News & Events

Upcoming Events

Mr Siddharth Pandey
Doctoral Researcher
Space Systems Engineering
SEIT-UNSW Canberra

Wednesday, 4 February 2015
Room G3, Electrical Engineering Building
UNSW Kensington Campus

Investigating Fluidized Granular Flow Behaviour under Martian Surface Conditions for a Pneumatic Regolith Acquisition System

Keeping in mind the enormous scientific benefits of returning Mars samples to Earth, efforts are undertaken to improve the performance of a Pneumatic Regolith Acquisition System. Positive pressure pneumatic conveying systems rely on complex layouts for particle transport and require efficient designs. For it to function with redundancy and without human interaction in extra-terrestrial environments, it becomes imminent to model gas-solid flow behaviour and put forth critical findings. These findings shall induce design adjustments that will improve gas- regolith mixing for efficient transport of the samples under Martian conditions. Critical areas to model the flow were singled out: presented here, is the “pneumatic injection- Martian Surface regolith zone” Effects of pneumatic injection velocity vectors upon regolith volume fraction distribution and subsequent transport within the system is studied within a cylindrical pipe with inlets for gas injection onto the exposed regolith surface area. Key gas nozzle design variations are modeled and tested for appreciation of captured regolith mass. Increasing nozzle injection angles are compared to swirl injected nozzles and regolith volume fraction distributions are studied in radial and axial planes. Effect of gas velocity on the regolith lift rates is studied and basic conclusions are drawn regarding the applicability of certain nozzle configurations. Challenges faced during modelling and future work to be carried out are listed. The CFD results are used to design and fabricate nozzle prototypes that are tested with two different regolith simulants and air for varying inlet pressures. The final sets of results attained are compared with the theoretical results and the set requirements are met. Key challenges faced and future work is laid out.

Siddharth Pandey is a PhD student at University of New South Wales at Canberra, Australia. His work is on Understanding Thermal Convection on Martian Surface to aid Design of a Mars bound Rover. Previously, he was an Education Associate at NASA Ames Research Center. He worked on investigating Fluidized Granular Flows in reduced gravity to aid design of Pneumatic Sample Acquisition Systems. He also worked with the Space Biosciences Division to design and develop Microgravity Bioscience Payload for research conducted on board the International Space Station. He holds a Master’s degree in Space Systems Engineering from Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands and a Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering from Amity University, India.

Mr Sanat Biswas
ACSER PhD Candidate
2014 IAF Emerging Space Leader

Wednesday, 11 February 2015
Room G3, Electrical Engineering Building
UNSW Kensington Campus

All welcome, no RSVP required.

ACSER PhD Student, Mr Sanat Biswas, was selected by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) to participate in the 2014 IAF Emerging Space Leaders Grant Programme. Sanat will provide an overview of his experience of the programme, which was based at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Toronto, Canada, in September/October 2014.

Only fourteen awards were made from more than 109 students and young professionals applying from 40 countries. More information about the award and a full list of the winners is available here.

Sanat Kumar Biswas is a PhD student in School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunication at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). His research interest is spacecraft navigation; GNSS based navigation, optimal estimation, satellite attitude control. His current research focus is real-time on-board satellite navigation using multi-Global Navigation Satellite System receiver. He is also associated with Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research and worked on de-tumbling of cube-sat UNSW-EC0. Sanat received his Bachelor of Engineering in Instrumentation and Electronics from Jadavpur University in 2010 and M. Tech in Aerospace Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay in 2012. During his M. Tech program he researched on spacecraft navigation in lunar trajectory. He worked as Senior Engineer at Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions from 2012 to 2013.

Launching CubeSats For and From Australia
1st April 2015
UNSW Kensington Campus

See the event website for further details and the registration link.

This event will bring together international and domestic experts in small satellite mission design, construction and launch to examine the challenges of launching small satellites for Australia, and eventually from Australia. A varied cross section of stakeholders will discuss the current state of the art and constructive ideas for advancing Australia’s position in the space industry.

We welcome participation from active domestic and international researchers, as well as interested parties from government, industry and the public.

To find out about previous events at ACSER click here.

