• Question: What is the most exciting project you’ve worked on

    Asked by VolantDock36488 to Stephen, Sita, Rory, Hannah, Brian, Alison on 11 Mar 2019.
    • Photo: Hannah Currivan

      Hannah Currivan answered on 11 Mar 2019:

      The most exciting project I was part of was being part of the construction team for I-LOFAR (Irish Low Frequency Array Radio Telescope) http://lofar.ie/ .I then had the opportunity to use I-LOFAR for my BSc Physics thesis to observe a supernova remanent (Cas A) which is 11,000 light years away, Radio Galaxy (Cygnus A) which is 3200 light years away, and a Black Hole (Cygnus X-3) which is 3200 light years away. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Photo: Alison Dufresne

      Alison Dufresne answered on 12 Mar 2019:

      The asteroid mining project I first worked on when I got this job is the most exciting! Part of that mission was developing an awesome engine which is incredibly fun to test fire. The project also led us to our new projects building space telescopes and interplanetary transfer vehicles for NASA 🙂

    • Photo: Stephen O'Connor

      Stephen O'Connor answered on 12 Mar 2019:

      Testing the thermal control coatings of BepiColombo – a satellite designed by the European Space Agency and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency.
      It was launched last October and will take 7 years to reach the planet Mercury.
      It will experience ten times the amount of UV radiation (sunlight) that hits the Earth and temperatures of over 400°C.
      Many parts of the satellite are covered in thermal control coatings (special white paints) – which basically acts like a sun cream for the satellite, reflecting UV radiation and keeping it cool.
      I had to test the coatings in special vacuum (low pressure) chambers and expose them to UV radiation and high temperature to see if they could survive the conditions.
      Check out this video on Bepi: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kO1Jwqa6kb4

    • Photo: Sita Karki

      Sita Karki answered on 14 Mar 2019:

      The current project where we used satellite data to measure water quality from space is I think the most exciting project so far to me.