Collaboration to launch first Malta space mission

SERENE are collaborating with the University of Malta to develop a PocketQube pico-satellite. It will study the properties of the Earth’s ionosphere, which is an ionised region of the upper atmosphere. Variations in the ionosphere can affect the operation of communications systems and navigation systems such as GPS. The project, led by Dr Ing. Marc Anthony Azzopardi and Dr Ing. Andrew Sammut from the University of Malta, aims to launch in 2018. It will pave the way for a larger swarm of eight similar satellites to better monitor the conditions in the ionosphere. The Birmingham team is leading on the development of the payload, drawing on expertise in mitigating the effects of the space environment on radio systems. A PhD student, Jonathan Camilleri, has been working with counterparts in Malta to develop the systems required. Professor Matthew Angling, head of the SERENE research group at the University of Birmingham said ‘Developing the technology for miniature satellites requires innovative use of low-cost commercial components, such...
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Forbes names Sean Elvidge on inaugural 30 under 30 Europe list

Dr. Sean Elvidge from SERENE was named in Forbes’ first ever “30 Under 30 Europe” list in the Science and Healthcare category. The list features 300 young innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders across Europe who are under 30 years of age and who are transforming business, technology, finance, media, culture and more, as judged by some of the most accomplished and acclaimed individuals in each category. Sean received recognition by Forbes for his contribution to the development of ways to forecast solar superstorms, solar bursts that can disrupt satellite operations, degrate sat nav performance and endanger human health. His work may make it possible for space weather forecasters to know when a storm’s coming and take appropriate measures. Space weather affects regions of the upper atmosphere. This can interrupting GPS signals and also have the potential to bring entire electricity grids down. These interactions happen daily on a very small scale, but it is estimated that once in every 200 years extreme events...
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