MSSL News

MSSL Deliver First QB50 INMS

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From left-to-right: Duncan Rust, Alan Smith, Dhiren Kataria and Robert Wicks. Dhiren is holding the first QB50 INMS

Dhiren Kataria (centre-right) sets off to deliver the first of 12 Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometers (INMS) to the QB50 project. INMS is the latest in a long line of space particle detectors designed, built and tested by MSSL and follows the successful operation of a similar instrument on the UK's TechDemoSat-1 launched in 2014.

Research Associate Plato Detector Scientist

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This post is within the Photon Detection Systems Group (www.ucl.ac.uk/mssl/detection) in the Department of Space and Climate Physics at Mullard Space Science Laboratory. The Department is part of the UCL Faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MAPS). 

Prof Louise Harra and team awarded 2016 Daiwa Adrian Prizes

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Image of the Hinode spacecraft. Major UCL collaborations with the Japanese have been building and operating instruments on spacecraft studying the Sun - and then the science that follows.

The winners of the 2016 Daiwa Adrian Prizes, the prestigious awards for scientific collaboration in the UK and Japan, have been announced. Following an assessment conducted by a panel of Fellows of the Royal Society, the Trustees of The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation have awarded four Daiwa Adrian Prizes of £10,000 to joint UK-Japan scientific research teams.

Electronics Design Engineer

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The focus of this particular post is the development of the PanCam instrument for the ESA Exomars programme. Exomars is a joint European and Russian mission to develop special technology for future sample return missions and to search for signs of past or present life. PanCam is a Rover based stereo camera system designed to operate in the harsh Martian environment. This instrument consists of a power converter, camera systems, filter wheel mechanisms and a field programmable gate array based digital control system. Communications with the Rover are over a Spacewire high speed digital link. LabView from National Instruments is widely used in our ground check-out systems and we use EDA design tools from Mentor Graphics.

New Dean of Mathematical & Physical Sciences appointed

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Prof Ivan Parkin

The faculty is delighted to announce the appointment of Prof Ivan Parkin as the new Dean of Mathematical and Physical Sciences. The appointment will be effective as of next academic year (2016-17).

Einstein's general relativity passes another stringent test

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Einstein's general relativity passes another stringent test

In a recent paper published today in the Astrophysical Journal, Ignacio Ferreras (UCL Space & Climate Physics/Mullard Space Science Laboratory) and Ignacio Trujillo (IAC) presented the most detailed test of the so-called cosmological redshift.

Magnetic Rope observed for the first time between Saturn and the Sun

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Magnetic Rope observed for the first time during the interaction between Saturn and the Sun

A twisted magnetic field structure, previously never seen before at Saturn, has now been detected for the first time, using instrumentation built at UCL and Imperial  College.

When the Sun’s magnetic field interacts with the Earth’s magnetic field (the  magnetosphere), a complex process occurs called magnetic reconnection which can twist the field into a helical shape.

Strong ‘electric wind’ strips planets of oceans and atmospheres

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This is an artist's concept of the electric wind at Venus. Rays represent the paths that oxygen and hydrogen ions take as they are pulled out of the upper atmosphere. Credits: NASA/Goddard/Conceptual Image Lab, Krystofer Kim

Venus has an ‘electric wind’ strong enough to remove the components of water from its upper atmosphere, which may have played a significant role in stripping the planet of its oceans, according to a new study by NASA and UCL researchers. 

MAPS Faculty PhesDival - 15th June

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MAPS Faculty PhesDival - 15th June

A celebration of research, for researchers.

On Wednesday 15th June from 5:30pm, PhD students, post-doctoral researchers and staff from across the faculty will come together in the Main Quad Pavilion to celebrate all things related to Maths and Physical Sciences.

Prof. Martin Rees - Real and Counterfactual Universes

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Prof. Martin Rees delivers MAPS Colloquium


In his recent UCL Maths and Physical Sciences Colloquium, Prof. Martin Rees (Lord Rees of Ludlow) delivered a commanding history of our universe. In keeping with the title of his talk - Real and Counterfactual Universes - Prof. Rees described the hierarchal structure of our own universe. 

The greatest movie ever made, directed by astronomers, starring Our Universe

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A simulated night sky provides a background for the LSST facilities building on Cerro Pachón. The LSST will carry out a deep, ten-year imaging survey in six broad optical bands over the main survey area of 18,000 square degrees. Credit LSST

The World’s first motion picture of our Universe, being dubbed the ‘greatest movie ever made’, is to be produced by international astronomers.

