UCL Space Domain
September 2020

Space Domain News

Call for UCL Space Domain Postgraduate Student Ambassadors  


The UCL Space Domain is currently accepting applications for the 2020/21 academic year for our new Space Domain Postgraduate Student Ambassadors Programme.  


The Space Domain Postgraduate Student Ambassador’s Programme seeks to develop our selected students’ leadership, research, communication and engagement skills base.  

Space Ambassadors will have the opportunity to attend external events representing the UCL Space Domain including having their conference fees covered to attend meetings/conferences and networking events with the Royal Aeronautical Society and other opportunities as they arise across the breadth of the Space Sector.   

Space Domain Student Ambassadors will be in contact with key BEAMS faculty, researchers, staff members and leaders in the Space Sector including ESA_Lab@UCL and developing and strengthen their professional networks.  


The responsibilities for this role will be shared between Student Ambassadors and these will include attending conferences and networking events at UCL and externally along with other public engagement and outreach activities and programs coordinated by the Space Domain. Student Ambassadors are also expected to be a positive reflection of what the Space Domain represents (see Terms of Reference of UCL Space Domain) and act as a role model for their peers and other UCL students. Student Ambassadors will also be expected to actively promote and share Space Domain events and activities via social media including writing blog pieces around events attended.   


 1. Currently enrolled UCL postgraduate (MSc/PhD) student in BEAMS.  

2. Commitment/Involvement in Space Sector 

3. Excellent communication skills including social media skills.  

The Space Domain would particularly like to actively encourage the participation of postgraduate students who identify as underrepresented groups including women, BAME, LGBT + community and disabled individuals at UCL to apply for this opportunity. In this spirit, we would like to reach out to senior colleagues/staff at UCL and ask them to strongly encourage their postgraduate students who may not normally feel confident to come forward and apply for this career opportunity. It would be appreciated if Supervisors and Course Tutors could bring this opportunity to the attention of their students. 

Procedure for selection: 

Please submit a brief (2 page max) CV and concise covering letter (1 page max) outlining how you feel you are a good fit for this position. Both CV and covering letters may be in graphical/written/audio or video format. We encourage all postgraduate students to discuss this opportunity with their supervisor/s or line manager/s for their support/sponsorship before submitting an application. Please email both CV and covering letter to the Research Coordinator for the Space Domain.  

The Space Domain’s Organizing Committee will review the applications received and reach a decision by the end of October 2020. The Space Domain Organizing Committee expects to appoint approximately 1-2 Space Domain Postgraduate Student Ambassadors.   

Call for Speakers
Our One O’clock lunchtime Webinar series is intended to be an informal platform for sharing on Space related topics to a general, non-specialist audience including UCL undergraduate and postgraduate students, staff members, and is open to the general public. All lectures now take place via Microsoft Teams virtually between 13:00-14:00. Time permitting, we open up the chat for questions at the end of the lecture. 

We are looking for either 20 minutes (in which we would have two speakers to fill the slot with 10 minutes for Q&A each) or 40 minutes presentations with 20 minutes for Q&A, time permitting. We welcome contributions related to Space Research/Projects/Competitions/Interests taking place at UCL. Although definitely not exclusive, we are particularly interested in topics which fit within the following Themes:
  • Earth/Climate Change
  • Humans in Space
  • Space as a Natural Asset
  • Science in, about and from Space
  • “Living with a Star”
  • ‘The Exploration conversation: Robots or humans or both?’
  • Local Space
  • ‘Propulsion; from rockets and motors to the future’
  • National and International Space Policy
  • What is New Space: Privatization, commercial exploitation of space, or democratization?
  • How to get involved in space – career paths and journeys
  • Space and culture – a historical relationship
  • Xenobiology/Astrobiology – Learning from extreme environments on Earth
This is a fantastic opportunity for Early Career Researchers and Postgraduate Students at UCL to engage, communicate and reach out to a wider audience with their research. As well as providing excellent exposure for their research and showcasing future leaders in the Space Sector this series offers a supportive, collegiate environment for sharing ideas/research and the potential of constructive comments/feedback/insights from a wide audience including senior academics at UCL, leaders in the Space Sector, student peers, industry professionals and the wider interested general public. 

