Timothy Kodikara's research into space situational awareness is contributing to outcomes as part of RMIT’s SPACE Research Centre.
PhD (Geospatial Sciences)
As a physicist, I want to do my part in helping to properly mitigate the threat of space debris.
From early on I had a fascination with the night sky. My inspirations include Nikola Tesla, Stephen Hawking, Neil deGrasse Tyson and David Deutsch.
I completed a Masters of Space Sciences at the University of Helsinki in Finland. It was the work of the Satellite Positioning for Atmosphere, Climate and Environment (SPACE) research centre that attracted me to RMIT through its investment in space situational awareness. My research aims to improve space weather and space tracking models. I see space situational awareness as a very real problem with inconceivable consequences to modern civilisation. Space based activities are essential to just about everything we do now: from agriculture to banking, transport to health-care, the internet to navigation.
As a physicist, I want to do my part in helping properly mitigate the threat of space debris. Our research will help worldwide satellite operators and space agencies to better track and predict the motion of objects in near-Earth space. This will ensure the safety of those satellites that are of concern to us.
It took a while to determine the thesis topic. Regular discussions with my supervisors definitely helped to pin down key knowledge gaps in the field.
My research involves long and complicated data assimilation experiments. Having access to the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) through RMIT and its collaborative networks is proving to be extremely helpful.
I presented my preliminary results at the Global Modelling of the Space Weather Chain conference in Finland and at the 16th Australian Space Research Conference, hosted by RMIT. I also had the opportunity to work as a visiting scholar at the Finnish Meteorological Institute.