Latest Space News
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 09:55:00 +0100
The shimmering colors visible in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image show off the remarkable complexity of the Twin Jet Nebula. The new image highlights the nebula’s shells and its knots of expanding gas in striking detail. Two iridescent lobes of material stretch outwards from a central star system. Within these lobes two huge jets of gas are streaming from the star system at speeds in excess of one million kilometers (621,400 miles) per hour. The cosmic butterfly pictured i...
Wed, 26 Aug 2015 17:25:00 +0100
Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) delivered on schedule the telescope structure for NASA's James Webb Space Telescope Aug. 24 to Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, paving the way for the integration of the 18 hexagonal mirrors that will help scientists observe the formation of the first stars and galaxies over 13.5 billion years ago. Northrop Grumman is under contract to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and leads the industry team that designs and develops the Webb Te...
Wed, 26 Aug 2015 16:43:00 +0100
Following the decision of the State Review Board, the Proton M/Breeze M integrated launch vehicle (ILV) carrying the Inmarsat- 5 F3 telecommunications spacecraft was rolled out to the Launch Facility, Area 200 earlier this morning of August 25. Here, the ILV was erected vertically onto the launch table and Khrunichev together with other space-industry companies, commenced Day 1 of countdown operations. Ground processing for the upcoming launch is proceeding on schedule. According to the Russ...
Wed, 26 Aug 2015 15:00:00 +0100
Space Systems/Loral, LLC (SSL), a leading provider of commercial satellites, today announced it was awarded a contract from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to study on-orbit robotic assembly of geostationary communications satellites. Called Dragonfly, the program is designed to enable larger and more powerful satellites that cannot be launched fully assembled, to be packaged in pieces within a standard launch vehicle fairing. "The Dragonfly program gives SSL the ...
Tue, 25 Aug 2015 23:18:00 +0100
Half of the residents of the International Space Station will take a spin around their orbital neighborhood in the Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft on Friday, Aug. 28. NASA Television coverage will begin at 2:45 a.m. EDT. Expedition 44 Commander Gennady Padalka of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and Flight Engineers Scott Kelly of NASA and Mikhail Kornienko of Roscosmos will move the Soyuz from the station's Poisk module to the Zvezda docking port. The relocation maneuver will begin with...
Tue, 25 Aug 2015 17:03:00 +0100
United Launch Alliance (ULA) and the U.S. Air Force have demonstrated a commitment to innovation and continuous improvement through implementation of Off-site Vertical Integration (OVI) of several structural elements and the Centaur upper stage for the Atlas V launch vehicle. OVI significantly reduces the number of lifting operations performed at the Vertical Integration Facility (VIF) at Cape Canaveral , taking them off the critical path and allowing for reduced time between launches. Relocati...
Tue, 25 Aug 2015 15:00:00 +0100
Last Friday, 21 August, ESA's billion-star surveyor, Gaia, completed its first year of science observations in its main survey mode. After launch on 19 December 2013 and a six-month long in-orbit commissioning period, the satellite started routine scientific operations on 25 July 2014. Located at the Lagrange point L2, 1.5 million km from Earth, Gaia surveys stars and many other astronomical objects as it spins, observing circular swathes of the sky. By repeatedly measuring the positions of t...
Tue, 25 Aug 2015 13:04:00 +0100
Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) scientists are packing three times the power density into a key satellite cooling system whose previous design is already the lightest in its class. This project continues the company's effort to reduce component size, enabling compact, higher-power spacecraft payloads and smaller sensor platforms back on Earth. Highly sophisticated electronics like satellite sensors and cameras need to be cooled to detect what they're designed to capture, even to temperatures as l...
Mon, 24 Aug 2015 19:27:00 +0100
The first U.S. mission to return samples of an asteroid to Earth is another step closer to its fall 2016 launch, with the delivery of three cameras that will image and map the giant space rock. A camera suite that will allow NASA's Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission to see a near-Earth asteroid, map it, and pick a safe and interesting place to touch the surface and collect a sample, has arrived at Lockheed Martin Space Sy...
Mon, 24 Aug 2015 15:07:00 +0100
On 20 August 2015 the Director General of ESO, Tim de Zeeuw, and the Director General of ESA, Johann-Dietrich Woerner, signed a cooperation agreement between the two organisations at ESO's offices in Santiago, Chile. The ESA Director General was accompanied by Alvaro Gimenez, Director of Science and Robotic Exploration at ESA, and Fabio Favata, Head of the ESA Programme Coordination Office. There is considerable overlap of interests between ESO, pre-eminent in ground-based astronomy, and ESA,...
