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Spaceflight mass spectrometry

OU instrument used on Rosetta mission

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. Although the use of detectors for space astronomy is a very specialised area, the basic principals can be applied to a wide range of fields.

Over recent years we have, for example, taken research towards the International X-ray Observatory and considered how this could benefit synchrotron research; the detection of low energy X-rays in specialised cameras is essentially the same process whether in a laboratory or orbiting in space. In this multidisciplinary project, we will be looking at how expertise built through space research can be transferred to exciting new ground-based applications, from synchrotron research to medical imaging.

Our studentships span a range of activities at the cutting edge of detector development, and offer the chance to work closely with scientists from within the research group 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

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.