Imperial College Astrophysics & Space Physics Consolidated Grant April 2013 - March 2016

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Dept of Physics

Abstract

Astronomical research at Imperial College London covers topics from the atmosphere of the Sun and its planets to the Dark Energy that dominates the evolution of the Universe. The research exploits Imperial's leading roles in European space missions, including the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission which will rendezvous with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014 and accompany it as it moves toward the Sun and becomes fully active through the Herschel and Planck satellites studying the formation and evolution of the Universe. Detailed research projects probe the Sun's influence on the Earth, the magnetic field of Saturn, the formation of galaxies and planets, the geometry and topology of the Universe as a whole, and the theoretical understanding of the atmospheres of planets orbiting distant stars. This combination of observational and theoretical work is complemented by world-beating instrumentation in measuring the tiny but critical magnetic fields in interplanetary space, and laboratory research to determine the properties of atoms and molecules so that astronomical observations may be accurately interpreted in terms of the physics occurring at such remote environments. Our research embraces use of advanced statistical techniques to analyse and combine complex datasets and find new classes of objects.

Planned Impact

Beneficiaries of our research include a number of non-astronomical groups.
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Industrial Partners:

We have long-standing partnerships with several UK space companies: Astrium UK, Ultra Electronics, and Satellite Services.

The Spectroscopy team provides atomic data for industrial applications. We were part of the EU RTN "GLADNET," studying Glow Discharge (GD). Industry used GD spectroscopy to analyse thin (few nm) layers found in manufacturing and the development of new materials. Interested sectors include life sciences, car manufacturing, and nano-technology.

Blackford Analysis is a spin-out company marketing astronomical algorithms involving the handling of large datasets for imaging and other applications in the medical and security sectors.

Government/International Agencies:

We work closely with the UKSA and ESA on space missions, including Cluster, Cassini, Rosetta, Venus Express, Herschel, and Planck. Our instrumentation will fly on the CINEMA CubeSat, BepiColombo and Solar Orbiter. We also participate in or lead studies for Laplace/JUICE, EChO, and Euclid.

Non-astronomical Communities:

We conduct a series of workshops with bioinformatics and other life scientists at Imperial College in areas such as data curation, handling large datasets and the application of Bayesian statistical methods to genomics.

General Public:

We engage in a wide range of public events including Royal Society Summer Exhibitions and a highly successful series of "Big Question" public debates. Our 'Art and Science' project, 'Urban Sputnik' expressed the frontiers of astrophysical research using art and design as its primary language.

Our Pathways to Impact document looks forward to the following activities:
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Magnetoresistive Technology - Our world-leading, licensed technology employs miniaturised magnetoresistive sensors to offer optimised solutions to a number of space and terrestrial applications. Our sensor will fly on a US NSF-funded CubeSat in 2012. We have targeted applications in oil and gas industry applications, and off-the-shelf low mass, low power space attitude and Space Weather sensors.

ASIC Magnetometer Electronics - In partnership with Astrium UK we will develop ultra-low-power electronics for space magnetometry.

Atomic Spectroscopy - Our laboratory analyses have applications in the use of gas discharges to analyses thin layers in addition to our principal interests in the interpretation of astronomical spectra. These techniques also feed into the measurement of water vapour, a major greenhouse gas, in the Earth's atmosphere.

Space Weather - The impact of solar-driven disturbances has been identified as a natural hazard to technological systems. Such disturbances include induced magnetic disturbances. Our magnetic field sensor technology has been funded by the UK and ESA as part of a future monitoring system to predict and forewarn of potential service disruption.

Applications of Astronomical Algorithms - The collection and analysis of large volumes of astronomical data, mostly in the form of images, has parallels in medicine, biology, and financial systems. We have developed algorithms for manipulating and analysing such datasets that has resulted in a spin-out company (Blackford Analysis) and other potential commercial streams.

Outreach - We participate in a range of activities including displays at Royal Society and other annual exhibitions, and specific activities with the Science and Natural History Museums. We are also engaged in more creative efforts to take our science to the wider community through both verbal and artistic media. Our "Big Questions" debating series attracts large audiences from the community. We are working with a visual artist, Ole Hagen, to create a kinetic 3D sculpture, the "Post-Newtonian Orrery," designed to portray, e.g., black holes and spacetime curvature, and thus reach new audiences.

