PhD candidate Konstantinos Antonakopoulos from our department has got a scholarship from the European Space Agency (ESA), to attend the 2009 Space Studies Program (SSP) from 27th of June to 29th of August. The SSP is hosted this year at the NASA Ames Research Center in California, and it is organized by the International Space University.
The space studies program emphasizes international cooperation and provides students with varied perspectives on the world’s space activities - perspectives normally reserved for those with years of diverse professional experience. SSP includes a wide variety of activities, including lectures by renowned experts, hands-on activities and projects, team work exercises and professional visits.
In addition, workshops and departments will enable activities taking place in smaller groups of students. These activities enable a more in-depth, and focused debate or discussion, as well as additional opportunity for engagement in hands-on activities. Examples are: Space and Society, Space Systems Engineering, Satellite Applications, and Space Life Sciences.
In Konstantinos Antonakopoulos' PhD project, properties from biology are used as an inspiration toward systems incorporating features like adaptivity, robustness, and autonomous behaviour. The project, which is supervised by the associate professor Gunnar Tufte, aims to increasing knowledge in the area of Artificial Life using unconventional computation paradigms towards complex problem solving. The nature of such systems is of great interest to the space community (e.g., Bio-Inspired Technologies and Systems Group, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, CA).
Including space oriented systems as a real world application area would enforce the project with a practical problem domain. In order to incorporate space as an application area, knowledge of the workings and design of such systems are required.The Space studies program will provide us the opportunity to better understand basic space research-related issues and how bio-inspired systems can be incorporated and help propose new ideas and envision new perspectives in the area of space oriented applications.
Illustration by: Irene Domínguez