Stories of European-Australian Research

The European Union is a major driver of scientific research. Stories of European-Australian Research highlights the scope of collaboration between Europe and Australia that spans almost every discipline.

These include:

Contents

50 CubeSats to explore the thermosphere

Australian universities joined a European fleet of CubeSats to explore a little-known layer of the atmosphere.

In May 2017, the European Union led a mission called QB50 to launch a constellation of 50 mini-satellites from the International Space Station. The pocket-sized CubeSats set out to study the thermosphere, the layer of Earth’s atmosphere between 90 and 600 kilometres above the ground that carries signals from GPS and other satellites.

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Hypersonic travel

Brussels to Sydney in less than three hours.

A passenger jet could one day fly halfway around the world in just a few hours. That’s the goal of the High-speed Experimental Fly project (HEXAFLY): going beyond the supersonic realm pioneered by the now-defunct Concorde to reach hypersonic speeds more than five times as fast as sound.

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International eye in the sky

The Copernicus Earth-observation program delivers a steady stream of information about how the planet changes from day to day.

Run by the European Commission and the European Space Agency, Copernicus uses satellites called Sentinels that continuously monitor Earth from space and tools on the ground for calibration and cross-checking.

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Compound interest

What happens when disaster builds on disaster

Climate change will bring hotter weather and rising seas, but what it means for natural disasters such as floods and fires is less clear.

Part of the difficulty is that such catastrophes are often “compound events” in which multiple factors combine to wreak havoc.

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Sharing knowledge, fighting fires

Southern Australia and Mediterranean Europe’s common problem: bushfires

Bushfires are becoming more intense and increasing their range—so European and Australian researchers have initiated a five-year joint project to combat the threat.

“New regions are becoming affected by recurrent fires,” says Associate Professor Marc Demange from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT).

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