Mon, 24 Aug 2015 14:32:00 +0100
Orbital ATK, Inc. (NYSE:OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, today announced that it recently signed a contract with Lockheed Martin to produce propellant and pressurant tanks for Lockheed Martin's updated A2100 satellite platform. The five-year contract continues a 20-year relationship between Orbital ATK and Lockheed Martin for satellite fuel tanks produced by the company's Space Systems Group in Commerce, California. "We have been a valued and trusted supplier to Loc...
Mon, 24 Aug 2015 09:15:00 +0100
Open star clusters like the one seen here are not just perfect subjects for pretty pictures. Most stars form within clusters and these clusters can be used by astronomers as laboratories to study how stars evolve and die. The cluster captured here by the Wide Field Imager (WFI) at ESO’s La Silla Observatory is known as IC 4651, and the stars born within it now display a wide variety of characteristics. The loose speckling of stars in this new ESO image is the open star cluster IC 46...
Fri, 21 Aug 2015 18:00:00 +0100
NASA's Johnson Space Center has awarded to Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTN) a contract extension with a potential value of $101.9 million . Raytheon will continue to provide operations, maintenance and engineering services for up to four years to NASA's Neutral Buoyancy Lab (NBL) and Space Vehicle Mockup Facility (SVMF), facilities that are critical to safe human spaceflight. The NBL is the deep water pool astronauts use for spacewalk training. The SVMF hosts full-size mockups and simulators for t...
Fri, 21 Aug 2015 15:00:00 +0100
Space Systems/Loral (SSL), a leading provider of commercial satellites, today announced that a satellite designed and built for Intelsat S.A. (NYSE: I), the leading provider of satellite services, was launched yesterday and is successfully performing post-launch maneuvers according to plan. The satellite, Intelsat 34, deployed its solar arrays on schedule following its launch aboard an Ariane 5 launch vehicle from the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. It will begin firing its main th...
Fri, 21 Aug 2015 11:28:00 +0100
The EUTELSAT 8 West B communications satellite was successfully launched today from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, by an Ariane 5 rocket. Thales Alenia Space is the program prime contractor, working on behalf of Eutelsat Communications, one of the world's leading satellite operators. EUTELSAT 8 West B is the 25th satellite built by Thales Alenia Space for Eutelsat and the 74th satellite in the Spacebus family to enter service. This high-capacity satellite will be positio...
Thu, 20 Aug 2015 23:16:00 +0100
An Ariane 5 lifted off tonight from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, and delivered two telecom satellites into their planned orbits. The launch of flight VA225 occurred on 20 August at 20:34 GMT (22:34 CEST, 17:34 local time). Eutelsat-8 West B, with a mass of 5782 kg and mounted in the upper position atop Ariane's Sylda dual-payload carrier, was the first to be released about 28 minutes into the mission. Following a series of burns controlled by Ariane's computer, the Syld...
Mon, 17 Aug 2015 11:48:00 +0100
The build-up of another Ariane 5 began this week in French Guiana, initiating preparations for Arianespace's fifth heavy-lift flight of 2015 from the Spaceport. Using the well-established procedures employed since Ariane 5's introduction in the mid-1990s, the vehicle's core cryogenic stage was positioned over a mobile launch table inside the Launcher Integration Building. It was followed by rollout of the two solid propellant boosters for mating with the erected core cryogenic stage. This...
Fri, 14 Aug 2015 18:38:00 +0100
NASA has selected eight university-led proposals to study innovative, early stage technologies that will address high-priority needs of America's space program. The selected proposals for unique, disruptive or transformational space technologies will investigate challenges in the areas of solar cell operations at high temperatures, atmospheric entry model development, synthetic biology applications for space exploration and dynamic tensegrity-based space structures. Tensegrity is a property o...
Fri, 14 Aug 2015 17:37:00 +0100
A very special week is about to begin for approximately 30 students from Aalborg University, in Denmark, as their satellite - AAUSAT5 - waits to be launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday 19 August*. A few weeks later, AAUSAT5 will be deployed into orbit around Earth, marking the first ESA student CubeSat mission ever launched from the ISS: the pilot project of ESA's 'Fly Your Satellite from the ISS!' education programme. AAUSAT5, a CubeSat satellite entirely built ...
Fri, 14 Aug 2015 10:51:00 +0100
The fourth heavy-lift Ariane 5 for liftoff in 2015 is now complete as Arianespace sustains the mission cadence with its full launcher family, which also includes the medium-weight Soyuz and light-lift Vega. During activity at the Spaceport's Ariane 5 Final Assembly Building in French Guiana, both passengers for next week's dual-payload mission to geostationary transfer orbit - EUTELSAT 8 West B and Intelsat 34 - have been installed atop their launcher, completing the build-up process. This c...
More space news...
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    CV: Software Engineer

