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Space Careers

Nicolaus Copernicus

Nicolaus Copernicus


Account Details

Nicolaus Copernicus

Profile Overview

University of Ferrara
Author of the heliocentric hypothesis
Mathematics, Astronomy, Medicine, Greek Classics, Economics
20 Feb 1985
Worked extensively with photometric and spectroscopic data analysis on the 0.3-0.7 micron range from both ground-based (such as CFHT, MAD, SDSS) and space-based telescopes (HST, Herschel). Studied the properties of several Galactic open clusters by using PACS and SPIRE photometers on board of Herschel satellite. Experience with photometry software for (DAOPHOT, Romafot, IRAF, ALLFRAME, ALLSTAR, CuTex) and in the use of scientific languages (Fortran77, IDL, Python).


French National Centre for Space Studies (CNES)
French National Centre for Space Studies (CNES)
01 Jan 2007    -    31 Dec 2009
Antenna Engineer
• Antenna printed circuit prototyping.
• RF tuning and characterization of antenna feed chains (corrugated horn, polarizer, OMT, filter).
• Testing flat plate phased array antennas, Beam Forming Networks (phase and amplitude).
• Running planar near field scanner and outside far-field antenna range.
• Antenna system assembly and alignment.
• Diagnostics using Time domain.
• Monopole array in ground plane.
• Waveguide rotary joints.
• Characterization of materials by reflectometry measurements.
• Managed the build and tuning of antenna and liaison with the customer

European Space Agency (ESA)
European Space Agency (ESA)
01 Jan 2010    -    31 Dec 2013
Research Engineer
Research program funded and supported by ESA under the Networking and Partnering Initiative (NPI) Autonomy for Interplanetary Missions (ESTEC-No. 1234/5678). Main activities included studying and exploiting existing autonomous decision making, monitoring and execution techniques to propose an integrated, power-aware, model based autonomous control architecture for managing the execution of robot actions in the context of planetary exploration. Applied much of the key tools and designs to ESA’s space robotics operations, the Control Development Methodology (CDM) and software engineering standards (ECSS).

European Southern Observatory (ESO)
European Southern Observatory (ESO)
01 Jan 2014    -    31 Dec 2015
Investigated the structural parameters and the photometric properties of the Galactic globular clusters in optical and near-infrared bands. Processed photometric images acquired by the Advance Camera for Survey (ACS) on board of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and by several ground based ESO telescopes (MADVLT, HAWKI VLT). Carried out photometric analysis using IRAF, DAOPHOT, ALLSTAR and ALLFRAME programs, and IDL and FORTRAN languages.

Italian Space Agency Science Data Center
Italian Space Agency Science Data Center
01 Jan 2016    -    31 Dec 2019
Research to study the chemical and physical properties of the Galactic globular clusters and star-forming regions In particular, using reduced photometric data of optical and infrared, ground-based (CFHT, SDSS) and space-based (HST, Herschel) telescopes in Linux/Unix system with several software (Python, Fortran, IDL). Processed satellite data from optical and infrared astronomical observations of Swift and Herschel satellites. Optimized data from level 2.0 to level 2.5 and produced web catalogs useful for the scientific community. Presented the catalogs in several scientific meetings and acquired experience in the use of ESA software (HROST, HIPE, HSPOT)

01 Jan 2020 - Present
Aerospace Flight Systems Project Manager
Served as project manager and aerospace expert in the Utilization and Life Sciences Office. Provided technical management and leadership for the planning, development, budgeting, integration, and implementation of assigned projects in support of Space Life Physical Science and International Space Station Program office focus areas and R&T development of Advanced Life Support systems, and ISS Research Operations and Maintenance, including National Lab, assigned to the Utilization & Life Sciences.

