Dr. Pekka Janhunem

Dr. Pekka Janhunen works as Research Manager at the Finnish Meteorological Institute's Space and Earth Observation Center. He is also a Visiting Professor at University of Tartu, Estonia, and a senior technical advisor of Aurora Propulsion Technologies startup company. Pekka studied theoretical physics at the University of Helsinki. He made his PhD on space plasma physics simulations in 1994. After PhD he made research on auroral, magnetospheric and planetary plasma physics by simulations and satellite data analysis. In 2004 Pekka published the principle of the electric solar wind sail and filed a patent application for its technical implementation in 2006. In 2010 he introduced by concept of the Plasma Brake for deorbiting satellites for dealing with the growing problem of orbital debris. Since 2018 he has also made research on designs of commercial orbital settlements, published in NSS Journal of Space Settlements. Pekka also has an interest in astrobiology and has published a theory on the origin of multicellular life (2006). He is at the moment writing a popular science book on astrobiology in collaboration with a plant virologist colleague.

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