I have always had an interest in astronomy. In order to follow this after leaving school I studied for an MSci degree in physics and astrophysics at the University of Birmingham. Following this I started a research project in asteroseismology with the HiROS (High resolution optical spectroscopy) group, also at the University of Birmingham, graduating with an MPhil in 2012. Following this I stepped away from academia to pursue other interests. During this time my interests in space never left and was delighted when the opportunity to return to research arose.
My research interests are fairly broad encompassing many aspects of space based physics. During my undergraduate studies I took part in projects on various aspects of astronomy and space research finding a particular interest in orbital mechanics.
Low Earth orbit (LEO) is becoming increasingly populated with spacecraft. In order to avoid collisions the locations of satellites needs to be known and their future positions predicted. These predictions are complicated by the fact that satellites at these heights are subjected to drag forces caused by moving through the thin upper atmosphere. In order to predict where a satellite will be in the future this drag force needs to be estimated. Predictions of atmospheric density can be made through modelling. The aim of my current project is to use the Advanced Ensemble electron density (Ne) Assimilation system (AENeAS), a physics-based data assimilation model of the upper atmosphere to predict atmospheric density and improve predictions of satellite orbits.