Sunday 21 January 2018

Spin-out company from UCD seals deal to map the stars

Professor Lorraine Hanlon of UCD School of Physics
Professor Lorraine Hanlon of UCD School of Physics

Ruth Nolan

University College Dublin spin-out company Paramater Space has sealed an €800,000 funding contract with the European Space Agency (ESA). The money will be used to finance a new three- year project that will analyse data from ESA's Gaia satellite.

The deal will support four new jobs and aims to result in the creation of a three-dimensional map of the Milky Way.

Parameter Space is a spin-off company from the UCD School of Physics. It was established in 2014 by astrophysicists Professor Lorraine Hanlon and Dr Sheila McBreen following a five-week commercialisation bootcamp in NovaUCD.

Both women lead the UCD Space Science and Advanced Materials group and together have over 30 years of experience on space science.

"The funds will be used to hire expert software developers, system architects and software designers," said Prof Hanlon, inset. "A large part of the money will be used for travelling, especially to the Space Dynamics group in Madrid."

The €700m Gaia mission was launched in late 2013 and so far has made nearly 100bn measurements. Parameter Space hopes to develop new software to exploit the data.

Irish Independent

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