Mars’ surface revealed in unprecedented detail

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Beagle-2 landing site (credit: Yu Tao and Jan-Peter Muller, UCL)

The surface of Mars – including the location of Beagle-2 – has been shown in unprecedented detail by UCL scientists using a revolutionary image stacking and matching technique.

BBC Inside Science visits MSSL to talk QB50

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MSSL's Prof. Andrew Coates joined host Adam Rutherford on BBC Radio 4's Inside Science programme to talk about missions to other stars and multi-spacecraft missions to our own planet. As well, roving report Marnie Chesterton visited MSSL to explore the grounds and talk to Dhiren Kataria about the upcoming QB50 mission and MSSL's involvement in its design and build.

Space Weather Research in UCL Antenna

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A coronal mass ejection captured on 31 August 2012 by the Solar Dynamics Observatory. Credit: NASA

The science behind understanding the causes and effects of space weather being undertaken at MSSL has been featured in a new article on UCL Antenna. Prof. Louise Harra, Dr. Robert Wicks and Dhiren Kataria were interviewed about their research and the upcoming Solar Orbiter mission, along with the challenges of operating in such a hazardous environment.

Solar storms trigger Jupiter’s ‘Northern Lights’

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Artistic rendering of Jupiter's magnetosphere (credit: JAXA)

Solar storms trigger Jupiter’s intense ‘Northern Lights’ by generating a new X-ray aurora that is eight times brighter than normal and hundreds of times more energetic than Earth’s aurora borealis, finds new UCL-led research using NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory.

Congratulations to the winners of the MSSL Student Poster Competition

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Winners of the MSSL Student Poster Competition Nadine Kalloni (r) and Jennifer Chan (l) with Postgraduate Tutor Dr. Daisuke Kanata

Congratulations to Nadine Kalmoni and Jennifer Chan, this year's winners of the MSSL Student Poster Competition.

UCL Colloquium 11 May 2016 - Prof Martin Rees, FRS

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Prof. Martin Rees FRS

11 May 2016, 4- 5pm, followed by a drinks reception

Prof Martin Rees, Lord Rees of Ludlow, OM, FRS, FREng, FMedSci is to give a talk entitled 'Real and Counterfactual Universes'

UCL’s ExoMars PanCam kit one step closer to Mars

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Artist's Impression of the ExoMars Rover (courtesy: ESA)

The UCL-made ‘structural-thermal model’ of the ExoMars PanCam instrument for the joint ESA-Roscosmos (Russian space agency) 2018 rover mission leaves UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL) today for Airbus UK in Stevenage. This is the first of several steps on the way to Mars - in 2016, UCL will deliver engineering- and flight models. The flight model will be the actual instrument which travels to Mars where it will identify promising targets for the mission.

Cassini mission provides insight into Saturn

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The above image is an artist's rendition of the Cassini spacecraft approaching the planet Saturn. Image credit: NASA/JPL

Scientists have found the first direct evidence for explosive releases of energy in Saturn's magnetic bubble using data from the Cassini spacecraft, a joint mission between NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Italian Space Agency. The research is reported in the journal Nature Physics.

MSSL Awards 2015

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On Monday 23rd November, staff and students gathered to recognise outstanding people at MSSL in the annual MSSL awards. The awards, presented in memory of former colleagues, are a recognition of excellence in our science, engineering and outreach programmes.

Laboratorio - Poems from MSSL

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Cover art for Laboratorio, published by Sidekick Books

Last week saw the launch at an event at Greenwhich Observatory of 'Laboratorio', a collection of poems by MSSL staff and students, edited by award-winning poet Simon Barraclough. It was the culmination of a project funded by the STFC for Simon to spend a year as 'poet in residence' at MSSL.

How did Mars lose its habitable climate? The answer is blowing in the solar wind

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Professor Andrew Coates (UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory) explains how the solar wind has stripped Mars of its atmosphere, making it a lot less habitable than it once was. Read: The ConversationMore: Discover Magazine

UCL Staff Engagement Survey 2015

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Staff Survey 2015 logo

UCL is launching the 2015 Staff Engagement Survey on 9 November. Participating in the staff survey helps the Senior Management Team (SMT) to understand your experience of work and the working environment and how this impacts on achieving UCL’s goals.

Prizes for the 2014/15 MSc Programmes in Systems Engineering Management and MSc in Technology Management.

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MSSL is proud to announce the winners of this year's student awards on its Systems Engineering Management and Technology Management MSc Programmes.

Europlanet 2020 Research Infrastructure launches new era of planetary collaboration in Europe

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Mars (credit: NASA, ESA)

A €9.95 million project to integrate and support planetary science activities across Europe has been launched.

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