Soapbox Abstracts

Following the call for innovative and interesting pitches to the UK space community offering the opportunity to outline any new results and exciting ideas they may have, the following twenty abstracts have been selected.

Presenters will have just five minutes and five slides each to convince delegates and the judging panel of the merits of their idea, after which, delegates will be able to ask the presenters questions in an open forum.

The winner will be presented with their award at the “Latest and Breaking News” plenary session on Tuesday 14 July.

Do come along to learn to hear about the exciting and new developments that could steer the future of the space sector.

Soapbox Session 1
Tuesday 14th July – 08:30 – 09:45

Danny Gleeson – Space Business Development Manager, Curtiss Wright

Curtiss Wright is on a mission to lower the cost of access to space. Spacecraft electronics designers are afraid to use commercial off the shelf (COTS) components as they are susceptible to radiation induced failure and low reliability. The result is a high cost of access to space using expensive specialised components. At Curtiss Wright we have developed a way of using low cost COTS components in space by providing a smart electronic safety net at board level. Our approach to Space COTS can dramatically cut the cost of achieving space mission objectives while providing access to high performance electronics that have so far been too expensive to use. What was once impossible is now possible and our approach has been validated through radiation tests with NASA and our technology has been adopted for future mission critical manned spaceflight applications.

Paul Green – Senior Research Scientist, NPL

TRUTHS is a UK satellite mission centred around a highly accuracy satellite sensor (10x more accurate than currently in operation) which, acting as an in-orbit reference sensor, would upgrade the performance of operational satellite sensors to provide decadal-timescale climate-monitoring quality data.

TRUTHS would showcase UK technology, position the UK as the anchor & hub of the global effort to provide traceable quality-assured climate data & services and enable UK policymakers to enhance their global leadership, whilst stimulating a new generation of scientists & engineers within the UK.

By effectively anchoring the radiometric calibration of all other relevant sensors against a traceable reference, TRUTHS would leverage optimal utility from operational sensors, such as the Sentinels and allow judicious testing of satellite products from different providers, whilst providing direct measurements capable of the observational detection & attribution of climate change.

Philip Church - QinetiQ

There is major interest within the European Space Agency (ESA) in space penetrator technology as an additional option for space exploration focussing on the icy moons in the Jovian system. The main function is for the penetrator to embed in the planetary surface and then perform in situ scientific measurements, such as mass spectrometry and physical properties characterisation, which are communicated back to an orbiting spacecraft. QinetiQ in collaboration with Airbus and MSSL have performed a trial of a space penetrator concept into an ice block target at the Pendine Long Test Track at 340m/s. The key challenge is survivability of the penetrator and payload at these velocities. The trial was significantly derisked by a combination of representative small-scale testing and simulations to assess various survivable concepts. The trial was a major success with the penetrator and payload surviving intact.

Paul Jerram – Engineering Manager, e2v

Abstract - The headline space news today will be New Horizons arrival at Pluto. At 12:00 on the 14th of July after a nine and a half year journey the New Horizons spacecraft will pass Pluto travelling at over 30,000 miles per hour. This will allow only a few minutes gather detailed information and produce the first ever high resolution images of Pluto before the spacecraft continues out into the Kuiper belt.

This presentation will cover what to expect from the New Horizons mission over the next few days. As the main UK contributor to the programme we will discuss e2v’s involvement in providing imagers for two out of the seven instruments and what the challenges were in providing sensors for the mission.

Celestino Gomez-Cid – Country Manager, GMV

SAGRES Copernicus services were activated by Frontex and Guardia Civil to support an operational maritime surveillance mission within the immigration domain. Programmed acquisitions matched the spatial-temporal window of a Search and Rescue operation that was triggered to look for a ship departed from Morocco. Real time analysis of an Ultra Fine Radarsat2 image revealed the presence of a potential target of interest with an estimated length of 11m. 2h and 30m after image acquisition, the report was delivered to the proper authorities who used the detection coordinates to notably reduce the searching area. This efficiently contributed the location of the ship with 38 in-stress immigrants on board (8 women and 3 child) 14.5 NM away from the reported position. This success case proves that the EO-based GMV chain can be embedded in the operational procedures of authorities providing quicker reaction.

Ruairidh Henderson – CSO, Global Surface Intelligence

Which forests store the most carbon? What will the global corn harvest be in 2015? What is the volume of pine trees in Ontario? Does limiting the roaming area of livestock in Australia help trap more soil carbon? Thousands of satellites, terabytes of data, a more dynamic environment than ever before, GSi makes sense of it all and answers these questions and many more.

The GSi-Platform combines the UK’s most powerful super computer with the leading advances in big data, machine learning, time series analysis and predictive analytics to view our planet in new ways and on new scales. Our objective is to provide insights and solutions to help solve climate change and world hunger. Equipped with this intelligence we are now able to more effectively manage our planet for the greater well-being of everyone and we’d like to shout about it!

