Colloquia in Astrodynamics and Planetary Science

Our research group is part of the section Astrodynamics & Space Missions and since 2021 we organise the ‘Colloquia in Astrodynamics and Planetary Science’ (CAPS) with an alternating schedule of internal and external speakers. These colloquia are currently organized online on Mondays and are accessible to TU Delft staff, PhD candidates and MSc students. If you are interested in attending a colloquium, please reach out to one of our organisers. The Local Organising Committee (CAPS-LOC) consists of Stephanie Cazaux, Bart Root, Christian Siemens, Wouter van der Wal and Sebastiaan de Vet. They are tasked with coordinating the sessions and the invitation of internal and external speakers.

Next colloquium: Monday 25 October 2021, 12:30 CEST

Daedalus: a low-flying spacecraft for the in-situ exploration of the Lower Thermosphere – Ionosphere. by: Theodoros Sarris, Democritus University of Thrace, Greece

Daedalus is a mission concept targeting to sample in-situ the Lower Thermosphere and Ionosphere (LTI), focusing in particular at altitudes below 200 km, where the atmosphere transitions from being well-mixed and electrically neutral to heterogeneous and partly ionized. Daedalus aims to study processes related to the interactions between neutral and charged constituents which shape and uniquely characterize this critically unexplored region of Earth’s upper atmosphere. Daedalus data products include ionosphere and thermosphere parameters (including ion drifts/neutral winds, ion & neutral temperatures, densities and composition), as well as electric and magnetic fields and energetic precipitating particles. In-situ sampling of all relevant parameters within this region enables the accurate characterization of key processes involving ion-neutral interactions, such as Joule heating, electrical currents and conductivities. We present an overview of the Daedalus mission concept and results from Daedalus MASE, a mission simulator aiming to assess the performance of Daedalus and to demonstrate how Daedalus’ requirements will be met.

About the speaker: Dr. Theodoros Sarris is an Associate Professor at the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering of the Democritus University of Thrace, Greece. His research interests and activities include the simulation and measurement of energetic particle dynamics and electromagnetic fields in the inner magnetosphere and their interaction with the atmosphere, the study of diffusion processes and estimation of radial transport and diffusion rates of energetic particles, and wave-particle interactions. He has been involved in numerous instrument development activities, such as PEEL (Precipitating Energetic Electron detector; for the Sounding Rocket experiment Hot-Pay), MEP (plasma-Magnetic Experiment PLASMA-F; for the SPEKTR-R mission), and PEP (Particle Environment Package; for the JUICE mission). Most recently, he was the leading proposer of the Daedalus mission concept, an ESA Explorer 10 Candidate.

Upcomming colloquia

Please note that some titles are still TBD, so for convenience listed below are the main topics of the confirmed talks.

  • Daedalus: a low-flying spacecraft for the in-situ exploration of the Lower Thermosphere – Ionosphere. Theodoros Sarris, Democritus University of Thrace, Greece. – 25 October 2021
  • PLATO mission. Ana Heras, ESA. – 8 November 2021
  • Ice Mole, Bernd Dachwald, Aachen University. – 22 November 2021
  • Core formation/interior composition, surface/atmosphere interaction. Edgar Steenstra, München University. – 29 November
  • Bepi Colombo. Johannes Benkhoff, ESA-ESTEC. – 13 December 2021
  • Stardust. Veerle Sterken, ETHZ Switserland. – 10 January 2022

Previous editions

  • Novel Research Opportunities Enabled by Wind-driven Mars Rover Swarms. by Julian Rothenbuchner, Team Tumbleweed. 13 September 2021, 21:30 CEST
  • Dealing with the asteroid impact threat. by Detlef Koschny, ESA-ESTEC. 28 June 2021, 12:30 CEST (in conjunction with Asteroid Day) download the presentation (pdf, 2.11 MB)
  • Next Generation Gravity Mission (NGGM): an overview on the history of the mission concept and on its enabling technology. by Luca Massotti, RHEA/ European Space Agency. 31 May 2021.
  • Formation processes of Martian gullies. Was liquid water involved? by Tjalling de Haas, Utrecht University (and Vening Meinesz prize laureate 2020/2021), 11 May, 12:30 CEST
  • Tidal Dynamics of Moons with Fluid Layers. From ice to lava worlds. by Marc Rovira-Navarro (TU Delft), Monday 12 April 2021
  • Using Space Geodetic data to Identity Fault Deformation Transients in the Neotectonic Framework of Central and North Sulawesi, Indonesia. – by Wim Simons and Nicolai Nijholt (TU Delft), 22 March 2021
  • Tracking down artifacts – on the GOCE mission and the final reprocessing. – by Christian Siemes (TU Delft), 8 March 2021
  • Holes in Space – Diamagnetic Cavities at Comets. – by Charlotte Götz, ESA-ESTEC, 22 February 2021
  • CUBESPEC: stellar spectroscopy on a CubeSat platform. – by Bart Vandenbussche, Leuven University, 8 February 2021.
  • Powering hydrothermal activities inside Enceladus and Europa. – by Gabriel Tobie, Laboratoire de Planétologie et Géodynamique, CNRS/Univ. Nantes, 25 January 2021