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    Personal information
     Name:<withheld>
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    Candidate Profile
     Date Submitted:27-08-2009
     Last Modified:28-08-2009 (09:00)
    Job information
     Current job:Software Engineer
     Employment Term:Either
     Job location:Anywhere
     Date available:immediately
     Industry:,
     KeywordsI am an experienced Java, C/C++ and Python developer with Physics/Astrophysics background. Most recently I was working in the semi-conductor industry on advanced optical metrology equipment, writing image processing, data analysis algorithms and memory op
    CV

    Date of Birth:                                       03/08/1967

    Employment history:                          

     

    Current Position                                   Visiting Lecturer in IT

                                                                    Birmingham City College.

     

    Dec 2006 – Dec 2008                            C/C++ Java Python Developer/Software Engineer

                                                                    KLA-Tencor Ltd,

                                                                    4 The Business Centre,

                                                                    Wokingham,

                                                                    Berks,

                                                                    RG41 2QZ.

     

                                                                    KLA-Tencor is an international and world-leading supplier of
    high-precision wafer inspection metrology equipment and technology to the semiconductor industry whose clients include Intel, IBM, AMD,
    Siemens and Qimonda, among others. At KLA I worked as a software
    developer as part of a dynamic engineering team developing an advanced, multi-threaded Java-based middle-ware application. I was involved across the complete development cycle from design through to unit testing with JUnit. The dynamic management of the application made heavy use of Python and XML for configuration, calibration and logging purposes. JDBC was used to communicate with SQL databases at runtime to store the results obtained during processing. Development and debugging were carried out primarily using Eclipse and Borland JBuilder.  The application would sit between the lower-level image computers, perform digital image processing operations on images of the semiconductor surface, search for and locate critical defects hidden within vast quantities of data and then communicate the results with a Windows-based main user interface via a CORBA bridge. A Swing graphical user interface allowed the application to be used independently to control the inspection process and also act as a diagnostics utility. JMX and JProbe were used to diagnose the use of system resources in real-time for subsequent memory optimization purposes. An important project where I made a significant contribution involved optimizing the program’s memory consumption such that the system requirements were reduced by an order of magnitude and also halved the machine set-up time. The resulting improvements are now being rolled out across the company’s product line. Apart from optimization techniques, I implemented general purpose image processing algorithms, performed data analysis and modeling in Java and C/C++ as well as in Mathcad and Excel. In addition I was required to expand and enhance the graphical user interfaces using Swing, submit general bug fixes, refactor and maintain existing code to make it more efficient and also propose, advocate, develop and fully document new features to the ongoing software development process. I particularly enjoyed writing reports to argue the case for new features and optimization proposals. My role also involved keeping the in-house developers’ website up to data using PHP and Java Server Pages (JSP) as well maintaining the projects numerous wiki pages. My development was primarily undertaken in Eclipse (JDKs 1.3/1.4/1.5/1.6), Clearcase versioning system using Java, C/C++, JPython and XML on both Windows and Linux environments.