Publications

10 25 50

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Ade PA (2015) Joint analysis of BICEP2/keck array and Planck Data. in Physical review letters

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Adelsberger Helmuth (2014) Local domains of motor cortical activity revealed by fiber-optic calcium recordings in behaving nonhuman primates in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science

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Alsing J (2015) Weak lensing with sizes, magnitudes and shapes in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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Alsing J (2015) Hierarchical cosmic shear power spectrum inference in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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Amendola L (2013) Cosmology and Fundamental Physics with the Euclid Satellite. in Living reviews in relativity

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Andres N. (2013) Saturn's ULF wave foreshock boundary: Cassini observations in PLANETARY AND SPACE SCIENCE

 
Description Leverhulme Research Fellowship
Amount £44,876 (GBP)
Organisation The Leverhulme Trust 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2013 
End 05/2015
 
Description Marie-Curie Career Integration Grant
Amount € 100,000 (EUR)
Funding ID PCIG11-GA-2012-321865 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 04/2013 
End 04/2017
 
Description PhD Studentship
Amount £60,000 (GBP)
Organisation Swedish Research Council 
Sector Public
Country Switzerland
Start 10/2014 
End 09/2018
 
Description Royal Society International Exchanges
Amount £12,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 1E131607 
Organisation The Royal Society 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2014 
End 03/2016
 
Description APOGEE ATOMIC data 
Organisation University of Wisconsin-Madison
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are measuring branching ratios - the aim is for the first measurements of log gfs in the infra red for many iron group element spectra.
Collaborator Contribution measurements of atomic level lifetimes will be undertaken by our collaborator, Prof Jim Lawler, these will be combined with our measurements of branching ratios, the result will be the first measurements of IR log gfs for application to the APOGEE project, a survey of thousands of Galactic stars to study Galactic chemical evolution.
Impact ongoing, no publications yet
Start Year 2010
 
Description Arizona 
Organisation University of Arizona
Department Lunar and Planetary Laboratory
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Development of Titan simulation code
Collaborator Contribution Science expertise
Impact Yelle, R. V., D. S. Snowden, and I. C. F. Mueller-Wodarg (2014), Titan's upper atmosphere: thermal structure, dynamics, and energetics, in: "Titan - Interior, Surface, Atmosphere, and Space Environment", I. C. F. Mueller-Wodarg, C. A. Griffith, E. Lellouch, and T. E. Cravens (Eds.), Cambridge University Press, New York. Cui, J., R. V. Yelle, D. F. Strobel, I. C. F. Mueller-Wodarg, D. Snowden, T. T. Koskinen, and M. Galand (2012), The CH4 structure in Titan's upper atmosphere revisited, Journal of Geophysical Research, doi:10.1029/2012JE004222. Cui, J., M. Galand, R.V. Yelle, V. Vuitton, J.E. Wahlund, P.P. Lavvas, I.C.F. Müller-Wodarg, T. E. Cravens, W.T. Kasprzak, and J.H. Waite Jr. (2009), Diurnal variations of Titan's ionosphere, J. Geophys. Res., 114, A06310, doi:10.1029/2009JA014228. Cui, J., R.V. Yelle, V. Vuitton, J.H. Waite Jr., W.T. Kasprzak, D.A. Gell, H.B. Niemann, I.C.F. Mueller-Wodarg, N. Borggren, G.G. Fletcher, E.L. Patrick, E. Raaen, B.A. Magee (2009), Analysis of Titan's neutral upper atmosphere from Cassini Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer measurements, Icarus, 200, 581-615, doi: 10.1016/j.icarus.2008.12.005 Mueller-Wodarg, I. C. F., Yelle, R., J. Cui, and J. H. Waite (2008), Horizontal structures and dynamics of Titan's thermosphere, J. Geophys. Res., 113, E10005, doi:10.1029/2007JE003033. Yelle, R., J. Cui, and I. C.F. Mueller-Wodarg (2008), Methane escape from Titan's atmosphere, J. Geophys. Res., 113, E10003, doi:10.1029/2007JE003031. Mueller-Wodarg, I. C. F., R. V. Yelle, N. Borggren, and J. H. Waite (2006), Waves and horizontal structures in Titan's thermosphere, J. Geophys. Res., 111, A12315, doi:10.1029/2006JA011961. Yelle, R. V., N. Borggren, V. de la Haye, W. T. Kasprzak, H. B. Niemann, I. Mueller-Wodarg, and J. H. Waite Jr. (2006), The vertical structure of Titan's upper atmosphere from Cassini Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer measurements, Icarus, 182, 567-576. Mueller-Wodarg, I. C. F., R. V. Yelle, M. Mendillo, and A. D. Aylward (2003), On the global distribution of neutral gases in Titan's upper atmosphere and its effect on the thermal structure, J. Geophys. Res., Vol. 108 (A12) 1453, doi:10.1029/2003JA010054. Mueller-Wodarg, I. C. F., and R. V. Yelle (2002), The effect of Dynamics on the Composition of Titan's Upper Atmosphere, Geophys. Res. Lett., Vol. 29, No. 23, 54-1 - 54-4, doi: 10.1029/2002GL016100. Mueller-Wodarg, I. C. F., R. V. Yelle, M. Mendillo, L. A. Young, and A. D. Aylward (2000), The Thermosphere of Titan Simulated by a Global 3-Dimensional Time-Dependent Model , J.Geophys.Res., 105, 20833-20856.
 