ACSER in the Media

Off-Earth Mining grant for UNSW researchers and NASA (Mining Education Australia Newsletter, 11th December 2014)

Off-Earth Mining (UNSW Engineers emagazine, 3rd December 2014)

Ebola threat raises other security concerns (Landmark Magazine, December 2014)

Interview with Dr Barnaby Osborne on BBC (UK) regarding ESA's Rosetta mission (14th November 2014)

ION GNSS+ Focuses on System Updates, Indoor Location (GPS World, 17 September 2014)

Live Interview with Dr Barnaby Osborne (ABC Radio QLD, 12 September 2014)

Dr Ediz Cetin, Feature Interview (The IET - Electronics Letters, Volume 50, Issue 19, 11 September 2014)

GPS jammers on notice as detector nears market-readiness (The Australian, 2 September 2014)

$600K to cut satellite interference and building costs (CIO, 2 September 2014)

Space research to make cheaper satellites, improve GPS (UNSW Newsroom, 2 September 2014)

Selling the merits of rocket science: Is Australia ready for Space 2.0? (Business Spectator, 29 August 2014)

New Space Accelerator Seeking to Jumpstart Australian Space Industry (Via Satellite, 27 August 2014)

Investing in space: what the UK Space Agency can teach Australia (The Conversation, 24 July 2014)

2024, a space odyssey (Sydney Morning Herald, 5 July 2014)

Life on Mars: Meet the Australians preparing for the mission of a lifetime (Sydney Morning Herald, 5 July 2014)

How will Inmarsat bring in-flight internet to Europe? (The Conversation, 11 June 2014)

NSW industry heads into space (NSW Trade & Investment, 6 May 2014)

Circuits for Satellites (Australasian Science Magazine, April 2014)

The search for MH370: Why can’t we find it? (Cosmos Magazine, 15 April 2014)

How many satellites are watching Earth? (ABC Local Radio QLD, 27 March 2014)

Detection of MH370 debris required a 'human eyeball operation' (Sydney Morning Herald, 22 March 2014)

Flight MH370: Indian Ocean objects might have drifted hundreds of miles (The Guardian, 21 March 2014)

Interview with Prof. Andrew Dempster on using satellites to find the missing MH370 flight (ABC Radio 702, 21 March 2014)

Interview with Prof. Andrew Dempster on Australian Satellite Technology (ABC TV News ACT, 19 March 2014)

Interview with Prof. Andrew Dempster on Australia's role in Space (ABC TV News NSW and News 24, 14 March 2014)

Dude, where's my satellite? (TripleJ, 6 March 2014)

For 2013 and earlier coverage click here.


BLUEsat Student Satellite Project leader wins Student Service Award

11 December 2014

ACSER congratulates mechanical engineering student Mr Thien Nguyen on winning this much deserved Faculty accolade which comes with a small monetary reward.

Thien Nguyen completed his Engineering and Mathematics degree in 2014. During his undergraduate career, Thien completed industry projects with Thales Alenia Space, Genesys Electronics Design and has participated in numerous research initiatives under ACSER and the BLUEsat Group.

Thien has been directly involved in BLUEsat's recent revitalisation and helped spearhead numerous new project initiatives, including the Off World Robotics Team and CubeSat research arm of BLUEsat.

Thien's honours thesis investigated Tracking Aircraft through CubeSat Constellation Design.

He remains an ongoing member of the BLUEsat project and aspires to be a leader in the Australian Space Industry.

Click here for more info on the Student Service Awards.

Off Earth Mining Grant for UNSW researchers and NASA

2 December 2014

UNSW Mining Engineering Associate Professor Serkan Saydam and Professor Andrew Dempster (ACSER & EET, UNSW Australia) have recently been successful in securing a $100,000 grant in collaboration with NASA’s Caltech - Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the topic of Mining on Mars. The aim of this research is to develop an integrated set of risk-based financial and technical models to evaluate multiple Off-Earth Mining scenarios. This quantitative, scenario and simulation based tool will help identify combinations of market variables, technical parameters, and policy levers that will enable the expansion of the global economy into the solar system and return economic benefits.

While the grant sits with NASA’s Caltech - Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the collaboration means a vital exchange of research between UNSW and NASA, and some exciting developments in the area of off earth mining.

ARC Discovery Funding Success

5 November 2014

ACSER researchers, in conjunction with the UNSW School of Computer Science and Engineering, have been awarded over $340,000 in the latest round of ARC Discovery Project funding announcements. Chief Investigators on the project are Prof Sridevan Parameswaran, Dr Jude Ambrose and Dr Oliver Diessel from the School of CSE and Prof Andrew Dempster and Dr Ediz Cetin from ACSER. The project is titled "Designing Radiation-Tolerant Reconfigurable Systems for Space".

