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LIVORNO, Italy

Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SPA.2013.3.1-01 | Award Amount: 2.63M | Year: 2013

Nano-satellites are becoming a reality and are being used for increasingly complex missions. However, to facilitate more advanced scientific missions greater capabilities are needed in terms of mission life-time, communication bandwidth and attitude determination and control. Many science applications of nano-satellites are currently being explored for future implementation, especially in the US, and the SEAM project will ensure that Europe develops the required technology to maintain and strengthen our current leading role in the nano-satellite market. The SEAM project has as objective to develop and demonstrate a robust & reliable 3kg satellite platform developed specifically to support science missions. Special emphasis will be put on magnetic cleanliness of the spacecraft, which will allow magnetosphere missions to be conducted with the platform. To meet requirements for magnetic cleanliness new developments are needed for many of the subsystems to be provided by the consortium partners. The project is lead by KTH, Sweden, representing a science customer for a nano-satellite platform and the platform development will be undertaken by a group of leading SMEs in the emerging market for nano-satellites representing both a system integrator (GOM) subsystem developers (AAC, ECM, KAYSER) and payload technology providers (BLE, LEMI). Finally SSC is responsible for the S-band ground network support. The consortium thus represents the complete value chain for a scientific mission and the project will demonstrate a complete scientific mission development and operations process. ECM who has access to launch opportunities in Russia will procure the launch of the satellite. With the result of the project in terms of the SEAM satellite and the proven effectiveness of this platform and associated business network representing the value chain the consortium partners will be in a good position to start offering platforms and turn-key mission solutions to science users.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 3.87M | Year: 2013

During the last decades atomic clocks and frequency standards have become an important resource for advanced economies with impact ranging from satellite navigation (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo) to high speed communication networks, where they ensure synchronisation of data packets at ever higher bit rates. In this field the wake of the new millennium has been marked by the invention of frequency comb technology, a discovery so important that it was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2005. Femtosecond comb technology enables two major advances (i) a factor of 1000 improvement in sensitivity and accuracy over current atomic clock technology and (ii) the possibility to create a precision frequency synthesizer ranging from the Hz level up to 10^17 Hz or even higher, i.e. covering the electromagnetic spectrum from DC to the soft x-ray regime. The technological impact of this current development is likely to be tremendous, opening new applications, e.g. in relativistic geodesy, where ultraprecise clocks sense the gravitational potential via the redshift arising from general relativity. This might open new markets in oil and mineral exploration, supervision of CO2 sequestration and hydrology and climate research. However the technologies associated with optical clocks and frequency standards are still in the laboratory stage and experts in the field are desperately needed for developing commercially viable systems and applications. This ITN is addressing this issue by implementing a training programme covering all aspects from the atomic reference and ultrastable lasers to frequency comb synthesis, precision frequency distribution and commercial system technology. It focuses on technological developments enhancing the technology readiness level of the new optical atomic clocks, enhancing the chance that they are picked up by the commercial sector. At this initial stage the vehicle will be space technology, which is promising the first high-precision applications.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.4.5-10 | Award Amount: 14.99M | Year: 2009

Ageing of skeletal muscle results in a progressive loss of mobility that decreases the quality of life and has major economic and social consequences for society at large. Increasing muscle weakness is a major component of muscle ageing. In the elderly muscles become atrophic (loss in muscle mass) and weaker (loss in muscle force), more susceptible to damage and consequently regenerate and recover more slowly than was the case in their youth. The challenge for FP7 is to identify the relative importance of sarcopaenia, thus proposing standards to define healthy ageing in order to identify age-related muscle weakness; secondly to identify molecular pathways which may be targeted to combat normal age related muscle weakness, and thirdly to identify therapeutic strategies to prevent muscle loss and weakness and enhance recovery following injury or immobilisation. The approaches which we will take to understand and combat muscle weakness in the aged population and improve healthspan can be defined in several steps: the collection and collation of data and samples, the assessment of physiological and functional parameters, the understanding of the various biological mechanisms involved, leading through integration to the development of strategies and their translation for the general European population. In order to develop and propose the general public with efficient countermeasures, the consortium will integrate data from genetics and epidemiology, molecular and cellular biology, physiology, biomechanics, as well as clinical and public health aspects, to ensure optimal scientific synergy from the leading European specialists and companies.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SPA.2010.2.2-01 | Award Amount: 2.72M | Year: 2011

A range of new applications will be enabled by ultra-precise optical clocks, some of which by using them in space, near or far distant from Earth. They cover the fields of fundamental physics (tests of General Relativity), time and frequency metrology (comparison of distant terrestrial clocks, operation of a master clock in space), geophysics (mapping of the gravitational potential of the Earth), and potential applications in astronomy (local oscillators for radio ranging and interferometry in space). We propose to (1) develop two engineering confidence ultra-precise transportable lattice optical clock demonstrators with relative frequency instability < 110-15/root(tau)1/2, inaccuracy < 510-17, one of which as a breadboard. They will be based on trapped neutral Ytterbium and Strontium atoms. Goal performance is about 1 and 2 orders better than todays best transportable clocks, in inaccuracy and instability, respectively. The two systems will be validated in a laboratory environment (TRL 4) and performance will be established by comparison with laboratory optical clocks and primary frequency standards. (2) We will develop the necessary laser systems (adapted in terms of power, linewidth, frequency stability, long-term reliability, and accuracy), atomic packages with control of systematic (magnetic fields, black-body radiation, atom number), where novel solutions with reduced space, power and mass requirements will be implemented. Some of the laser systems will be developed towards particularly high compactness and robustness. Also, crucial laser components will be tested at TRL 5 level (validation in relevant environment). The work will build on the expertise of the proposers with laboratory optical clocks, and the successful development of breadboard and transportable cold Sr and Yb atomic sources and ultrastable lasers during the ELIPS-3 ESA development project Space Optical Clocks (SOC).


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: SME-1 | Phase: Space-SME-2014-1 | Award Amount: 71.43K | Year: 2015

In the frame of space weather science, a systematic monitoring of the geomagnetic activity in the inner magnetosphere plays an important role in the field of telecommunication and navigation satellite systems safety as well as safety on materials and employers within flight routes at polar latitudes. A consolidated technique for remote sensing of plasma circulation relies on Energetic Neutral Atoms (ENA) observations. However, up-to-now only dedicated mission in polar orbit collected ENA imaging, whereas continuous ENA monitoring from low altitudes is a missing task; therefore our proposal aims to develop an ENA instrument on board the International Space Station (ISS) since its peculiar orbit would allow wide-field ENA images. In this context, the Italian Space Agency agreed to provide support for what concerns the instrument allocation on the launch vehicle and its accommodation outside the ISS. Primary goal of this phase 1 study is elaborating a business plan verifying the technological feasibility as well as the economic viability for realization of the first prototype of an ENA imager (ENAMISS), with the opportunity for the SME consortium to transfer existing knowledge into innovative solutions able to grow performance and also to establish expertise in ENA sensors where the heritage is mostly in the USA. The main business purpose collocates in the idea to application frame creating a new standard of atomic cameras, offering the possibility to supply a user alert service (also with dedicated smartphone App) to mitigate the geomagnetic storms effects. Envisaged key markets are the space and navigation one. The innovation of the project is mainly related to exploitation of the ISS as platform for ENA monitoring to provide an European-leaded service for Space Weather studies and related activities with the twofold benefits for the SME consortium to acquire heritage in this field and a preferential position in Europe and in the world.

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