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 Siemes, 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: Friday 16 December 2022, 12:00 CET (on campus, lecture hall E)

MaQuIs – Mars Quantum Gravity Mission by Dr. Lisa Wörner (DLR institute for Quantum Technologies)

MaQuIs is a mission to investigate the gravitational field of Mars. In this talk I want to motivate the necessity of gravitational studies and give an overview over current state-of the art quantum technologies to enable the best possible measurements. As such, I will show you some of Earth-based gravitational field measurements, such as GOCE and GRACE / GRACE-FO and explain how quantum sensors can enhance the measurement principle. I will point out the open challenges for a Mars mission and discuss possible solutions to these challenges. This will include the principles of cold atom interferometry and its limitations for gravitational measurements as well as the necessary hybrid-sensor concept for the mission. Finally, I want to motivate, how additional ground-based measurements might support the in-orbit experiments and could improve the global view for local time variations.

About the speaker: Dr. Lisa Wörner is currently the acting institute director of the DLR institute for Quantum Technologies in Ulm. She is a researcher with interests in different quantum mechanical areas. Her main focus is BECCAL (Bose Einstein Condensate and Cold Atom Laboratory), a joint mission between NASA and DLR to investigate atom optics under microgravity. In this capacity she is striving to advance fundamental quantum physics research in space as well as developing new technologies. This includes the preparation of experiments for extreme environments, tackling open challenges, finding novel solutions, and the ruggedization and miniaturization of setups. In addition to the research on cold and condensed atoms, she is involved in development of optical clocks and quantum repeaters for space based applications. Lisa has a strong interest in decoherence models and is designing an experiment for investigations on macroscopic molecules.  

Upcoming colloquia

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

  • Dr. Sarah Boazman, Observing, measuring and mapping the Moon and Mars, using remote sensing methods. ESA-ESTEC research fellow13 June
  • Nicholas Crisp, The DISCOVERER project and the SOAR satellite. University of Manchester – 4 July

Previous editions

  • Upgrade Cubesat Project. Dr. Joao Encarnacao, TU Delft.
  • Small missions to study interplanetary dust. Dr. Veerle Sterken, Zurich – 14 March
  • Bepi Colombo. Dr. Johannes Benkhoff, ESA-ESTEC. – 28 February 2022
  • Lonely Planets – direct imaging discoveries of gas giant exoplanets with the Young Suns Exoplanet Survey – Dr. Matthew Kenworthy – 24 January 2022
  • High-pressure/temperature experiments and applications to planetary science – Dr. Edgar Sikko Steenstra – 29 November
  • Key Technologies for the Subsurface Exploration of Ocean Worlds – Bernd Dachwald, Aachen University – 22nd of November
  • PLATO mission. Ana Heras, ESA. – 8 November 2021
  • 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
  • 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