Ivan Petyaev – Creator of Smart Chocolate

Lycotec has developed technology for miniaturisation of essential micro-nutrients andhealth beneficial food molecules into compact food matrixes.

One of the first matrixes to be adopted has been dark chocolate. This was chosen because it was not just a pleasant delivery vehicle but also a source of cocoa flavanols with multiple health supporting properties. Lycotec developed a process which protects these molecules and increases their efficacy so that a piece of 5-10g has the power of 100g of DC.

This Smart Chocolate has been used in combination with other food bioactive molecules, with established physiological properties, to develop and clinically validate prototypes with different functionalities – cardiovascular, cognition, physical performance, support of which is critical in space expeditions.

Soapbox Session 2
Tuesday 14th July – 11:30 – 13:00

Susana Zanello – Scientist, Universities Space Research Association (USRA)

To reach farther destinations, exploration missions will become longer and more remote. Exposure to extraterrestrial environments involves health risks, albeit increasingly effective countermeasures. Measuring physiologic phenomena, anticipating and intervening in medical acute conditions, telemedicine, and the “ideal” medical kit, are common topics of discussion in space medicine. However, to treat and prevent, we must address the need for precise diagnostics and health monitoring. Today, precision medicine based on molecular targets, brings solutions for early diagnoses and personalized treatments in an increasing number of people on Earth, and at lesser costs. It is imperative that we conscientiously assess the application of these technologies in space exploration, while accessibility to the ISS test bed is still an option. We should actively look at existing mature technologies that offer high sensitivity, target specificity, sample versatility, multiplexing capability, compact designs and ease of use.

Rochelle Velho – University of Warwick

Human physiology can deteriorate unpredictably on Earth or in Space; a tele-monitored early warning scoring (EWS) system can mitigate progression of disease in both settings and increase astronaut autonomy. The Medical Mars Analog astronaut aleRt System (M2ARS) was a modified EWS developed during a series of Austrian Space Forum (OeWF) Mars analog missions, using AOUDA.X suit biotelemetry data.

To systematically review EWS models and improve the M2ARS for the AMADEE-15 mission.

136 papers were identified and 3 met the pre-set standards. Two key terrestrial Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs) disagreed about the benefit of implementing EWS. Zero studies were conducted in the Mars analog environment.

The M2ARS model enables remote assessment of analog astronauts, accounting for altered suit physiology.  Further terrestrial, analog and space studies are required to standardise EWS models for patients on earth and astronauts on future space missions.

Gurbir Singh

Human voyage to Mars and beyond. Only practical by sharing costs, risks and resources.

Peace on Earth through collaboration in space. We competing in the sports stadium, science laboratories, the market place and in space science instead of the battle field. The European Space Agency has contributed to maintaining peace in Europe and the International Space Station, globally.

Alleviate poverty. Industrial revolution brought health and higher quality of life for more people than other human activity in history. A global revolution in space technology has the potential to enhance the quality of life for all on Earth.

Beyond the cradle. Climate change and Earth’s finite resources place an upper limit on how human societies flourish. Where humanity’s future lies is not known. What is certain is it will not be on Earth.

Tim Craine, Director, Cavendish Trust Company Ltd

The Isle of Man’s space industry founded in 2001 now contributes more than 1&pcnt; of the Island’s GDP which is higher than the equivalent U.S. figure. The Isle of Man is host to the likes of SES, Inmarsat, Telesat, Avanti, ManSat, the Space Data Association, the Satellite Interference Group and the International Institute of Space Commerce. Isle of Man made optics are  making history on Mars… on the Phoenix Lander and on the Curiosity Rover.  The Phoenix Lander Lidar Optics discovered high altitude snow for the first time. ASCEND, a  leading space consultancy, assessed that the IOM as the nation 4th most likely to return to the Moon. The Isle of Man is an International Finance Centre and so can offer space businesses benefits and advantages which compliment the UK offering and so provide mutual benefit to both jurisdictions.

Tim Craine, Director, Cavendish Trust Company Ltd

The Isle of Man’s space industry founded in 2001 now contributes more than 1&pcnt; of the Island’s GDP which is higher than the equivalent U.S. figure. The Isle of Man is host to the likes of SES, Inmarsat, Telesat, Avanti, ManSat, the Space Data Association, the Satellite Interference Group and the International Institute of Space Commerce. Isle of Man made optics are  making history on Mars… on the Phoenix Lander and on the Curiosity Rover.  The Phoenix Lander Lidar Optics discovered high altitude snow for the first time. ASCEND, a  leading space consultancy, assessed that the IOM as the nation 4th most likely to return to the Moon. The Isle of Man is an International Finance Centre and so can offer space businesses benefits and advantages which compliment the UK offering and so provide mutual benefit to both jurisdictions.

