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Satellite meeting organised by Professor Athena Coustenis, Professor Steve Miller, Professor Peter Read and Professor Jonathan Tennyson FRS
The characterisation of extra-solar planets places great demands on the scientific community and their industrial colleagues alike. Moreover, what could be done has to be set in the context of what can be done, given the constraints of national budgets and the climate for international cooperation. This satellite meeting will discuss in detail some of the key science challenges posed by the preceding London discussion meeting and look to see how they can be met.
Biographies of the organisers and speakers are available below and you can download the programme here.
Audio recordings of the meeting are also available. Due to the discussion element, the audio files are linked either to the chair or first speaker of each session plus the following discussion and can be played by clicking on the relevant link under the individual heading.
The related scientific discussion meeting Characterising Exoplanets: detection, formation, interiors, atmospheres and habitability immediately preceded this event.
Enquiries: Contact the events team
Professor Athena Coustenis, CNRS Paris Observatory, France
Athena Coustenis is Director of Research with the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) of France, working at Paris Observatory in Meudon. Her speciality is Planetology (exploration and study of the Solar System from ground-based and space observations). Her astronomy research is devoted to the investigation of planetary atmospheres and surfaces, with emphasis on Titan and Enceladus, Saturn’s satellites, and Jupiter’s Ganymede and Europe objects with high astrobiological potential. She also works on the characterisation of exoplanetary atmospheres. In the recent years she has been leading efforts towards future space missions.
Professor Steve Miller, University College London, UK
Steven Miller is Professor of Science Communication and Planetary Science at University College London, where he is head of the Science and Technology Studies (STS) Department.
As a planetary scientist, Professor Miller’s main interests lie in understanding how the atmospheres of giant planets – like Jupiter and Saturn, and some of the hot, giant exoplanets – couple with the space environment around them. He is Co-Coordinator of Europlanet RI activities supporting ground-based observations to back up space missions, outreach and dissemination.
A former political journalist, Professor Miller researches issues surrounding science and society at the European level. He is Director of the European Science Communication network (ESConet: http://www.esconet.org), author of The Chemical Cosmos: a guided tour (http://www.springer.com/physics/book/978-1-4419-8443-2) and co-author of Science in Public: communication, culture and credibility (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/sts/sm/sciencec.htm).
Professor Peter Read, University of Oxford, UK
Peter Read is currently Professor of Physics and Head of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics in the Department of Physics at the University of Oxford. He graduated in Physics at the University of Birmingham (UK) in 1975 and obtained a PhD in Radioastronomy at the University of Cambridge in 1980. After completing his PhD, he became a Research Scientist in remote sensing and geophysical fluid dynamics at the Met. Office. He joined the academic staff of Oxford University in 1991, where he has been based until the present. His research interests cover a wide range of subjects, including aspects of fundamental fluid dynamics, planetary meteorology and climate, involving a mixture of laboratory experiments, numerical climate models and planetary observations. He has been a Co-Investigator or collaborator on NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Cassini Orbiter missions. He has published more than 140 refereed scientific papers and review articles, and a major research monograph on the Martian atmosphere and climate.
Professor Jonathan Tennyson FRS, University College London, UK
Jonathan Tennyson gained a BA in Natural Sciences from King's College, Cambridge in 1977 and a PhD in Theoretical Chemistry from the University of Sussex in 1980. He spent a productive two years as Royal Society Western European Exchange Fellow at the University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands, In 1982 he joined the Theory Group at Daresbury Laboratory. He was appointed a “New Blood” lecturer at University College London in Theoretical Atomic Physics in 1985. He became Professor of Physics in 1994; was Head of Department in 2004-11 and became Massey Professor of Physics in 2005. He was elected an FRS in 2009.
His research interests cover a range of topics on the theory of small molecules. In particular I compute spectra of these molecules (such as water) and collide electrons (and occasionally positrons) with them. He is interested in the astrophysical, atmospheric and other consequences of these processes. He recently started a new project, ExoMol (www.exomol.com), aimed at calculating comprehensive line lists for models exoplanets and other hot atmosphere.
