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MSSL Space Plasma News

Plasma group hosts James Buxton (Judd School) for a week of work experience

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James Buxton

The MSSL Space Plasma Group welcomed James Buxton, a sixth form pupil at Judd School in Tonbridge, Kent, for a week of work experience during half-term week 16-20 February 2015.  In addition to discussions with members of the laboratory on solar imaging techniques, spacecraft observations of the heliosphere and the hardware program and technical capabilities of UCL/MSSL, James experienced seminars on Solar Orbiter, flux transfer events at the terrestrial magnetopause and cosmological parameters derived from the Planck mission.  He also participated in the space plasmas student progress discussion meeting.  Between these activities, James worked on a mini-research project looking for solar eruptive events that were detected at multiple points on their journey from the Sun through the Heliosphere.  An example of his work can be found here.

Plasma group welcomes Simon Thomas

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We are delighted to welcome Simon Thomas into the Plasma Group.   Simon comes to us from the Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, where he worked with Dr. Matt Owens and Prof. Mike Lockwood on cosmic ray modulation by solar wind structures.  He submitted his thesis in January and we expect that he will complete his PhD in early March.  Simon will be working on pre-launch science for Solar Orbiter using burst mode data from the PEACE electron instruments on the Cluster spacecraft.  His studies of Galactic Cosmic Ray modulation by the heliospheric magnetic field and Heliospheric Current Sheet have to date resulted in 4 first-authored publications in refereed journals.  Simon's experience in both high- and low-energy particle populations in the solar wind and knowledge of associated physical processes, such as particle drifts and diffusion, means that Simon will be an excellent addition to our group.  

Dr. Colin Forsyth at National Space Centre CareersFest

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The model magnetosphere, planetary penetrator and LEEA electron sensor head on display at the National Space Centre for their Space CareersFest

 Dr. Colin Forsyth attended the annual Year 12 CareersFest at the National Space Centre in Leicester. Colin gave short talks on the different career opportunities at MSSL and career pathways, as well as taking part in the "Meet the Scientist' session, where the attending students had an opportunity to put their questions to the assembled scientists and engineers, as well as getting up close to some of MSSL's space hardware.

Dr. Colin Forsyth at RSGB Convention 2014

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RSGB Convention 2014

Dr. Colin Forsyth was invited to talk at the Radio Society of Great Britain's annual convention, held at Kents Hill Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. His talk, entitled HF Propagation Alphabet Soup covered the science behind standard global space weather indices and how these can be interpreted for high frequency radio wave propagation.

Solar Orbiter SWA Critical Design Review completes in ESTEC

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Members of the SWA team at CDR

Together with consortium colleagues from France, Italy and the USA, members of MSSL's PI team for the Solar Orbiter SWA investigation returned to ESTEC in the Netherlands for the 2-day co-location meeting for the Critical Design Review (CDR) of the SWA instrument suite. 

MSSL students attend Solar Orbiter Summer School

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MSSL students at the Solar Orbiter Summer School

The Solar Orbiter Summer School took place from the 22nd – 25th September in L’Aquila Italy. It was a great opportunity for all the students to learn about the instrumentation and science motivation behind the Solar Orbiter spacecraft from the PI’s of the instruments themselves (incl. Chris Owen PI for SWA). The students were all invited to give talks about their work and how it would benefit from Solar Orbiter; all MSSL students (Jack Carlyle, Marianna Felici, Alice Foster and Stephanie Yardley) contributed great talks!

Cluster-MAARBLE-Van Allen Probes Workshop 2014

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Geospace Revisited conference poster

Prof. Andrew Fazakerley, Drs. Colin Forsyth and Dimitry Pokhotelov and students Kirthika Mohan and Ali Varsani all attended the 24th Cluster Workshop, entitled "Geospace Revisited" and held in conjunction with the Van Allen Probes and MAARBLE communities. The workshop took place at the Rodos Palace hotel on the greek island of Rhodes.

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.

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