Research course

Space Radiation Damage

Open University · School of Physical Sciences

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Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent).

Months of entry

February, October

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. When a detector is launched into space it may encounter a very harsh radiation environment, from the high-energy protons that will bombard the detectors in ESA’s Euclid mission, to the electrons that will impact ESA’s JUICE mission on its voyage around Jupiter’s icy moons.

The radiation that hits the detector can cause irreparable damage to the silicon lattice of the detector itself, leading to a degradation of the images returned to us and having the potential to jeopardise the scientific goals of the mission. For this reason, research into the effect of radiation on the detectors is vital to the success of any space mission. Through a deep and thorough understanding of the impact of radiation damage, built up though detailed experimental test campaigns in conditions as close as possible to those experienced in orbit, we can find ways to operate the detectors to minimise the impact of the damage on the science goals of the mission and find ways to correct against this damage through post-processing.

Our studentships offer the chance to work alongside experts towards one of several ESA missions due to be launched over the next decade.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    full time
    36 months
      part time
      72 months

      Course contact details

      Administrative Support
      +44 (0)1908 858253