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Alexander Kyriacou


Raum: F.11.01
E-Mail: kyriacou{at}
URL: Website


I was born and raised in Adelaide, Australia. I have had a fascination for science, especially Astronomy and Physics from an early age. In high school I underwent a student exchange in Bavaria for nine weeks. I studied at the University of Adelaide, completing an Honours Bachelor of Science and a Master of Philosophy. Between completing my Bachelor and Masters I travelled extensively, visiting South-East Asia and South America. In 2018 I moved to Wuppertal to begin my Ph.D.

Title and abstract of thesis project


Radio-based mapping, dielectric profiling and navigation of the upper ice-crust Enceladus for the Enceladus Explorer mission


The sub-surface ocean of Saturn’s ice-moon Enceladus is considered one of the most promising and accessible environments in the solar system to search for extra-terrestrial life. Enceladus Explorer (EnEx) is a DLR-initiative testing the feasibility of landing an autonomous probe at Enceladus’ south pole, which would melt through the ice to a near-surface aquifer and perform in-situ tests for microbial life. The success of such a mission depends on accurate radar mapping of the ice interior from orbit, the surface and from within the ice.

The feasibility of using frequency-modulated radar in the ultra-high frequency range, deployed from the lander and the melting-probe is under investigation. The visibility range of a radar on Enceladus is uncertain, requiring better knowledge of the permittivity and attenuation rate of the surface ice. The effects of attenuation, refraction, internal reflections, dispersion, refraction and dust scattering are investigated using ray-tracing based simulations. The results of these simulations will be compared against measurements of radar transmission through an alpine glacier, conducted in February of 2019. The resulting radar modulations, and the local permittivity properities will be used to train the simulations to predict radar propogation on Enceladus for different permittivity and attenuation profiles.

Papers already presented

Conferences/Meetings presented at:

  • CosPA Conference (Cosmology and Particle Astrophysics), Sydney 2016
  • IceCube Collaboration Meeting, Madison 2017
  • IceCube Collaboration Meeting, Berlin 2017
  • Astroparticle School, Obertrubach-Bärnfels
  • DLR Synergy Meeting-II 2018, Würzburg 2018
  • DPG Spring Meeting, Aachen 2019
  • DLR Synergy Meeting-I 2019, Berlin 2019


  • 'Constraints on Galactic Neutrino Emission with Seven Years of IceCube Data'  absorption' – IceCube Collaboration 2017
  • Measurement of the multi-TeV neutrino interaction cross-section with IceCube using Earth absorption' – IceCube Collaboration 2017
  • 'Starbursts and star-forming galaxies as the sources of cosmic neutrinos measured by the IceCube Neutrino Observatory' – A. Kyriacou, 2018
  • 'Neutrino interferometry for high-precision tests of Lorentz symmetry with IceCube' – IceCube Collaboration 2018
  • 'Search for transient optical counterparts to high-energy IceCube neutrinos with Pan-STARRS1' - IceCube Collaboration 2019

Other academic activities and memberships

Deutsche Physikalischer Geselltschaft (German Physics Society)