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Postdoctoral Research Associate in Computational Astrodynamics - Grade 7

University of Liverpool - Faculty of Science and Engineering - School of Engineering - Department of Mechanical, Materials and Aerospace Engineering

Location: Liverpool
Salary: £36,386 to £42,155 per annum
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 17th August 2022
Closes: 12th October 2022
Job Ref: 046626

We are seeking an enthusiastic and motivated individual to work within the School of Engineering, on a project funded by the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) in the area of planetary defence to protect our planet from asteroid hazards. Your role is to support the delivery and validation of an onboard GNC software for autonomous proximity operations around minor celestial bodies. The project is named REMORA - REndezvous Mission for Orbital Reconstruction of Asteroids: a fleet of self-driven CubeSats for tracking and characterising asteroids (£1.9m) and it is in partnership with Citadel Space Systems. The REMORA project will lay the foundation for the development of a “space-based early warning system” of a swarm of micro satellites each to individually tag asteroids that could hit the Earth (link).

The post supports the award of a Fellowship to Dr. Stefania Soldini to develop onboard GNC software for autonomous CubeSats operating in the weak gravity field of asteroids. The work is primarily computational but with scope to collaborate on experimental validation. You will have (or be about to obtain) a PhD, in a relevant area (e.g., engineering, applied math or physics) and have experience with numerical and semi-analytical methods in astrodynamics and of the Dynamical Systems Theory. Experience in asteroid’s gravity models (e.g., polyhedron model, mascons or spherical harmonics) and knowledge of orbit determination and radio science is desirable.

Any applicants who are still awaiting their PhD to be awarded should be aware that if successful, they will be appointed at grade 6, spine point 30. Upon written confirmation that they have been successful in being awarded their PhD, they will be moved onto grade 7, spine point 37 from the date of their award.

A proven track record on mission operations, trajectory optimisation and manoeuvre planning would also be advantageous.

For full details and to apply online, please visit: recruit.liverpool.ac.uk

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