15 incubators working across 22 locations.

    “The Industrial Strategy underlined the government’s commitment to make Britain the best place to start and grow a business, with prosperous communities across the UK. Supporting new businesses across the UK is central to reaching our ambition of capturing 10% of the global space market by 2030 and I am sure these new incubators will have a fantastic impact.”

    The funding will see £50,000 go to Oxford Innovation, for two new incubators in Fareham and Bordon in Hampshire, £50,000 for Seraphim to establish a space accelerator in London and £50,000 for the Satellite Applications Catapult at Harwell to establish a space incubator at Westcott, Buckinghamshire. The University of Leicester will receive £50,000 to establish a graduate pre-incubator to help students develop entrepreneurial ideas.

    The space sector is a UK success story, underpinning industries worth more than £250 billion to the UK economy. Last week Business Secretary Greg Clark launched the Industrial Strategy, which sets out a long-term vision for how Britain can build on its economic strengths, address its productivity performance, embrace technological change and support businesses and workers.

    A key policy includes driving over £20 billion of investment in innovative and high potential businesses, including through establishing a new £2.5bn Investment Fund, incubated in the British Business Bank.

    The £50 million space programme builds on the £99 million already invested in the National Satellite Test Facility run by STFC RAL Space at Harwell, which was recommended by the UK Space Facilities Review, a report commissioned by the UK Space Agency to look at ways to help grow the UK space industry.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    The UK Space Agency is responsible for all strategic decisions on the UK civil space programme and provides a clear, single voice for UK space ambitions.

    At the heart of UK efforts to explore and benefit from space, we are responsible for ensuring that the UK retains and grows a strategic capability in space-based systems, technologies, science and applications. We lead the UK’s civil space programme in order to win sustainable economic growth, secure new scientific knowledge and provide benefit to all citizens.

    We work to:

    co-ordinate UK civil space activity
    encourage academic research
    support the UK space industry
    raise the profile of UK space activities at home and abroad
    increase understanding of space science and its practical benefits
    inspire our next generation of UK scientists and engineers
    licence the launch and operation of UK spacecraft
    promote co-operation and participation in the European Space programme

    We’re an executive agency of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, made up of about 70 staff based in Swindon, London and the UK Space Gateway in Oxfordshire.

    We are responsible for:

    leading the UK civil space policy and increasing the UK contribution to European initiatives
    building a strong national space capability, including scientific and industrial centres of excellence
    co-ordinating strategic investment across industry and academia
    working to inspire and train a growing, skilled UK workforce of space technologists and scientists
    working on national and international space projects in co-operation with industry and academia
    regulating the UK civil space activities and ensuring we meet international treaty obligations

     
  • richardmitnick 10:02 am on November 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , New funding for exciting STEM education projects, , , UK Space Agency   

    From UK Space Agency: “New funding for exciting STEM education projects” 

    UK Space Agency

    UK Space Agency

    6 November 2017
    No writer credit found

    1
    No image caption or credit

    The UK Space Agency has awarded £210,000 of funding for seven new education and outreach activities.

    The projects are designed to inspire interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and provide exciting contexts for the teaching of a range of subjects. This will, in turn, help the growth of the space sector, which is currently hampered by the lack of graduates and technicians with relevant qualifications.

    The seven new projects were selected to support the aims of the Education and Skills Strategy, and build upon the Agency’s investment in a number of areas, in particular:

    Earth Observation
    Satellite Launch Programme (UK spaceports and launchers)
    James Webb Space Telescope

    NASA/ESA/CSA Webb Telescope annotated

    Susan Buckle, Astronaut Flight Education Programme Manager, said:

    “We are delighted to be funding all these projects and to work with a variety of different organisations – from the D&T Association with expertise in design and technology to the Triathlon Trust with expertise in getting children active, as well as the more traditional STEM organisations. Each project will fulfil the objective to inspire the next generation to study STEM and consider a career in the space industry, whilst having a lot of fun along the way.”