     

     

    Sep 2006 – Dec 2006                            Lecturer in Physics, Mathematics and IT at Halesowen College.

                                                                    Whittingham Road,

                                                                    Halesowen,

                                                                    West Midlands,

                                                                    B63 3NA.

     

                                                                    Teaching of A-Level Physics, GCSE Mathematics, and NVQ Information Technology. My duties involved preparing lectures as well as the setting and marking of coursework.

     

    Jan  2006 – Aug 2006                           Java/C#/. net Programmer/Web Developer (self-employed)

    My work required me to develop on both Windows and Linux based platforms. Projects involved the development of database-driven websites using ASP.Net, mono, Java (JDBC), C#, mySQL and Microsoft SQL Server. I’m quite happy coding using IDEs such as Eclipse, Visual C++/C#/Web Developer as well as a text-based approach using emacs on Linux or Unix platforms.                                           

     

    1996 – 2005                                         During this period I returned to higher education, first to do an undergraduate degree in Physics with Astrophysics and then a post-graduate degree in Solar Physics (see “Education and Research” below).

     

    1994 – 1996                                            Freelance 3D computer graphics programmer and designer

                                                                    My principal work involved using Autodesk’s 3D Studio to create 3D                                                                     animations for high-profile corporate events. Clients included Rolls                                                                         Royce, MG Rover, Amtrak and American Express.

     

    1989 – 1993                                            Visual designer and partner

                                                                    BDE Visual Productions,

                                                                    Digbeth, Birmingham.

     

    I started and ran my own business creating large stage sets and backdrops for the rock and roll industry. Clients at the time included, amongst others, The Wonder Stuff and Pop Will Eat Itself. We were one of the first companies to use computers to transfer artwork onto 40+ ft wide canvases for use at rock concerts. Many of the pieces we produced were toured nationally and internationally, appearing at the Reading Pop Festival, Glastonbury and also in The Wonder Stuff’s film “Welcome to the Cheap Seats”.

     

    1985 – 1989                                            Quantity Surveyor

                                                                    RM Douglas Construction Ltd,

                                                                    George Street, Birmingham.               

     

     

     

    Scientific Research:

     

    2001 – 2005                                            M.Phil in Helioseismology.

                                                                    HiROS – High Resolution Optical Spectroscopy

    BiSON - Birmingham Solar Oscillations Network

    The University of Birmingham,

    Edgbaston,

                                                                    B15 2TT.

     

    The High Resolution Optical Spectroscopy (HiROS) group is a small but internationally renowned research group based at the University of Birmingham. It operates a global network of solar observatories (BiSON) and has pioneered and maintained its premiere position in the field of Helioseismology (see http://bison.ph.bham.ac.uk). Working within the HiROS team, my research involved using digital signal processing techniques to extract seismic information relating to the global modes of oscillations of the Sun’s surface, present in large data sets. Doppler measurements of the motion of the solar surface are detected here on Earth by the use of atomic resonance spectrometers. The signal can be decomposed using Fourier analysis to determine the resonant frequencies of the modes of oscillation. In addition, the signal can be usefully analyzed by other techniques to yield information about the resonant modes of the Sun, e.g. genetic algorithms. My work required the writing of custom digital signal processing (DSP) software written in several computer languages (Java, C/C++, FORTRAN) across a range of hardware platforms (i.e. Windows, Linux and Unix.) The applications made extensive use of object oriented design (OOD) in order to make them as modular and easily extendable as possible. The software was specifically designed to extract frequency and phase information from the resonant modes of oscillation of the solar signal.  The data could be statistically analyzed and also processed (e.g. smoothed) using a series of digital filters selected via an intuitive Swing GUI front-end. I was particularly pleased that the software was able to automatically process large datasets, which had previously taken days to analyze, in a few seconds. In addition to writing data processing/DSP software, I wrote a dedicated application to process real-time data over the internet using the UDP network protocol which could also access remote SQL databases over the internet using the JDBC API.

     

    Summer 1997                                         I partook in a project searching for comets in archive data from the NASA/ESA SOHO spacecraft using both an automated software approach as well as a more conventional, “by eye” search. I was responsible for the discovery of nine previously unknown so-called “sungrazing” comets. The results were published in the Minor Planet Electronic Circulars and International Astronomical Union Circulars, 1997.