• Served as a project manager, technical monitor representative, and aerospace expert in the Utilization and Life Sciences Office, Exploration Research and Technology Programs organization.
• Provided technical management and leadership for the planning, development, budgeting, integration, and implementation of assigned projects in support of Space Life Physical Science (SLPS) and International Space Station (ISS) Program office.
• Provided expert technical advice and direction to project and program managers and contractor professionals.
• Responsible for converting Space Life Physical Science (SLPS) and ISS Research Program objectives into developmental projects including research and technology development of Advanced Life Support systems.
• Responsible for project management and project science support for integration of science to flight hardware through design, integration of science to flight hardware, manifesting, flight operations products, ground controls, and post flight.
• Leads, supports, and provides project requirements for Programming, Planning and Budget Execution (PPBE) annual budgets, and operating plan.

University of Rome Tor Vergata
University of Rome Tor Vergata
2007    -    2010
PhD in Astronomy
Deep and extend multi-band photometry of the Galactic globular cluster M92

University of L’Aquila
University of L’Aquila
2006    -    2007
Master of Science in Physics
110/110 cum laude thesis: 'Evolution and Nucleosynthesis of the Asymptotic Giant Branch Stars'

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT
2003    -    2006
Bachelor of Science in Physics
thesis: 'Antarctic geomagnetic substorms. Correlation with interplanetary space data.'

Implementation of a geographical routing scheme for low Earth orbiting satellite constellations using intersatellite links
Manuel Roth, Hartmut Brandt, Hermann Bischl

Tribocharging and electrical grounding of a drill in shadowed regions of the Moon
Dov J. Rhodes, William M. Farrell, Jason, L. McLain
Advances in Space Research,   2020,   66/4,   page(s) 753-759

We present a first estimate of the triboelectric charging generated by a drill in Shackleton crater; a permanently shadowed region at the Moon’s south pole. The results depend upon the local plasma environment as well as material properties of the drill and lunar regolith. We show how in the dark plasma-poor regions, a high voltage can accumulate due to the negligible electrical grounding, leading to a potential hazard for explorers and their equipment. To mitigate this problem, two grounding solutions are described: (i) A sun-facing surface outside of the shadowed region and (ii) a portable UV ionization lamp. The two solutions are physically analogous, depleting charge by photo-ionization, and are predicted to both be relatively manageable to implement. We estimate the parameter requirements and discuss pros and cons for each method.

Assessment of L5 frequency on real-time GPS orbit and clock estimation
Kaifa Kuang, Shoujian Zhang, Jiancheng Li
Advances in Space Research,   64/11,   page(s) 2189-2198

Real-time precise Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) satellite orbit and clock products are the prerequisite of real-time GNSS-based applications. With the modernization of Global Positioning System (GPS) constellation and construction of other GNSS constellations, the number of GNSS satellites transmitting multi-frequency signals is increasing rapidly. While the benefit of multi-frequency to Precise Point Positioning (PPP) and Precise Clock Estimation (PCE) has been evaluated by many researchers, the impact of multi-frequency on orbit and clock estimation is still limited, especially in real-time mode. Different from the dual-frequency model, the Inter-Frequency Clock Bias (IFCB) must be treated carefully in the triple-frequency model. In this contribution, the triple-frequency model for real-time GPS satellite orbit and clock estimation is derived and the influence of L5 frequency observations on real-time GPS satellite orbit and clock are analyzed. With observation data from globally distributed stations spanning January 1 to 14 of 2018, real-time GPS orbit and clock are estimated with both dual-frequency and triple-frequency observations. Numerical experiments indicate that, compared to the International GNSS Service (IGS) final orbit, the L5 frequency observations improve the consistency of the normal component with about 0.2 cm, however lead to a decrease of consistency in the radial component with about 0.6 cm; the influence on the tangential direction varies with different number of stations. The potential reason for this phenomenon may partly be attributed to the absence of accurate antenna information for L5 frequency. However, due to the tight constraint of dynamic force model on orbit, the overall differences for each component is less than 1.0 cm, which means the contribution of the third frequency observation on the orbit is limited.

Close binaries and common envelopes
David Jones, Jorge García-Rojas, Ondřej Pejcha, Roger Wesson
Astronomy & Geophysics,   2020,   61/3,   page(s) 3.40–3.42

Report on their RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting exploring “Common envelope evolution and post-common-envelope systems”.

