Latest Space News
Fri, 20 Jan 2017 09:35:00 +0100
Activity for Arianespace’s initial mission in 2017 with the lightweight Vega is fully underway in French Guiana, where the launch vehicle’s build-up is starting and its Sentinel-2B payload has begun the pre-flight checkout process in preparation for an early March liftoff. This Vega mission is part of another busy year for Arianespace’s launch services, with a total of 12 flights targeted during the 12 months from French Guiana using its family of vehicles, composed of Veg...
Thu, 19 Jan 2017 16:41:00 +0100
Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) is helping NASA begin the hunt for dark energy, a mysterious force powering the universe's accelerating expansion. An instrument assembly the company is developing, if selected by NASA for production, will be the core of the primary scientific instrument aboard the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), whose mission aims to uncover hundreds of millions more galaxies and reveal the physics that shapes them. Scientists and engineers recently began work devel...
Thu, 19 Jan 2017 15:30:00 +0100
ATLAS - the master-planned d--evelopment situated at the epicenter of the Texas A&M Biocorridor, and ViaSat (NASDAQ: VSAT), a global broadband services and technology company - conducted a formal groundbreaking ceremony today for ViaSat's new Texas facility. Set to be completed by mid-2018, the 89,000-square-foot complex will sit on 8.6 acres within ATLAS and is expected to house more than 200 ViaSat employees. The ViaSat team located in Bryan/College Station will primarily focus on the Compa...
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 16:00:00 +0100
At a ceremony today at ESO's Headquarters four contracts were signed for major components of the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) that ESO is building. These were for: the casting of the telescope's giant secondary and tertiary mirrors, awarded to SCHOTT; the supply of mirror cells to support these two mirrors, awarded to the SENER Group; and the supply of the edge sensors that form a vital part of the ELT's huge segmented primary mirror control system, awarded to the FAMES consortium. The second...
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 09:00:00 +0100
On the heels of a successful launch of the first ten Iridium NEXT satellites on Saturday, January 14th, Aireon announced today that it has signed a data services agreement with Isavia, the Icelandic Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP). Isavia will deploy Aireon's space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) service throughout the Reykjavik Oceanic Control Area (OCA). In addition to providing enhanced redundancy to existing terrestrial surveillance resources in the southern p...
Tue, 17 Jan 2017 17:30:00 +0100
The U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) will launch the next Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) satellite on Jan. 19 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. The launch window is between 7:46 and 8:26 p.m. EST. SBIRS GEO Flight 3 was designed and built at Lockheed Martin in Sunnyvale, California, as the next in a series of Air Force satellites that provide multi-mission surveillance in the areas of missile warning, missile defense, technical intelligence and battlespace awa...
Tue, 17 Jan 2017 15:00:00 +0100
New images taken with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile have revealed otherwise invisible details of our Sun, including a new view of the dark, contorted centre of a sunspot that is nearly twice the diameter of the Earth. The images are the first ever made of the Sun with a facility where ESO is a partner. The results are an important expansion of the range of observations that can be used to probe the physics of our nearest star. The ALMA antennas had been careful...
Tue, 17 Jan 2017 14:00:00 +0100
Raytheon (NYSE: RTN) reached another milestone in developing the U.S. Air Force Global Positioning System Next-Generation Operational Control System, known as GPS OCX, with the completion of the Factory Qualification Test of the Launch and Checkout System (LCS). GPS OCX will unleash dramatically increased performance and security of the GPS system that benefits millions of people worldwide. Raytheon tested 74 OCX segment requirements at its Aurora, Colorado, factory in a cyber-hardened enviro...
Mon, 16 Jan 2017 14:24:00 +0100
ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet completed his first spacewalk last Friday together with NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough. The duo spent five hours and 58 minutes outside the International Space Station to complete a battery upgrade to the outpost's power system. The main task was to replace nickel-hydrogen batteries that store electricity from the Station's solar panels with newer lithium-ion batteries that arrived recently aboard Japan's cargo vessel. Thomas and Shane's speed allowed them to p...
Mon, 16 Jan 2017 09:07:00 +0100
MCLEAN, Va. -  Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: IRDM) announced today the successful launch of its first ten Iridium NEXT satellites. The satellites were delivered into low-Earth orbit approximately one hour after the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 9:54:39 a.m. PST. Iridium NEXT is the company’s next-generation satellite constellation, replacing and enhancing its existing network of low-Earth orbit satellites spanning the entire globe – the l...
