The Laboratory for Space Research (LSR) engages in multi-disciplinary research in space-based earth remote sensing; atmospheric science, near Earth environment, planetary and associated geological sciences, high-energy astrophysics from satellite-based telescopes and late stage stellar evolution, where our group is ranked 8 th globally (SciVal). We are currently adding important, additional research capacity to these LSR activities as we emerges as a real interdisciplinary force at HKU. We have strong international and mainland collaborations established off the back of strong research outputs, with co- leveraged funding with key international partners including jointly funded postdoctoral fellows with Peking, Nanjing and Zhejiang universities in the mainland.
The current departments and research divisions that host the 25 or so LSR members are the Departments of Earth Sciences and Physics and the divisions of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Physics and Astronomy. We have also just begin expansion to the Faculty of Engineering and department of statistics.
This is motivated by the establishment of our sister laboratory at HKU-ZIRI that will concentrate on space-based satellite missions in partnership with the Zhejiang University microsatellite research group. Stronger involvement with computing science, big-data (via the FoS big-data research cluster) and the Faculty of Engineering is promised. This is germane given our planned satellite ground station and mission plans for the LSR both at HKU and in HKU-ZIRI.
Our strategic directions are clear. Success will depend on grasping opportunities in HK, Mainland China and elsewhere and having sufficient research capacity to make the most of these opportunities when they arise. So we are aggressively growing capacity. Our strategic plan includes the need for computational and data-intensive science and engineering, the modeling of complex systems in near earth and astronomical environments, the provision of the tools and software for data- intensive analysis, visualization, and computing. It includes optimizing designs, processes, and systems for spaceborne payloads for remote earth sensing, planetary science and space astrophysics. Both high-tech driven research and development and big-data driven science (aided through linking with our FoS big-data cluster) will be significantly enhanced through on-going investment. We are actively seeking (and finding) key, high-level partners to facilitate LSR capacity building, including via MoU’s, shared funding and new agreements with elite Mainland universities including Nanjing, Peking and Zhejiang and with our partner companies such as BISME and SatelliteHerd . Current departmental structures, rooted in conventional academic thought, have limitations in the modern university era that have partially motivated creation of new research divisions across the HKU FoS. The greatest discoveries will likely be at the boundaries of disciplines and carried out by our highly capable LSR faculty, PDFs, RAPs and RPG students. This is a model that will be replicated at HKU-ZIRI LSR.