Thesis progress and more

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The last few months have been devoted to working on my thesis and a number of other tasks. I have been developing more code in Tudat, aimed towards setting up my simulations. A number of features have been added, which will apear in the next releases, planned for the end of the summer 2011. There are still some hiccups in my simulations, mostly due to pesky memory leaks I think. Once these are ironed out, I will be able to run my simulations and generate results quite quickly. The reason for this is that the model I have setup is a simple reduced-dynamics model of the interaction of Mab with hypothetical neighbouring moons. The model is simple enough that a single simulation can be executed rapidly, meaning that I hope to be able to study parameter space thoroughly.

I have decided with my supervisors, Imke and Mark, to target a paper elucidating the motion of Mab using this model sometime during the summer. I’ve started writing the article (not my favourite part of scientific research) and will hopefully have a rough draft of everything up to the results within the next couple of weeks.

Besides my research activities, I have also been involved with assisting a class on Solar System Dynamics here in Berkeley. So far things are going well and we have a fun field trip planned for coming Saturday at NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, which I will be attending. In addition, the students are all working on term projects. There are a total of fourteen projects and I will be supervising half of them.

My efforts to develop Tudat continue. Elisabetta is nearing the end of her thesis work, which has contributed a lot towards the growth of the library. Frank and Jonatan are now actively involved in the project and I am coordinating their efforts with a view to consolidating code for the planned research at the end of the summer. With more students added to the mix, it looks like the project is here to stay! (fingers crossed!)

More news in the not-too-distant future …

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