Feeds

Dundee goes nuts over space lander research

Where the cake's from

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Dundee University officially opened its Space Technology Centre today, where researchers will work on planetary lander simulators, and develop support technology for space missions. The centre encompasses the Natural Environment Research Council Satellite Receiving Station in Dundee.

Spacecraft can encounter a huge number of problems during the landing phase of an off-world mission, because conditions cannot be fully known. Uneven terrain, such as craters or boulders at the planned landing site, adverse lighting conditions or atmospheric effects could spell disaster for landers, as is thought to have happened with the Beagle 2 Mars lander.

Headed by Dr Steve Parkes, the research facility will test new sensor models and simulation tools to improve simulations of craft landing on planets or asteroids. By changing the variables such as terrain and atmospheric conditions the researchers will establish conditions for safe landings for a particular mission. They will also be able to provide data for the guidance systems so that they can better cope when things are less-than-perfect.

The Space Systems Research Group at Dundee has already had a major influence on space system design. The European Space Agency (ESA) is already using the University’s simulations of Mars and Mercury to develop guidance and navigation systems for its spacecraft. The group also led the technical work on the SpaceWire network standard, which is now being used on many ESA and NASA spacecraft, including a future NASA mission to Mercury. ®

Related stories

Lack of cash killed Beagle 2
NASA rules out Beagle resurrection
UK backs Aurora Euro space programme

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
New FEMTO-MOON sighted BIRTHING from Saturn's RING
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
Get your MOON GEAR: Auction to feature Space Race memorabilia
Keepsakes from early NASA, Soviet programs up for bids
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.