Speakers can be very diverse, including senior academics describing their research, post docs describing recent result and students outlining an area of current interest. We particularly encourage the participation of Early Career Researchers, postgraduate students and other researchers particularly those who identify as underrepresented groups including Women, BAME, LGBT + community and disabled individuals at UCL. In this spirit, we would like to reach out to our senior UCL colleagues and staff and ask them to actively encourage their Early Career Researchers and Postgraduate Students who may not normally feel confident presenting or sharing their work to come forward and apply. 

To be considered to speak please fill out the form or email an abstract (of approximately 250-300 words) or alternatively a graphical/video/audio abstract to the organising committee.  Please note that we encourage all postgraduate students to discuss this opportunity with their supervisor/s before submitting an abstract.    

Past One O’clock Space lectures can be found here.

Additional Requirements 
If you anticipate having any additional requirements when presenting, please make us aware of these when you register. These may include accessibility, access, caring responsibilities or other additional requirements that will enable you to present. 

It is expected that presentations and handouts adhere to Advance HE’s accessibility requirements and we will provide presenters with the relevant guidance material.

The UCL Space Domain’s lunchtime One O’clock Space webinar series is looking for Speakers for Term 1 & 2 for 2020/21.

Space Domain Events

Missed our last One O'Clock Space Webinars? Check them out online

The SMILE mission - 

Looking at the Evolution of Galaxies using Machine Learning -

Skylark: Britain's First Space Rocket -

UCL Opportunities 

Call for expressions of interests from UCL researchers or professional service staff members who have an idea for a collaborative project that could benefit from Research Computing and Networking Innovation Centre (RCNIC) incubator environment. 

The objectives of RCNIC are to:

•    evaluate, prove and incubate bleeding-edge hardware and software, which have the potential to become IT Services for research.

•    develop technologies and methodologies to improve the management and support of research computing services.  

Find out more about RCNIC from our online launch  (video and slides).

If you have more than one idea, you can submit multiple forms if this is easier. This call is open to all departments and UCL research and professional service staff. Deadline: 20th Sept 2020. 

Give a Lunch Hour Lecture

UCL's popular public Lunch Hour Lecture series has been running at UCL since 1942, and showcases the exceptional research work being undertaken across the university. The Lunch Hour Lectures are a great way for UCL academics and researchers to showcase the excellent work they are doing both with fellow UCL colleagues and the general public.

If you would like to be considered to speak in the online Autumn Lunch Hour Lecture programme please fill in the online form. The deadline for submission is Friday 4 September. If you have any questions please email

Code for Inclusion – Making Tech more inclusive

The UCL Code for Inclusion team create volunteer projects designed to engage Disabled people from backgrounds underrepresented in the technology industry. Key focuses are on anti-racism and inclusion.
  • Students – volunteers are needed from all backgrounds to join as project leaders, research assistants, coders, wellness officers, diversity, equality and inclusion directors (to name a few). All training is provided, and no experience is needed.
  • Academic staff – call for articles on inclusive technology to be published on their website.
Code for Inclusion particularly welcome applicants from Disabled People and BAME backgrounds as they are underrepresented in the charity and technology sector. 

For more information, contact: Alina at

Space Sector Response to Covid-19

Monthly Space Sector COVID-19 Impact & Recovery Questionnaire

Knowledge Transfer Network

Knowledge Transfer Network uses deep sector expertise to make powerful connections across sectors, geographies and skill-sets to drive change through innovation.  These connections have never been more important as – globally and as the UK – we respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Covid-19 Funding

Covid-19 Emergency Assistance Fund for UCL Postgraduate Research Students (EAF-PGR)

The EAF-PGR provides support to UCL postgraduate research students from specific priority groups in financial need due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The closing date for applications is 11 September 2020. Further Details. 

