Latest Space News
Mon, 25 Jul 2016 14:18:00 +0100
Our RAD750 single-board computer helped the Juno spacecraft travel 2 billion miles to study our biggest planetary neighbor. With a magnetic field 20,000 times stronger than that of Earth, Jupiter presents a hostile environment for any nearby satellite electronics. Despite the challenging conditions, on July 4, 2016, NASA's Juno satellite established orbit around the massive gas giant to study its structure and evolution, thanks in part to our radiation-hardened RAD750(r) single-board computer...
Mon, 25 Jul 2016 10:35:00 +0100
The protective shipping container with Intelsat 33e is unloaded from a chartered An-124 jetliner at Félix Eboué Airport, which was followed by the satellite’s transfer by road to the Spaceport. One of two Intelsat satellites that will be orbited on Arianespace’s next Ariane 5 mission has been delivered to the Spaceport, advancing pre-launch activities for this August 24 heavy-lift flight to the payload preparation phase. Intelsat 33e “touched down” i...
Fri, 22 Jul 2016 08:29:00 +0100
A new understanding of our galaxy's structure began in an unlikely way: on Twitter. A research effort sparked by tweets led scientists to confirm that the Milky Way’s central bulge of stars forms an “X” shape. The newly published study uses data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission. The unconventional collaboration started in May 2015 when Dustin Lang, an astronomer at the Dunlap Institute of the University of Toronto, posted galaxy maps t...
Fri, 22 Jul 2016 08:19:00 +0100
Cobham will provide motion control technology for the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS) instrument to be flown on the Joint Polar Satellite System 3 (JPSS-3) and 4 (JPSS-4) satellites. Hauppauge, NY - Cobham recently received an award from Northrop Grumman valued at approximately $8 million for motion control technology for the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS) instrument to be flown on the Joint Polar Satellite System 3 (JPSS-3) and 4 (JPSS-4) satellites. The work will ...
Thu, 21 Jul 2016 15:00:00 +0100
Space Systems Loral (SSL), a leading provider of innovative satellites and spacecraft systems, today announced it has received $20.7 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to design and build robotic arm flight hardware for the first phase of the agency's Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites (RSGS) program. SSL is receiving the funds through MDA US Systems, a division of MDA managed by SSL, and is working with the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), which ...
Wed, 20 Jul 2016 22:24:00 +0100
NASA is joining with Baylor College of Medicine in Houston to operate a new institute charged with researching and developing innovative approaches to reduce risks to humans on long-duration exploration missions, including NASA's Journey to Mars. Work under the Translational Research Institute Cooperative Agreement, overseen by NASA's Human Research Program, begins Oct. 1. Translational research is an interdisciplinary model of research that focuses on translating fundamental research co...
Wed, 20 Jul 2016 19:08:00 +0100
Using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have conducted the first search for atmospheres around temperate, Earth-sized planets beyond our solar system and found indications that increase the chances of habitability on two exoplanets. Specifically, they discovered that the exoplanets TRAPPIST-1b and TRAPPIST-1c, approximately 40 light-years away, are unlikely to have puffy, hydrogen-dominated atmospheres usually found on gaseous worlds. "The lack of a smothering hydrogen-helium enve...
Tue, 19 Jul 2016 13:58:00 +0100
Radiation is an invisible hazard of spaceflight, but a new monitoring system for ESA astronauts gives a realtime snapshot of their exposure. The results will guide researchers preparing for deep-space missions to come. A key element of the new system launched to orbit with Monday's Falcon 9 launch to the International Space Station, ensuring it is in place for ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet's November mission to the Station. As a general rule, radiation exposure increases with altitude - peo...
Tue, 19 Jul 2016 11:23:00 +0100
An international team of astronomers has discovered and confirmed a treasure trove of new worlds using NASA’s Kepler spacecraft on its K2 mission. Among the findings tallying 197 initial planet candidates, scientists have confirmed 104 planets outside our solar system. Among the confirmed is a planetary system comprising four promising planets that could be rocky. The planets, all between 20 and 50 percent larger than Earth by diameter, are orbiting the M dwarf star K2-72, found 181 l...
Mon, 18 Jul 2016 21:08:00 +0100
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has awarded a contract to Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) for one of several Next Mars Orbiter (NeMO) conceptual study efforts to develop concepts for a potential future orbiter. In the four-month study, the Northrop Grumman team is thoroughly evaluating a range of potential solutions using a variety of the company's production and heritage spacecraft platforms and designs. The study's focus is NeMO mission objectives and requirements, including ...
