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Space imaging detector technology

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

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.

Qualifications available:



For detailed information on current fees visit Fees and funding.

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.

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

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.