Latest Space News
Tue, 27 Sep 2016 00:11:00 +0100
Spaceflight Industries, a next-generation space company enabling access to space and redefining global intelligence, announced the successful launch of its BlackSky Pathfinder-1 satellite into a sun synchronous orbit from India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). From Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, India, liftoff occurred on Sunday, Sept. 25, at 11:42 p.m. EDT, with the satellite separating from the rocket's upper stage at 1:57 a.m. EDT Monday. The Spaceflight Industries laun...
Mon, 26 Sep 2016 20:55:00 +0100
Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have imaged what may be water vapor plumes erupting off the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa. This finding bolsters other Hubble observations suggesting the icy moon erupts with high altitude water vapor plumes. The observation increases the possibility that missions to Europa may be able to sample Europa's ocean without having to drill through miles of ice. "Europa's ocean is considered to be one of the most promising places that could poten...
Mon, 26 Sep 2016 08:40:00 +0100
Airbus Defence and Space is continuing to future-proof its site at Friedrichshafen, Germany, with the construction of a new Integrated Technology Centre (ITC). At the heart of the four-storey centre with a basement and a footprint of around 4,200 m² will be a large central clean room for the development and construction of satellites. The building, with dimensions of around 70 x 60 metres and a height of over 20 metres, will be an expansion of the existing Hall 6 – the current sa...
Fri, 23 Sep 2016 10:00:00 +0100
Brief but powerful outbursts seen from Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko during its most active period last year have been traced back to their origins on the surface. In the three months centred around the comet's closest approach to the Sun, on 13 August 2015, Rosetta's cameras captured 34 outbursts. These violent events were over and above regular jets and flows of material seen streaming from the comet's nucleus. The latter switch on and off with clockwork repeatability from one comet ro...
Thu, 22 Sep 2016 22:57:00 +0100
Two's company, but three might not always be a crowd - at least in space. Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, and a trick of nature, have confirmed the existence of a planet orbiting two stars in the system OGLE-2007-BLG-349, located 8,000 light-years away towards the center of our galaxy. The planet orbits roughly 300 million miles from the stellar duo, about the distance from the asteroid belt to our sun. It completes an orbit around both stars roughly every seven years. The...
Thu, 22 Sep 2016 20:00:00 +0100
International teams of astronomers have used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to explore the distant corner of the Universe first revealed in the iconic images of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF). These new ALMA observations are significantly deeper and sharper than previous surveys at millimetre wavelengths. They clearly show how the rate of star formation in young galaxies is closely related to their total mass in stars. They also trace the previously unknown abundance...
Thu, 22 Sep 2016 18:45:00 +0100
Boeing [NYSE: BA] veteran Jim Chilton will succeed Craig R. Cooning as president of the company's Network & Space Systems (N&SS) businesses, effective Oct. 21. Chilton was vice president of the company's Strategic Missile & Defense Systems organization. Before that he spent much of his 32-year career leading space launch, payload processing and rocket engine programs. Cooning is retiring after 11 years at Boeing. "These businesses made significant operating improvements under Craig's leade...
Thu, 22 Sep 2016 18:36:00 +0100
LinQuest Corporation is proud to announce that the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) Advanced Systems and Development Directorate (AD) Ground Systems and Space Operations Division (ADG) at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, NM has awarded the Space Test and Engineering Contract 2014 (STEC14) contract to LinQuest, making this the first time the contract has been awarded to the incumbent contractor. The contract's scope includes engineering support and operations of one-of-a-kind researc...
Wed, 21 Sep 2016 12:00:00 +0100
An international team using ALMA, along with ESO's Very Large Telescope and other telescopes, has discovered the true nature of a rare object in the distant Universe called a Lyman-alpha Blob. Up to now astronomers did not understand what made these huge clouds of gas shine so brightly, but ALMA has now seen two galaxies at the heart of one of these objects and they are undergoing a frenzy of star formation that is lighting up their surroundings. These large galaxies are in turn at the centre of...
Wed, 21 Sep 2016 08:02:00 +0100
Pre-flight activities for Arianespace’s upcoming Ariane 5 mission are ramping up at the Spaceport in French Guiana, with launcher and payload preparations advancing in parallel for the October 4 liftoff. In a major milestone reached this month, Ariane 5 was rolled out from the Spaceport’s Launcher Integration Building – where its core cryogenic stage, two solid boosters and cryogenic upper stage were mated – to the Final Assembly Building. This process formally trans...
