Latest Space News
Mon, 27 Mar 2017 11:27:00 +0100
Astronomers have uncovered a supermassive black hole that has been propelled out of the center of a distant galaxy by what could be the awesome power of gravitational waves. Though there have been several other suspected, similarly booted black holes elsewhere, none has been confirmed so far. Astronomers think this object, detected by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, is a very strong case. Weighing more than 1 billion suns, the rogue black hole is the most massive black hole ever detected...
Fri, 24 Mar 2017 22:43:00 +0100
Around 250 million measurements taken by ESA's CryoSat over the last six years have been used to create a unique 3D view of Antarctica, offering a snapshot of the undulating surface of this vast ice sheet. CryoSat's radar altimeter detects tiny variations in the height of the ice across the entire continent, including on the steeper continental margins where the vast majority of ice losses occur. Importantly, the satellite's orbit takes it to latitudes within 200 km of the north and south ...
Fri, 24 Mar 2017 21:30:00 +0100
NASA has selected a science mission that will measure emissions from the interstellar medium, which is the cosmic material found between stars. This data will help scientists determine the life cycle of interstellar gas in our Milky Way galaxy, witness the formation and destruction of star-forming clouds, and understand the dynamics and gas flow in the vicinity of the center of our galaxy. The Galactic/Extragalactic ULDB Spectroscopic Terahertz Observatory (GUSTO) mission, led by principal in...
Fri, 24 Mar 2017 14:39:00 +0100
Information from ESA's magnetic field Swarm mission has led to the discovery of supersonic plasma jets high up in our atmosphere that can push temperatures up to almost 10 000oC. Presenting these findings at this week's Swarm Science Meeting in Canada, scientists from the University of Calgary explained how they used measurements from the trio of Swarm satellites to build on what was known about vast sheets of electric current in the upper atmosphere. The theory that there are huge electri...
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 08:36:00 +0100
Designers of future Moon missions and bases have to contend with a chilling challenge: how might their creations endure the fortnight-long lunar night? ESA has arrived at a low-cost way of surviving. During prolonged night, when the surface is lit only by blue Earthlight, temperatures dip below -170C. Some locations at higher latitudes have shorter nights, though others have much longer or even permanent darkness. Numerous robotic missions have perished during this prolonged cold. Russia'...
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 19:19:00 +0100
Consider that the Earth is just a giant cosmic dust bunny-a big bundle of debris amassed from exploded stars. We Earthlings are essentially just little clumps of stardust, too, albeit with very complex chemistry. And because outer space is a very dusty place, that makes things very difficult for astronomers and astrophysicists who are trying to peer farther across the universe or deep into the center of our own galaxy to learn more about their structure, formation and evolution. Buildi...
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 15:00:00 +0100
From its final orbit location 22,000 miles above the equator, the third Lockheed Martin-built (NYSE: LMT) Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) satellite recently sent its first images back down to Earth, a milestone known as "first light."   The satellite was launched on Jan. 20 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket and is the third in a series of Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) satellites that the U.S. Air Force uses to provide faster and more accurate missile ...
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 14:47:00 +0100
Space Situational Awareness remains a key priority for armed forces capable of operating above the Earth. Space is now extremely contested, congested and competitive as more and more countries and organisation gain access to space technology. However, high amounts of orbiting traffic is not the only threat; space weather, debris and ground based electronic and cyber threats could also have a massive impact on our operations by disrupting satellite activity and therefore military ability on the...
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 08:33:00 +0100
Arianespace’s second Ariane 5 launch of 2017 has been rescheduled for March 23, as continuation of the social movement in French Guiana has prevented today’s transfer of the heavy-lift vehicle to its ELA-3 launch zone. If the situation permits, the mission – designated Flight VA236 in Arianespace’s numbering system – will lift off on March 23 as early as possible within the following window: Between 4:31 p.m. and 7:20 p.m., Washington D.C. time Between ...
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 15:30:00 +0100
Rosetta scientists have made the first compelling link between an outburst of dust and gas and the collapse of a prominent cliff, which also exposed the pristine, icy interior of the comet. Sudden and short-lived outbursts were observed frequently during Rosetta's two-year mission at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Although their exact trigger has been much debated, the outbursts seem to point back to the collapse of weak, eroded surfaces, with the sudden exposure and heating of volatile m...
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 10:00:00 +0100
