David's main scientific interests are focused on space astrometry with the European Space Agency mission Gaia. The mission is planned to be launched towards the second Lagrange point in late 2012 and will determine accurate astrometric data for about one billion objects in the magnitude range from 6 to 20. Accuracies of 8–25 microarcsec are typically expected for the trigonometric parallaxes, positions at mean epoch, and annual proper motions of simple (i.e., apparently single) stars down to 15th magnitude. The astrometric data are complemented by photometric and spectroscopic information collected with dedicated instruments on board the Gaia satellite. The mission will result in an astronomical database of unprecedented scope, accuracy and completeness becoming available to the scientific community around 2020.
David joined Lund Observatory in 2007 to help develop the core Astrometric Global Iterative Solution for ESA's GAIA mission. Within this group he contributes to the development of data processing algorithms and studies of fundamental physics results from the mission. Examples include: astrometric source processing, micrometeoroid handling in the attitude processing, reference frame rotation and tests of general relativity.
David spent a number of years developing the flight-critical onboard software for the XMM-Newton and Integral observatories. He was also involved in developing precise orbit determination techniques for low Earth orbit satellites. He spent a number of years working on spacecraft attitude control algorithms for the Herschel and Planck missions.
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