People & Teams

The Finnish Centre of Excellence in Research of Sustainable Space consists of five research teams: Modelling, Observations, Platforms, Instruments and Propulsion Teams.
Professor Minna Palmroth, Director of the Centre, Modelling Team leader

Minna Palmroth is the director of the Centre of Excellence. She is a professor of computational space physics in a joint professorship between the University of Helsinki and the Finnish Meteorological Institute. She leads the Modelling team, responsible for providing numerical simulation and modelling tools to assist with the interpretation of the mission data. Professor Palmroth is the PI of the Vlasiator team at the University of Helsinki, developing the innovative Vlasiator global hybrid-vlasov magnetospheric modelling simulation software. She has received two ERC grants so far.

Professor Rami Vainio, Vice-Director of the Centre, Instruments Team leader

Prof. Rami Vainio leads the Space Research Laboratory at the University of Turku. He and his team, including researchers also from the Department of Future Technologies, bring in important experience of building charged particle radiation detectors aboard previous CubeSat missions as well as the ERNE particle detector aboard the SOHO mission. The Instruments team will be in charge of design and construction of the main scientific payloads aboard the FORESAIL missions. The University of Turku team also participates in achieving the modelling goals of the centre by developing numerical simulations of Solar Energetic Particle acceleration. The team will also take part in the platform design developing intelligent solutions for coping with radiation effects.

Associate Professor Jaan Praks, Platforms Team leader

Jaan Praks is an Associate Professor at Aalto University, and has extensive experience of CubeSat missions developed at educational institutes. He was project lead on both the Aalto-1 and Aalto-2 CubeSat projects. The team led by prof. Praks is the principal developer of the hardware and engineering solutions for the CubeSat missions of the Foresail Centre of Excellence.

Professor Emilia Kilpua, Observations Team leader

Emilia Kilpua is a professor at the University of Helsinki, leading the Observations team. Her team’s primary focus in the Centre of Excellence is providing observational information on solar eruptions and related particles acceleration, solar wind structures and their effects in the Earth’s radiation environment, and also providing resources for coronal and interplanetary modelling. The team uses data both from FORESAIL CubeSat missions and international missions.  E. Kilpua is a current holder of an ERC consolidator grant SolMAG developing novel coronal simulations and analysing turbulent solar wind structures. 

Research manager Pekka Janhunen, Propulsion Team leader

The propulsion team at the Finnish Meteorological Institute is led by Pekka Janhunen. The electric solar wind sail, or e-sail for short, is a propulsion invention made in 2006 at the Kumpula Space Centre by Pekka Janhunen. The plasma brake application of the e-sail invention plays a primary role in controlled de-orbit of spacecraft, a major factor of sustainable space research.