23, July 2014

PROJECT TITLE: Correlational Study of Space Missions Related to Fundamental Physics. Opportunities for Romanian Space Projects — COSMOS-RO

Coordinator: The Institute of Space Science (ISS)


Period: December 2012 – December 2014

Project director: Dr. Ovidiu Tintareanu

Project team:

  • Dr. O. Tintareanu, CSIII, Project director – General Relativity, Quantum Fields Theory on Curved Backgrounds
  • Dr. C.P. Grunfeld, CS I – Quantum Mechanics, Statistical Physics, Kinetic Theory, Nonlinear Dynamical Systems
  • Dr. G. Buica – Atomic and Molecular Physics, Quantum Control
  • Dr. P. Stefanescu, CS III – Cosmology
  • Dr. C. Popa, CS III – Gravitation, Quantum Physics
  • Dr. O. Patu, CS III – Cold Atom and Molecular Physics, Quantum Mechanics, Condensate State Physics
  • Dr. R. Bundaru, CS – Quantum Mechanics, Condensate State Physics

Description: The COSMOS-RO project aims to provide optimally structured information about ESA/NASA/other national space agencies activities, missions, experiments, observations, instruments, in the field of fundamental physics and astrophysics, in order to facilitate the identification of specific research & development areas and scientific objectives where Romanian academic and industrial entities have real potential to be involved in future ESA collaborations within the framework of Cosmic Vision Program and the Fundamental Physics Roadmap.

Project objectives:

O1: elaboration of a technical report/survey on the ESA / NASA / other national space agencies missions, experiments and observations with components related to fundamental physics and astrophysics. The survey will be performed from a correlational and comparative perspective. It will be identified how different space activities, experimental or observational, complement towards common scientific goals. The survey will take into account possible overlapping between scientific objectives, measurements and/or observations performed by distinct missions of different space agencies or by the same agency. The comparative perspective will permit to identify advantages vs. disadvantages. Besides the information about the specific field addressed by the mission and the underlying physics of the phenomena / measurements / observations, the technical report / survey will contain technical details about the observational and experimental instruments, their major components, technologies involved in production, major difficulties encountered in the production process of such components, aiming to the facilitate the identification of the important players in Romania capable of manufacturing such high-tech components.

O2: The survey: starting point in identifying academic and industrial entities having real capabilities of being involved in the chain of activities associated with ESA space missions / experiments, in particular those able to produce innovative results with a great potential of technological transfer. (Space activities: i) R&D, manufacturing and maintenance of space related infrastructure ii) fundamental research in physics iii) development, manufacturing and maintenance of telecommunication infrastructure iv) utilization of the space infrastructure or its data in various applications such as: weather forecasting , early warning disaster prevention , GPS, etc. v) the utilization of the microgravity environment for improved manufacturing processes vi) spin-offs that allow the introduction of space related technologies in medicine, auto industry, etc.) . The web-base application will also contribute to collecting relevant data through the registration process.

O3: In order to ensure an easy access to all the information contained in the technical report/survey we develop a software application which will encompass the entire set of missions, experiments and observations in the survey. The application will be database-oriented, web-based, capable to run in any browser and will allow a secure access to any type of information about the missions, apparatus, observations, measurements and experiments surveyed in the report. The client-server architecture of the application makes unnecessary, on the client side any installation, subsequent configuration or update. 


WP1 – Identification of the space missions that will be surveyed (months 1-2)

Compiling the list of all the ESA/NASA/other agencies active and approved missions; Identifying the scientific objectives of the missions; Selecting the missions whose scientific objectives are related to fundamental physics and astrophysics; Compiling the final list of the missions that will be surveyed.

WP2 – Creation of a database containing scientific and technical documents (PI reviews, public documents available on the space agencies websites, papers in scientific journals, etc.) regarding the missions, equipment, experiments or observations considered in the survey (months 2-8)

Identifying the possible sources of information; Retrieving all the necessary documentation; Elaborating an index and summary of all the documents and information.

WP3 – Elaboration of a correlative survey of all the space missions / experiments / observations / instruments / activities relevant for fundamental physics problems. The survey will constitute the basis for the analysis performed in WP4 (months 5-14)

Elaborating preliminary reports containing individual studies of the selected space missions; Studying the correlation, complementarity or overlapping of the investigated missions / experiments / observations; Elaborating the technical report encompassing all the missions / experiments / observations.

WP4 – Capabilities assessment of the Romanian R&D system: Identification of academic and economic entities with real capabilities to perform, alone or in a consortium, space specific activities in the larger framework of the ESA programs (months 15-25)

Identifying institutions, groups of researchers or individuals capable of participating in research activities related to space missions or having the necessary expertise that allows them to propose new missions, experiments or observations in agreement with the ESA’s fundamental scientific objectives; Identifying companies with potential to contribute to the ESA technological development activities or with scientific results with significant potential of technological transfer; Elaborating the technical report.

WP5 – Development of a web-type, database-oriented software application that will allow an optimal access to all the information on space missions / instruments / experiments and observations contained in the Report from WP 3 (months 22-25)

Establishing the concrete information (content) associated to space missions and activities to be contained in the database; Elaborating the database scheme containing table structures and the relations between them; Elaborating a case study regarding the functionality / features of the application; Elaboration of the stored procedures aimed to implement the application’s functionality; Elaboration of the web interface that will implement the access to the functionality / features of the application

Contributions to the STAR programme objectives:

Potential Romanian participants to ESA activities will be provided with a unified, relational, interactive access to a database containing information about space missions, experiments, observations, instruments, activities of ESA, NASA and other major space agencies related to fundamental physics and astrophysics. 

Such a database will primarily contribute to a more accurate vision on ESA activities related to the fundamental research in the domain of physics and astrophysics, serving to interested entities to become acquainted with ESA objectives in the field, and helping in identifying the ESA future needs and perspective, as well as collaboration perspectives. 

By its collaborative and knowledge sharing character, the software platform interfacing with the database will allow to the interested entities to have a better understanding, interaction and collaboration with the Romanian academic and industrial communities, helping them also in identifying potential partners in the frame of future collaboration with ESA.

By its web application, the COSMOS-RO project will contribute to developing and promoting the national R&D capacity. The application will increase the visibility and also contribute to promoting the institutional and individual registered users.