Wednesday, 11 May 2011

TRANSMIT: Mitigating Ionospheric Threats

Global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) are now fully embedded in modern society, from in-car navigation to the timing of the world’s financial transactions. GNSS technology has taken the world by storm and we have come to rely on this multi-billion pound industry.

One of the major threats to our ever increasing dependence on GNSS comes from the sun. Solar related phenomena and their effect on the Earth's ionosphere, such as ionospheric scintillation, can be very disruptive, with serious consequential effects. The concern is that GNSS has little or no protection from them.

We are approaching the next solar maximum around 2013, when ionospheric effects will be at their greatest. At worst solar flares can black out satellite signals altogether. They can also create positioning errors and rapid signal fading. These intermittent problems are hindering the full development of mission-critical and high-precision applications for air, rail and marine transport, even autonomous machinery in areas such as agriculture.

TRANSMIT — Training Research and Applications Network to Support the Mitigation of Ionospheric Threats — is a 4M€ Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN) funded by the European Commission as part of the FP7 People Programme. The programme aims to improve the career perspectives of researchers who are in the first five years of their research career in both public and private sectors.

TRANSMIT is currently inviting applications for 13 posts of Early Stage Researchers and 1 post of Experienced Researcher. See also: TRANSMIT press release, TRANSMIT Facebook page.

TRANSMIT is made up of a consortium of leading universities, research centres and industry across Europe and as far afield as Brazil and Canada. The host institutions for researchers are the University of Nottingham, UK, Politecnico di Torino, Italy, the Space Research Center, Poland, Technische Universität Berlin, Germany, the University of Bath, UK, the University of Nova Gorica, Slovenia, the University of Zagreb, Croatia, and the Instituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Italy.

Also the EISCAT Scientific Association is part of TRANSMIT. Researchers employed by any of the host institutions will be able to spend extended amounts of time with EISCAT in order to gain from the experience of EISCAT personnel and to use the EISCAT facilities.

Deadline for applications is Monday, 30th May 2011.

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