Sous les projecteurs

Rencontrez Charlotte Morrison

Sous les projecteurs

Rencontrez Charlotte Morrison

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    Could you briefly describe your job?

    I’m a space systems engineer and I also perform optical analysis for space telescopes. As a systems engineer, I look at the big picture, working across the whole project lifecycle to ensure that all the different disciplines work together smoothly so that we deliver what the customer wants. Within my more specialized field of optical analysis, I model systems and telescopes to analyze the effect of our designs on stray light and develop ways to improve the design so that the instrument only sees what’s needed. For instance, I design baffles, which are designed to stop excess light entering an instrument’s field of view.

    What part of your job are you most proud of?

    My passion has always been to work in the space industry, and I am currently working on the MAP instrument for the Copernicus CO2M mission, which will be launched as from 2025. CO2M is part of Copernicus Expansion, the core satellite Earth observation program of the European Commission and the European Space Agency. It’s very exciting to be working on a flight project and to know that my work will be part of initiatives to decarbonize Europe and give countries the information needed to reach emission reduction targets.

    Thales Alenia Space is a major partner on the CO2M mission, which comprises two satellites. These Earth observation spacecraft play a critical role in environmental monitoring, since they address the European Union’s high-priority requirement of measuring atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by human activity. The mission is led by OHB as prime contractor while Thales Alenia Space is in charge of developing the two dedicated payloads. CO2M measurements will help us resolve uncertainties concerning carbon dioxide emissions from the combustion of fossil fuel, at both national and regional scales. They will also give Europe a unique and independent information source to assess the effectiveness of policy measures, and track their impact on decarbonization and emission reduction targets.

    I’m delighted to work for a company that leverages its space-based expertise to provide technologies for environment monitoring. Including CO2M, we’ve been chosen for five of the six Copernicus Expansion missions undertaken by Europe, including three as prime contractor, CHIME, CIMR, ROSE-L, and payload provider for CRISTAL and CO2M.

    Does any event in your career to date stand out?

    I recently worked on a stray light baffle for SXI, an instrument chosen for the SMILE mission, and earlier this year the baffle was delivered to our customer. SMILE is actually a joint science mission between ESA and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, which aims to investigate the interaction between Earth’s protective shield – the magnetosphere – and the supersonic solar wind. Just seeing the photos of hardware that I helped design was incredibly exciting.

    In three words, what are the qualities required in your profession?

    Passion, tenacity and meticulousness.

    Illustrations © Thales Alenia Space/Briot - © ESA