- Research & Expeditions
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- About the OeWF
Seda Oezdemir, Christine Czakler and Stefanie Garnitschnig plus an international team of 42 members (1 liaison and 1 co-liaison for each AMADEE-20 experiment) – they are our Remote Science Support team. It is a large and very diverse team consisting of engineers and scientists from different fields like biology, geology, IT, aerospace and many more…
Prior to the mission:
• Administrating and organizing the team.
• Coordinating the experiments during the preparation phase.
• We keep the contact to the Principal Investigators (PIs) and we are a bridge between the different experiment teams and analog astronauts.
During the mission:
Each liaison has the responsibility to be online and available during their experiment’s performance. We know the schedule in advance and we are very aware of all details about the experiment. If a problem occurs, we have all details to help (e. g. at the critical point of decision making we can decide which button to push or cable to cut to help analog astronauts) in addition we are allowed to contact the PIs to guide the field crew through the experiment.
After the experiment we receive all the data and we validate the data, doing an accuracy check to make sure that the PIs get what they are expecting.
• With the data output for conferences, articles and so on we are also the associate for the PIs regarding the scientific outcome.
• Networking during science conferences; because post mission period is prior to upcoming missions.
Before an ÖWF Mars simulation, you inform the international science community (universities, institutions etc.) about the upcoming mission and the possibility of participating with experiments. What happens in this phase until you receive the experiment proposals?
Seda: We open a call for proposals and inform that we are planning an upcoming analog Mars mission. In doing so, we give details about the mission, such as: we are in Israel, we have our space suite simulators in use, there will be analog astronauts on site who may conduct experiments in different fields. We are open to any science experiment proposal.
Of course this was and is a process. We attend a lot of science conferences and introduce ÖWF to the scientists from different fields and present our analog Mars missions as well as what we can provide during those missions such as our spacesuit simulator. It’s an ongoing process of networking. Prior to the AMADEE-20 mission we attended about 8 conferences.
What criteria are then used to select from all the proposals those experiments that will be carried out during the mission?
Seda: After we receive the proposals from different international institutions, we review those and check if they are suitable for our upcoming mission. We perform a science check, a competence check, an accuracy check, an upcoming data check. There are parameters from each team for that. After the peer review process, we select the experiments that will have the best outcome for the mission.
For all accepted experiments there is a second round where the experiment teams present more details. This is a second check with the experts. After this the preparation phase for the mission starts for the selected experiments.
For example, we have 21 experiments for AMADEE-20 in various fields.
How challenging is it to get the selected experiment teams ready until the actual simulation in the field? How many nations and which institutions are involved, for example?
Seda: It is challenging and exciting at the same time from my personal point of view. Because you experience so many perspectives, different people, and different approaches and it is a continuous learning process. For me, it is always exciting to get in contact with such a lot of people from different countries and to have my own international network. On the other hand, the organizational part can be quite tough. Fortunately, we are a very active team, who support each other thus it has been going smooth so far.
For instance, each liaison has a telephone conference with their assigned experiment team every month. This means 21 telecons per month because we have 21 experiments for AMADEE-20 plus our monthly RSS team meetings to update each other.
Institutions from 12 nations are involved in the experiment teams for our upcoming AMADEE-20 mission! The nations are: Austria, Germany, Israel, Sweden, France, Spain, Norway, Portugal, Netherlands, Italy, USA and United Kingdom.
This article is available in: German
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