Mon, 16 Jan 2017 08:37:00 +0100
Searching for planets around other stars is a tricky business. They’re so small and faint that it’s hard to spot them. But a possible planet in a nearby stellar system may be betraying its presence in a unique way: by a shadow that is sweeping across the face of a vast pancake-shaped gas-and-dust disk surrounding a young star. The planet itself is not casting the shadow. But it is doing some heavy lifting by gravitationally pulling on material near the star and warping the inner...
Sat, 14 Jan 2017 21:30:00 +0100
Aireon announced today the successful launch and deployment of the first ten satellites hosting its space-based automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) system. Part of the Iridium NEXT satellite constellation, Aireon's space-based ADS-B network will transform air traffic management capabilities, providing real-time air traffic surveillance and flight tracking across 100 percent of the planet. Currently, more than 70 percent of the earth, including oceanic and remote airspace, has no...
Fri, 13 Jan 2017 22:35:00 +0100
NASA has awarded a contract to KBRwyle Technology Solutions, LLC of Columbia, Maryland, for engineering services to support more than 20 NASA exploration missions. The Ground Systems and Missions Operations-2 contract is cost-plus-award fee, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity, with a total maximum ordering value of $442 million. The effective ordering period begins March 1 and runs through Feb. 28, 2022. KBRwyle will support a wide range of mission operations, including concept studie...
Fri, 13 Jan 2017 16:52:00 +0100
This week, ESA deep-space radio dishes on two continents are listening for signals from the international Cassini spacecraft, now on its final tour of Saturn. ESA's sensitive tracking antennas at New Norcia, Western Australia, and Malargue, Argentina, are being called in to help with crucial observations during Cassini's last months in orbit, dubbed the 'Grand Finale'. The Cassini-Huygens mission is one of the most successful exploration endeavours ever. Launched in October 1997, the Ca...
Fri, 13 Jan 2017 08:36:00 +0100
Monster black holes sometimes lurk behind gas and dust, hiding from the gaze of most telescopes. But they give themselves away when material they feed on emits high-energy X-rays that NASA's NuSTAR (Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array) mission can detect. That's how NuSTAR recently identified two gas-enshrouded supermassive black holes, located at the centers of nearby galaxies. "These black holes are relatively close to the Milky Way, but they have remained hidden from us un...
Fri, 13 Jan 2017 00:00:00 +0100
The report, now available on ASDReports, "Aerospace Robotics Market by Type (Scara, Cylindrical, Articulated, Catesian), Component (Controller, Processor, End Effector, Drive, Sensor) Technology (Traditional, Collaborative), Application and Region - Global Forecast to 2022", The aerospace robotics market is projected to grow from USD 1.81 Billion in 2016 to USD 4.54 Billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 16.55% during the forecast period. Factors such as increasing use of robots for efficient aircraft...
Thu, 12 Jan 2017 14:15:00 +0100
Some of us may be easing ourselves gently into the New Year, but for the team readying Sentinel-2B for liftoff on 7 March it's full steam ahead. On 5 January, the satellite was shipped from ESA's site in the Netherlands - where it had been undergoing testing since June - and arrived safe and sound in French Guiana the following day. The Sentinel-2 mission is designed as two satellites working in tandem - Sentinel-2A has been in orbit since June 2015. Offering 'colour vision' for Europe'...
Wed, 11 Jan 2017 08:39:00 +0100
Sentinel-2B has touched down in French Guiana, bringing the second satellite for Europe’s Copernicus program closer to its early March orbiting by Arianespace on a Vega lightweight launch vehicle. Arriving at Félix Eboué Airport near Cayenne last week, Sentinel-2B was delivered by a chartered Antonov An-124 cargo jetliner. Following its unloading process, the satellite was readied for transfer by road to the Spaceport. As a follow-on to Sentinel-2A – lofted by a...
Tue, 10 Jan 2017 19:30:00 +0100
The U.S. Air Force's next Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) satellite, built by Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), was encapsulated on Jan. 7 at Cape Canaveral, Florida, where it will launch on Jan. 19 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. Encapsulation refers to the sealing of the satellite in a protective launch vehicle fairing-one of the last steps a satellite must undergo before launch. The SBIRS GEO Flight 3 satellite is the latest to join an orbiti...
Tue, 10 Jan 2017 14:45:00 +0100
Rocket Crafters, Inc. (RCI) announced today a U.S. patent was granted to co-founder, President & CTO Ronald Jones for a method for designing and fabricating flawless, high-performance, safer handling fuel grains for hybrid rocket engines using additive manufacturing technology (also known as 3D printing) which will allow the fabrication of an inherently safe and less expensive launch vehicle with only two moving parts. Jones stated that 3D printing of the rocket combustion chamber allows RCI's e...
More space news...
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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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