UKRI open call for research and innovation ideas to address COVID-19.

Proposals are invited for short term projects addressing and mitigating the health, social, economic and environmental impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.

There is no closing date – proposals can be submitted at any time.

UKRI will support excellent proposals of up to 18 months duration which meet at least one of the following:

  • New research or innovation with a clear impact pathway that has the potential (within the period of the award) to deliver a significant contribution to the understanding of, and response to, the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts.
  • Supports the manufacture and/or wide scale adoption of an intervention with significant potential
  • Gathers critical data and resources quickly for future research use
Further details available on website

The COVID-19 Sustainable Innovation Fund will target those innovative companies needing to keep their great ideas alive during the current pandemic, in turn contributing to revolutions across whole sectors and transforming the way people live, work and travel. Further Details

Funding and External Engagement Opportunities

UK and US militaries launch £800,000 International Space Pitch Day

Start-up tech companies and inventors will get the chance to pitch directly to UK and US military leaders for the $1-million investment to fast-track their ideas for cutting-edge Space innovations. Further details

Birkbeck's Centre for Planetary Science Final Year MSc Presentation Event

CPS is hosting a new, remote project presentations event with their final-year MSc Planetary Science students on Friday 11 September. CPS members are invited to join for all or part of the event to hear about some of the exciting planetary science research going on within the Centre via our MSc programme. 

Improving support for online data collection and survey tools

In the light of the increased need to carry out research remotely, a new ISD project is looking at the use of online data collection platforms in research. There are a wide range of tools being used for this purpose and, in order to identify the support researchers need and improve it, the project team would like to capture a better understanding of why people choose particular survey tools and what the major pain points are when using them. Whether you conduct research online yourself, or your role involves supporting others to do so, please share your input via the short survey:
Improving support for survey tools.

The UK Space Agency is making funding available for 6-month feasibility studies into possible UK-led experiments that could be carried out on the International Space Station or other commercially available microgravity and space environment facilities. Studies must be completed by 31st March 2021. Further Details. 

ARCHER 2 Pioneer Projects

This call is for researchers to apply for large amounts of computational resource to conduct computationally intensive modelling, simulation and calculations. Projects should be ambitious and pioneering, we encourage a high-risk/high-reward strategy, and outputs should have significant potential for a high future impact. EPSRC wants to encourage researchers to consider what they can do to significantly push the boundaries in computational research using High Performance Computing (HPC) in their field. This call is the successor to the ARCHER Leadership calls, which ran prior to 2020.

The computational resource will be for the UKRI-funded Tier-1 HPC service, ARCHER2, for up to 24 months. The ARCHER2 service provides the capability for researchers to run simulations and calculations which require large numbers of processing cores working in a highly parallelised fashion. Technical Assessment deadline 7 September. 
The 2020 Policy Boot Camp, brought to you by the University of Manchester and University College London, will help you make sense of the policy making process. With an introduction to policy making led by Prof Andy Westwood, and workshops devised by professionals from across the sector, this course is perfect for anyone interested in public policy. You’ll tackle tough policy challenges and develop imaginative and urgently-needed responses to real-world problems. You’ll meet new people and work with diverse groups to get to grips with the basics of the policy world. Following the course, there will be opportunities for paid internship placements at a range of policy organisations across the country.

SmartSat CRC

The SmartSat CRC is a consortium of industry and research organisations that will develop game changing technologies to bootstrap Australia’s space industry and catapult it into the 1/2 trillion dollar global economy.

SmartSat CRC has secured $245M in funding and are actively looking for research partners.

The Space Domain is keen to facilitate future research collaborations with SmartSat CRC. Please get in touch with Alan Smith with interest and proposals. 

Further details:

Young Innovators Awards 2020/21

Young people can apply for an award to make their business idea a reality. The Award includes a £5,000 grant, tailored business support and a living allowance.