ESA's Swarm satellites are seeing fine details in one of the most difficult layers of Earth's magnetic field to unpick - as well as our planet's magnetic history imprinted on Earth's crust. Earth's magnetic field can be thought of as a huge cocoon, protecting us from cosmic radiation and charged particles that bombard our planet in solar wind. Without it, life as we know it would not exist. Most of the field is generated at depths greater than 3000 km by the movement of molten iron in ...
Mon, 20 Mar 2017 22:21:00 +0100
Teledyne Technologies Incorporated (NYSE:TDY) announced today that its subsidiary, Teledyne Scientific & Imaging, LLC (TS&I), was awarded a $9.98 million contract from the French Space Agency, the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES), to provide infrared detectors and electronics for the European Space Agency (ESA) JUICE mission to Jupiter. JUICE is expected to launch in 2022 and reach Jupiter in 2030 to undertake a three and a half year study of Jupiter and three of its moons: Callisto, Ga...
Mon, 20 Mar 2017 15:57:00 +0100
Serionix, a startup fundamentally changing the way we look at air, received a $750,000 contract from NASA to fund continued development of filters to remove toxic gases from next-generation spacesuit life support systems. The same technology is on its way into consumer products expected to launch within the year. Poor indoor air quality is widely associated with significant negative health impacts; however, as awareness of this connection increases, Serionix is committed to making air fresher...
Mon, 20 Mar 2017 13:02:00 +0100
Orbital ATK (NYSE:OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, provided propulsion, composite and spacecraft technologies to enable the successful launch of both the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV rocket and the ninth Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS-9) satellite that was launched yesterday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. "Orbital ATK's is proud to contribute a number of key technologies to ULA's Delta IV launch vehicle," said Scott Lehr, President of Orbital ...
Mon, 20 Mar 2017 09:01:00 +0100
Arianespace’s dual-payload mission to orbit telecommunications satellites for Brazil and South Korea has been given the go-ahead for a March 21 liftoff from the Spaceport in French Guiana, carrying the SGDC and KOREASAT-7 relay platforms. The approval came at the completion of today’s Launch Readiness Review, which confirmed the “go” status of Ariane 5, its two payloads, the Spaceport launch infrastructure and the network of flight trajectory tracking stations. Th...
Sun, 19 Mar 2017 02:45:00 +0100
A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV rocket carrying the ninth Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS-9) satellite for the United States Air Force lifted off from Space Launch Complex-37 on March 18 at 8:18 p.m. EDT. "This launch commemorates the 70th anniversary of the USAF." said Laura Maginnis, ULA vice president of Government Satellite Launch. "We are absolutely honored to play a role in this important milestone, while safely delivering WGS-9 to orbit." This mission was launched aboard a Delta...
Sun, 19 Mar 2017 02:42:00 +0100
Boeing’s [NYSE: BA] ninth Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellite launched into orbit today and will provide the United States and six allied nations with increased communications capabilities to prevent, protect against and respond to attacks. The WGS-9 satellite was funded through an agreement between the United States and Canada, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and New Zealand, and will also serve Australia (which funded the WGS-6 satellite). Each partner country gains access t...
Fri, 17 Mar 2017 11:14:00 +0100
ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet will make two more spacewalks under NASA's plans to maintain the International Space Station during his mission. Though intended for the end of March and April, the dates may change because the sorties require equipment yet to be launched on a Cygnus supply vessel. The first will see Thomas and NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough head outside to install a new computer, work on the electrical power distribution system, and disconnect a docking adapter to allow its mo...
Thu, 16 Mar 2017 15:00:00 +0100
Demanding electric, magnetic and power requirements, harsh radiation, and strict planetary protection rules are some of the critical issues that had to be tackled in order to move ESA's Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer - Juice - from the drawing board and into construction. Scheduled for launch in 2022, with arrival in the Jovian system in 2029, Juice will spend three-and-a-half years examining the giant planet's turbulent atmosphere, enormous magnetosphere, its set of tenuous dark rings and its sa...
Thu, 16 Mar 2017 11:00:00 +0100
The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter has completed another set of important science calibration tests before a year of aerobraking gets underway. The mission was launched a year ago this week, and has been orbiting the Red Planet since 19 October. During two dedicated orbits in late November, the science instruments made their first calibration measurements since arriving at Mars. The latest tests were carried out 5-7 March from a different orbit, and included checking procedures associated with ...
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  • CV: Final year PhD student (+ Research Officer at University of Bath)

