Would you like to use engineering and/or science to solve problems that can be addressed by space missions? If yes, consider applying to the Summer School Alpbach.
This year, sixty European engineering and science students will be chosen to participate in the 41st Summer School Alpbach, a ten day learning opportunity held in the beautiful Austrian Alps. Participants will be engaged in an in-depth learning experience. Over ten days they will attend stimulating lectures on various aspects of space science and engineering and will work intensely within smaller groups to define and design a space mission under the supervision of noted scientific and engineering experts within the field.
The topic of the Summer School Alpbach 2017 is “Dust in the Universe”. Understanding dust, its role in and use as a diagnostic for cosmic evolution has tremendously benefited from space missions covering the electromagnetic spectrum from X-rays to mm wavelengths, and will do so in the future.
Students at the Alpbach Summer School 2017 will be informed about past achievements and current issues, and will be invited to propose ideas to further explore the dusty Universe.
Four student teams will define the scientific objectives of a space mission and will provide a preliminary end-to-end design of spacecraft, scientific instruments as well as mission and science operations that will meet their stated objectives. You and your team will be responsible for selecting and researching the problem to be addressed by your space mission, for cooperatively working with team members to meet difficult deadlines, and for developing your own working style.
You will be exposed to some real-life challenges, such as 20-hour working days (before proposal submission) and an expectation that you are able to immediately apply knowledge and techniques that you have only recently been exposed to. You will also have to handle the trials of establishing and maintaining an international and multi-disciplinary team composed of both scientists and engineers. You will need to balance scientific objectives and requirements with the realistic constraints of mission-design, spacecraft-design, and mission cost.
On day ten of the Summer School, each team presents their mission designs to a jury of experts. Occasionally, these designs have actually gone on to represent real space missions in ESA.
If you are willing to embrace the challenges and rewards of the Summer School Alpbach, we look forward to receiving your application.
Expected Learning Outcomes:
In summary, Summer School Alpbach participants ...
- Will be invited to view space as an exciting and challenging enterprise
- Will be challenged to overcome the trials and reap the rewards of working in an international and multi-disciplinary team
- Will be exposed to a range of scientific topics relevant to designing space missions
- Will learn to balance scientific objectives and requirements with the realistic constraints of mission-design, spacecraft-design, and mission cost
- Will develop the ability to work together as a team towards the common goal of preparing presentations and reports under incredible time constraints
- Will forge long-term friendships that might eventually evolve into professional collaborations later in life
- Will enjoy the unique and enriching "Alpbach experience".
The Summer School Programme
Dust particles pervade the Universe, from the Solar System to remote galaxies. Although dust represents only a small fraction of the total mass, its role in our perception and the evolution of the Universe is significant. Dust particles strongly affect the signals we receive throughout the electromagnetic spectrum, being strong absorbers and reemitters of radiation. They also are an important agent in cosmic evolution, as a main coolant of the interstellar medium for star formation, and as the seeds around which planets eventually form. Understanding dust, its role in and as a diagnostic for cosmic evolution has tremendously benefited from space missions covering the electromagnetic spectrum from X-rays to mm wavelengths, and will do so in the future.
Observing dust particles is best done in infrared light. Space missions observing in the infrared part of the spectrum (for example ESA’s Infrared Space Observatory(ISO) and Herschel missions, NASA’s Spitzer mission) have discovered new and important features of dust in interstellar space and beyond. The topic is rich in future observational possibilities. During the Summer School Alpbach 2017, student teams will conceive and elaborate innovative satellite missions using imaginative concepts.
The format of the Summer School 2017
Lectures during the Summer School will provide an overview on dust in the Universe, its composition and structure and associated scientific challenges, justifications why and how to observe dust remotely.
The aim of the lectures is to present the current knowledge and gaps in our understanding to enable the students to select and formulate objectives for new space missions.
The lectures offered will cover existing and planned space missions, space mission design, and the principles of instrumentation for the required observations including in-situ measurements of dust. The lectures will provide the students with the scientific and technical background needed for defining and elaborating innovative space missions observing dust in the Universe.
Four student teams will be setup to define the scientific objectives of a space mission and a preliminary end-to-end mission design including the spacecraft, scientific instruments, mission and science operations that will meet the stated objectives.
More than 50% of the time spent in Alpbach will be dedicated to the workshops. During these workshops the students will be invited to propose ideas to further explore the dusty Universe.
Four teams of 15 students each will be setup to define the scientific objectives of a space mission and will provide a preliminary end-to-end mission design including the of spacecraft, scientific instruments, as well as mission and science operations that will meet their stated objectives.
The aim of the workshop is to develop four different mission concepts -- one by each team, to a point where a space agency could, in principle, take the concept over and start the mission assessment phase. The teams select a mission concept within the topic of the Summer School based on the information provided in the lectures and their own knowledge of the topic. They then define the scientific objectives of their proposed space mission and provide a preliminary end-to-end mission concept including spacecraft, scientific instruments as well as mission and science operations that will meet their stated mission objectives. By the end of the workshop, the teams will have considered not only the scientific instrumentation which can meet the chosen scientific requirements, but also the mission design (launch, transfer and orbit), the spacecraft design with all required subsystems, ground segment together with rough order of magnitude mission cost and the development schedule.
On the last day of the Summer School, each team will present the results of the workshop as short mission studies to an expert review panel (the Alpbach Jury) and to the other teams, tutors and lecturers.
The lectures and the workshop will take place in the School House of Alpbach. Joint evening dinners for lecturers, tutors, students and accompanying persons will be organised at the Hotel Böglerhof. These joint dinners greatly help in forming the strong community spirit that always characterises the Summer Schools.
The Summer School is open to 60 selected young science and/or engineering students and graduates from among the member, associate and cooperating states of the European Space Agency (ESA)*. The working language of the Summer School will be English.
Application deadline: March 31, 2017
The number of participants will be limited to 60 and confirmation of acceptance will be given by the end of April 2017.
A registration fee of € 450,- will be charged. This fee covers working material, free access to copying and computer, e-mail and internet facilities at the School House, coffee breaks and dinner vouchers (including one free drink per evening) throughout the period of the Summer School including the weekend.
* ESA Member States: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom
Associate members: Canada, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Lithuania, Malta
Cooperating States: Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia
Participants from ESA member, associate and cooperating states are eligible for financial support by the relevant national sponsoring agencies or universities.
The Summer School Alpbach is also supported with funds from EuroPlanet NA1. Eligible for EuroPlanet support are students from Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Romania.
If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Michaela GITSCH at FFG
Phone: +43(0)57755 3302, email@example.com
Application forms can be found on the official website and they have to be returned before March 31, 2017.
For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.
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