Project summary: The processing speed, cost and flexibility requirements of future satellite-based applications cannot be satisfied with conventional radiation-hardened processors or custom integrated circuits. This project aims to develop key technology to enable off-the-shelf hardware to be customised for this use without compromising reliability. The project aims to develop the design methods needed to implement a given set of satellite applications on a processing platform composed of application-specific soft processors and accelerator circuits hosted on conventional reconfigurable logic devices. Crucially, the solution architecture is expected to be sufficiently hardened against radiation-induced errors while meeting performance and circuit area constraints.

ARC Linkage Grant Success

July 2014

ACSER has been successful in being awarded over half a million dollars of funding via the Australian Research Council's Linkage Projects scheme, which support the collaborative work of researchers to produce innovative outputs to the benefit of the nation. Two projects were approved, which is an outstanding success for ACSER given the limited number of grants approved each year. The two projects are as follows:

1) Protecting Critical Transport Infrastructure using Hybrid Approaches for Interference and Spoofer Detection and Localisation (Industry : GPSat Systems Australia)

2) Rapid Recovery from Radiation-induced Errors in Reconfigurable Hardware (Industry Partner: General Dynamics Corporation, New Zealand)

ACSER PhD Student Sanat Biswas selected to participate
in 2014 IAF Emerging Space Leaders Grant Programme

May 2014

ACSER PhD Student, Mr Sanat Biswas, has been selected by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) to participate in the 2014 IAF Emerging Space Leaders Grant Programme. The grant will cover Mr Bisaws' attendance at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Toronto, Canada, from 29 September - 3 October 2014.

Only fourteen awards were made from more than 109 students and young professionals applying from 40 countries. More information about the award and a full list of the winners is available here.

ACSER will have five paper presentations in total at the 2014 IAC.

ACSER @ CeBIT 2014

May 2014

ACSER held a stall at the 2014 CeBIT Technology Exhibition in our capacity as a founding partner of Delta V, launching the organisation as the first Space 2.0 business accelerator in Australia. Other partners include the University of Sydney and start-ups Saber Astronautics and Launchbox. It is likely that Delta V will concentrate on gaining Australian access to space, initially using nanosatellites or “cubesats”.

The Delta-V vision is to bootstrap an export-focused hi-tech commercial space services & manufacturing industry within the burgeoning global Space 2.0 marketplace by helping startup teams with innovative space applications ideas come together with mentors, investors and customers.

13th Australian Space Science Conference (ASSC)

October 2013

ACSER assisted in organising the 13th Australian Space Science Conference (ASSC), held in Sydney at the University of NSW. This was the seventh ASSC jointly sponsored and organised by the National Committee for Space and Radio Science (NCSS) and the National Space Society of Australia (NSSA), with the support of the Australian Space Research Institute (ASRI). The ASSC is intended to be the primary annual meeting for Australian research relating to space science. It welcomes space scientists, engineers, educators, and workers in Industry and Government.

The scope of the conference covers fundamental and applied research that applies to space technologies, and includes the following:

  • Space science, including space and atmospheric physics, Earth observation and remote sensing from/of space, planetary sciences, astrobiology and life sciences, and space-based astronomy and astrophysics.
  • Space engineering and technology, including communications, navigation, space operations, propulsion, and spacecraft design, testing, and implementation.
  • Space industry
  • Space archaeology
  • Current and future Australian space projects
  • Government, international relations and law
  • Education and outreach, including a dedicated student session.

For more information please visit the 13th Australian Space Science Conference (ASSC) website.

Thomas Cooney has been awarded 2012 VSSEC-NASA Australian Space Prize

May 2013

ACSER's Thomas Cooney has been awarded the 2012 VSSEC-NASA Australian Space Prize, and will be attending the NASA Aeronautics Academy at Ames from the 17th June to the 23rd August this year.

The prize, run by the Victorian Space Science Education Centre, offers an Australian university student the opportunity to attend the NASA Academy programs at NASA Ames Research Centre, and work with a lead scientist or engineer on a current NASA project. The NASA Academy is an intensive, select-entry program that provides recent graduates with access to advanced science and engineering R&D, and an awareness of the complex managerial, political, financial, social, and human issues faced by the current and future aerospace programs.

Thomas' entry was judged on his 4th Year Honours Thesis entitled: "Electronics for L-Band Synthetic Aperture Phased Array Radar" completed at the School of Electrical Engineering at UNSW under Dr Torsten Lehmann as part of the Garada Project at the Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research (ACSER), also at UNSW. After being selected as the "Data Processing and Electronics" category winner, an application was made directly to NASA along with 3 other category winners.


To read more about these stories and other ACSER News click here.