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MSSL Space Plasma News

Solar Orbiter SWA Critical Design Review kicks-off in ESTEC

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Barry Hancock in action.

Together with consortium colleagues from France, Italy and the USA, members of MSSL's PI team for the Solar Orbiter SWA investigation went to ESTEC in the Netherlands to make the kick-off presentation for the Critical Design Review (CDR) of the SWA instrument suite. 

Solar Orbiter SWA/EAS in Critical EMC Tests in Berlin

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EAS in Boom Test 2

The engineering model of UCL/MSSL's Electron Analyser System (EAS), which is a part of the Solar Wind Analysers Suite on ESA's forthcoming Solar Orbiter Mission, was delivered to the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) in Berlin in order to take part in EM interference testing between the boom-mounted instruments.

Dr. Colin Forsyth at the Festival of Nature

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Dr. Colin Forsyth at the Festival of Nature in Bristol, June 2014. Photo credit: Jon Craig

Dr. Colin Forsyth was invited to talk at the Festival of Nature Wild Weekend run by the Bristol Natural History Consortium. Dr. Forsyth's talk, entitled "The Greatest Light Show on Earth", was given to a packed tent at the harbour side in Bristol.

Plasma Group Welcomes Dr Zhonghua Yao

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Dr. Zhonghua Yao

The MSSL Space Plasmas Group warmly welcomes Dr Zhonghua Yao as a new colleague.  Dr Yao joins us from the School of Earth and Space Sciences, Peking University in China, where he recently completed a Ph.D. under the supervision of Prof. Zuyin Pu, a longstanding and trusted colleague and a leading scientist in our field in China.  More specifically, Zhonghua's research work addresses one of the central issues of magnetotail physics, and one which has been of great interest to our group for some time, that of the role of fast flow enhancements in the transport of mass and energy within the magnetotail during magnetospheric substorms.

First Joint ESA-China Academy of Science Joint Scientific Space Mission Workshop

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Prof. Andrew Fazakerley and Dr J. Rae attended this workshop in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China on 25, 26 Feb 2014. They presented an auroral space mission concept targeted on substorm onset science questions, and made useful contacts with potential Chinese collaborators. They also supported posters concerning the Ravens and AXIOM mission concepts on behalf colleagues who could not attend the meeting. On a free day following the workshop, they visited the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base and saw many giant pandas and red pandas. The famously spicy local cuisine was also sampled.

Cluster Science Operations Working Group meeting #60

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The Eberbach Monastery (photo by G. Watson)

Prof. Andrew Fazakerley (Cluster PEACE PI) and Gill Watson (lead of the PEACE Operations Team at MSSL) attended this meeting at the European Space Operatipons Centre (ESOC), Darmstadt, Germany on 4, 5 Mar 2014, and contributed 3 presentations. The recent progress of the mission was reviewed and forward planning was done for the coming year. Initial work was done on a longer range science plan, with a future mission extension in mind. In the evening, the retiring Cluster Spacecraft Operations Manager arranged a cultural and dining visit to the Eberbach monastery in the Rhinegau region (where some of the filming of "The Name of the Rose" was done).

Congratulations to Dr. Duthie

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Dr. Roger Duthie and Dr. Segheen Beyene

We congratulate to Roger Duthie of the Space Plasma Physics Group (SPPG) who successfully defended his Thesis in an oral examination at UCL on 04 December 2013. The Thesis title was "Multi-point observations of substorm-related phenoeman in the Earth's magnetotail", and it made extensive use of data from the Cluster and Double Star missions. Roger is seen here talking to Dr Segheen Beyene (also of the SPPG, who was awarded a PhD earlier this year) while having a celebratory pint! Roger is immediately taking up employment at the British Antarctic Survey and we wish him well in his new job.

Congratulations to Dr. Anekallu

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anekallu-vs-owen

Chandra Anekallu, formerly a member of the PEACE Operations Team in the space plasma phsyics group will be awarded at PhD from the University of Helsinki following the public defence of his thesis on 25th October. He was given a hard time by his 'Opponent' (our own Prof. Chris Owen) but performed admirably in front of an audience of 30-40 people. We wish Chandra all the best and look forward to working with him in the future.

Space Plasma Physics Attendees at Cluster Workshop

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Prof. Andrew Fazakerley and Dr. Colin Forsyth both attended the 23rd Cluster Workshop, held in Tromso, Norway. Colin gave an invited talk on the sub-structure of the substorm current wedge and Andrew gave a contributed talk on new observations of electron phase space holes in the auroral regions. Andrew also gave a talk on behalf of Kirthika Mohan on electron "noses" in the inner magnetosphere and Colin gave a talk on behalf of Ali Varsani on high time resolution observations of flux transfer events.

Space Plasma Physics Welcomes 2 New Students

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budapest

The MSSL Space Plasma Physics group offers a warm welcome to our two new Ph.D students, Louise Cooper and Nadine Kalmoni. Louise joins us after having completed her degree at Aberystwyth and Nadine joins us from Imperial College.

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