Professor Peter Read, University of Oxford, UKChair
Professor Jonathan Tennyson FRS, University College London, UKKey science issues from the London meeting
Invited contributions and discussionInvited contributions and discussion
Professor Jonathan Tennyson FRS, University College London, UKChair
William Borucki, NASA-Ames Research Center, USAViews from the agencies
William Borucki is a space scientist at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. He received a MSc in physics from the University of Wisconsin in 1962 and then joined NASA Ames where he first worked on the development of the heat shield for the Apollo Mission. After the successful Moon landings, he transferred to the Theoretical Studies Branch where he investigated lightning activity in planetary atmospheres and developed mathematical models to predict the effects of nitric oxides and chlorofluoromethanes on the Earth’s ozone layer. In 1984, he began advocating the development of a space mission that could detect Earth-size planets to determine the frequency of Earth-size planets in the habitable zone of Sun-like stars.
In the succeeding years he developed the techniques required to find such small planets and showed that the technology and analysis techniques were sufficiently mature to proceed to flight status. Currently he is the Science Principal Investigator for the Kepler Mission. Based on the first three years of observations, 105 planets have been confirmed and 2740 planetary candidates have been discovered. His awards include; 2013 Henry Draper Medal, 2012 AIAA Science Award, 2012 ASP Maria & Eric Muhlman Award, 2012 SPIE George W Goddard Award, & 2011 Lancelot M Berkeley Prize.
Professor Athena Coustenis, CNRS Paris Observatory, FranceViews from the agencies
Professor Willy Benz, University of Bern, GermanyViews from the agencies
Willy Benz studied physics in Switzerland and obtained his PhD from the University of Geneva. He then went on to post-doctoral work at Los Alamos National Laboratory (USA) and at Harvard University (USA) where he was appointed assistant professor in 1987. In 1991 he became full professor at the University of Arizona in Tucson (USA) before returning to Switzerland in 1997 as a professor at the Physics Institute at the University of Bern of which he became director in 2002.
Since 2007 he has been an external scientific member of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy at Heidelberg. He has served on a number of advising committee including ESO’s Science and Technical Committee, which he has also chaired for three years. Currently he is a member of the Swiss Science and Innovation Council and the chairman of ESA’s Space Science Advisory Committee.
During his career, he has worked on a number of subjects ranging from the physics of dense stellar systems and supernovae explosions to the formation and evolution of planetary systems. The later field has become the focus of his research during the last several years. He currently is the PI of ESA’s first small mission CHEOPS.
Dr Colin Vincent, Science and Technology Facilities Council, UKViews from the agencies
Head of Astronomy Division, Programmes Directorate in STFC. The small team that I lead in Astronomy is responsible for developing and delivering strategy for astronomy and space science in the UK. This includes the associated ground-based facilities (telescopes, instruments, infrastructure) programme, international subscriptions and partnerships, grants for science exploitation and oversight relating to the delivery of the programme to cost and schedule. I have delegated authority for a budget of around £60M per annum, including our subscription to ESO. I work closely with the UK Space Agency to ensure coordination between the needs of the science community and the delivery of space-based facilities.
Professor Athena Coustenis, CNRS Paris Observatory, FranceChair
Paul Eccleston, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UKTechnology and the challenges for industry
Senior Spacecraft Systems Engineer, RAL Space, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Consortium Project manager for the EChO Payload instrument consortium, running day-to-day coordination of the study and technical team.
Currently Consortium Engineering Manager for the SPICE (Spectral Imaging of the Coronal Environment) instrument on Solar Orbiter. Coordination and management of all engineering and technical activities for the consortium and subcontractors on this challenging, fast delivery, instrument project to deliver the high resolution EUV imaging spectrometer for this high profile ESA spacecraft.
Previously the Assembly, Integration and Verification (AIV) Manager for JWST MIRI. Control of all instrument level AIV activities, including co-ordination of activities across 11 country international consortium. Design authority for thermal, mechanical and electrical design of complex cryogenic test facility to simulate all interfaces for the instrument. Test director for all instrument environmental, qualification and calibration tests. Also RAL deputy project manager for JWST MIRI. Management of project schedule, cost at completion estimates, and leading project team through day to day activities. Formally thermal lead for JWST MIRI project responsible for all aspects of thermal design of instrument and integral member of instrument systems engineering team. Extensive expertise in calibration and verification of space IR instrumentation and active and passive thermal control systems for cryogenic infra-red space instrumentation.
