A solar flare occurring near the edge of a sunspot. From: Li et al., Astron. & Astrophys., 2009
A solar flare occurring near the edge of a sunspot. From: Li et al., Astron. & Astrophys., 2009

LEADING RESEARCH

UCL's Department of Space and Climate Physics, (Mullard Space Science Laboratory - MSSL), is a world-leading research organisation and is the UK's largest university-based space research group.

MSSL delivers a broad, cutting-edge science programme, underpinned by a strong capability in space science instrumentation, space-domain engineering, space medicine, systems engineering and project management. 

Our scientific research ranges from cosmology and the study of extra-galactic objects, to studies of the Sun, the planets and their moons, the Earth, and humans working and living in space. We also research and develop the next generation of space instrumentation. Our research is supported through UK research councils, the UK Space Agency, European and other grants and contracts.

Student graduation at UCL's campus
Student graduation at UCL's campus

SHARING KNOWLEDGE

As a department of UCL, members of staff are actively involved in teaching both undergraduates and post-graduates. Our post-graduate education programme consists of taught courses, leading to an M.Sc., and research degrees, leading to an M.Phil or Ph.D.

Students studying at MSSL become active members of their research groups and wider research communities. Research projects in our taught courses give students the opportunity to be involved in the development of new space hardware and future missions. 

The research undertaken at MSSL drives an active outreach programme. Scientists and engineers are happy to talk about their work and run activities for groups of all ages and interests.

Artist's impression of the Euclid spacecraft. Image: ESAe
Artist's impression of the Euclid spacecraft. Image: ESAe

DELIVERING TECHNOLOGY

MSSL has a long heritage of providing high-quality space instrumentation for international space research missions. In our >40 year history we have been involved in more than 35 scientific space missions and over 200 rocket launches.

MSSL develops and tests hardware and software, usually as part of an international consortium. Our engineers work along side scientists to ensure that the instruments we produce optimally address key questions in modern space science. Post-launch support that is linked to pre-flight and flight calibrations enables scientists to understand the responses of the instrument, greatly benefitting the analysis of the data.

Engineers and project support staff make up around half the staff and students at MSSL.

One of the twin materials screening chambers at MSSL
One of the twin materials screening chambers at MSSL

SUPPORTING INDUSTRY

As a builder of scientific instruments, MSSL has developed expertise and facilities for manufacturing and testing of space hardware. We make these facilities and expertise available for industrial contracts. 

Through UCL Centre for Systems Engineering (UCLse), we offer a range of industrial training courses in areas including systems engineering, project management, risk management and system design, and conduct consultancy projects for industry in systems engineering and technology management.

Mullard Space Science Laboratory with Comet Hale-Bopp
Mullard Space Science Laboratory with Comet Hale-Bopp

WELCOME TO MSSL

UCL was one of the first universities in the world to become involved in making scientific observations in space. Since MSSL was established in 1966, we have participated in more than 35 satellite missions and over 200 rocket experiments.

Our groups of research scientists and development engineers work together to ensure that the instruments we produce are as relevant and competitive as possible. The subsequent data analysis and scientific interpretation of data benefits from the fundamental understanding of the instruments gained from their development and testing.

MSSL and its location have a rich heritage that can be explored further on this site.

MSSL News

Research Excellence Framework 2014 Results

MSSL is delighted to be part of the top-rated university in the UK in the Research Excellence Framework, and to be listed as one of the top physics departments in the UK. More...

Published: Dec 18, 2014 3:39:39 PM

Research Associate in Information Engineering

We are seeking an excellent postdoctoral researcher in physics, mathematics, electrical engineering or computer science to develop novel information theoretic techniques (e.g., sparse and statistical signal processing, applied computational mathematics), motivated by their use for extracting scientific information from observational data. Signals defined on the sphere are prevalent in a diverse range of fields, including cosmology, geophysics, acoustics, and computer graphics, for example. In cosmology, observations made by the ESA Planck and Euclid satellites live on the celestial sphere, leading to very large and precise spherical data-sets, the robust analysis of which can reveal a great deal about the nature of our Universe. The project will initially focus on the analysis of signals defined on the sphere, such as those obtained by Planck and Euclid, but can be extended to incorporate the interests and expertise of the successful applicant.   More...

Published: Dec 17, 2014 1:38:00 PM

Research Associate in Inverse Problems

We are seeking an excellent postdoctoral researcher in physics, mathematics, electrical engineering or computer science to develop novel approaches to solve inverse problems in the context of big-data. In particular, these approaches will be used to image the data acquired by radio interferometric telescopes, such as the forthcoming Square Kilometre Array (SKA). The SKA promises exquisite radio observations of unprecedented resolution and sensitivity, supporting a diverse range of science, from the search for extra-terrestrial life to testing Einstein’s theory of general relativity, to uncovering the mysteries of the dawn of the first galaxies in the Universe. However, the SKA poses tremendous big-data challenges that must first be overcome. Inverse problems will be solved in the context of the recent revolutionary theory of compressed sensing, using sparse regularisation techniques and leveraging advanced convex optimisation algorithms, while exploiting high-performance computing architectures. More...

Published: Dec 17, 2014 1:33:00 PM

Mechanical Design Engineer

Applications are invited for the above post in the Mechanical and Thermal Engineering group at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory of University College, to support the Laboratory’s space science instrumentation programme.   More...

Published: Dec 4, 2014 9:35:00 AM

George Seabrook, winner of the Elizabeth Puchnarewicz Award 2014

MSSL Awards 2014

Staff and students gathered to celebrate their achievements at the annual MSSL Awards Ceremony on 20th November, 2014. This event recognises the achievements of staff and students across the range of activities undertaken by MSSL. This years awards went to: More...

Published: Dec 3, 2014 12:26:34 PM

Upcoming Events

MAPS Post-Graduate Open Day

UCL's Postgraduate open day for Engineering and Mathematical & Physical Sciences will take place on 14 January 2015. More...

Starts: Jan 14, 2015 9:00:00 AM

Page last modified on 08 sep 11 16:33