As the cost of access to space drops with the advent of new, low-cost satellite technology, academic, civil and government scientists are now starting to imagine experiments, demonstrations and applications that they would never have considered to be within reach in the past. Science experiments and technological applications, that previously required rich nation's government bodies to fund, have now moved into the entrepreneurial arena of commercial space, and governments world-wide are looking for ways of exploiting space to address national needs and foster global collaborations. In Africa, for example, Egypt, South Africa, Nigeria and Ethiopia all now boast national space agencies. For the last 10 years, COM DEV International has been working on several micro-satellite and nano-satellite programs, in collaboration with academic and government scientists, that are aimed at current areas of interest including Quantum Entanglement and QKD, Wildfire Monitoring, Thin Ice Cloud sensing, Atmospheric Tomography among other possibilities. In addition to science missions, COM DEV has spun off a commercial space business for tracking maritime vessels globally. This talk will look at this new opportunity for scientists to play in the area of 'space-based science using microsatellites or hosted payloads', and the unique skill sets that physicists, in particular can bring to bear.
Coffee will be available in the I.K. MacKenzie Interaction room, MacN 217, prior to the colloquium and refreshments will be available in SSC 1511.