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    Personal information
     Name:<withheld>
     Age:<withheld>
     Country:<withheld>
     Location:<withheld>
    Contact information
     Email:<withheld>
     Phone:<withheld>
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    Candidate Profile
     Date Submitted:02-01-2010
     Last Modified:11-12-2014 (07:59)
    Job information
     Current job:Final year PhD student (+ Research Officer at University of Bath)
     Employment Term:Either
     Job location:Anywhere
     Date available:within 3months
     Industry:Civil Agencies/International Organizations, Satellite Manufacturers and Subcontractors, Satellite Operators, , , Launch Systems, Business Services
     Keywordsnumerate, experience in R&D engineering, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL, UK), University of Bath (UK) satellite payload development, instrumentation, GPS for remote applications, Anglo-Australian Observatory (AAO, Australia), autonomous fibre positi
    CV

    Career Interests

    I am very keen in working on spacecraft design & build, and related instrumentation. My experience during my PhD included the development of a GPS receiver-based payload (TOPCAT) for plasmaspheric science installed in UK Space Agency’s pilot CubeSat – UKube-1. I took the primary role in all stages of payload development, managing the project from design through to space qualification tests. Design and build of TOPCAT required various aspects of hardware/software, RF and mechanical engineering skills.

     

    EDUCATION

     

    2011-Current

    University of Bath, UK

    PhD Research Programme in Electronic and Electrical Engineering

    Thesis Title: Topside Ionosphere/Plasmasphere Tomography using Space-Borne Dual Frequency GPS Receivers

    The project installed a GPS L1/L2 receiver within the CubeSat UKube-1 to measure the total electron content on the topside ionosphere and beyond. The payload was a feasibility study of technology and cost to implement a constellation of GPS receivers for continuous global monitoring of the region. The project will also validate a MATLAB-based ionospheric tomography algorithm for the topside ionosphere/plasmasphere, enabling the first phase of a complete system for global ionised upper atmospheric imaging. During my PhD I also assisted teaching academics with practical laboratories for undergraduate students and provided informal supervision to postgraduate students.

     

     

    2005-2010

    University of Bath, UK

    MEng (Hons) Electronics with Space Science andTechnology with Industrial Placement - First-Class Honours (Average: 85.2%)

    Significant Projects Undertaken:

    (1) Group Business and Design Project (GBDP) to produce a business proposal and design a Loran receiver module – Included a Needs Analysis/Target Specification, Feasibility Study, Business Plan and Technical Detailed Design. Each team member was required to assume roles of a manager and engineer. I was the Operations Manager in charge of product operation procedures, and managing capital resources.

     

    (2) Final Year Individual Project (FYP) on the design of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flight controller – Included research into project specifications and design alternatives, leading to the final proposal of the design.

    Other Modules Include: Communication, Remote Sensing & Satellite Navigation Systems, Microprocessors & Digital Electronics, Space Electronics & Vehicles/Platforms

     

     

    2002-2005

    Stafford International School, Sri Lanka

     

    4 Grade As – Physics, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry

     

    WORK EXPERIENCE

     

    2014-Current

    Research Officer at the University of Bath

    Working with a Spirent GPS simulator to characterize the behavior of GPS receivers in the presence of ionospheric scintillation, with specific interest on aviation receivers that will be used for safety critical applications. Supervision of undergraduate and postgraduate students on projects related to the Spirent simulator.

     

    Summer

    2009, 2010

    Student Fellow at the Australian Astronomical Observatory, Australia

    I was awarded three-month (2009) and six-month (2010) student fellowships to develop a control system for a self-motile fiber positioning system to transport payloads across a field plate in large telescopes. Gained experience in digital image processing and control/operation of mini robotic systems using LabVIEW. Included characterization of operating parameters and simulations via MATLAB to model the motion of the robots.

     

    2007-2008

    Industrial Placement – STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratories

    Worked as a member of a R&D team to simulate/design a vertex detector for the International Linear Collider (ILC). Tasks included optimization of detector designs through performance analysis of different sensor technologies.