Description BU 
Organisation Boston University
Department Centre for Space Physics
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Provision of essential simulation code
Collaborator Contribution Development of components used in my model; Science expertise
Impact Mueller-Wodarg, I. C. F., L. Moore, M. Galand, S. Miller, and M. Mendillo (2012), Magnetosphere-Atmosphere Coupling at Saturn: 1. Response of Thermosphere and Ionosphere to Steady State Polar Forcing, Icarus, doi: 10.1016/j.icarus.2012.08.034 Moore, L., G. Fischer, I. C. F. Mueller-Wodarg, M. Galand, and M. Mendillo (2012), Diurnal Variation of Electron Density in the Saturn Ionosphere: Model Comparisons with Saturn Electrostatic Discharge (SED) Observations, Icarus, doi: 10.1016/j.icarus.2012.08.010 Galand, M., L. Moore, I. C. F. Mueller-Wodarg, M. Mendillo, and S. Miller (2011), Response of Saturn's auroral ionosphere to electron precipitation: electron density, electron temperature, and electrical conductivity, J. Geophys. Res., doi:10.1029/2010JA016412. Moore, L., I. Mueller-Wodarg, M. Galand, A. Kliore, and M. Mendillo (2010), Latitudinal variations in Saturn's ionosphere: Cassini measurements and model comparisons, J. Geophys. Res., 115, A11317, doi:10.1029/2010JA015692. Moore L., M. Galand, I. Müller-Wodarg, and M. Mendillo (2009), Response of Saturn's Ionosphere to Solar Radiation: Testing Parameterizations for Thermal Electron Heating and Secondary Ionization Processes, Planet. Space Sci., 57, 1699-1705, doi:10.1016/j.pss.2009.05.001 Moore, L., M. Galand, I. Mueller-Wodarg, R. Yelle, and M. Mendillo (2008), Plasma temperatures in Saturn's ionosphere, J. Geophys. Res., 113, A10306, doi:10.1029/2008JA013373. Mueller-Wodarg, I. C. F., M. Mendillo, R. V. Yelle, and A. D. Aylward (2006), A global circulation model of Saturn's thermosphere, Icarus, 180, 147-160. Mendillo, M. L. E. Moore, J. Clarke, I. C. F. Mueller-Wodarg, and W. Kurth (2005), Effects of ring shadowing on the detection of electrostatic discharges at Saturn, Geophys. Res. Lett. 32, L05107, doi:10.1029/2004GL021934. Moore, L. E., M. Mendillo, I. C. F. Mueller-Wodarg, and D. L. Murr (2004), Modeling of global variations and ring shadowing in Saturn's ionosphere, Icarus, 172, 503-52.
 
Description Gaia ESO survey (GES) project 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Department Gaia-ESO Survey
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Imperial College Laboratory spectroscopy team, STFC supported, is providing the atomic data required for the analysis of 100,000 stellar spectra being undertaken as part of the GAIA GES survey of the Galaxy. The aim of the project being to understand Galactic evolution.
Collaborator Contribution We have been shown how the stellar analysis software uses the atomic data we provide. Our post doc, Dr Matt Ruffoni, visited our collaborator Dr Maria Bergeman at the Max Planck Institute for a week, supported financially (travel paid) by the GAIA GES project, for this training.
Impact scientific papers are in final preparation for submission. The atomic data is being used in the analyses of the stellar spectra recorded by GAIA, and we will attend the First Science Meeting of GES in Nice, France, April 8-11th 2013.
Start Year 2012
 
