Research Associate in Space Plasma Physics (3 posts)
Publication date: 22 November 2013
University College London's Mullard Space Science Laboratory (the Department of Space and Climate Physics) wishes to fill 3 vacancies within its Space Plasma Group. These positions are:
China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation visits MSSL
Publication date: 31 October 2013
On Wednesday 31st October, MSSL hosted a delegation from the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation. We discussed with the delegation MSSL's Technology Management programme as well as the development of in-situ plasma detectors with Prof. Alan Smith, Michael Emes and Dhiren Kataria. A number of the delegation also had a tour of the recently revamped clean rooms at MSSL.
ExoMars Rover uses PanCam to explore Atacama Desert
Publication date: 17 October 2013
The shocking truth about solar eruptions
Publication date: 8 October 2013
The Sun gives light and heat that makes life possible on Earth. That said, our nearest star can have more sinister effects, sometimes unleashing huge eruptions of hot gas, called coronal mass ejections (CMEs), which carry billions of tons of matter travelling at millions of kilometres an hour into space. These storms can be accompanied by solar radio bursts, and if they head in Earth’s direction, they can cause damaging effects on many of the technologies that we rely on in our everyday lives, such as communications satellites and mobile phone networks.
Reflecting on Earth’s albedo
Publication date: 9 September 2013
Who won the annual MSSL cricket match?
Publication date: 5 September 2013
David Willetts visits UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory
Publication date: 16 August 2013
David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science, visited UCL’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory on Tuesday 13th August. The minister inspected a number of instruments which are being built at the laboratory for future scientific spacecraft, including Euclid, ExoMars and Solar Orbiter, as well as hearing about MSSL’s role at the heart of the UK and European space programme.
Magnetic star reveals its hidden power
Publication date: 15 August 2013
A team of astronomers including two researchers from UCL’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory has made the first ever measurement of the magnetic field at a specific spot on the surface of a magnetar. Magnetars are a type of neutron star, the dense and compact core of a giant star which has blasted away its outer layers in a supernova explosion.
Testing Penetrators at Pendine Sands
Publication date: 12 July 2013
On 11th July a team of scientists and engineers led by Astrium UK and including MSSL/UCL, Qinetiq and the Open University conducted a high velocity penetrator trial at Pendine Sands in South Wales. The test item was fired into a ice target at ~340 m/s. The test is part of a more extensive programme that is funded by European Space Agency which follows an earlier successful set of trials related to future lunar exploration. In this test the important and novel thermal isolation was demonstrated which is essential for any future planetary mission since target sites on the Moon, Mars and the Jovian moons are extremely cold while the inner instrumentation within the penetrator must remain near room temperature.
Solar tsunami used to measure Sun’s magnetic field
Publication date: 11 July 2013
MSSL at NAM2013
Publication date: 5 July 2013
Huge flare caught by Hinode
Publication date: 3 June 2013
Researchers at MSSL have been monitoring a recent increase in solar activity using the Japanese Hinode mission. In this news article on the MAPS Faculty website, Prof. Louise Harra describes how Hinode makes observations of these dramatic solar events.
MSSL student experiment successfully launched on European rocket
Publication date: 7 May 2013
Herschel loses its cool, but the work continues
Publication date: 29 April 2013
Europe's Herschel Space Observatory has exhausted its supply of liquid helium coolant, after almost four years of scientific observations. Using Herschel data, astronomers have already made ground-breaking discoveries about the formation and evolution of stars, galaxies and planets. But this has only scratched the surface, and there is far more still to come from the immense archive. Scientists at UCL’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL) and Department of Physics & Astronomy have been at the forefront of this exciting mission, both by leading a number of the key scientific investigations carried out by the observatory, and for their prominent role in the design of the SPIRE instrument, one of the three instruments carried on board Herschel. The SPIRE (Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver) instrument, which, made images of the sky simultaneously in three submillimetre ‘colours’ and measured the spectral features of atoms and molecules, was built by an international consortium headed by the UK.
Space lasers used to reduce emissions
Publication date: 29 April 2013
Three Royal Society University Research Fellows at MSSL
Publication date: 30 October 2012
MSSL is proud to announce that Drs Lucie Green and Chris Arridge have both been awarded a prestigious Royal Society University Research Fellowship in the 2012 competition. Lucie and Chris will be joined by Dr Thomas Kitching who was awarded a University Research Fellowship last year and has moved to MSSL from the University of Edinburgh. All three will take up academic posts at MSSL on completion of their fellowships.