     

     

    PUBLICATIONS/CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS

     

    T. Pinto Jayawardena, C. Mitchell, R.J. Watson, J.R. Rose, C.J. Coleman and M. Jessop, “TOPCAT: A Space-Borne Dual-Frequency GPS Receiver for Topside Ionosphere and Plasmasphere Computer Assisted Tomography.” Proceedings of ION GNSS+ 2014, Tampa, Florida, USA, 8-12 September 2014. (In preparation)

     

    T. Pinto Jayawardena, A.M. Ali, Biagio Forte, J. Kinrade, C. Mitchell, S. Smith and  T. Walter, “Experimentally Recorded Amplitude and Phase Scintillation Through a Spirent Simulator.” Proceedings of ION GNSS+ 2014, Tampa, Florida, USA, 8-12 September 2014. (In preparation)

     

    Talini S. Pinto Jayawardena, Cathryn N. Mitchell, Robert J. Watson, Julian R. Rose, Christopher J. Coleman and Mark Jessop, “TOPCAT: A Dual-Frequency GPS Payload on UKube-1.” The International Beacon Satellite Symposium 2013, Bath, UK, 8-12 July 2013. (Presentation)

     

    Pinto Jayawardena, T., Mitchell, C.N., Watson, R.J., et al. “Topside ionosphere computer assisted tomography using a dual frequency GPS receiver and cubesat technology.”Proceedings of 3rd International colloquium on scientific and fundamental aspects of the Galileo programme, Copenhagen, Denmark, 31 August – 2 September 2011.

     

    David Bailey, Erik Devetak, Mark Grimes, Kristian Harder, Sonja Hillert, David Jackson, T. Pinto Jayawardena et al. "The LCFIVertex package: Vertexing, flavour tagging and vertex charge reconstruction with an ILC vertex detector." Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment 610, no. 2 (2009): 573-589.

     

    Zhang, Z., et al. "Charge shielding in the In-situ Storage Image Sensor for a vertex detector at the ILC." Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment 607.3 (2009): 538-543.

     

    ACHIEVEMENTS AND AWARDS

     

    2011-2014

    The University Research Studentship for overseas candidates, awarded by the University of Bath for graduate studies in the PhD research programme.

     

    2010

    The IET Prize by the Institution of Engineering and Technology for distinction in studies leading to the degree of MEng (Hons) Electronic Engineering with Space Science and Technology; The IQE Prize awarded by IQE plc for best examination results in optical devices and communication systems.

     

    2007-2009

    2005-2006

    John Barr Memorial Scholarship from Schlumberger, and Undergraduate Residence Scholarship awarded by the University of Bath based on academic excellence.

     

    1998-2003

    Five years of distinction or merit certificates in Practical and Theory Music (Piano)

     

    ADDITIONAL SKILLS

     

     

    Technical

     

    In addition to Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and PowerPoint), I’m competent in the technical software MATLAB and C programming. Grounding knowledge in Verilog Hardware Description Language (HDL) for use with FPGAs, and LabVIEW

     

    Teaching

    (Voluntary)

     

    Taught English to grades 8-10 at the School for the Blind, Ratmalana, Sri Lanka. I was responsible for both the physical and psychological well-being of students with multiple disabilities. Improved my project planning and team work skills by assisting in the Canada project for disabled children.

     

    Languages

     

    English (Mother Tongue - Fluent); Sinhala (Native Language - Fluent); French (Basic)

     

    INTERESTS

     

    Music

    Both listening to and playing the piano. Enjoy Classical, Celtic and Instrumental music.

     

    Travel

    Interest in other cultures, nature, historical places and meeting people from different walks of life.

     

    Sports

    I swim and play squash as leisure sports. I am also a Jiu Jitsu enthusiast (novice).

     

    REFERENCES (Further references on request)

     

    Prof. Cathryn Mitchell (Supervisor)

    Dept. of Electronic & Electrical Engineering

    University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY, UK

    E-mail: C.N.Mitchell(at)bath.ac.uk

    Dr. Kristian Harder (Industrial Supervisor)

    STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

    Harwell Science and Innovation Campus

    Didcot OX11 0QX, UK Email: kristian.harder(at)stfc.ac.uk



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