Latest Space News
Wed, 22 Feb 2017 08:31:00 +0100
Arianespace’s third flight of 2017 is moving into the final phase of preparations, with the lightweight Vega launcher’s basic assembly completed and its Sentinel-2B Earth observation satellite encapsulated for liftoff on March 6 from the Spaceport in French Guiana. Underscoring the versatility of Arianespace’s launcher family, this flight follows year-opening missions with the company’s other two launch vehicles: performed February 14 with the heavy-lift Ariane 5 to ...
Tue, 21 Feb 2017 08:33:00 +0100
Rome -  The Nasa SAGE (Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment) observation instrument that uses the Hexapod Pointing System produced by  Thales Alenia Space on behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA) was launched yesterday from the Kennedy Space Center launch pad by means of the Falcon9 launcher with the Space X Dragon capsule. SAGE III is a NASA instrument produced as part of the EOS (Earth Observing System) programme to measure the components of the Earth’s atmosphere, such as pres...
Tue, 21 Feb 2017 02:00:00 +0100
Boeing [NYSE: BA] will build a 702 satellite to expand communication for mobile telephone, data and internet users throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The satellite, owned and operated by SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation and Kacific Broadband Satellites, has two distinct payloads. The JCSAT-18 payload will improve mobile and broadband services for SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation customers in Asia Pacific including Far East Russia. The Kacific-1 payload for Kacific Broadband Satellites will provide h...
Sun, 19 Feb 2017 17:34:00 +0100
Major experiments that will look into a range of scientific disciplines from human health to atmospheric conditions on Earth are on their way to the International Space Station following liftoff at 9:39 a.m. EST aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. About 5,500 pounds of research equipment, cargo and supplies are packed into the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft that is now in Earth orbit and headed to the station on the CRS-10 mission. SpaceX's Dragon cargo craft launched from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's...
Fri, 17 Feb 2017 17:00:00 +0100
NASA's Juno mission to Jupiter, which has been in orbit around the gas giant since July 4, 2016, will remain in its current 53-day orbit for the remainder of the mission. This will allow Juno to accomplish its science goals, while avoiding the risk of a previously-planned engine firing that would have reduced the spacecraft's orbital period to 14 days. "Juno is healthy, its science instruments are fully operational, and the data and images we've received are nothing short of amazing," said Th...
Fri, 17 Feb 2017 16:34:00 +0100
Tomorrow, a Space-X Dragon cargo ferry will be launched to the International Space Station packed with supplies, experiments, tools and food for the six astronauts living and working high above Earth. In the unpressurised cargo hold is a new NASA sensor that will monitor our atmosphere with a helping hand from ESA. The Space Station flies 400 km above our planet at 28 800 km/h, experiencing 16 sunrises, sunsets, moonrises and moonsets every 24 hours. This orbit is lower than most satellites a...
Fri, 17 Feb 2017 15:31:00 +0100
A European Service Module will power NASA's Orion spacecraft beyond the Moon and back in 2018, and now work has started on a second mission, this time to carry astronauts. Set for launch as early as 2021, this will be the first mission since 1972 to take humans out of low orbit - and European hardware will provide propulsion, electrical power, water, thermal control and atmosphere for up to four crewmembers. ESA formalised the contract yesterday with Airbus at the Bremen, Germany, site whe...
Thu, 16 Feb 2017 09:30:00 +0100
Going to space is never routine, and Sentinel-2 mission controllers are leaving nothing to chance as they prepare for the critical days following next month's liftoff. Launched in 2015, ESA's Sentinel-2 mission is using the first of two near-identical 'colour-vision' satellites to deliver sophisticated information that is central to Europe's Copernicus programme. Now, the Sentinel-2A craft is about to be joined by its twin, Sentinel-2B, which will complete the pairing that will cover all E...
Wed, 15 Feb 2017 11:46:00 +0100
Today, ground control in Belgium switched off a package that had been continuously watching the Sun from the International Space Station for nine years. 'Solar' has been measuring most of the radiation emitted by our closest star across the electromagnetic spectrum. Built to run for only 18 months, it was still working until today - exceeding all expectations. Solar's observations are improving our understanding of the Sun and allowing scientists to create accurate computer models and pred...
Tue, 14 Feb 2017 23:20:00 +0100
An Ariane 5, operated by Arianespace, has delivered the Sky Brasil-1 and Telkom-3S telecom satellites into their planned orbits. Liftoff of flight VA235 was announced at 21:39 GMT (22:39 CET, 18:39 local time) from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana for a mission lasting about 39 minutes. Sky Brasil-1, with a mass at liftoff of 6000 kg, was the first to be released about 27 minutes into the mission. The 3550 kg Telkom-3S was released about 12 minutes later. Sky Brasil-1, operat...