Description IRF Uppsala 
Organisation Uppsala University
Department Department of Physics and Astronomy
Country Sweden 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Simulations of ionospheres and plasma environment
Collaborator Contribution Science expertise & instrument collaboration
Impact Wahlund J.-E., M. Galand, I. Müller-Wodarg, J. Cui, R.V. Yelle, F.J. Crary, K. Mandth, B. Magee, J.H. Waite Jr., D.T. Yung, A.J. Coates, P. Garnier, K. Ågren, M. André, A.I. Eriksson, T.E. Cravens, V. Vuitton, D.A. Gurnett, and W.S. Kurth (2009), On the amount of heavy molecular ions in Titan's ionosphere, Planet. Space Sci., 57, 1857-1865, doi:10.1016/j.pss.2009.07.014 Ågren, K., J.-E. Wahlund, P. Garnier, R. Modolo, J. Cui, M. Galand, and I. Mueller-Wodarg (2009), The ionospheric structure of Titan, Planet. Sp. Sci, 57,1821-1827, doi: 10.1016/j.pss.2009.04.012. Rosenqvist, L., J.-E. Wahlund, K. Ågren, R. Modolo, H.J. Opgenoorth, D. Strobel, I. Mueller-Wodarg, P. Garnier, and C. Bertucci (2009), Titan ionospheric conductivities from Cassini measurements, Planet. Sp. Sci, 57, 1828-1833, doi:10.1016/j.pss.2009.01.007. Ågren, K., J.-E. Wahlund, R. Modolo, D. Lummerzheim, M. Galand, I. Müller-Wodarg, P. Canu, W. S. Kurth, T. Cravens, R. Yelle, J. H. Waite Jr., A. Coates, G. Lewis, D. Young, C. Bertucci, M. K. Dougherty, On magnetospheric electron impact ionisation and dynamics in Titan's ram-side & polar ionosphere - a Cassini case study, Annal. Geophys., 25 (11), 2007. Wahlund, J.-E. R. Boström, G. Gustafsson, D. A. Gurnett, W. S. Kurth, A. Pedersen, T. F. Averkamp, G. B. Hospodarsky, A. M. Persson, P. Canu, F. M. Neubauer, M. K. Dougherty, A. I. Eriksson, M. W. Morooka, R. Gill, M. André, L. Eliasson, and I. Mueller-Wodarg, (2005), Cassini Measurements of Cold Plasma in the Ionosphere of Titan, Science, 308, 986-989.
 
Description NIST 
Organisation National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST)
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We are measuring and analysing high resolution Fourier transform spectra of iron group elements, important for astrophysical applications. We collaborate with the Atomic Physics Division at NIST on projects, for example measurement of atomic oscillator strengths.
Collaborator Contribution Our NIST collaborators provide access to their instrumentation, for example VUV grating spectrograph or IR Fourier transform spectrometer. This allows us to make measurements to supplement our results measured at Imperial College. We provide the resulting analysed atomic data for inclusion in the NIST Atomic Data Base.
Impact Numerous joint publications, and atomic data that is used by countless astronomers worldwide, for example in stellar atmosphere models.
 
Description Planck 
Organisation European Space Agency
Country France 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We are a data processing centre for the HFI Instrument on the Planck Satellite, responsible for determination of focal-plane and beam-shape parameter estimation. We also contribute heavily to various science products.
Collaborator Contribution This is a huge EU project.
Impact Lots of papers. Planck data products.
 
Title Magnetoresistive sensors for magnetic field measurements 
Description License granted by us to commercial enterprise for commercialisation. 
IP Reference  
Protection Protection not required
Year Protection Granted 2015
Licensed Commercial In Confidence
Impact The development of magneto-resistive sensors by us opens opportunities in both the initial space sector of interest and also terrestrial applications where small, lightweight and robust sensors are required/desirable.
 
Description 9 Worlds Geekfest 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact About 200 at talk.

Was invited back for the next one.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Material World 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Radio show

Invited back
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009,2011,2013
 
Description Over 40 seperate activities in the time period 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Lots of results form lots of different activities including TV, radio, press, public and school children

I keep getting invitations
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2006,2007,2008,2009,2010
 
Description Physics talk at Engineering Headstart course 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact talk generated questions and discussions

I have seen applications to Physics from some of the school pupils attending the Engineering Headstart courses
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015
 
Description Physics talk at University Open Day 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Talk generated many questions and discussions.

We receive applications from school pupils who have attended our Open Days
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015,2016
 
Description Planck Clump press release 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Paper Presentation
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Press release picked up internationally including outlets like Mail Online, Russia Today, Times of India and Forbes.com

Press coverage across the world, email interview by Natural History Magazine & forbes.com, and more
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Royal Society Summer Exhibition 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Upwards of 10000 attended each year

This is an exhibit so does not match any of your presentation classes

Covered by BBC and others
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity Pre-2006,2009,2012,2013
 
Description Royal Society Summer Exhibition 2013 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Over 13000 attendees on the day, over 100000 hits on the associated web pages

Videos, exhibition stand, software online produced.

Several of the online 'games/demonstrations' were featured in BBC Focus magazine & elsewhere
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Women in Physics Open Day, Imperial College London 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Approximately 300 pupils from schools across the country came of our Women In Physics events held at Imperial College London. The PI of the grant was involved in talks to these girls, encouraging them to think about applying to study physics. The research of the grant award was describe in these talks as an example on ongoing research. Impact may be seen in increased applications from women to us to study physics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016
 
Description Worldcon science programme 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Workshop Facilitator
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Organised >90 science based items at two past worldcons, and more for the next event in 2014.

Helping writers with science in their books
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity Pre-2006,2009,2013