    The 7 successful projects to be funded are:

    Glasgow Science Festival: Get me into orbit!
    Triathlon Trust: Space to Earth view
    Mangorolla CIC: Space zones ‘I’m a Scientist’ and ‘I’m an Engineer’
    Institute for Research in Schools: MELT: Monitoring the Environment, Learning for Tomorrow
    The Design and Technology Association: Inspiring the next generation: design and technology in space
    European Space Education Resource Office-UK: James Webb Space Telescope: Design challenge
    Children’s Radio UK (Fun Kids): Deep Space High – UK Spaceports

    The MELT project will allow students to understand and analyse key earth observation data relating to the North and South Pole.

    This work is in collaboration with Robert Swan on his Antarctic expedition, who said:

    “I’m delighted to be working with IRIS on the MELT project. Students looking at Earth observation of the poles will be directly observing our South Pole Energy Challenge and seeing what a crucial role they have in understanding and taking care of their environment.”

    Emma Watson from The Design and Technology Association said:

    “The Design and Technology Association are delighted to be working with the UK Space Agency to develop a series of curriculum based resources which will use the design and technology curriculum as a platform to motivate more young people to consider careers in the space industry.

    “Structured around Earth Observation, Satellite Launch Systems and the James Webb Space Telescope, these innovative resources will inspire young people to imagine new possibilities, drawing on their existing STEM knowledge, and applying it to real-life space contexts.”

    More details on each of the projects will be available as they develop their resources and activities.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    The UK Space Agency is responsible for all strategic decisions on the UK civil space programme and provides a clear, single voice for UK space ambitions.

    At the heart of UK efforts to explore and benefit from space, we are responsible for ensuring that the UK retains and grows a strategic capability in space-based systems, technologies, science and applications. We lead the UK’s civil space programme in order to win sustainable economic growth, secure new scientific knowledge and provide benefit to all citizens.

    We work to:

    co-ordinate UK civil space activity
    encourage academic research
    support the UK space industry
    raise the profile of UK space activities at home and abroad
    increase understanding of space science and its practical benefits
    inspire our next generation of UK scientists and engineers
    licence the launch and operation of UK spacecraft
    promote co-operation and participation in the European Space programme

    We’re an executive agency of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, made up of about 70 staff based in Swindon, London and the UK Space Gateway in Oxfordshire.

    We are responsible for:

    leading the UK civil space policy and increasing the UK contribution to European initiatives
    building a strong national space capability, including scientific and industrial centres of excellence
    co-ordinating strategic investment across industry and academia
    working to inspire and train a growing, skilled UK workforce of space technologists and scientists
    working on national and international space projects in co-operation with industry and academia
    regulating the UK civil space activities and ensuring we meet international treaty obligations

     
  • richardmitnick 9:01 am on October 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , UK Space Agency   

    From UK Space Agency: “Initial £3 million awarded for UK leadership of new space science mission SMILE” 

    UK Space Agency

    UK Space Agency

    30 October 2017
    UK Space Agency and Jo Johnson MP

    UK teams will lead an international solar-terrestrial and space weather mission, taking on the development of a major science instrument thanks to funding from the UK Space Agency.

    1
    Coronal mass ejections sometimes reach out in the direction of Earth. Credit: ESA

    The £3 million will support academics working on SMILE (the Solar wind Magnetosphere Ionosphere Link Explorer), a European Space Agency (ESA) science mission, being delivered jointly with the Chinese Academy of Sciences and due to launch in 2021. SMILE will address fundamental gaps in knowledge of the solar-terrestrial relationship by providing, for the first time ever, global imaging of the Earth’s magnetosphere and its dynamic response to solar wind – charged particles streaming from the Sun.

    1
    ESA SMILE satellite

    The magnetosphere is a vast region around our planet that protects us from solar wind and cosmic particle radiation.

    Magnetosphere of Earth, original bitmap from NASA. SVG rendering by Aaron Kaase

    The Earth’s magnetosphere is the strongest of all the rocky planets in our solar system and its protective role is thought to have played a key role in the Earth’s habitability. SMILE will provide a step change in understanding its behaviour, and will serve a broad range of research communities in which the UK is world leading, including solar, fundamental physics, heliophysics, and planetary sciences.

