Space environment and radiation

Qualifications Duration Start dates Application period
PhD Full time: 3–4 years February and October January to April
Full time: 3–4 years
Start dates
February and October
Application period
January to April

Scientist 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.

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 earth and having the potential to jeopardise the scientific goals of the mission. Research into the effect of radiation on the detectors is vital to mission success.

Through a deeper understanding of the impact of radiation damage we can find ways to operate the detectors to minimise the impact on the science goals of the mission finding ways to correct against this damage through post-processing.

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

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree (or equivalent). If you are not a UK citizen, you may need to prove your knowledge of English.

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
  • Euclid:  Trap Pumping analysis data products for the Euclid Science Ground Segment.
  • Comet Interceptor: Performance testing and verification of CoCa’s detector

Potential supervisors

Fees and funding

UK fee International fee
Full time: £4,786 per year Full time: £15,698 per year
Part time: £2,393 per year Part time: £7,849 per year

For detailed information about fees and funding, visit Fees and studentships.

To see current funded studentship vacancies across all research areas, see Current studentships.


Camera sensor

How to apply

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