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03/02/2015  Professor Lorraine Hanlon, UCD School of Physics and co-founder, Parameter Space; Dr William O’Mullane, Head of Operations Development Division, European Space Agency and Dr Sheila McBreen, UCD School of Physics and co-founder Parameter Space. Picture Nick Bradshaw.

Parameter Space Ltd is a spin-out company from the School of Physics at University College Dublin, established in 2014. UCD academics, Lorraine Hanlon and Sheila McBreen, are co-founders and directors of Parameter Space. The company has 6 employees and is based on the University College Dublin campus.

Parameter Space  is a member of the Irish Space Industry Group.

Parameter Space has extensive experience in the development of software platforms for scientific missions. Current work is focused on the deployment of a software platform for ESA’s Gaia mission at ESA’s Astronomy Centre in Madrid, and the development of a pathfinder exploitation platform for Earth Observation in the Atlantic region.

Satellites are now creating more science data than ever before, with more advanced instruments and technologies. Scientists will soon be unable to download the data due to its sheer volume.

Data volumes in astronomy have now surpassed what is possible to visually inspect by even large teams of astronomers and volunteer citizen scientists. This necessitates an increasingly central role of software and hardware frameworks for scientific discovery.

The rationale to create the company came from the growing realisation that the techniques and instruments being developed in the group for astrophysics research have potentially a much wider realm of applicability.


To tackle the increasing volume of science data, and the associated demands of data-analysis, we are designing and building our novel data analysis platforms to meet the demands of ESA’s most advanced satellites. 

The company has developed the Gaia Added Value Interface Platform (GAVIP) to facilitate analysis of Gaia data by the scientific community. The platform is deployed in the European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC) in Spain. More information on the platform is available here and the platform was presented at SPIE 2016 (paper available here).

Parameter Space has also developed a pathfinder Regional Exploitation Platform called EO4Atlantic for the Earth Observation community. This platform is the first step in the Atlantic region to map out the current state of the art with respect to Earth Observation data analysis and processing, both satellite-based and ground-based. More information on this project is available here.

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