Koninklijke Sterrenwacht Van Belgie

Brussels, Belgium

Koninklijke Sterrenwacht Van Belgie

Brussels, Belgium
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Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INFRADEV-3-2015 | Award Amount: 31.03M | Year: 2015

The nations of Europe are distributed around some of the most complex and dynamic geological systems on the planet and understanding these is essential to the security of livelihoods and economic power of Europeans. Many of the solutions to the grand challenges in the geosciences have been led by European scientists the understanding of stratigraphy (the timing and distribution of layers of sediment on Earth) and the discovery of the concept of plate tectonics being among the most significant. Our ability to monitor the Earth is rapidly evolving through development of new sensor technology, both on- and below-ground and from outer space; we are able to deliver this information with increasing rapidity, integrate it, provide solutions to geological understanding and furnish essential information for decision makers. Earth science monitoring systems are distributed across Europe and the globe and measure the physico-chemical characteristics of the planet under different geological regimes. EPOS will bring together 24 European nations and combine national Earth science facilities, the associated data and models together with the scientific expertise into one integrated delivery system for the solid Earth. This infrastructure will allow the Earth sciences to achieve a step change in our understanding of the planet; it will enable us to prepare for geo-hazards and to responsibly manage the subsurface for infrastructure development, waste storage and the use of Earths resources. With a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) to be located in Rome (Italy), EPOS will provide an opportunity for Europe to maintain world-leading European Earth sciences and will represent a model for pan-European federated infrastructure.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: COMPET-08-2014 | Award Amount: 2.10M | Year: 2015

The goals of the UPWARDS project match the topics, challenges and scope of the Compet-8-2014 call. UPWARDS has as its overarching objective the revision and exploitation of data from the European Mars Express (MEx) mission as well as other Martian missions using a synergistic combination of state-of-the-art atmospheric/subsurface models and novel retrieval tools. UPWARDS will 1) address major open science questions which require an integrated understanding of the Mars coupled system from the subsurface to the upper atmosphere; 2) prepare for ExoMars 2016 Trace Gas Orbiter data analysis and exploitation; and 3) deliver enhanced scientific context and datasets for ExoMars 2018 Rover operations and future missions. The UPWARDS Consortium undertake five grand science themes which challenge our current understanding of the complex couplings of the Mars climate: 1) exchange of trace species between subsurface & atmosphere; 2) global cycle of Martian water; 3) surface properties and behaviour of suspended aerosols and dust storms; 4) drastic changes at the day/night terminator; 5) coupling of the lower and upper atmosphere and escape to space. All topics are addressed by experts in the field, exchanging results and knowledge in a truly synergistic and interdisciplinary collaboration. All topics share a common methodology and work flow: 1) compilation of new or unexploited data from MEx; 2) generation of added-value products with new/validated tools developed in the Consortium; 3) analysis and combination of the results with state-of-the-art models. Included is a novel data-assimilation devoted to supply as an end-product, the first of its-kind 4-D (x,y,z,t) database for ExoMars and beyond. The dissemination of UPWARDS high-level data products and the outreach activities by the scientists who produce them, will pave the way for establishing a long-term competency in Martian research at a global recognized level, and breed a new generation of European scientists.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2012-1.1.26. | Award Amount: 8.20M | Year: 2013

This project aims at integrating the major European infrastructures in the field of high-resolution solar physics. The following actions will be taken: (i) realise Trans-national Access to external European users; (ii) enhance and spread data acquisition and processing expertise to the Europe-wide community; (iii) increase the impact of high-resolution data by offering science-ready data and facilitating their retrieval and usage; (iv) encourage combination of space and ground-based data by providing unified access to pertinent data repositories; (v) foster synergies between different research communities by organising meetings where each presents state-of-the-art methodologies; (vi) train a new generation of solar researchers through setting up schools and an ambitious mobility programme; (vii) develop prototypes for new-generation post-focus instruments; (vii) study local and non-local atmospheric turbulence, their impact on image quality, and ways to negate their effects; (viii) improve the performance of existing telescopes; (ix) improve designs of future large European ground-and space-based solar telescopes; (x) lay foundations for combined use of facilities around the world and in space; (xi) reinforce partnership with industry to promote technology transfer through existing networks; and (xii) dissemination activities towards society. The project involves all pertinent European research institutions, infrastructures, and data repositories. Together, these represent first-class facilities. The additional participation by private companies and non-European research institutions maximizes the impact on the world-wide scale. In particular, the project achievements will be of principal importance in defining the exploitation of the future 4-meter European Solar Telescope.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SPA.2012.2.1-01 | Award Amount: 2.58M | Year: 2012

Variations of solar irradiance are the most important natural factor in the terrestrial climate and as such, the time dependent spectral solar irradiance is a crucial input to any climate modelling. There have been previous efforts to compile solar irradiance but it is still uncertain by how much the spectral and total solar irradiance changed on yearly, decadal and longer time scales. Observations of irradiance data exist in numerous disperse data sets. A major objective of the SOLID effort is to analyse and merge the complete set of European irradiance data, complemented by archive data that include data from non-European missions. The SOLID-consortium unifies representatives from all European solar space experiments and European teams specialized in multi-wavelength solar image processing. It also includes the European groups involved in irradiance modelling and reconstruction. They will work with two different state of the art approaches to produce reconstructed spectral and total solar irradiance data as a function of time. These results are used to bridge gaps in time and wavelength coverage of the observational data. This will allow the SOLID team to reduce the uncertainties in the irradiance time series - an important requirement by the climate community - and to provide uniform data sets of modelled and observed solar irradiance data from the beginning of the space era to the present including proper error and uncertainty estimates. Climate research needs these data sets and therefore, the primary benefit is for the climate community, but the stellar community, planetary, lunar, and ionospheric researchers are also interested in having at their disposition incident radiation of the Sun. The proposing team realizes a wide international synergy in solar physics from 7 European countries, and collaborators from the US, complemented by representatives from the climate community, who will accompany their research work with wide dissemination activity.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: GALILEO-1-2014 | Award Amount: 4.37M | Year: 2015