Dr Peter Knowles, Selex Galileo Infrared Limited, Technology and the challenges for industry
Peter Knowles graduated from Oxford University in 1972, and following a PhD in semiconductor physics at his home town of Newcastle upon Tyne he undertook postdoctoral research at Oxford and St Andrews Universities into electron transport and magneto-optical properties of semiconductors using low temperatures, high magnetic fields, and high pressures. He joined GEC-Marconi in 1981, initially working at the GEC Hirst Research Centre in Wembley, then as Chief Engineer at the former Philips infrared business at Southampton from 1993, and during the last 31 years he has specialised in infrared detection and thermal imaging, in particular with devices made from the semiconductor mercury cadmium telluride. He is currently Technical Manager at the Southampton site, which is now part of Selex Galileo, and is the technical lead for space and astronomy projects. He is a fellow of the IoP and IET and is a Selex Galileo Technical Fellow.
Matthew Stuttard, Astrium Ltd, UKTechnology and the challenges for industry
Matthew joined Astrium in 2006 and is currently national lead for Future Earth Observation and Science Programmes in the UK. Prior to Astrium he worked for Logica and two small companies, accumulating 20 years experience in satellite imaging applications and geospatial information systems. Following a degree in geography from Sheffield University, Matthew started in Earth observation at what is now Cranfield University in 1985 where he was a lecturer in Applied Remote Sensing. He moved to the commercial world in 1989 and gained experience of space applications in varied sectors including payload data ground segment, defence, agriculture, international development and environmental protection. His past projects have included making the first global vegetation fire map, checking farm subsidy claims using satellite imagery and GIS consultancy on a watershed development project in the Himalayan foothills. Today he is concerned with securing good UK industrial roles on future missions including EChO and JUIcE. In his spare time Matthew likes singing sea shanties and appreciating fine wine, though not simultaneously.
Dr Paolo D’Arrigo, Astrium Ltd, UKTechnology and the challenges for industry
Paolo D’Arrigo completed a PhD in Physics at University College London (UCL), working on optical instrumentation for ground-based telescopes. Following a post-doc at UCL on the development of the high resolution optical spectrograph for the 8.0m Gemini South telescope, he joined Astrium in 2001 as a Systems Engineer. Since then he has become Head of Science in the Future Programmes department, looking at future space science missions and working mostly with the European Space Agency in their Cosmic Vision programme. He currently spends about half of his time as systems engineer on the Solar Orbiter project, for which Astrium is the current Prime Contractor.
Dr Stuart Eves, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, UKTechnology and the challenges for industry
Dr Stuart Eves is Lead Mission Concepts Engineer, (or “ideas guy”), at Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) in Guildford. The highlight of Stuart’s career to date was the initiation of the TopSat imaging satellite programme, which established a new world record for “resolution per mass of satellite”. Indeed, the mission was so successful that whilst the actual hardware was operating in orbit, the engineering model of the satellite formed part of the space gallery at the Science Museum in London.
Stuart has an MSc in Astrophysics, a PhD in constellation design, and has been a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society for more than 20 years.
Professor Steve Miller, University College London, UKChair
Anita Heward, University College London, UKOutreach and public engagement
Anita Heward has more than 10 years experience working to promote space and astronomy in Europe. Ms Heward acts as outreach and press officer for a range of projects and organisations, including the Europlanet Research Infrastructure, the Google Lunar X PRIZE and the Royal Astronomical Society. She developed and maintained websites for the International Year of Astronomy Cornerstone project ‘She is an Astronomer’, ‘UK Goes to the Planets’ and the YuriGagarin50 campaigns. She was the founder and Director of the British Festival of Space and was previously Exhibition Manager and Curator at the National Space Centre in Leicester. She holds a degree in Physics and Space Science and a master of Earth Observation Science from the University of Leicester, a post graduate certificate in Science Communication from Birkbeck College, University of London and a post-graduate diploma in Creative Writing from the University of Sussex.
Dr Giovanna Tinetti, University College London, UKFinal discussion
Dr Giovanna Tinetti is a Royal Society URF and Reader at the University College London, where she leads a team on exoplanets since 2007. Dr Tinetti received her PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Turin (Italy) in 2003 and then moved to Caltech in the US and Paris in France to work on exoplanetary atmospheres supported by NASA and ESA fellowships. She received the 2011 Institute of Physics Moseley Medal for her pioneering work on the use of infrared, primary transit spectroscopy to characterise the molecular composition of extra solar planets.
Dr Tinetti has led the successful proposal for the mission candidate EChO (Exoplanet Characterisation Observatory), a space telescope dedicated to the study of exoplanetary atmospheres, currently under study by the European Space Agency. She is an editor for Icarus, the planetary journal of the American Astronomical Society. She has authored more than eighty refereed publications.
Professor Peter Read, University of Oxford, UKClosing remarks
Book prize event 6 Mar
History of science lecture 7 Mar
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