Tue, 14 Feb 2017 16:00:00 +0100
Comtech Telecommunications Corp. (NASDAQ:CMTL) announced today that during its second quarter of fiscal 2017, its Santa Clara, California-based subsidiary, Comtech Xicom Technology Inc., which is part of Comtech's Commercial Solutions segment, has received a follow-on contract for more than $5.5 million from a U.S. military integrator for high-power satellite communication (SATCOM) traveling wave tube amplifiers (TWTAs). This is the second installment of a multi-year program for these power ampl...
Tue, 14 Feb 2017 08:27:00 +0100
For the first time, scientists using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have witnessed a massive object with the makeup of a comet being ripped apart and scattered in the atmosphere of a white dwarf, the burned-out remains of a compact star. The object has a chemical composition similar to Halley’s Comet, but it is 100,000 times more massive and has a much higher amount of water. It is also rich in the elements essential for life, including nitrogen, carbon, oxygen, and sulfur. These...
Tue, 14 Feb 2017 01:45:00 +0100
NASA has awarded a contract to Ball Aerospace for continued spacecraft operations support for the NOAA/NASA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite. The sole source contract has a maximum ordering period of five years beginning March 7, 2017. Ball's engineers designed and built the Suomi NPP satellite vehicle and its Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS) instrument, integrated all five of the satellite instruments, and performed satellite-level testing and launch sup...
Mon, 13 Feb 2017 23:01:00 +0100
NASA has awarded the Suomi National Polar-Orbiting Partnership Sustainability (SNPPS) contract to Ball Aerospace of Boulder, Colorado. This is an indefinite-delivery/indefinite quantity, cost-plus fixed-fee contract with the ability to issue task orders. The contract is a five-year effort with a minimum ordering value of $50,000 and maximum ordering value of approximately $9.5 million. Under this contract, Ball Aerospace will continue to provide sustaining engineering services to the Joint...
Mon, 13 Feb 2017 22:56:00 +0100
NASA has selected two proposals for the development of oxygen recovery technologies that could help astronauts breathe a little easier on deep space, long-duration missions. The agency will invest as much as $2 million and 24 months for the development of each proposal into a complete and integrated system for NASA testing. "The development of advanced life support technologies will allow NASA to establish improved capabilities for future deep space, long-duration, human exploration missions,...
Mon, 13 Feb 2017 16:07:00 +0100
Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signals are critical tools for industries requiring exact precision and high confidence. Now, Geoscience Australia, an agency of the Commonwealth of Australia, and Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) have entered into a collaborative research project to show how augmenting signals from multiple GNSS constellations can enhance positioning, navigation, and timing for a range of applications. This innovative research project aims to demonstrate how a second-gener...
Mon, 13 Feb 2017 15:23:00 +0100
Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, today announced it has been awarded a contract by the U.S. Air Force Space and Missiles Systems Center to provide payload integration and support services for Space Test Program Satellite 6 (STPSat-6). The multipurpose satellite will operationally demonstrate advanced communication capabilities, collect space weather data and support nuclear detonation detection in the Earth's atmosphere or in near space. STPSat-6 is ...
Mon, 13 Feb 2017 15:00:00 +0100
The race is on to build the most sensitive U.S.-based experiment designed to directly detect dark matter particles. Department of Energy officials have formally approved a key construction milestone that will propel the project toward its April 2020 goal for completion. The LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) experiment, which will be built nearly a mile underground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in Lead, S.D., is considered one of the best bets yet to determine whether theorized dark matter...
Fri, 10 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0100
The space sector has been witnessing a transition from being funded mostly by governments to being funded through a recent slew of investments by venture capital firms. Small satellites are increasingly being used for applications pertaining to satellite television, satellite navigation and satellite-based mobile communications, apart from various research related activities. In the coming years, the industry is expected to observe a higher demand for dedicated satellite launch vehicles, relativ...
Thu, 9 Feb 2017 21:00:00 +0100
Vencore, Inc. announced today that it was awarded the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Systems Engineering and Technical Services (SETS) contract valued at $113 million. Under the terms of this contract (one-year base period with four one-year options), Vencore will support NOAA's National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS). NESDIS acquires and manages the nation's operational environmental satellites, operates NOAA 's National Centers for E...
More space news...
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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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