Recent progress and perspectives of space electric propulsion systems based on smart nanomaterials
I. Levchenko, S. Xu, G. Teel, D. Mariotti, M. L. R. Walker & M. Keidar
Nature Communications,   2018,   9,   page(s) 879

Drastic miniaturization of electronics and ingression of next-generation nanomaterials into space technology have provoked a renaissance in interplanetary flights and near-Earth space exploration using small unmanned satellites and systems. As the next stage, the NASA’s 2015 Nanotechnology Roadmap initiative called for new design paradigms that integrate nanotechnology and conceptually new materials to build advanced, deep-space-capable, adaptive spacecraft. This review examines the cutting edge and discusses the opportunities for integration of nanomaterials into the most advanced types of electric propulsion devices that take advantage of their unique features and boost their efficiency and service life. Finally, we propose a concept of an adaptive thruster.

A survey of propulsion options for cargo and piloted missions to Mars.
Sankaran, K., Cassady, L., Kodys, A. D. & Choueiri, E. Y.
Astrodynamics, Space Missions, and Chaos,   2004,   1017,   page(s) 450–467

In this paper, high‐power electric propulsion options are surveyed in the context of cargo and piloted missions to Mars. A low‐thrust trajectory optimization program (raptor) is utilized to analyze this mission. Candidate thrusters are chosen based upon demonstrated performance in the laboratory. Hall, self‐field magnetoplasmadynamic (MPDT), self‐field lithium Lorentz force accelerator (LiLFA), arcjet, and applied‐field LiLFA systems are considered for this mission. In this first phase of the study, all thrusters are assumed to operate at a single power level (regardless of the efficiency‐power curve), and the thruster specific mass and power plant specific mass are taken to be the same for all systems. Under these assumptions, for a 7.5 MW, 60 mT payload, piloted mission, the self‐field LiLFA results in the shortest trip time (340 days) with a reasonable propellant mass fraction of 57% (129 mT). For a 150 kW, 9 mT payload, cargo mission, both the applied‐field LiLFA and the Hall thruster seem reasonable choices with propellant mass fractions of 42 to 45%(7 to 8 mT). The Hall thrusters provide better trip times (530‐570 days) compared to the applied‐field LiLFA (710 days) for the relatively less demanding mission.

Consolidating sea level acceleration estimates from satellite altimetry
Tadea Veng, Ole Baltazar Andersen
Advances in Space Research,   2020,  

More than 27 years of high precision satellite altimetry enables analysis of recent changes in global mean sea level (GMSL). Several previous studies present estimates of the trend and acceleration in GMSL; however, all are exclusively performed with data from the TOPEX/Poseidon, Jason-1, Jason-2 and Jason-3 missions (TPJ data). In this study we extend the altimetry record in both time and space by including independent data from the ERS-1, ERS-2, Envisat and CryoSat-2 missions (ESA data). This increases the time-series to span more than 27 years (1991.7–2019.0) and the spatial coverage is extended from ± 66° to ± 82° latitude. Another advantage of the ESA data is that it is independent of the issues associated with the TOPEX altimeter which introduce a significant uncertainty to the first part of the record. GMSL based on ESA data on the 1991–2019 period within ± 82° latitude exhibit an acceleration of 0.095 ± 0.009 mm/yr2. The corresponding value for the TPJ data is 0.080 ± 0.008 mm/yr2 for the 1993–2019 period and within ± 66° latitude. The ERS-1 satellite was launched shortly after the large Pinatubo eruption in 1991. The satellite observes a decrease of 6 mm in GMSL during the first 1.7 years until the launch of TOPEX/Poseidon. The distribution of sea level acceleration across the global ocean is highly similar between the ESA and TPJ dataset. In the Pacific Ocean regional sea level acceleration patterns seem related to the El-Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) whereas around Greenland a clear negative acceleration is seen.


24 Jul 2020
27 Jul 2020
25 Jul 2020

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