    SMILE will also provide crucial improvements to the modelling of space weather, which is recognised in the Government’s National Risk Register as a key disruptive threat to UK national technological infrastructure.

    Science Minister, Jo Johnson, said:

    “Satellites, power grids and communications networks are integral to our modern lives and through this funding, we are ensuring UK academics continue to lead international research in solar-terrestrial science and space weather. This will help us gain a greater understanding of its causes and behaviour – helping us to better prepare and protect our vital infrastructure from its effects.

    “SMILE is a prime example of scientific innovation underpinning the broader economy with real-world applications, a key foundation of our Industrial Strategy.”

    The UK Space Agency’s £3 million investment package supports three UK academic groups for the next two years, and is planned to be extended to support the mission throughout its development. It will deliver the overall scientific leadership role with Prof Graziella Branduardi-Raymont, from the UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory, overseeing the European consortium, and the design and build of the mission’s most innovative science instrument, the SXI (Soft X-ray Imager), led by Dr Steven Sembay, from the University of Leicester.

    Prof Andrew Holland, of the Open University, will also manage the development of the SXI detectors from Teledyne e2v Ltd, a world renowned UK-based provider of cutting edge space technology, which has a separate ESA contract to provide the SXI detectors worth €1.5 million.

    Thales Alenia Space UK (TAS UK) is also bidding for a major role in the provision of the spacecraft’s Payload Module, and has been awarded one of three competitive studies funded by ESA to lead the design definition of this hardware.

    The UK Space Agency funded academic roles maximise UK science return by combining privileged access to SMILE science data with intimate instrument knowledge. SMILE builds on a very productive legacy of academic collaboration between the UK and China, and will act as a further high profile pillar of cooperation. The UK roles demonstrate our ongoing international leadership and engagement with world-class science and research.

    Prof Graziella Branduardi-Raymont, mission Co-Principal Investigator, said:

    “SMILE is a most innovative space mission dedicated to study the impact of the solar wind on the Earth’s magnetic environment. It will explore scientifically what drives space weather and return knowledge that will eventually lead to mitigating its effects.”

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

     
  • richardmitnick 4:55 pm on July 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , MIRI on Webb, , STFC RAL Space, UK Space Agency   

    From STFC: “Recipe for success – the next steps for MIRI” 


    STFC

    14 July 2017
    Contacts
    Sarah-Jane Smart
    sarah.smart@stfc.ac.uk
    Communications Lead JWST MIRI EC for STFC
    Mob: +(44) (0) 7837 634683

    1
    The installation of MIRI into the instrument module.(Credit: NASA.)

    Testing is heating up for the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI), the coldest instrument on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The advanced cooler for the instrument (its own refrigerator) is currently undergoing performance testing at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California.

    MIRI is one of the key instruments currently being built for NASA’s JWST, which, once it is launched in 2018, will study every phase in the history of our Universe, ranging from the first luminous glows after the Big Bang, to the formation of solar systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth, to the evolution of our own Solar System.

    The cooler is very complex and needs components spread throughout the huge telescope to help reduce the temperature of the instrument to a super cold -267degC. The current tests at JPL are using a spare cooler and a prototype MIRI; this was specially adapted by the European MIRI team, including STFC RAL Space, to get a better understanding of how all these components behave when connected together.

    Engineers from STFC form part of the test team at JPL who are putting the cooler system through its paces to see how it functions.

    The MIRI Lead Thermal Engineer at STFC, Bryan Shaughnessy said “We’re calling this an end-to-end test. It is a little like perfecting a recipe. We have the ingredients and the techniques and, with a little knowhow and tweaking, we will get the perfect dish. These tests will fine-tune the operational parameters of MIRI.”

    Links

    STFC MIRI page
    NASA JWST Home page

    MIRI

    MIRI is an infrared camera and spectrometer and will operate between wavelengths of 5 to 27 microns, a region which is difficult to observe from the ground. The instrument has several unique advantages; its location in space will remove the blocking and large background noise effects of the atmosphere which limit ground-based telescopes. JWST can be cooled to a very low temperature; this reduces the emission from the telescope and therefore greatly improves its sensitivity. JWST will have a much larger mirror than any other infrared space telescope, giving improved angular resolution.

