A project led by a doctoral student at the University of Strathclyde on mapping space debris has been shortlisted for the final five in a prestigious new competition.
CESAER is the association of more than 50 leading science and technology universities in Europe, including Strathclyde, and is an official partner of the European Research Area. It invited doctoral students from member universities to submit research ideas for its 2021 “Best Idea” competition.
The competition aims to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and address the contribution of science and technology to ecological, social and economic sustainability by connecting the social and human sciences with science, technology, engineering and mathematics and emerging technologies.
An independent evaluation committee selected five student-led teams as finalists, including a Strathclyde project, led by Matteo Manzi, a doctoral student in mechanical and aerospace engineering. The extended team includes doctoral student Emma Stevenson from UP Madrid and Vahid Nateghi from Politecnico di Milano, with support from seasoned academics.
The expertise ranges from artificial intelligence to data-driven methods for dynamic systems, from estimation to the propagation of uncertainties. Matteo and co-lead Sai Abhishek Peddakotla are part of the Strathclyde Aerospace Center of Excellence, and the team is also part of the Stardust-Reloaded space project coordinated by Professor Massimiliano Vasile.
The entry of the teams “Space sustainability: artificial intelligence for modeling the atmosphere” maps how debris moves with weather conditions and research calls for a new goal of sustainable development around space .
The team produced a video to explain their concept of a mathematical and dynamic model – ILIAD (Intelligent Atmospheric Density Modeling for Space Operation) which gives precise data on the position of objects in space, predicting how they will move.
The other teams that qualify for the five finalists are led by University College Dublin, the Berlin Institute of Technology (TU Berlin) and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). Blue Engineering (TU Berlin), Hyperloop (KIT) and Second Hand Mobility (TU Berlin) have been selected as the top three who will now present their developed ideas at the CESAER 2021 (CAM) annual meeting online later this week, where the winner will also be announced.
Matteo Manzi said: “.
“I want to thank the whole team and everyone who supported us, and I wish the three remaining teams good luck for October 14.”
The competition was launched in September 2020 and five finalists were invited to pursue their ideas throughout the spring and summer of 2021, aided by a series of workshops and mentoring sessions.
Abstracts and ideas developed were assessed on scientific excellence, impact and awareness, and management and implementation.
CAM 2021 will also bring together experts from over 50 leading science and technology universities from 25 countries to discuss “Academia at the service of society – tackling critical challenges”.