Archive of MSSL News

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Preparing SXI for ESA/CAS SMILE mission

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The SMILE SXI team meeting at MSSL

Over the last two days the international team developing the Soft X-ray Imager (SXI) for the ESA/CAS SMILE mission has gathered at MSSL to present and discuss progress in the design (and in some case prototyping) of the various subsystems that make up the instrument. SMILE is a new joint mission between the European Space Agency and Chinese Academy of Science planned for launch in the early 2020s. It will provide novel observations of Earth's magnetosphere by examining x-rays that are emitted when the solar wind impacts on Earth's magnetic field and an exosphere of neutral particles that expands out into space.

RAS Keith Runcorn Thesis Prize runner-up from MSSL

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Dr. Nadine Kalmoni was a runner-up for the 2017 RAS Keith Runcorn Thesis Prize for her doctoral thesis entitled "The role of magnetospheric plasma instabilities in auroral and substorm dynamics". The prize, named in honour of the late Keith Runcorn, is awarded annually for the best PhD thesis in solar-system sciences and geophysics.

Workshop Instrument Maker and Fitter

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An exciting opportunity has arisen for the post of Workshop Instrument Maker and Fitter in the Mechanical and Thermal Engineering Group in the Department of Space and Climate Physics (Mullard Space Science Laboratory) to support the laboratory’s space science instrumentation programme. The successful candidate will work alongside 5 other members of the group in the mechanical workshop. The work carried out in the workshop involves manufacture of bespoke parts for laboratory experiments and space flight instrumentation. In addition to this a significant amount of work is outsourced and requires inspection and processing. The outsourced work varies from painting, coating and other specialist processes not carried out in the laboratory as well as the manufacture of parts not suitable for the workflow in the workshop. It is important in this environment to maintain quality standards and the associated paperwork that is part of each space flight project. 

Magnetic field collisions around Saturn reveal planetary differences

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Artist's impression of Cassini and Saturn's magnetosphere. Credit: ESA

Magnetic reconnection – the explosive reconfiguration of two magnetic fields – occurs differently around Saturn than around Earth, according to new findings from the international Cassini mission involving UCL researchers.

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