  • Competition opens: Monday 15 June 2020
  • Competition closes: Wednesday 2 September 2020 11:00am
Further Details

Belmont Forum Pre-announcement of Upcoming Pathways to Sustainability Call

Belmont Forum has announced the planned launch of a joint Collaborative Research Action (CRA) on the theme of Pathways for Sustainability. The goal of the new CRA, which is expected to be launched mid-June 2020, is to produce the necessary knowledge and propose options to help underpin sustainable development within a stable Earth System.

Therefore, to help provide a science base for achieving sustainability goals, Belmont Forum and partners are supporting a three-stage programme for proposals that focuses on integrated qualitative and quantitative approaches to develop Earth-system-based transformation pathways for sustainable development taking as a basis the four 'life-supporting SDGs':

  • Goal 6 - Clean water and sanitation
  • Goal 13 - Climate action
  • Goal 14 - Life below water
  • Goal 15 - Life on land

Funding will be directed towards designing cross-cutting activities and competitive seed grants to build the community, mobilise capacity, bring together existing focused projects, develop networks focused on stakeholder mapping, engagement of stakeholders, and evaluation of existing efforts.

Support will be for activities spanning no more than two years. It is anticipated that the call will open in mid-June 2020 with a deadline in October 2020.

Geomatics on the Move Competition

The European GNSS Agency (GSA), in collaboration with the Council of European Geodetic Surveyors (CLGE), has launched the Geomatics on the Move competition with the aim of fostering the use of the EU satellite programmes Galileo, EGNOS and Copernicus to create innovative geomatics applications and solutions across Europe.

Building and expanding on the CLGE Student Contest, the new Geomatics on the Move Prize also targets applications that integrate the use of additional technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented and virtual reality, as well as supplementary remote sensing data sources like drones. Solutions animated through mobile phone applications or other easy-to-use platforms are also welcome.

Students, young professionals, entrepreneurs and small and mid-sized businesses (SMEs) are eligible to participate individually, or in teams of up to three participants. All participants must be located in the EU Member States or in Norway or Switzerland.

A total of €30,000 will be awarded in two categories:

Traditional Geomatics

Five prizes will be given to solutions for which main innovation is based on the usage of EGNSS, employing traditional equipment such as surveying or GIS grade GNSS Receivers for applications such as cadastral, marine and mining surveying or GIS mapping. These solutions can be supported or combined with Copernicus satellites data.

Integrated Geomatics

Five prizes will be given to integrated surveying solutions that use Galileo or EGNOS, leveraging cutting-edge tools and technologies like drones, mobile mapping, laser scanners or Augmented/Mixed Reality that can either be used within geomatics applications or beyond. These solutions can be supported or combined with Copernicus satellites data.

The prizes in both categories are:

  • 1st Prize - € 5,000
  • 2nd Prize - € 4,000
  • 3rd Prize - € 3,000
  • 4th Prize - € 2,000
  • 5th Prize - € 1,000

The deadline for submission of ideas is 16 October 2020.

A maximum of 10 projects will be chosen to present their pitch during the finals. The official award of the Geomatics on the Move Prize Contest will take place virtually, during the European Space Week (7-11 December 2020). During this event, each finalist will present their solution to the evaluation board.

Have you made shareable software, code or tech?

The Wellcome Trust are looking for examples of shareable software/scripts/tech that were created in Wellcome Trust funded projects.  This is a scoping mission to find the range of tools that you all have made, what they do & in what research space, to help inform their new programme. 
If you have written code, from small data viz scripts to big platforms - please share your github or papers in the twitter thread


Satuccino is a specially designed space industry networking event for space technology and satellite applications sector companies. Satuccino will examine several recent space industry news stories and discuss numerous space sector updates including any relevant funding opportunities that may be of interest. Further Details. 


Research in Residence Q&A Session

11 SEPTEMBER - 10:30AM

The Satellite Applications Catapult Researchers in Residence Program supports university academics for research residencies at the Catapult, which may be flexibly spread between 1 and 4 years.

