Research course

Data Analysis from the ExoMars NOMAD Instrument

Open University · Planetary and Space Sciences Research Institute - PSSRI

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent) undergraduate degree in physics or related discipline.

Months of entry


Course content

This project provides the opportunity for a student to become part of a vibrant, international team at The Open University working on the NOMAD spectrometer instrument on the European Space Agency’s ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter mission scheduled for launch in 2016.

The project is intended to:

  • develop a radiative transfer model of the Martian atmosphere in preparation for ExoMars (in collaboration with Oxford University);
  • characterise Flight Spare instrumentation prior to launch and during transfer to Mars;
  • prepare new techniques for retrieval of atmospheric species;
  • exploit data returned from the NOMAD-UVIS instrument.

The project relates to the UVIS channel of the NOMAD instrument, an optical spectrometer led by The Open University to measure solar radiation travelling through the martian atmosphere at UV and visible wavelengths, in order to detect and map the presence of ozone, dust and ice clouds in the atmosphere of Mars in unprecedented detail.

The student will work within a highly specialist spaceflight team and interact with European collaborators and the European Space Agency. The modelling studies undertaken may also be conducted in partnership with collaborators based in France and the US, presenting the opportunity also for preparatory data analysis from existing ESA and NASA Mars missions currently in operation.

Potential supervisors:

Fees and funding

For detailed information on current fees visit: Fees and funding

Qualification and course duration


full time
48 months
part time
72 months

Course contact details

Administrative support
+44 (0)1908 659036