• Question: What was your role in the study?

    Asked by anon-334452 on 23 Sep 2022.
    • Photo: Jack Reid

      Jack Reid answered on 23 Sep 2022:

      My role is to conduct research by setting up and performing numerical simulations, using power computers. Through studying the physical processes at work on the Sun, these help us to understand its behaviour. Then, I analyse the results and prepare these for publication.

    • Photo: Alessio Spampinato

      Alessio Spampinato answered on 23 Sep 2022:

      My current role is to design components (instruments) using 3D tools (CAD), having in mind they will operate in space. For this, I do many simulations on a computer to see the effects a rocket has on this instrument while it’s launched into space. In fact, during a launch there are a lot of vibrations, accelerations and shocks that could damage the instrument. With these simulations, I can improve the design to make more robust. Once I am happy the instrument can survive a launch into space, I make the different parts of this instrument in real life, put them together and eventually do many tests to show they work as expected.

    • Photo: Emma Barrett

      Emma Barrett answered on 24 Sep 2022:

      Me and my colleagues do psychological and behavioural science research. Our role is to design the study – who will we be studying? what questions will we ask them?

      Then we find people to take part in the study – because we are studying humans in extreme environments this can be quite hard, but we find explorers and others who live and work in hostile places are often very keen to understand the psychological side of their experiences so they are happy to volunteer to take part.

      Then once we have the data we have to analyse it and consider what new things it tells us about doing well (or just surviving!) in extreme places.

      Finally we find a way to present our findings in ways that help other academics (by publishing it in an academic journal for instance) and – really important – that help people who might use it. For instance, we might prepare a briefing for NASA on how people cope when they are stuck in a confined space together (like in an Antarctic research station) for a long time and what lessons we can learn to help teams in space

    • Photo: Mike Heyns

      Mike Heyns answered on 24 Sep 2022:

      I work on creating and interpreting computer simulations of the near-Earth space environment. We use solar wind data from satellites that sit between us and the Sun to see how solar plasma interacts with Earth’s magnetic field and what current systems are set up. A lot of analysis and further work is done to translate these real-time outputs to forecasting products for end-users like satellite operators and power grids. We collaborate with other groups doing similar work internationally, as well as different groups that may need our outputs to drive their modelling.