Research course

Space Imaging Detector Technology

Open University · School of Physical Sciences

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent) in physics, electrical engineering or a related subject.

Expressions of interest should normally be accompanied by an up-to-date CV.

Months of entry


Course content

The Centre for Electronic Imaging at The Open University has been involved in the development and characterisation of many CCD and CMOS image sensors for space and terrestrial applications over recent years.

In the field of CCD imaging sensors, scientists in the Centre for Electronic Imaging have worked on detector development for many space applications, from technology development of new sensors types (e.g. low light level CCDs, n-channel vs p-channel CCDs) through to flight detector testing and delivery of sensors for use in-flight. Specialising in radiation damage, the Centre for Electronic Imaging carries out a wide range of experimental testing and simulation, including protons, electrons, gammas, neutrons and heavy ions. The comparison to bespoke simulations written within the group and those from widely available packages such as Geant4 and SPENVIS help to place the results in context and validate the fundamental understanding of the processes involved.

The applications areas of CMOS image sensors for X-ray detection are expanding, and new developments concentrate on achieving physically thick sensitive layers and stacked devices for greater detection efficiency. One of the largest users of X-ray CMOS sensors is instrumentation at synchrotron light sources and free electron lasers. Our studentships investigate a range of applications using CMOS sensors for soft X-ray detection in both terrestrial and space use, and involve concept studies, design and build of hardware and data analysis.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    part time
    72 months
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    36 months
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Administrative support
+44 (0)1908 858253