     

    Education:

     

    1996 – 2000                                            2:1 MSci Degree in Physics with Astrophysics

                                                                    Department Of Physics and Astronomy,

                                                                    The University of Birmingham,

                                                                    Edgbaston,

                                                                    Birmingham,

                                                                    B15 2TT.

                                                                   

     

    1994 - 1996                                             A-Levels:

    Physics, Mathematics.       

                                                                    Mathew Boulton Technical College,

                                                                    Sherlock Street,

                                                                    Birmingham.

                                                                   

    1979 – 1985                                            Secondary Education:

                                                                    A Level Computer Science.

                                                                    AS Level General Studies.

                                                                    O Levels: Mathematics, English, Physics, Computer Science, Art, English Literature, R.E.

    CSE: French and History.

     

    Computer Languages/Skills:           I have been enthusiastically programming computers in some shape or form since 1981 in industry, scientific research and as a hobbyist. As part of my post-graduate research I wrote several digital signal processing packages, mainly in Object Oriented languages such as Java and C++ but also lower-level languages such as C and FORTRAN. My post-research activities have seen me moving to a more web-based approach involving the use of technologies such as ASP.Net, C# and mono and, of course, Java. In industry I have had to constantly update my Java (J2SE & J2EE) centred skills, including creating graphical user interfaces using the Swing API, JDBC database connectivity (with Oracle 10.9g, MySQL and PostgreSQL), Java & HTML/XML/XSL, JSP, JMX, Web Services (incl. amazon and eBay), JUnit as well as use of 3rd party APIs such as JSci. In industry, and while undertaking my Solar Physics research, I continued to develop other numerical skills including data analysis and mathematical modeling techniques using Mathcad, SciLab and MS Excel. In addition to higher level languages I am currently enjoying programming of the Freescale DSP56300 using the Line 6 ToneCore developers kit (see ‘Music’ below). I am also familiar with Z80 microprocessor assembly language and programming embedded C and Java applications for simple robots using the OOPic microcontroller. As well as programming on the Windows platform I particularly enjoy using Linux (currently Ubuntu 9.04 and openSuSE 11.1).

     

    Creative Interests:                              Robotics and Electronics: Working with a prominent Birmingham (UK) artist, I acted as technical advisor on a project to build several solar and battery powered robots for an exhibition held at the Midlands Art Centre (MAC) in Birmingham. As well as the robots in the show, many of the artist’s paintings were fitted with sound activated lights that enabled the visitors to interact dynamically with the exhibition.

     

                                                                    Music: One of my music related hobbies is programming my own guitar effects pedals using the Line 6 ToneCore developers kit. The kit utilizes the Freescale 56300 series of DSP chips and allows me to write my own DSP filters and effects (e.g. auto-wah, chorus, delay etc) in assembly language and/or C. These are then downloaded from the PC and flashed into the onboard ROM of a special ToneCore pedal for real-time signal processing of my guitar input.

     

                                                                    android: I am currently developing applications using Google’s android API for mobile devices. I intend to have these available for download and evaluation shortly via Google’s android marketplace.

     

    Publications:                                        Using The BiSON Signal to Probe The Photosphere’ – Published in SOHO 12/GONG 2002 Conference Proceedings.

     

    Discovery of nine SOHO sungrazing comets published in Minor Planet Electronic Circulars and International Astronomical Union Circulars 1997.

     

    Interpersonal Skills:                          Teaching: As a postgraduate at Birmingham University, I assisted with teaching of three undergraduate course modules - ‘Introducing C/C++’, ‘Astrolab’ and 1st year laboratory experiments. On leaving Birmingham I taught Physics A-Level as well as Mathematics, IT and Forensic Science at Halesowen College (see above).

     

    Negotiation: I was elected to be the postgraduate representative on the Birmingham University School of Physics and Astronomy Graduate Studies Committee. My duties involved meeting with members of the University staff to incorporate the ideas and contributions of my fellow postgraduates into the running of the department.

     

    References:                                          Available on request.

     


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