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Instrumentation for space-based astronomy including x-ray and optical bands

Research into Space-based astronomy including x-ray and optical bands

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.

Qualifications available:



For detailed information on current fees visit Fees and funding.

Entry requirements:

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent).

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

Current/recent research projects

  • 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

Potential supervisors

Further information

If you have an enquiry specific to this research area please contact:

Administrative support
+44 (0)1908 858253

For general enquiries please contact the Research Degrees Team via the link under 'Your Questions' on the right of the page.