The 2015 conference featured a Research Marketplace showcasing the range of what Imperial can offer and explore key initiatives. It was an opportunity to start conversations and build new connections. The poster exhibition covered outcomes of space related research projects conducted by Imperial students. Please see the Research Marketplace listings below to find out more about the exhibits.

If you would like to get involved in the Research Marketplace in 2016, please contact us.

Instrumentation for space physics and industrial partnerships
Author: Patrick Brown
Co-authors: Chris Carr, Helen O’Brien and Barry Whiteside
Department of Physics and Natural Sciences

We have a long heritage (over 45 years) in building magnetic field sensors (magnetometers) for solar-system and planetary research missions. We have led or contributed hardware to instruments for a range of high profile ESA and NASA missions including Cassini, Cluster, Rosetta, Double Star, Venus Express, Bepi-Colombo and we are currently building instruments for Solar Orbiter and JUICE (to be launched in 2017 and 2022 respectively). Over the years we have become world leading in our design of fluxgate and magnetoresistive magnetometers, low power data-processing units and power converters elements of which have been licensed to UK industry.

Water extraction of organic biosignatures on Mars
Author: Duy Luong
Co-authors: Mark Sephton, Richard Court and Jonathan Watson
Department of Earth Science and Engineering

Pressurised hot water exhibits its multi-polarity nature and therefore can be fine-tuned to accommodate different classes of organic compounds. Laboratory results show that subcritical water has similar performance to traditional organic solvent in the extraction of saturated hydrocarbons. The highest efficiency of the extraction occurs at 300⁰C where dielectric constant of water falls to 20 and it essentially behaves like acetone or isopropanol. Different types of samples native to terrestrial setting were exposed to this hot water treatment and the results represent the strong relationship between temperature and the solubilising power of water.

An Eye on the Sky – New Methods for Quantifying Cloud Cover over Antarctica Author: Benjamin Fernando
Co-author: Tracy Moffat-Griffin
Research conducted at: Atmosphere, Ice and Climate Group, British Antarctic Survey and Department of Physics, Imperial College London

Gravity waves are a mechanism that enables momentum transfer through the atmosphere, and are therefore important in many atmospheric models. However, the processes governing their formation and behaviour are not well understood.
Clouds are known to be a source of these waves, and this project attempts to develop new methods for using an SBIG AllSky 340 Camera to quantify cloud type and coverage. The Antarctic provides an ideal laboratory to do this, and the instruments tested and code developed are due to be deployed there later this season.

I-type Cosmic Spherules as Probes of the Upper Atmosphere
Author: Matthew Genge
Co-author: Andy Tomkins
Department of Earth Science and Engineering

Around 10,000 tonnes of extraterrestrial dust falls on Earth each year, these particles are present all around us. Large numbers of pristine cosmic dust particles are recovered from the Antarctic whilst more are beginning to be collected from rocks that fell on Earth up to 2.7 billion years ago. We present an atmospheric entry model for FeNi dust particles which are oxidised during atmospheric entry. We show the compositions of these spherules can be used to study the Earth’s upper atmosphere throughout its history.

Space experts at your service
Authors: Imperial Consultants
Co-author: Fiona Jamieson and Andreas Ballis

Find out how external organisations with an interest in Space can solve scientific and technical problems by tapping into Imperial’s cutting-edge knowledge and expertise through consultancy.

Adaptive Emergent Systems Engineering for Space Exploration
Author: Michael Johnson
Co-author: Babu Choudhary and Julie McCann
Department of Computing

The Adaptive Emergent Systems Engineering group of the Department of Computing works on architectures, algorithms, protocols and tools that allow computer systems to self-adapt to their environment and self-organise to improve their performance, quality or ability to scale and survive. We present an overview of our lab and flight projects to which we are applying these concepts, particularly in the context of resource constrained ChipSat, Thin-Film and CubeSat scale spacecraft and subsystems, for earth observation and planetary science.

You are here now – Positioning, Navigation and Timing
Author: Washington Y. Ochieng
Co-author: Sophie Damy
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering

The use of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) such as the Global Positioning System (GPS) continues to grow rapidly. In the next decade, the number of GNSS equipped devices per person is expected to increase from one to three in North America and Europe. GNSS applications are numerous and diverse: from helping you find your way on your smartphone to supporting aircraft landing at airports. Imperial Space Lab’s Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) research team develops innovative ways to acquire and process GNSS data, and monitor the integrity (quality) of the resulting position solutions and derivatives including velocity and attitude.

Investigating the Sources of Fine-grained Micrometeorites
Author: Martin Suttle
Co-author: Matthew Genge, Sara Russell
Department of Earth Science and Engineering

Micrometeorites are extraterrestrial dust particles captured by the Earth and recovered from deep sea sediments, Antarctica or the geological record. This dust flux samples asteroids and comets, providing a window into the evolution of the early solar system. Previous studies of unmelted coarse-grained micrometeorites have revealed that the majority of particles are igneous, resembling chondrule fragments from ordinary chondrite meteorites, and associated with the Koronis asteroid family. This PhD project attempts to constrain the sources of fine-grained micrometeorites, exploring the possibility of genetic links to C-type asteroids via geochemistry, infrared spectroscopy and observations of IRAS dust bands.

Shocks in scaled laboratory plasma experiments
Author: Francisco Suzuki-Vidal
Co-author: S.V. Lebedev, G. Burdiak, L. Suttle, T. Clayson, G. Swadling, L. Pickworth, M. Bennett, S.N. Bland
Department of Physics and Natural Sciences

Shocks are ubiquitous in space. They are formed, for instance, when the solar wind interacts with Earth’s magnetic field and throughout all phases of stellar formation, most spectacularly when stars die as Supernovae remnants. The field of laboratory-plasma-astrophysics aims at reproducing some of these complex phenomena through carefully scaled experiments using plasmas. The MAGPIE facility at Imperial College London can produce such plasmas and accelerate them to supersonic speed leading to the formation of shocks. Experiments provide a unique test-bed to the study of shocks in space by being able to change the initial conditions, probe with different diagnostics and compare to numerical simulations.

External exhibitors:

Mohan Jayawardene and Alana Monington
Company: CST - Computer Simulation Technology