    MIRI has been put through its paces with a series of rigorous environmental test campaigns designed to verify performance and functionality and is now undergoing final testing. at Johnson Space Centre in Houston. The UK team and teams from both the US and Europe travel out at different times to work on shifts with the NASA team and the other JWST Science Instrument teams.

    STFC RAL Space

    STFC RAL Space are responsible for the functional testing of MIRI, these are carried out every time the mission completes a test cycle to ensure that MIRI is still working correctly. RAL Space are responsible for the overall thermal design of MIRI and provide support to the test team during cold tests.

    RAL Space based at STFC’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL), carries out an exciting range of world-class space research and technology development. We have significant involvement in over 210 space missions and are at the forefront of UK Space Research. We undertake world-leading space research and technology development, provide space test and ground-based facilities, design and build instruments, analyse and process data and operate S- and X-band ground-station facilities, as well as lead conceptual studies for future missions. We work with space and ground-based groups around the world.

    UK Space Agency

    The UK Space Agency is at the heart of UK efforts to explore and benefit from space. It is responsible for all strategic decisions on the UK civil space programme and provides a clear, single voice for UK space ambitions.

    About the European Space Agency


    The European Space Agency (ESA) provides Europe’s gateway to space and is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    STFC Hartree Centre

    Helping build a globally competitive, knowledge-based UK economy

    We are a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation, and our goal is to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and its people – and more broadly to the world. Our strength comes from our distinct but interrelated functions:

    Universities: we support university-based research, innovation and skills development in astronomy, particle physics, nuclear physics, and space science
    Scientific Facilities: we provide access to world-leading, large-scale facilities across a range of physical and life sciences, enabling research, innovation and skills training in these areas
    National Campuses: we work with partners to build National Science and Innovation Campuses based around our National Laboratories to promote academic and industrial collaboration and translation of our research to market through direct interaction with industry
    Inspiring and Involving: we help ensure a future pipeline of skilled and enthusiastic young people by using the excitement of our sciences to encourage wider take-up of STEM subjects in school and future life (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)

    We support an academic community of around 1,700 in particle physics, nuclear physics, and astronomy including space science, who work at more than 50 universities and research institutes in the UK, Europe, Japan and the United States, including a rolling cohort of more than 900 PhD students.

    STFC-funded universities produce physics postgraduates with outstanding high-end scientific, analytic and technical skills who on graduation enjoy almost full employment. Roughly half of our PhD students continue in research, sustaining national capability and creating the bedrock of the UK’s scientific excellence. The remainder – much valued for their numerical, problem solving and project management skills – choose equally important industrial, commercial or government careers.

    Our large-scale scientific facilities in the UK and Europe are used by more than 3,500 users each year, carrying out more than 2,000 experiments and generating around 900 publications. The facilities provide a range of research techniques using neutrons, muons, lasers and x-rays, and high performance computing and complex analysis of large data sets.

    They are used by scientists across a huge variety of science disciplines ranging from the physical and heritage sciences to medicine, biosciences, the environment, energy, and more. These facilities provide a massive productivity boost for UK science, as well as unique capabilities for UK industry.

    Our two Campuses are based around our Rutherford Appleton Laboratory at Harwell in Oxfordshire, and our Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire – each of which offers a different cluster of technological expertise that underpins and ties together diverse research fields.

    The combination of access to world-class research facilities and scientists, office and laboratory space, business support, and an environment which encourages innovation has proven a compelling combination, attracting start-ups, SMEs and large blue chips such as IBM and Unilever.

    We think our science is awesome – and we know students, teachers and parents think so too. That’s why we run an extensive Public Engagement and science communication programme, ranging from loans to schools of Moon Rocks, funding support for academics to inspire more young people, embedding public engagement in our funded grant programme, and running a series of lectures, travelling exhibitions and visits to our sites across the year.

