Research Associate in Space Security

University of Bristol
Bristol, United Kingdom
£34,304 - £38,587
Closing date
Oct 21, 2021

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Science, Physical Sciences and Engineering, Materials Science, Physics, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Mathematics and Statistics
Jobseeker Type
Academic (e.g. 'Lecturer')

Job Details

The role

Spacecraft are designed to operate in a hostile environment, but as orbits become more congested and with a growing threat from hostile actors the risks to spacecraft have increased significantly. The aim of this application is to contribute a vital element to an 'app' being developed for computer and phone which allows the evaluation of risk to spacecraft and to all the elements of infrastructure that they affect. This app is a software model called 'SpaceAware Resilience'. By modelling the vulnerabilities associated with satellites, we seek to enhance current risk analysis capabilities, whether they be the satellite hardware or the models that enable us to build more resilient downstream dependents. This project will support ongoing activities by enabling space companies, government agencies such as the UK Space agency and critical national infrastructure sectors such as power and communications to calculate and evaluate the risk that their sectors are exposed to, and what mitigations can be implemented to build a more resilient environment.

The aim of this role is to model the risk of natural and manmade threats to the satellite element of the whole chain of infrastructure. This will contribute the vital 'space element' proof of concept to an already existing wider overall model which covers all the space and ground infrastructure. The overall goal is to evaluate spacecraft vulnerabilities and to give users a calculation of the consequent risk to the overall space system infrastructure.

What will you be doing?
  • Define the analysis context and specifically what must be defended against.
  • Evaluate hostile agents and natural phenomena, threats to satellite systems, and their vulnerabilities.
  • Define the threats to be faced for the model and define three possible example threat scenarios for later demonstration purposes.
  • Evaluate the acceptable levels of risk and define the mitigations.

You should apply if
  • A degree in physics or an engineering discipline (including Computer Science) with excellent results
  • An excellent knowledge of the spacecraft environment and design
  • Ability to work in an international team context
  • A high degree of initiative and independence
  • Ability to write up research

We welcome applications from all members of our community and are particularly encouraging those from diverse groups, such as members of the LGBT+ and BAME communities, to join us.


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