MSSL News

Electronics Design Engineer

Publication date:

The focus of this 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.

MSSL involved in new NASA proposals

Publication date:

The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), launched in 2012, is an Explorer mission that allows astronomers to study the universe in high energy X-rays. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA has selected five proposals submitted to its Explorers Program to conduct focused scientific investigations and develop instruments that fill the scientific gaps between the agency’s larger missions. MSSL's Prof. Kinwah Wu and Dr. Silvia Zane are part of the team behind the selected IXPE proposal.

Space Project System Engineer

Publication date:

Applications are invited for the post of System Engineer for the Visible Instrument on the ESA Euclid dark-energy mission. The successful candidate will develop the specifications for the instrument and be responsible for its technical development and performance verification.

Sixth Formers Sample Space Science

Publication date:

Students at MSSL's Work Experience Week 2015

MSSL has just finished its second annual work experience week for sixth formers and in the words of Adi Ramani, one of the sixth formers taking part: “It was an amazing week. I don’t think anything was lacking.  It is the perfect experience for anyone wanting to pursue Physics or Engineering.”

Tutor in Systems Engineering / Project Management (2 posts)

Publication date:

The successful applicants will contribute significantly to the teaching and training activities of the Technology Management Group at MSSL, dedicating most of their time to academic teaching (mostly MSc programmes) at UCL’s main campus in London, and to industrial training courses at various locations in the UK and overseas. The successful applicants will also have a role in systems engineering or project management for one or more instrumentation development projects at MSSL. The balance between the time spent performing practical project management and systems engineering and the time spent performing teaching/training activities will be flexible to suit the changing needs of the department.

Solar Physics Group celebrates RAS and Arthur awards

Publication date:

Prof. Len Culhane, winner of the Sir Arthur Clarke Award for Lifetime Space Achievement, with Prof. Nick Brook, Dean of the UCL MAPS faculty

Members of the MSSL Solar Physics Group have been celebrating three recent awards for their achievements and service to the solar physics and wider astronomical communities. Prof. Len Culhane was awarded the Sir Arthur C. Clarke Award for Lifetime Achievement at this year's awards ceremony. Prof. Lidia van Driel-Gesztelyi was awarded the RAS Service Award and Prof. Louise Harra received the RAS Group Achievement Award on behalf of the Hinode EIS Team at this year's National Astronomy Meeting.

MSSL Signs up to UCLU's "Zero Tolerance to Sexual Harassment"

Publication date:

Zero Tolerance to Sexual Harassment

MSSL has signed up to UCLU and UCL's "Zero Tolerance to Sexual Harassment Pledge for Departments". Run by UCLU, the Zero Tolerance to Sexual Harassment campaign aims to eradicate sexual harassment at UCL. The campaign has already engaged hundreds of students and UCLU societies and is now expanding across the University.

Titan’s atmosphere even more Earth-like than previously thought

Publication date:

Cassini at Saturn

Scientists at UCL have observed how a widespread polar wind is driving gas from the atmosphere of Saturn’s moon Titan.

ESA shortlists three space missions with major UCL contributions

Publication date:

Mission themes

The European Space Agency has announced the shortlisted proposals for its next mid-sized science mission.

All three proposed spacecraft have significant contributions from UCL, which means the university will be guaranteed a role regardless of which is chosen. The candidates are in the areas of exoplanet science, plasma physics and X-ray observations of high-energy phenomena, with teams including academics at UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory and UCL Physics & Astronomy.

Technician in Flight Test Facilities Group

Publication date:

Applications are invited for a position in the Flight Test Facilities Group at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London. The group is currently involved in testing hardware for a number of ESA space missions, including Exomars, Solar Orbiter, Euclid and Plato. The successful applicant will provide support to these space flight hardware test campaigns, as well as being responsible for the maintenance and day-to-day running of MSSL’s flight test facilities and cleanrooms. The successful applicant should hold an HNC/HND in engineering or equivalent and have experience of working in a laboratory environment. The post is for 2 years in the first instance, continuation subject to grant funding. The salary is on UCL Salary Grade 6, ranging from £24,057 - £28,695 per annum depending on experience.

ESA Announces M4 Down-selection

Publication date:

ESA has announced the three missions that will undergo Phase A studies for the fourth M-class mission in the Cosmic Visions science programme. These are the Atmospheric Remote-Sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey (Ariel), the Turbulence Heating ObserveR (Thor) and the X-ray Imaging Polarimetry Explorer (Xipe). MSSL scientists and engineers will be involved in the studies for all three missions.

