Las Mañanas IFCA con Rafael Guzmán: "The DUNES Space Astrophysics Mission"
Start date: 23/11/2021 11:00
End date: 23/11/2021 12:00
The "Dark matter Unveiled with a New Explorer Smallsat" (DUNES) mission aims to provide the first complete census of ~200 nearby galaxy halos down to very low surface brightness (SB ~ 32 mag/arcsec^2) in order to discover the elusive nature of Dark Matter in the universe. DUNES aims to provide the definitive test of the LCDM standard cosmology at scales not yet fully explored. The predictions of state-of-the-art cosmological simulations and high resolution galaxy models for various types of dark matter will be tested against the statistical descriptor resulting from the observed tidal streams and satellites within the haloes of MW-like galaxies. Simultaneous observations at visible and IR wavelengths will be carried out using the innovative iSIM camera on board a small satellite in low Earth orbit. This technology has already been validated in space. We plan to apply to ESA "Fast-class Mission" program and to NASA "Pioneers" program in order to fund the DUNES mission.
Rafael Guzmán was graduated in Physics and Astronomy in 1989 at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM, Spain). I obtained my PhD at the University of Durham (England) in 1994. My first postdoctoral position was held at the University of California Observatories in Santa Cruz (USA), working on the "Deep Extragalactic Evolutionary Probe" Survey. In 1998, I was awarded a Hubble Fellowship at Yale University. I joined the Department of Astronomy at the University of Florida (UF) in 2001 as a tenure-track Assistant Professor. I became a tenured Associate Professor at UF in 2003, and Full Professor in 2009. I have published over 200 papers, including 75 refereed publications, totaling over 4000 citations. I have led or played a major role in projects awarded over $11M in research funds, including a Consolider Ingenio grant (Deputy PI; 5.5M euros) and a EU-SME grant (CTO; 1.7M euros). I have served in numerous international committees, including HST time allocation committees, GTC Steering and User committees, and Scientific Organizing committees of IAU and GTC science meetings. From 2008 to 2010, I served as Chair of the GTC International Steering Committee and as Executive Director of the International School for Advanced Instrumentation. From 2009 to 2012 I was appointed Chair of the UF Department of Astronomy. In 2013, I co-founded Satlantis, a UF spinoff with headquarters in Bilbao, and became its Chief Technology Officer to develop state-of-the-art space cameras for the new generation of microsatellites. Besides the Hubble Fellowship, I have received several awards, including a Distinguished Professorship at UCM (2006), UF-CLAS International Educator of the Year (2011), UF Technology Innovator (2014, 2015), UF Faculty Entrepreneur of the Year (2018), Distinguished Researcher (Senior) "Beatriz de Galindo" (2020-2024), and UF-CLAS Term Professorship (2021-2024).