SPS planetary researcher to help NASA asteroid project

A planetary science researcher at the University is to take part in a NASA-linked research workshop to analyse the shape of asteroids.

Agata Rozek (pictured), a postgraduate researcher at the University’s School of Physical Sciences, will travel to the US at the end of June to spend eight weeks working on the NASA Frontier Development Lab (FDL) 2017 programme.

As part of a team of four early-career graduate researchers, Agata will use artificial intelligence to develop new techniques to model the size and shape of asteroids observed with radar.

The new techniques will support the planning of future space missions and also help in assessing risks associated with asteroid impacts.

Taking place in Silicon Valley, California, FDL is a graduate-level summer workshop developed in partnership with the NASA Ames Research Center.

The programme tackles knowledge gaps in space science by pairing ‘machine learning expertise with astronomy and planetary science’.

Agata was invited to take part following her previous research work and described the challenge as an ‘exciting opportunity and a dream come true’.

Five interdisciplinary teams of four graduates, drawn from leading universities and private sector organisations from around the world, will address tightly defined problems, with the format ‘encouraging rapid iteration and prototyping to create outputs with meaningful application to the space program’.

Article originally published on the University of Kent News Centre.