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Regular version of the site

HSE Professors on How to Protect Spaceships

At the end of July, Professor Andrey Tyutnev of HSE’s Moscow Institute of Electronics and Mathematics (MIEM) became the only Russian presenter at the13th Spacecraft Charging Technology Conference organized in California under the auspices of NASA. Professor Tyutnev presented two reports prepared with colleagues from the Higher School of Economics and the Lavochkin Research and Production Association.

Tyutnev prepared the report ‘Experimental and Theoretical Studies of Radiation-induced Conductivity in Spacecraft Polymers’ together with Evgeny Pozhidaev and Vladimir Saenko from MIEM’s Laboratory of Space Vehicles and Systems' Functional Safety. The report was a culmination of fundamental research in the creation and analysis of the properties of space materials, in particular dielectric materials. The use of such materials on spacecrafts prevents the emergence of electrostatic discharge, which leads to onboard radio-electronic equipment failures.

The second report, ‘The Protection of the Spectr-R Spacecraft against ESD Effects Using the “Satellite-MIEM” Computer Code,’ was devoted to Spectr-R’s system of defense against the damaging effects of electrostatic discharge. The system was created by scientists from HSE and the Lavochkin Research and Production Association and has already been in operation for three years.

‘The surfaces of spacecraft located in geosynchronous  and highly elliptical orbits are significantly charged (called ESD susceptibility) upon contact with space plasma, especially during geomagnetic storms and substorms. As a result, there is electromagnetic interference that leads to short-term disturbances and failures in radio-electronic hardware, as well as to a distortion in information and control signals, and in some cases to on-board devices being physically damaged. It is because of the ESD susceptibility of spacecraft that 24% of all equipment failures take place. Research and development is taking place in our research laboratory that is aimed at solving this problem,’ the Academic Supervisor of MIEM’s Laboratory of Space Vehicles and Systems' Functional Safety,Evgeny Pozhidaev, said.

An agreement in principle was reached with representatives from the French branch of the European Space Agency (CNES, Toulouse) and universities from the U.S. to conduct joint academic research in creating and studying the properties of space materials. Agreement was also reached on undergraduate and postgraduate student exchanges.

The achievements made by the team from MIEM’s Laboratory of Space Vehicles and Systems' Functional Safety were also presented at theCOSPAR Scientific Assembly, which took place in Moscow at the beginning of August and brought together leading specialists in the fields of astrophysics, space exploration, astrobiology and medicine. In a joint report with Lev Novikov of Moscow State University’s Skobeltsyn Institute for Nuclear Physics, HSE Professors Andrey Tyutnev and Vladimir Saenko described how polymer materials are modified for subsequent use in space under the conditions of the earth’s radiation belts.

Anastasia Chumak, HSE  News Service

See also:

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An international team of astrophysicists has been studying the formation of strong electrostatic waves, ion holes, in the Earth's magnetotail and assessing their impact on space weather. They found that ion holes propagate oblique to the local magnetic field. The study's findings can contribute to a better understanding of processes in the Earth's magnetotail which affect space weather in the near-Earth plasma environment and the polar region. The paper is published in Geophysical Research Letters.

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Researchers Determine Space Weather near Earth’s Closest Exoplanet

Researchers from the Higher School of Economics and Space Research Institute (Russia) have calculated the main parameters that determine space weather close to the nearest Earth-like exoplanet, Proxima Centauri b. Such parameters include solar wind, as well as galactic and solar cosmic rays. The results of the research were published in Astronomy Letters.

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The big scanning antenna at the Pushchino Radio Astronomy Observatory logs almost 90 GB of data every day. The data are usually processed by the astronomers manually. Vladimir Samodurov and Alexander Gorbunov, researchers at the HSE Faculty of Business and Management, decided to relieve the scholars from this hard work and give this job to neural networks. They shared the results of their work in the paper ‘Perspectives of intellectual processing of large volumes of astronomical data using neural networks’.