Stuart Eves, Lead Mission Concepts Engineer, Airbus Defence and Space

There is an emerging need for Space Traffic Control, since satellites form part of the critical international infrastructure that we all rely on.

Near-Earth space faces a potential “tragedy of the commons” from the increasing population of debris objects that have been left in orbit. These uncontrolled objects could create a cascade of collisions, (the Kessler Scenario), rendering Low Earth Orbit largely unusable.

This is an important issue for both Governments and the space industry, as many of the benefits which space systems currently provide will be put at risk. There are also major future space-growth initiatives which will fail to materialize if we cannot conduct orbital operations safely.

A variety of technical measures, which collectively can be described as Space Traffic Control, would maintain the near-Earth orbital regime as a place where humans can conduct business.

Lukas Lanneau, Consultant, SpaceTec Partners

While traditional research grants have shown to be effective at stimulating gradual product improvements, they rarely have been able to generate real breakthrough innovations. Inducement prizes, however, have proven to be viable alternatives to foster such breakthrough inventions. Dating back to as far as the 18th century, inducement prizes recently have gained popularity in Europe as innovation-stimulating push mechanisms (e.g. Horizon Prizes). Unlike grants, ex-ante inducement prizes do not specify any conditions related to the type of contestants, the way a solution is achieved or the final solution itself. By doing so, inducement prizes manage to stimulate unconventional outcomes, while simultaneously decreasing budgetary risks for public institutions involved. With Europe’s overall space innovation infrastructure relatively fragmented, inefficient and risk-averse, inducement prizes could be complementary tools to stimulate European innovations in areas such as access to space, EO or space exploration.

Matjaz Vidmar, University of Edinburgh

Understanding innovation and the ways in which it generates growth in the Space sector is the key for the success of nation-wide ambitions for the development of this economic area. Whilst current trends are promising to deliver on those ambitions, their realisation is in part dependent on creating new business ventures based on innovation from basic research.

To do so, we have to find answers for two main challenges:
a) How to get (more) scientists and engineers to consider commercialising their knowledge?
b) How to support the development and growth of these new businesses?

Triin Udris, Enterprise Europe Network

The Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) is a free service focusing on bringing SMEs, large companies, universities, research organisations etc. together for cross-border cooperation and facilitate contracts, create jobs and make impact.

Funded by the European Commission and with offices in 60 countries - EU 28 and also including Canada, Brazil, China, Korea, India and New Zealand – and 2000 on the ground experts with the right language skills, industry focus and connections with local businesses and clusters, the EEN offers personal introductions to business opportunities in other countries.

This includes finding suppliers, manufacturers and distributors; technologies and developers. In addition, the EEN has the official mandate to build Horizon 2020 and other EU funded projects’ consortia. This is all achieved through ersonal connections with local specialists, but also multiple online tools such as a free business opportunity database, forums and alerts.

Robert Sowah, CEO, idoodlelearning

idoodlelearning believes in innovation from exploration. Whether teacher or learning is a lifelong adventure.

Our Cubes in Space™ program provides access to space for school children around the world. In partnership with NASA, we invite students and educators to a STEM design competition where they conceive, build and compete for the chance to launch an experiment into space.  Utilizing formal or informal learning environments, students and educators are exposed to engaging content and activities through the Cubes in Space provided curriculum.

How does idoodlearning measure success? In the past two years, the program has grown 383&pcnt;, implemented in 22 countries and has impacted hundreds of educators and 5000+ students. Cubes in Space brings excitement back into the classroom and wonder into the minds of people from the largest cities to the smallest hamlets. That is how we measure success!

Peter McGinty, Stardust network Manager

Stardust is the first ever project to study Asteroids and Space Debris in tandem. Using what we learn from one to apply to the other and vice versa. Through expanding the focus of our research beyond specific area we can apply technologies in surprising ways.
Space Debris and Asteroid research share many common aspects:

  • Observation
  • Orbit Determination
  • Impact Prediction
  • Manipulation/Removal
  • Disposal/Exploitation

As we bring together these two fields of research, we also bring together the different disciplines of research: from Robotics to Applied Mathematics and from Computational Intelligence to Astrodynamics. This innovative cross-pollination of research, methodology and experience sets us apart from other research projects. Our extensive schools and communities outreach work will inspire the next generation of UK space engineers and ensure there is increased understanding and awareness of space activity and helps support the UK Space Industry.

Ryan Laird, Spacelink Community Coordinator, Spacelink

Spacelink invites schools to register their interest as we seek to bring Space Experts into UK classrooms via Google Hangouts.

We aim to enthuse and educate young people about space and science by enabling them to talk directly to scientists in a wide range of space-related activities and question them about the mysteries they are exploring and their emerging discoveries. We hope to inspire them to take STEM subjects throughout school and beyond, and to aspire to STEM-related careers.

We're planning a series of Hangouts during World Space Week (4-10 October) on a variety of topics and encourage all schools to take part. E-mail to register and for further information.

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