MSSL wins contract to train ESA project managers
Publication date: 3 October 2012
UCL’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL) has won a major 3-5 year contract to provide project management training to the next generation of project managers at the European Space Agency (ESA). MSSL’s Technology Management Group will deliver the training at a venue close to ESA’s European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in the Netherlands, with a team consisting of Prof Alan Smith, Dr Michael Emes (Programme Manager), Matthew Whyndham and Simon Jackson.
MSSL becomes a member of ISIC
Publication date: 29 August 2012
MSSL has become a member of the International Space Innovation Centre (ISIC) in Harwell, Oxfordshire. ISIC drives innovation and enterprise, creating new technologies and developing applications and intellectual property for the benefit of the UK. Launched in May 2011, ISIC is a not-for-profit organisation based in the UK formed between industry, academia and government.
Hinode Scientists' Stellar Effort Keeps Sun Mission 'Burning Bright'
Publication date: 14 August 2012
Whilst the most powerful earthquake since records began hit Japan in 2011, triggering a massive tsunami which devastated much of the country, space scientists involved in one of the ‘brightest’ international Sun missions continued working tirelessly at the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science in Sagamihara, Japan, to capture new data from our turbulent star.
Technological Breakthrough in MSSL Milli-Kelvin Cryocooler
Publication date: 14 June 2012
A 22 gram Chromium Potassium Alum (CPA) paramagnetic refrigerant has been demonstrated to cool from 4 Kelvin to 178 millikelvin in only 30 seconds; an unprecedented achievement made possible by detailed thermal modelling and the development of a superconducting magnet capable of ramping from zero to two Tesla (20,000 gauss) in 30 seconds and vice versa. This is a key technological breakthrough in MSSL’s EPSRC funded millikelvin cryocooler development.
ESA selects mission to Jupiter and its moons
Publication date: 3 May 2012
Europe's next large space mission JUICE (JUpiter ICy moon Explorer) is destined to orbit icy Ganymede, a planet-sized Galilean moon, after flybys of Europa and Callisto. Unique among moons in the solar system, Ganymede is magnetized, which gives it some protection from Jupiter's harsh radiation and plasma environment, which the mission will also characterize. All 3 moons are 'waterworlds' in the sense that they have liquid water oceans underneath their icy crusts. Professor Andrew Coates of MSSL-UCL is a member of the ESA Science Study team and has spent the last 4 years contributing to the team effort to get the mission selected. He says 'Now the hard work really starts - preparing instrument proposals for this space odyssey which will launch in 2022, reach Jupiter in 2030 and orbit Ganymede in 2032. We look forward to the challenge of this fascinating mission'.
First validated data from ESA GlobIce Project
Publication date: 14 March 2012
GlobIce, a €1 million project led by MSSL, started in 2005 and is a part of ESA's Data User Element (DUE) of the Earth Observation Envelope Programme. The main purpose of GlobIce is to define, implement and validate a sea ice information system to support the World Climate Research Programme Climate and Cryosphere project (CliC) with validated sea ice motion, deformation and flux products derived from SAR data in the ESA archive. The GlobICE project has been developed by a consortium of 8 partners and is due to complete in December 2011.
New Low Energy Plasma and Ion Calibration (LEPIC) system at MSSL
Publication date: 6 March 2012
MSSL scientists and engineers are today celebrating the first successful operation of the electron beam in the laboratory's new Low Energy Plasma and Ion Calibration system (LEPIC). The original design concept for the novel two-chamber electron beam system was devised by Senior Instrumentation Scientist, Dhiren Kataria, and Facilities Manager, Alex Rousseau. Dhiren said, "We are delighted with this positive result, which is a testament to the hard work and expertise of the whole LEPIC team at MSSL. Thanks go in particular to Alex Rousseau for his part in building the system and to Gary Davison for developing the automation and control systems. We will now concentrate on commissioning the entire system to ultimately provide a world class facility that will underpin MSSL's space plasma instrumentation programme for, we hope, many years to come."
Prof. Andrew Fazakerley awarded RAS Chapman Medal
Publication date: 17 January 2012
MSSL student experiment selected for international rocket launch
Publication date: 5 January 2012
An experiment designed by MSSL students has been selected to be part of the payload onboard a REXUS sounding rocket launch to be launched in 2013. The REXUS programme gives students the chance to design and fly an experiment on a sounding rocket launched from ESRANGE in Kiruna. These rockets carry their payload up to 100 km above northern Scandanacia. Students from around Europe can submit proposals to fly experiments through the European Space Agency (ESA). This year, a team of students from around the UK were accepted to fly PoleCATS, an electron detector based on the work of PhD student Robert Bedington.