I work on science projects, the impact on society is that we learn more: that could be about fundamental physics, how the universe is made, what the different planets look like. This can lead us to learn lots about how the Earth was formed and developed and what it might look like in the future. Understanding more about physics could lead to amazing discoveries.
I work on mixture of different project types which all help to benefit society:
Earth obseravation missions which use imaging payloads or other scientific instruments to look at the Earth. These images can be used to monitor deforestation, help farmers grow crops more efficiently, track illegal sea trade and provide imaging for relief workers in the event of a disaster like an Earthquake or a flood, among many other applications.
Science and technology missions where we send up a number of different experiements into space, either to help us better understand the space environment or to help demonstrate that a certain bit of new technology works in space. These missions help us to progress space related research for the future.
Telecommunication missions where we provide services to help people on Earth communicate with each other. At the moment we’re building the payload for the European satellite navigation system, Galileo. This is the European equivalent of GPS which is what you use in your SatNav to help you find your way.
With my project as I am working on a project to get a PhD, I have to show that I have furthered our knowledge of science/engineering somehow – I have to find out something new that nobody has ever done before! That’s really exciting, as my project is something new and I will be adding new knowledge and information to the world of science and engineering. One of the main ways what I find can be used for is that companies building aeroplanes, cars and space craft will be more informed about the best ways to build materials that can resist impacts using composites, which, if they use composites rather than metal, means both lighter and stronger aeroplanes, which protects us and helps save the environment!