    Ninety per cent of physics undergraduates say that they were attracted to the course by our sciences, and applications for physics courses are up – despite an overall decline in university enrolment.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:10 am on April 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: £150000 Funding awarded to schemes to support space entrepreneurs, , UK Space Agency   

    From UK Space: “Funding awarded to schemes to support space entrepreneurs” 

    UK Space Agency

    UK Space Agency

    10 March 2017 [Where has this been?]

    The UK Space Agency has awarded just under £150,000 to three business incubation centres across the UK.

    1
    UK pictured from the ISS. Credit: Andre Kuipers/ESA/NASA.

    These awards will support entrepreneurs and small companies in the space industry. The Agency is working with UK industry to deliver world-class science innovation support, in line with the Government’s Industrial Strategy, which emphasises the importance of science, innovation and skills.

    The business incubation centres in the Solent, Scotland and the South West of England, will support start-up companies by providing advice and support, giving access to facilities and resources and collaborating on events and initiatives with other business incubators.

    Just under £50,000 has gone to a joint scheme between the National Oceanography Centre’s Marine Robotics Innovation Centre, in Southampton, and the University of Portsmouth’s Innovation Space. The money will be used to provide an innovation hub in Southampton with world-leading expertise in developing next generation Marine Autonomous Systems and an incubation centre in Portsmouth.

    In a scheme led by the University of Exeter, the South West Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications Partnership has received £50,000 to run the SpaceTech Incubation Initiative, which will support start-ups and innovative SME’s to exploit space technology. SpaceTech will be delivered by SETsquared EXETER with high-potential businesses being provided with ‘grow-on’ space at Goonhilly Earth Station, Helston.

    A further £50,000 has gone to the Scottish Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications, based at the University of Strathclyde, to work with Tontine in Glasgow, a high-tech acceleration and growth space for new businesses. The money will be used to support new start-up and scale up businesses.

    The space sector is a UK success story, with growth averaging over 8% a year over the last decade, a turnover in excess of £11 billion a year and ambitious plans to achieve 10% of the global space market by 2030. Much of this growth is anticipated to come from companies using space-derived data or services in a broad range of different sectors.

    Helen Roberts, Regional Growth Manager at the UK Space Agency, said:

    “We are delighted to extend the network of incubators supporting space sector start-ups to cover even more of the UK.

    “These new business incubators add to the existing network of SETsquared, Leicester Dock, UNIP in Nottingham, Loughborough University, Business Durham, Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) at its Daresbury Laboratory site, Glyndwr Innovations in St Asaph, North Wales and the European Space Agency’s business incubator at Harwell.

    “We look forward to working with them and seeing them help exciting new businesses to develop and flourish.”

    See the full article here .

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  • richardmitnick 2:44 pm on January 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Algeria, AlSat Nano, , , , UK Space Agency   

    From UK Space: “First colour image for joint UK and Algerian CubeSat” 

    UK Space Agency

    UK Space Agency

    9 January 2017

    AlSat Nano, a UK-Algeria CubeSat mission, has captured its first full colour image following its launch in September 2016.

    1

    2
    Image taken from space of the Arkhangelsk Oblast region, on the North West coast of Russia. Credit: Alsat Nano mission, Open University, December 2016.

    The image was taken by the Open University C3D2 instrument’s wide field camera on 3rd December, 2016, over the Arkhangelsk Oblast region, on the North West coast of Russia. It was captured under twilight conditions at dawn, showing the coastline to the right, and a brief winter sunrise over the arctic region with a deep red-brown hue. Through the cloud cover there is evidence of hills and snow on mountains, and mist in the river valleys. The object in the foreground is the Oxford Space Systems Ltd AstroTubeTM Boom payload, also carried on board the spacecraft.

    This marks an important milestone for the mission as all core payloads have now been commissioned successfully, paving the way for further scientific and commercial exploitation.

    Dr Chris Castelli, UK Space Agency Director of Programmes said:

    “Successfully delivering this joint UK-Algeria mission from payload selection to launch readiness in 18 months is a great achievement from all programme partners. As this latest image demonstrates, mission operations are going from strength to strength, validating cutting edge UK space technology and our open approach to working with international partners.”

