John Davies and Alistair Glasse: “Space Experiments at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh, 1960-present” (21st March 2018 at BIS Scotland)

BIS Scotland Branch Meeting

21st March 2018, 7-9pm; Royal Observatory Edinburgh, Blackford Hill, Edinburgh

We are delighted to announce that Dr John Davies and Dr Alistair Glasse will be joining us on Wednesday, 21st March 2018 at 7pm at Royal Observatory Edinburgh, giving us a talk on

Space Experiments at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh, 1960-present

The Royal Observatory Edinburgh (ROE) and more recently its successor the UK Astronomy Technology Centre (ATC) has a history of space research which extends back about 50 years. The evening will begin with an historical overview of the observatory programme covering early Skylark rocket experiments which led to ROE involvement in the TD-1A ESRO UV astronomy satellite. When the observatory re-focused on the infrared in the mid-1970’s it took a role in the European Infrared Space Observatory mission and then the SPIRE instrument on the Herschel Space Observatory.  John Davies, who worked on the camera for  ISO, will present an overview of this history and will display various components and flight spares  from these Skylark, ISO and Herschel projects. Alistair Glasse will then take us into the future with a talk about our latest space project, the Mid Infra Red Research Instrument (MIRI) for James Webb Space Telescope.

Dr John Davies is a staff astronomer at the UK Astronomy Technology Centre (UKATC) in Edinburgh, helping to organise a European Network called OPTICON. Before that he was a suport astronomer for the UK Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) in Hawaii and he also does research on a variety of topics, mostly studying comets and asteroids. Over the years he has also been involved in building and operating astronomical satellites, flight testing fighter aeroplanes, doing chemistry and writing books.

Dr Alistair Glasse has a bachelor of science in Physics from the University of Manchester, and a Ph.D. in astronomy instrumentation at University College London. He spent some time flying instruments on helium balloons in Texas and New Mexico in the 1980’s and worked as a research assistant in the Infrared Space Observatory team at European Space Agency (ESA)/ European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. He moved to the Royal Observatory Edinburgh in 1989 to work for the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope, where he worked as a project scientist for the Michelle Instrument at United Kingdom Infrared Telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. He was appointed project scientist for the Michelle mid-infrared instrument (a ground-based precursor of Webb telescope’s MIRI) in 1992.

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