SMILE space mission passes first hurdle

Publication date:

Solar-terrestrial interactions. From left to right: Solar Dynamics Observatory image of the Sun (Credit: NASA); Earth’s magnetosphere (Credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration); SMILE soft X-ray imager simulation of  emission from the magnetosheath and the cusps (the large box represents the soft X-ray imager field of view and the smaller one that of the auroral UV imager); FUV aurora from IMAGE (Credit: SMILE mission)

A space mission called SMILE (Solar Wind Magnetosphere Ionosphere Link Explorer) which is jointly led by UCL and the Chinese National Space Science Center has received the go-ahead for an initial study phase this summer by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

Understanding space weather's threat to the finance industry

Publication date:

Canary Wharf

The risk that space weather poses to our daily lives has become more prominent in recent years.

Awareness has been enhanced by dramatic solar activity that regularly features in the media and by the inclusion of space weather in the National Risk Register. Attention is now turning to the risks posed to specific sectors and on 27 May UCL held a symposium to examine space weather risk and resilience in the financial sector.

Magnetar near supermassive black hole delivers surprises

Publication date:

Magnetar

In 2013, astronomers announced they had discovered a magnetar exceptionally close to the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way using a suite of space-borne telescopes including NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory.

Dark matter even darker than once thought

Publication date:

Collage of galaxy clusters

Astronomers using observations from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory have studied how dark matter in clusters of galaxies behaves when the clusters collide.

UCL researcher strikes Bronze for physics display in Parliament

Publication date:

SET for Britain

Jason Hunt (UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory) has struck Bronze at a competition in the House of Commons, for the excellence of his physics research, walking away with a £1000 prize.

UCL scientist takes his research to Parliament

Publication date:

UCL-MSSL student Edward Malina

SET for Britain Press Release

Edward Malina, 26, a PhD Research Student at Mullard Space Science Laboratory (UCL), hailing from Watford, is attending Parliament to present his physics research to a range of politicians and a panel of expert judges, as part of SET for Britain on Monday 9 March.

Highlights from the 2015 Planck Cosmology Data Release

Publication date:

Artist’s rendering of the Planck satellite with view inside the telescope shields. The focal plane unit is visible as the golden collection of waveguide horns at the focus of the telescope positioned inside the thermal shields (external envelope) which protect the telescope from unwanted stray light and aids the cooling of the telescope mirrors by having a black emitting surface on the outside and a reflective one on the inside. For reference, the Earth and Sun would be located far towards the bottom left of this picture. (Credit: ESA/Planck)

New maps from ESA's Planck satellite, forming the second major data release (Feb 2015) from the project, have unveiled the 'polarised' light from the early Universe across the entire sky, revealing that the first stars formed much later than previously thought.

Venus is slowly losing its atmosphere

Publication date:

Venus

New research shows how the Sun and the atmosphere of Venus interact, making the planet lose 300kg of atmospheric gas every day. The research, published in the journal Planetary and Space Science, comes from two teams led by scientists at UCL's Mullard Space Science Laboratory.

UCL to play role in world's largest solar telescope

Publication date:

DKIST

The UK science community has secured a pivotal role in the world's largest ground-based solar telescope, the Daniel K Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST).

UCL scientists honoured in annual RAS awards

Publication date:

Harra

Two UCL scientists and one scientific collaboration led by a UCL researcher have been recognised in this year's Royal Astronomical Society Awards.

MSSL Solar Physics Recognised in RAS Awards 2015

Publication date:

Members of the Hinode EIS team, winners of the RAS Group Achievement Award (G) 2015

The work and achievements of members of the MSSL Solar Physics Group has been recognised by the Royal Astronomical Society in their annual awards. The Group Achievement Award in Geophysics went to the Hinode EIS team, led by MSSL's Prof. Louise Harra, and the RAS Service Award was awarded to Prof. Lidia van Driel-Gesztelyi.

Origin of polar auroras revealed

Publication date:

Theta aurora (courtesy NASA)

Researchers from UCL, University of Southampton and University of Leicester together with ESA and NASA have uncovered the origin of a colourful display in the night sky called ‘theta aurora’, explaining for the first time how auroras at high-latitudes form.

Research Excellence Framework 2014 Results

Publication date:

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.

REF publication: key results for the faculty

Publication date:

Researcher in the LCN

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) has now been published, giving the government’s assessment of research quality across all the UK’s universities.

Search UCL News