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The Format of the Summer School Alpbach

The Summer School programme will focus on different plasma regions (Earth, Planets, Sun, Across the Universe) and the lecture programme will cover the following subjects:

  • Earth‘s Magnetosphere as Plasma Lab
  • Plasma Around Planets and other bodies
  • In-situ measurements of plasma
  • The Sun, Heliosphere, Stars
  • Extreme Plasma Environments across the Universe
  • Remote Sensing of Plasma
  • Spacecraft Constellations
  • Telescopes for Plasma observations
  • Instrumentation both in-situ and remote sensing
  • Simulation (& lab measurements)
  • Ground based and active experiments

The offered lectures will cover existing and planned space missions, space mission design, and the principles of instrumentation for the required observations, in-situ measurements as well as remote sensing. The lectures will provide the scientific and technical background needed for defining and elaborating innovative space missions and to select and formulate observational objectives, new satellite missions to advance the understanding of the behaviour and the coupling processes of plasma at several astrophysical scales. It will be an in-depth learning experience, attending lectures and working intensely within smaller groups to define and design a space mission under the supervision of noted scientific and engineering experts.

The aim of the workshop is to develop four mission concepts -- one by each team, to a point where a space agency could, in principle, take the concept over and start the mission assessment phase. The teams select a mission concept based on the information provided in the lectures and their own knowledge of the topic. They then define the scientific objectives of their proposed space mission and provide a preliminary end-to-end mission concept including spacecraft, scientific instruments as well as mission and science operations that will meet their stated mission objectives. By the end of the workshop, the teams will have considered not only the scientific instrumentation which can meet the chosen scientific requirements, but also the mission design (launch, transfer and orbit), the spacecraft design with all required subsystems together with rough order of magnitude mission cost and the development schedule.

Each student team will present a mission study to an expert review panel and to the other teams, tutors and lecturers on the last day. The Summer School Jury will award the projects in the categories