Astroinformatics and Heliophysics @I4DS
The Astro-Helio Group
The Astroinformatics and Heliophysics Group is an interdisciplinary research group at the FHNW Institute for Data Science: computer scientists, engineers, physicists in the domains of solar- and astrophysics and science communicators. We contribute to some of the big international space and astronomy endeavours by the European Space Agency ESA, their American counterpart NASA or through the European research programme Horizon2020. We are also interested in clever small and low-cost projects that allow studying the universe with limited resources.
André Csillaghy, head of the Institute for Data Science
Martin Melchior, deputy head, lead astroinformatics
Säm Krucker, lead heliophysics, principal investigator STIX X-ray telescope
Our flagship project – the X-ray telescope STIX on Solar Orbiter
Our currently biggest and most complex project is the X-ray telescope STIX which started to the Sun in February 2020 on board ESA’s spacecraft Solar Orbiter. It is lead by astrophysicist Dr. Säm Krucker at the Institute for Data Science. The instrument was designed at FHNW, involving several institutes and making use of technical facilities on-site. It was built in co-operation with Swiss and European partners, both industrial and academic.
Organizations we participate in
SKAO Science and Engineering Advisory Committee
André Csillaghy, member of the committee. The SEAC advises the Director-General and the Board of the SKA-Organization on scientific and technical matters related to the construction of the Square Kilometer Array radio telescope.
Swiss SKA Consortium
I4DS, Consortium Partner. Swiss universities and industries are interested in the radio telescope Square Kilometer Array (SKA) and are investigating the best way to participate in the project. SKA has been identified as one of the potential large scale infrastructures to which Switzerland could contribute in the coming years.
International Space Weather Initiative ISWI
Marina Battaglia, National Coordinator. ISWI is a program of international cooperation to advance space weather science by a combination of instrument deployment, analysis and interpretation of space weather data from the deployed instruments in conjunction with space data, and communicate the results to the public and students.
Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space UN COPUOS
Marina Battaglia, Swiss representative of the Space Weather Expert Group. The UN-committee deals with international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space. Its role as a forum to monitor and discuss developments related to the exploration and use of outer space has evolved alongside with the technical advancements in space exploration, geopolitical changes, and the evolving use of space science and technology for sustainable development.
The Scientific Committee on Solar Terrestrial Physics SCOSTEP
Marina Battaglia, National Adherent Representative. SCOSTEP runs international interdisciplinary scientific programs and promotes solar-terrestrial physics research by providing the necessary scientific framework for international collaboration and dissemination of the derived scientific knowledge in collaboration with other ICSU bodies. SCOSTEP is a permanent observer at the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN COPUOS).
Swiss Society for Astrophysics and Astronomy SSAA
Marina Battaglia, member of the committee. The Swiss Society for Astrophysics and Astronomy (SGAA/SSAA), founded on 9 November 1968, is a professional society, member of the Swiss Academy of Sciences (sc|nat) and part of its platform Mathematics, Astronomy and Physics (MAP).
I4DS, partner of The ESA Business Incubation Centre Switzerland. Together with partners, ESA BIC Switzerland is the place for entrepreneurs with a link to space technologies in order to realise their innovative ideas in space or on earth.
ESA Space Situational Awareness SSA
I4DS, expert group for the Solar Weather Expert Service Centre. The mission of the Solar Weather ESC is to provide and develop the functionalities, capabilities and expertise in the domain of Solar Weather that are needed within the ESA SSA SWE Network to achieve as a collaborative enterprise its mission of demonstrating and assessing the influences of Space Weather and informing and supporting end-users through the provision of accurate, reliable and timely products and (pre) operational services, tailored to their requirements.
Action spécifique observatoire virtuel – France ASOV
André Csillaghy, Conseil Scientifique. L’Action spécifique observatoire virtuel – France a pour objectif d’aider les équipes françaises à participer à la mise en œuvre de l’Observatoire virtuel astronomique international, ainsi que celles qui travaillent sur des sujets similaires dans le domaine de la physique des plasmas spatiaux, de la planétologie et des astroparticules.
A short history of space at the Institute for Data Science
Data Science is computer science and statistics
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