Overview of key research areas

  • Long-term human space exploration: How can we design remediation systems and technologies that could help humans counter the effects of radiation and lack of gravity? A Skoltech priority is examining how to support humans working in spacecraft equipped with autonomy and robotic systems. The International Space Station may be used as a laboratory for investigation.
  • Earth science and the space environment: The understanding of the planet Earth, its structure and atmosphere, and the near Earth space environment. In particular, the space environment will play a key role in the bettering of spacecraft hardware, improvement of lifetime, and mitigation of operational risks associated with hazardous space environment. Miniaturization of space electronics makes spacecraft more vulnerable to space radiation. Education and research activities will enable better understanding of the dynamics of space radiation and its effect on space hardware and electronics. It will also enable to achieve real-time predictive capabilities that will be used by spacecraft operators. Improved understanding of the radiation environment guide improvements in the spacecraft design.
  • Space systems architecture and spacecraft (payload) engineering: This area will address the conception and design of space missions and infrastructures for scientific, developmental, and commercial applications. Under this thrust, researchers will investigate how to extend satellite capabilities to applications beyond low-earth orbit, develop innovative satellite payloads and applications for innovation purposes, and coordinate the use of multiple spacecraft. Modern design techniques for spacecraft development will be taught as part of the curriculum, and research opportunities will be provided in Skoltech’s Concurrent Engineering Design Facility for space payloads and instrumentation design.
  • Space data: How do we manage space-generated data and use it for scientific and commercial purposes (e.g., communications, global positioning, and earth-systems research)? This emerging field of study emphasizes needs in climate science and energy-system development. Navigation and Earth Observation systems will be analyzed and integrated applications will also be considered as they create added values with respect single areas of technology, better addressing the potential needs of citizens and organizations.