National Centre of Competence in Research PlanetS
Gesellschaftsstrasse 6 | 3012 Bern | Switzerland
  +41 31 684 32 39

Externship within Google Cloud

Daniel Angerhausen, employee of the Center for Space and Habitability as Fellow at Bern University, PlanetS associates and this summer will be working for the Google Cloud Platform in the context of NASA’s Frontier Development Lab (FDL). With support from the PlanetS Technology Platform (TP) Knowledge Exchange program externship, Daniel will spend 3 months working on innovative machine learning solutions in space research leveraging Google Cloud’s capabilities.

For the fourth time since 2016 machine learning researchers and space science domain experts will spend the summer in Silicon Valley to work on some of humanity’s most important present day challenges. The 8-week long program developed in partnership with NASA’s Ames Research Center – NASA frontier development lab (FDL) – at the SETI institute will face problems ranging from predicting solar storms to finding life in space. The program aims to apply AI technologies to challenges in space exploration by pairing machine-learning expertise with space science and exploration researchers from academia and industry. These interdisciplinary teams address tightly defined problems and the format encourages rapid iteration and prototyping to create outputs with meaningful application to the space program and humanity. What makes FDL unique is its close collaboration with industry stakeholders like Google Cloud.

Daniel is an FDL science committee member and have in previous years served as mentor for various challenges. In the 2018 FDL 3.0 edition for example, he served as mentor for the Astrobiology and Exoplanet teams for the 8 weeks at the SETI institute and at NASA Ames. Industry partner for these teams was Google Cloud lead by Dr. Massimo Mascaro, who will be my host for this summer.  For my 3 months project he will be acting as liaison, facilitator and communicator between Google and the FDL teams, help to prepare and document the program, with a particular focus on improving Google Cloud Platform (GCP) products in the academic context. 

There are several reasons why Google and FDL decided to host Daniel for this externship. As a Frontier Development Lab “veteran”, I already bring two years of experience on the research and communication side for FDL. As an FDL Science Committee member, I contributed significantly to the “Big Think” events and the Challenge definition in general. As an “in situ” mentor and facilitator at FDL 2.0 and 3.0, he has the hands-on experience of the 8-week program, embedded in the teams

The work package will be to function as liaison at the interface of Google Cloud and the NASA FDL participants. Daniel will act as mentor for most teams at FDL 4.0 at the SETI institute (topics will e.g. be stellar activity, Moon surface reconnaissance, climate and atmosphere or disaster prediction). Daniel will also support the education, public outreach and marketing side of program as experienced science communicator. 

Daniel says: “I already want to thank the PlanetS Technology Platform for supporting this idea right from conception and allowing me to go this path. I hope that this will inspire other young PlanetS researchers to make use of this scheme in the future and to use my connections with Google AI and Google Cloud in the future. We are currently looking into a fall workshop for PlanetS affiliates with Google in Zurich. So stayed tuned.”

Comments are closed.

Do you like what you see ? Share it!

Share Tweet Share Save Share Email