DEMETRA aims to demonstrate the feasibility of delivering early EGNSS timing services to end users by utilising an operational demonstrator and conducting tests with pilot applications. Based on the current practice of national metrological laboratories, DEMETRA will define and develop a prototype of a European time disseminator, based on EGNSS., An array of important service features that are necessary for a wide variety of users will be added. These will include: high accuracy calibrated time transfer to a monitored and certified remote time stamping. Nine different time services are proposed for demonstration by consortium partners. These will be established at INRIM premises for two validation test campaigns: a closed loop test, aiming to validate the performances and the second test will be with user terminals located in a real user environment, integrated into the user application to test the real advantages and feasibility of the new proposed services. Envisaged end users are telecoms, power transmission, banks, and TV broadcasting networks. The DEMETRA partnership, including Scientific Institutions, GNSS Industries, and a service provider cover the different facets of the project, including an analysis of commercial potential in terms of market and business development. DEMETRA fits perfectly the objectives of the work program in relation to: innovation, demonstration of pilot applications, use of EGNOS and Galileo Early Services, intention to commercialise the developed service, certification, legal and societal acceptance fostering EGNSS adoption and Long term potential to set common standards in the field of GNSS applications. The proposed services could become the basis for European timing standards, facilitating the independence from GPS for the timing of critical European infrastructure and fostering the dissemination through Europe of common standardised time services, based on EGNSS.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-NIGHT | Award Amount: 444.38K | Year: 2013

The Researchers Night 2013 in Belgium will be held at different locations across the country (Brussels, Leuven, Louvain-la-Neuve, Lige, Mons and Namur). All the events organized during this Researchers Night will have a common theme: how science and scientific research contribute to extend peoples life and improve the quality of it. All the activities have as common objective to enhance the public recognition of the researchers by offering the public at large, whatever their ages or background, the opportunity to meet researchers, discuss with them and discover the potential impact of their research in their daily life.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SPA.2011.2.1-01 | Award Amount: 2.52M | Year: 2012

The consortium e-HEROES aims at exploiting the existing data gathered on several European and international space missions, and to produce new value-added data products to provide the best estimate and prediction of the threats that missions of exploration will encounter in reaching beyond the Earth orbit, to the Moon, to Mars and beyond. The scope of the project is to characterise the environment in space, to provide useful information for planning and implementing space missions, manned or robotic. We plan to realize effective scientific exploitation of space data combining different datasets from current solar system robotic explorations with data from current and past space-based and complementing ground-based observations, joined with new data sources from the newest missions. We plan to add value to the data by better organising it and cross link it, by applying state of the art models and developing new ones to analyse it. We plan additionally to assimilate the heliospheric data in space environment simulations. The wealth of data, models and simulations commanded by the project will be used to characterise the evolution of space in time, looking forward over the future at the possible scenarios for planning new missions. We will consider key aspects on how the expected space environment can affect missions, in terms of predicting the impact on reliability and correct functionality of instrumentation as well as in terms of main radiation components affecting the health of astronauts. The proposing team would realize a wide international synergy in the fields of solar and space physics including experts from 11 European countries, a space-faring partner from Russia, and collaborators from US and Canada. The set of public deliverables published on-line facilitates access to the higher level data for those scientists who are not part of the team. The research work will be accompanied with wide dissemination activity.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SPA.2013.2.1-01 | Award Amount: 3.17M | Year: 2014

The advent of wide-angle imaging of the inner heliosphere has revolutionised the study of the solar wind and, in particular, transient solar wind structures such as Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) and Co-rotating Interaction Regions (CIRs). CMEs comprise enormous plasma and magnetic field structures that are ejected from the Sun and propagate at what can be immense speeds through interplanetary space, while CIRs are characterised by extensive swathes of compressed plasma/magnetic field that form along flow discontinuities of solar origin that permeate the inner heliosphere. With Heliospheric Imaging came the unique ability to track the evolution of these features as they propagate through the inner heliosphere. Prior to the development of wide-angle imaging of the inner heliosphere, signatures of such solar wind transients could only be observed within a few solar radii of the Sun, and in the vicinity of a few near-Earth and interplanetary probes making in-situ measurements of the solar wind. Heliospheric Imaging has, for the first time, filled that vast and crucial observational gap. HELCATS provides an unprecedented focus for world-leading European expertise in the novel and revolutionary, European-led field of Heliospheric Imaging, in terms of instrumentation, data analysis, modelling and science. HELCATS is a strategic programme that aims to empower the wider scientific community, in Europe and beyond, by providing access to advanced catalogues - validated and augmented through the use of techniques and models - for the analysis of solar wind transients, based on observations from European-led space instrumentation. All participant groups are at the forefront of heliospheric research and bring distinct, yet highly complementary, skills to the project. HELCATS will add significant value to the exploitation of existing European space instrumentation, providing a strong foundation for enhanced exploitation and advancement of the heliospheric research in Europe.

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