Mon, 19 Sep 2016 15:30:00 +0100
Delivering the most detailed images of the sun's lower atmosphere ever recorded from space, the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS), built and operated by Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) for NASA, has received more time to deliver groundbreaking space science. A recent $19.4 million contract extends Lockheed Martin's support for the orbiting observatory through September 2018, with a further extension possible through September 2019. "IRIS has taken more than 24 million images or spectra...
Mon, 19 Sep 2016 14:00:00 +0100
ViaSat Inc. (Nasdaq: VSAT), a global broadband services and technology company, today announced it was awarded a $33,291,975.00 cost-plus-incentive-fee contract for the Protected Tactical Service Field Demonstration (PTSFD), which will provide wideband anti-jam communications to tactical users across both government and commercial satellites. This program will include the development of a Protected Tactical Waveform (PTW) modem as well as an embedded cryptographic unit. The Protected Tactical Sy...
Mon, 19 Sep 2016 13:01:00 +0100
London, UK -  SMi Reports: SMi are excited to announce Harriett Baldwin, Minister of State for Defence Procurement, UK MoD will provide and opening ministerial address at Europe’s leading military communications event for satellite professionals.SMi Group are delighted to announce Harriett Baldwin, Minister of State for Defence Procurement, UK MoD has joined the 18th annual Global MilSatCom conference and exhibition, taking place in London, UK, on the 8th-10th November 2016, to provide the opening min...
Mon, 19 Sep 2016 12:50:00 +0100
Leidos (NYSE: LDOS) will support the Army Geospatial Center's (AGC) High-Resolution, 3-D (HR3D) Geospatial Information program through a prime contract from the General Services Administration (GSA). The single-award task order awarded under the GSA One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services (OASIS) contract has a one-year base period of performance and includes four one-year options. If all options are exercised, the contract carries a total value of $777 million. Under the contract, t...
Fri, 16 Sep 2016 05:30:00 +0100
Arianespace launched a Vega rocket on a complex mission early this morning that demonstrated the flexibility of its upper stage and multisatellite carrier. In its first six flights, Vega delivered a wide range of satellites into very different orbits, demonstrating its flexibility. Liftoff of the seventh mission from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana came at 01:43 GMT on 16 September (03:43 CEST; 22:43 local time on 15 September). Four SkySat microsatellites for Terra Bella, w...
Thu, 15 Sep 2016 16:00:00 +0100
The mystery of a rare change in the behaviour of a supermassive black hole at the centre of a distant galaxy has been solved by an international team of astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope along with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. It seems that the black hole has fallen on hard times and is no longer being fed enough fuel to make its surroundings shine. Many galaxies are found to have an extremely bright core powered by a supermassive black ...
Wed, 14 Sep 2016 12:56:00 +0100
The company has been awarded the deployment in Spain of the complete S3T space surveillance system, which may be used to catalog uncontrolled orbiting objects As part of the project, Indra will develop a radar that is set to establish Spain as one of the few countries with surveillance capabilities in orbits of between 200 and 2,000 km This new Spanish infrastructure will enable security for satellites, space missions and launches into space Its services include collision warnings, obje...
Wed, 14 Sep 2016 12:30:00 +0100
The first catalogue of more than a billion stars from ESA's Gaia satellite was published today - the largest all-sky survey of celestial objects to date. On its way to assembling the most detailed 3D map ever made of our Milky Way galaxy, Gaia has pinned down the precise position on the sky and the brightness of 1142 million stars. As a taster of the richer catalogue to come in the near future, today's release also features the distances and the motions across the sky for more than two mil...
Tue, 13 Sep 2016 14:05:00 +0100
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has chosen Arianespace to launch its GSAT-11 telecommunications satellite. The satellite will be launched by an Ariane 5 launch vehicle, from the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, in 2017. The GSAT-11 satellite, designed, assembled and integrated by ISRO, will weigh about 5,725 kg at launch. GSAT-11 is an advanced communication satellite with multi spot beam coverage over the Indian mainland and nearby ...
Tue, 13 Sep 2016 14:03:00 +0100
By converging in orbit, a pair of small satellites will open a new view on the source of the largest structure in the Solar System: the Sun’s ghostly atmosphere, extending millions of kilometres out into space. The two satellites together are called Proba-3, set for launch in late 2019. Through precise formation flying, one will cast a shadow across the second to open up an unimpeded view of the inner area of the ‘corona’, which is a million times fainter than the blinding...
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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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