    AlSat Nano is Algeria’s first CubeSat mission and shows the capability of UK technology in partnership with industry and academia. With a spacecraft the size of a shoebox yet featuring all the core subsystems of much larger satellites, the programme demonstrates how CubeSats can be assembled quickly and launched at a fraction of the cost. This will help Algeria strengthen its domestic space technology capability by giving their scientists and engineers first-hand experience of spacecraft operations.

    3
    Alsat Nano image overlayed on Google Maps. Credit: Alsat Nano mission, Open University, December 2016. Map credit: Google Maps.

    Dr Abdewahab Chikouche, Director of Space Programmes at Algerian Space Agency, said:

    “The Alsat-1N project is a concrete example of the success of our cooperation with UKSA. This project, very enriching from the scientific and technological point of view, allowed ASAL engineers to progress in the integration and testing of nanosatellites and acquire autonomy in its operation. This project will enable Algerian researchers and academics to strengthen national capabilities in advanced space technology.”

    Approximately half of the spacecraft’s volume was made available as part of an open call to the UK CubeSat community as a free flight opportunity for self-funded payloads. AlSat Nano stuck to a tight development schedule, with less than 18 months between payload selection and flight readiness.

    Prof Guglielmo Aglietti, Director of Surrey Space Centre said:

    “AlSat Nano has been an exciting project for the Surrey Space Centre to be leading. Educational and research elements, and the technology knowledge transfer with the Algerian Space Agency were key parts of this project. Additionally, the development of this nanosatellite platform has been a great opportunity to work with UK payload providers, who are demonstrating some exciting new technologies.”

    AlSat Nano is a joint nanosatellite mission between the UK Space Agency and Algerian Space Agency (ASAL) as part of an on-going initiative to enhance collaboration. UK Space Agency has funded the design, build and verification of the spacecraft at Surrey Space Centre (SSC), University of Surrey, as a hands-on learning exercise for Algerian postgrad students to demonstrate the practical elements of low cost space technology. ASAL has provided the launch, and operations are being undertaken in Algeria by ASAL operators trained at SSC.

    The three selected payloads on AlSat Nano are:

    C3D2

    A highly customisable CubeSat camera suite offering three fields of view and innovative on-board software processing capabilities. The payload is also a remote experiment of the OpenSTEM Labs – a suite of remote experiments that supports distance learning students studying science and engineering. C3D2 will offer these students the chance to operate a real payload on an orbiting spacecraft. The payload development is led by the Open University Centre for Electronic Imaging with sensor hardware provided by e2v Ltd and electronics from XCAM Ltd.

    Thin Film Solar Cell

    A novel solar cell structure which is directly layered on cover glass just 1/10th of a millimetre thick. Effects from the space environment will be measured, with the aim of allowing the organisations involved a route to product development and commercial exploitation of this technology. This project is led by the Swansea University Centre for Solar Energy Research with contributions from the University of Surrey, Qioptiq Ltd and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.

    AstroTube Boom

    A retractable CubeSat-compatible boom which should be able to deploy up to 1.5 metres in length from a volume around the size of a business card holder. This technology would enable CubeSats to carry out a greater range of science experiments that require sensors to be held as far away from the spacecraft as possible to reduce interference, and could also form the basis of de-orbit systems for future missions. The payload also carries a magnetometer, one of the most compact of its class, to carry out measurements of the Earth’s magnetic field, and RadFET radiation monitors. The payload is led by Oxford Space Systems Ltd, collaborating with partners including the Science and Technology Facilities Councils RAL Space and Bartington Instruments Ltd.

    See the full article here .

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  • richardmitnick 9:06 am on December 22, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , UK Space Agency   

    From UK Space: “UK at the forefront of NASA’s CYGNSS mission” 

    UK Space Agency

    UK Space Agency

    22 December 2016

    NASA CYGNSS satellite
    NASA CYGNSS satellite

    A UK company is at the forefront of NASA’s latest Earth observation mission to see inside tropical storms and hurricanes like never before.

    Surrey Satellite Technology has developed the Space GNSS Receiver Remote Sensing Instrument (SGR-ReSI) for the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) mission providing scientists with innovative satellite technology.

    The CYGNSS mission, which launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on 15 December, is part of a NASA programme to improve extreme weather prediction by studying how tropical cyclones form.

