Research course

Instrumentation for Space-Based Astronomy Including X-Ray and Optical Bands

Open University · School of Physical Sciences

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent).

Months of entry


Course content

The scientists in the Centre for Electronic Imaging and the Space Instrumentation Group at The Open University have been involved in the development of instruments for space applications for many decades. The Charge-Coupled Device (CCD) has long been the detector of choice for space astronomy, such as for ESA’s XMM-Newton and Gaia missions and the upcoming ESA Euclid mission, but new detector technologies are beginning to come under serious consideration.

To be considered for space flight, new detector technologies must undergo serious and detailed testing to increase their Technology Readiness Level (TRL); once a detector is launched on a satellite, there is rarely the chance to make any changes! The field moves rapidly and this studentship would span a range of activities at the cutting-edge of space instrumentation, from detailed detector testing for current missions to more blue-skies research through simulations and testing towards future mission concepts.

The studentship offers the chance to work closely with scientists from the missions themselves and the detector manufacturers, e2v technologies, to give experience of both academia and industry.

Qualification and course duration


full time
36 months
part time
72 months

Course contact details

Administrative Support
+44 (0)1908 858253