Two Sapienza researchers win the "L'Orèal UNESCO For Women in Science" Award
On Monday, June 17, 2019, at the National Museum of Science and Technology "Leonardo Da Vinci", there was the 17th edition of the "L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science" Prize. Two Sapienza researchers have won a scholarship worth 20,000 euros based on the excellence recognized for their research projects.
Silvia Celli of the Department of Physics presented the project "Mechanisms of acceleration and escape of particles from galactic astrophysical sources" while Federica Mezzani of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering proposed the research "Minor, last generation drones for localization of anti-personnel mines ".
Celli's study concerns the different astrophysical messengers able to identify the sources of galactic cosmic rays. In particular, the research focuses on the theoretical analysis of the signatures of supernova remnants in the form of high energy photons and neutrinos. In order to firmly establish a connection between these sources and the galactic cosmic rays, the process that causes charged particles to exit the acceleration mechanism and begin their propagation journey in the interstellar medium towards the Earth is analyzed. This phenomenon could lead to the identification of the presence of high energy cosmic rays in the areas surrounding the accelerators, thus responding to one of the major open questions of twentieth century physics.
The Mezzani project is dedicated instead to the localization of anti-personnel mines through a real-time map. The system involves a swarm of drones, equipped with micro-sensors capable of detecting the variation in density in the terrain of the area they fly over. The swarm is divided into two groups: a small number of master drones fly over the area quickly, identifying the presumably contaminated areas; the remaining part, flying at a lower altitude, meticulously patrol the areas indicated by the master drones. The system, with the help of conventional autonomous drones, does not involve risks of any kind, it is economical, reliable and with low environmental impact. It will allow to restore well-being to entire communities and dignity to countries devastated by the horror of war.
The "L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science" program has gathered around 350 applications from all over Italy this year. The jury, after careful evaluation, selected the six most deserving researchers, who thus receive concrete support to continue their professional career, bringing a further contribution to scientific progress.