    CYGNSS will measure ocean surface winds in and near a hurricane’s inner core, including regions previously could not be measured from space. CYGNSS will use both direct and reflected satellite navigation signals to obtain estimates of surface wind speed over the ocean.

    Surrey Satellite Technology demonstrated the technology for the first time on its UK-DMC mission launched in 2003. It has subsequently developed the SGR-ReSI with sponsorship from the UK Space Agency, Innovate UK and the UK Centre for Earth Observation and Instrumentation and Space Technology. The first flight of the SGR-ReSI is on the UK TechDemoSat-1 mission, with exploitation support from the European Space Agency.

    The UK is already a world-leader in satellite technology and Earth observation. In September the UK Space Agency unveiled new support to help the UK space sector maintain its leading position in Earth observation, helping to tackle global issues such as deforestation and disaster monitoring. This support included a new £2m joint programme for UK companies and academia to develop innovative technologies to observe the Earth from space.

    Working together with the University of Leicester, Airbus Defence and Space UK, and RAL Space, the £2m funding from UK Space Agency will support UK companies and academia to develop their technologies and help them gain access to government funding worth up to £10 million.

    For more information on the UK’s involvement in the mission, check out the SSTL website.

    See the full article here .

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  • richardmitnick 9:35 am on August 31, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: AlSat Nano ready for launch, , UK Space Agency   

    From UK Space Agency: “AlSat Nano ready for launch” 

    UK Space Agency

    UK Space Agency

    31 August 2016
    No writer credit found

    1
    CAD drawing of Alsat Nano. Credit: Surrey Space Centre

    A joint cubesat mission between the UK Space Agency and Algerian Space Agency has shipped to India, ready for launch in September.

    Following an MOU signed in 2015, the two organisations have enhanced collaboration in space programmes.

    The MoU established a joint educational CubeSat development programme to be delivered by the Surrey Space Centre at the University of Surrey (SSC), for Algerian graduate students.

    The design, build and verification of the AlSat Nano spacecraft took place at SSC as a hands-on learning exercise for the students, to demonstrate the practical elements of low cost space technology, giving them experience that should help Algeria strengthen its domestic space technology capability.

    ASAL is providing the launch, and operations will be undertaken by Algerian operators trained in Surrey. During the spacecraft’s commissioning, the operators will make use of the Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) ground station in Guildford, with operations transferring to ASAL’s newly developed ground station in Oran.

    AlSat Nano

    The spacecraft platform has been built using hardware sourced almost exclusively from UK suppliers, and one third of its volume has been made available to the UK CubeSat community as a free flight opportunity for self-funded payloads, via an open call and competitive selection process. The three selected payloads are:

    C3D2 – a highly customisable CubeSat camera suite offering three fields of view and innovative on-board software processing capabilities. The payload will also be a remote experiment of the Open Science Laboratory – a suite of remote experiments that supports distance learning students studying science and engineering. C3D2 will offer these students the chance to operate a real payload on an orbiting spacecraft. The payload development is led by the Open University Centre for Electronic Imaging with sensor hardware provided by e2v Ltd and electronics from XCAM Ltd.

    Thin Film Solar Cell – a novel solar cell structure which is directly layered on cover glass just 1/10th of a millimetre thick. Effects from the space environment will be measured, with the aim of allowing the organisations involved a route to product development and commercial exploitation of this technology. This project is led by the Swansea University Centre for Solar Energy Research with contributions from the University of Surrey, Qioptiq Ltd and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.

    AstroTube Boom – a retractable CubeSat-compatible boom which should be able to deploy up to 1.5 metres in length from a volume around the size of a business card holder. This technology would enable CubeSats to carry out a greater range of science experiments that require sensors to be held as far away from the spacecraft as possible to reduce interference, and could also form the basis of de-orbit systems for future missions. The payload also carries a magnetometer, one of the most compact of its class, to carry out measurements of the Earth’s magnetic field, and RadFET radiation monitors. The payload is led by Oxford Space Systems Ltd, collaborating with partners including the Science and Technology Facilities Councils RAL Space and Bartington Instruments Ltd.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

     
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