Research course

Science Data Analysis for the ExoMars NOMAD Instrument

Open University · School of Physical Sciences

Entry requirements

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

Months of entry

February, October

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, which successfully launched in March 2016.

The project has scope for flexibility and is intended to:

  • develop a radiative transfer model of the Martian atmosphere in preparation for ExoMars (in collaboration with Oxford University)
  • perform calibration and tests on Flight Spare instrumentation
  • 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.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    full time
    36 months
      part time
      72 months

      Course contact details

      Administrative Support
      +44 (0)1908 858253