Research course

Optical Imaging

Open University · Planetary and Space Sciences Research Institute - PSSRI

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent).

Months of entry


Course content

The scientists in the Centre for Electronic Imaging (CEI) and the Space Instrumentation Group at The Open University have been involved in the development of instruments for space applications for many decades. Optical imaging instruments for space applications, such as for the Visible Imager (VIS) ESA’s Euclid mission, often have to deal with much lower signals than their X-ray counterparts, meaning that the minimisation of noise and mitigation of space radiation damage become much more important to the success of the mission.

The CEI recently provided a visible light-imaging instrument for UKube-1, the UKSA’s first Cube Satellite, and this is now returning data from orbit. Closer to home, optical imaging sensors are used in a variety of ground-based applications, from fluorescence microscopy to the imaging of a scintillator that is being used to convert X-rays into visible light in synchrotron research. This studentship would span a wide range of activities from development concepts and blue-skies detector research through to working on current missions and detector developments for ground-based applications. It offers the chance to work closely with academic experts and the detector manufacturers, e2v technologies, to give experience of both academia and industry.

Potential supervisors:

Department specialisms

Development of an X-ray camera for the OGRE sounding rocket Development of an imaging camera for UKube-1 Investigation of electron multiplying CCD technology for space astronomy Radiation damage in scientific sensors for space Development of CMOS imager for the JANUS camera on JUICE

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