Mullard Space Science Laboratory
The Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL) is a world-leading research organisation delivering a broad science programme that is underpinned by a strong capability in space science instrumentation, space-domain engineering, space medicine, systems engineering and project management. Read more.
Research at MSSL (Australia) includes cosmology and the study of extra-galactic objects, studies of the Sun, planets and their moons and the Earth as well as humans working and living in space. We are also researching and developing the next generation of space instrumentation.
MSSL (Australia) is looking at hyperspectral imaging instrument development for greenhouse gas monitoring and natural resource exploration. MSSL (Australia) is also involved with the QB50 project, an international collaboration in which a flotilla of 50 CubeSats will provide unprecedented access to the Earth’s thermosphere.
MSSL has a long heritage of providing high-quality space instrumentation for international space research missions. For over 40 years we have been involved in more than 35 scientific space missions and over 200 rocket launches.
MSSL develops and tests hardware and software, usually working as part of an international consortium. Our engineers and scientists work side-by-side to ensure that the instruments we produce optimally address key questions in modern space science. By linking post-launch support to pre-flight and flight calibrations, our scientists are able to understand instrument responses and improve data analysis.
One area being pioneered by MSSL today is the construction of smaller and lighter scientific payloads for satellites.
UCL Centre for Systems Engineering
MSSL plays host to the UCL Centre for Systems Engineering – a relationship that extends also to UCL Australia. We conduct research projects in a broad range of industry sectors including aerospace, transport, defence, energy, construction, health, pharmaceuticals and agriculture. We are interested in understanding how to make complex systems work better, whether these are'hard' technology-based or 'soft' human-based systems.
Across the different industry sectors, we have five broad research themes.
- Systems modelling and optimisation – system dynamic modelling, cost-benefit analysis, soft systems methodology, intelligent systems, adaptive modelling, applying a systems approach to provide insights in new domains (e.g. health, education, sport, transport).
- Risk modelling and management – system failure, system integrity, risk management, decision making under uncertainty.
- Technology planning – technology maturity, technology road-mapping, scenario planning, game theory, technology valuation, technology decision making, adoption of technology and diffusion of innovations.
- Project management – causes of failure in technology projects, management of special projects where normal project management approaches do not apply, sources and consequences of variability within projects, value-driven project management and systems engineering.
- Defining systems engineering – systems engineering competencies, principles for systems engineering management, systems engineering standards and terminology, relationship between systems engineering and project management, scope of systems engineering, value of systems engineering, definition of systems architecture.
These themes are a focus not only for funded research, but for major research projects undertaken by our Master’s and PhD students as well as visiting research staff.