Following a week of tailored content and video, highlighting their work, on Friday 11th September at 10.30am – 12:00pm, we will be hosting a live Q&A session with our four researchers, giving you the opportunity to find out more about their work, and ask any questions you may have. Register here. 

The Satellite Applications Catapult is one of a network of UK technology and innovation companies which aim to drive economic growth through the commercialisation of research. Upcoming online Webinar events and opportunities can be found here

SFN Surgeries

The SFN are running full-day virtual surgeries on 22nd of September. 

SMEs can book a one-hour meeting to discuss issues, raise queries, or seek advice from our panel, consisting of a number of space and satellite industry experts.

Topics can include:
  • Possible access to finance, including grant finance;
  • Regulatory advice (licensing and spectrum);
  • Advice as to business opportunities between companies, including with companies outside the space sector;
  • The Connect Project, consisting of our BackonBoard Project, Mentoring and Connecting Skills; 
  • FDI and growth in the UK.

Several Government departments and Ofcom are supporting this initiative.

To arrange a booking, please contact Joe Butler or Joanne Wheeler.

Are you interested in getting more involved in our Sustainable Development programme and networking with other organisations in this space? If so, then sign up for our Sats4SD community of interest group. The Sats4SD community brings together space and non-space organisations from across all sectors both in the UK and globally. Further details. 

Space Technology in Extreme Mining Environments

8th September - 10:00 BST. Registration

Student Opportunities

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are free to enter. You can apply for more than one award.

You’ll need to:

  • create an account and register your details
  • answer questions about your eligibility - this should take less than 15 minutes
  • submit your application by midday on 9 September 2020
Further Details.

NASA's Lunar Loo Challenge

Public Engagement at UCL is offering training designed to assist staff and students whatever the stage of their public engagement journey. Whether you’re just starting out and need support finding your voice to communicate your research to others outside the university, or whether you’re ready to develop a dialogue, make collaborative decisions and work with external groups.  

Online/remote training

They have developed a package of online training available for you to complete at any time, wherever you are in the world. These courses are designed to be taken in order, but you can dip in and out if you are looking for specific content. More information.

Autumn Reading List



Upcoming Conferences

The Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society (RSPSoc) free virtual conference. 3 September 2020 at 9.30am – 4.30pm UTC+1. Register.

World Intelligent Farming Summit, Viritual, 3-4 September

15 - 16 SEPTEMBER 2020 Advanced Materials and Space Technology for the Space Sector.

CW International Conference, Virtual, 22nd of September 2020.

UKSEDS Virtual Student Space Symposium on October 10th 2020.

19th - 30th October 2020, UCL Grand Challenges (Office for the Vice-Provost Research) and the Global Engagement Office (Office for the Vice-Provost International) will host a two-week virtual conference exploring the role of universities in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
A virtual Forum on 19 – 21 October 2020 examining the latest data solutions and thinking to support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and more urgently the monitoring and recovery from COVID-19.

Postponement of ESWW17/ESWW2020

The 17th European Space Weather Week (ESWW17/ESWW2020) has been postponed to 01-05th of November 2021 in Glasgow. Therefore, the 17th European Space Weather Week will now be known as ESWW2021.  
In addition, the organizers are looking at  the possibility of having a European Space Weather online meeting in November 2020 – and this will be completely separate from the ESWW series.  The ESWW medals will also still be going ahead for 2020. Announcements expected soon. 
POSTPONED 2021 - Global Space Exploration Conference, St. Petersburg, Russia.

71st International Astronautical Congress – The CyberSpace Edition. Virtually 12 – 14 October 2020

NB: 72nd International Astronautical Congress, IAC 2021 Dubai, U.A.E 25 – 29 October 2021.

Global Milsatcom 2020, London, 3-5 November 2020
11th IAASS Conference, Osaka, Japan, **New Dates** 26-28th October *2021* 
43rd Committee on Space Research now COSPAR 2021
28 January – 4 February 2021, Sy
dney, Australia.
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April 2020
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