Mon, 18 Jul 2016 08:48:00 +0100
NASA’s Juno is now poised to shine a spotlight on the origins and interior structure of the largest planet in our solar system. As we wait for Juno's first close-up images of Jupiter (to be taken Aug. 27 during the spacecraft's next pass by the planet), NASA continues to explore our solar system to help answer fundamental questions about how we came to be, where we are going and whether we are alone in the universe. “Juno is the latest example of the extraordinary scienc...
Fri, 15 Jul 2016 19:04:00 +0100
After an extensive review process and passing a major development milestone, NASA is ready to proceed with final design and construction of its next Mars rover, currently targeted to launch in the summer of 2020 and arrive on the Red Planet in February 2021 . The Mars 2020 rover will investigate a region of Mars where the ancient environment may have been favorable for microbial life, probing the Martian rocks for evidence of past life. Throughout its investigation, it will collect samples of...
Fri, 15 Jul 2016 16:30:00 +0100
Today SpaceX confirmed that the company is targeting the launch of its ninth NASA Commercial Resupply Services mission (CRS-9) aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. on Monday, Jul. 18 at 12:45 a.m. EDT. As with prior NASA Commercial Resupply Service (CRS) missions, Falcon-9 will launch with an instantaneous launch window. If needed, a backup launch opportunity is available on Jul. 20 at 12:00 a.m. EDT. In addition to the primary mis...
Thu, 14 Jul 2016 15:00:00 +0100
Jon Weiner 510-486-4014 . July 14, 2016 A team of hundreds of physicists and astronomers have announced results from the largest-ever, three-dimensional map of distant galaxies. The team constructed this map to make one of the most precise measurements yet of the dark energy currently driving the accelerated expansion of the Universe. "We have spent five years collecting measurements of 1.2 million galaxies over one quarter of the sky to map out the structure of the Universe over a volume ...
Wed, 13 Jul 2016 23:00:00 +0100
Space Systems Loral (SSL), a leading provider of innovative satellites and spacecraft systems, today announced that the JCSAT-16 satellite, which it designed and built for SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation, has arrived at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, where it will launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle. The satellite, which is currently being prepared for launch, will function as an in-orbit back-up that will ensure stability for existing services and further strengthen th...
Wed, 13 Jul 2016 22:45:00 +0100
Final preparations are underway at Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) to ship DigitalGlobe's (NYSE:DGI) WorldView-4 earth imaging satellite to Vandenberg Air Force Base for a Sept. 15 launch. The Lockheed Martin team is completing final satellite testing and checkout before shipment. Testing includes calculating the weight and center of gravity of WorldView-4, completing a health check of major systems, and testing out image collection and downlinking capability. "The high resolution and high acc...
Wed, 13 Jul 2016 19:00:00 +0100
The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has made the first ever resolved observation of a water snow line within a protoplanetary disc. This line marks where the temperature in the disc surrounding a young star drops sufficiently low for snow to form. A dramatic increase in the brightness of the young star V883 Orionis flash heated the inner portion of the disc, pushing the water snow line out to a far greater distance than is normal for a protostar, and making it possible to obs...
Wed, 13 Jul 2016 14:20:00 +0100
Getting the bigger picture on the health of our planet drew another step closer today as Europe's Sentinel-3A satellite was handed over to Eumetsat for operations. Since it was launched in February, the satellite and its instruments have been meticulously fine-tuned to make sure that everything is fit and ready for the task in hand: to systematically map Earth's surface for a myriad of services related to both the oceans and land. ESA's Bruno Berruti has been responsible for taking Sentine...
Wed, 13 Jul 2016 00:00:00 +0100
Safran Reosc, a subsidiary of Safran Electronics & Defense, has signed a contract with ESO, the European Southern Observatory, to polish, measure and test the M2 mirror, the secondary optics on the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), which will be the world's most powerful telescope (*). Safran Reosc will also be responsible for the development and construction of the high-precision optical test bench, designed to measure the M2 mirror's optical quality throughout the polishing proces...
Tue, 12 Jul 2016 12:00:00 +0100
ESO's HAWK-I infrared instrument on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile has been used to peer deeper into the heart of Orion Nebula than ever before. The spectacular picture reveals about ten times as many brown dwarfs and isolated planetary-mass objects than were previously known. This discovery poses challenges for the widely accepted scenario for Orion's star formation history. An international team has made use of the power of the HAWK-I infrared instrument on ESO's Very Large Telesco...
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    Personal information
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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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