60 ECTS within the fields of mathematics and physics or a related discipline. Students applying for the course combination AGF-210 / AGF-223 will be prioritized.
The course will detail the instrumentation and techniques used in the study of the near-Earth environment. A basic introduction will be given to the properties and dominant processes in the near Earth environment as defined in the context of this course (space weather / magnetosphere / ionosphere) as well as a basic introduction to electronics and circuit design (in the context of basic sensors used onboard drones). The remote sensing focus will be on ground based instrumentation, used in the study of ionospheric processes, such as radars (HF and UHF), magnetometers, optics and dynasondes. Students will be taught the principles of spectroscopy, imaging and calibration of optical instrumentation through both lectures and lab work. The space instrumentation focus will be on satellite, drone and rocket based instrumentation such as Langmuir probes, magnetometers and particle detectors as well as discussing the implications of making observations in-situ in the harsh environment of near-Earth space. A particular focus of the course will be Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) and how space weather and the near-Earth space environment can affect these systems.
The students will have hands-on experience as to what is involved in the planning, designing, building and execution of a space or satellite mission. This will be achieved through a space mission management module and also the designing and building of a small instrument package to be deployed from a drone aircraft at 35 m altitude. Both these modules will be undertaken in collaboration with NAROM (Norwegian Centre for Space-related Education). The course will also include an excursion to the Kjell Henriksen Observatory, the EISCAT Svalbard radar and the Svalbard SuperDARN radar.
Students are encouraged to take this course in combination with AGF-210 The Middle Polar Atmosphere.
Upon completing the course, the students will:
- Gain a basic understanding into
- the physical processes involved in the coupling between the Solar Wind, Magnetosphere and Ionosphere
- ionospheric dynamics with a particular focus on the polar regions
- how ground based instrumentation, such as HF and UHF radars and optics are utilized in the field of space physics
- GNSS and the impact of space weather on these systems
- Differentiate between the different types of instrumentation and detectors utilized in space missions and be able to discuss the limitations and benefits of each
- Identify the key elements of a satellite mission from the scientific aims and planning through to the data analysis and interpretation of results
- Understand simple circuits and circuit design
- Be able to design and build a simple spectrometer, calibrate the system and analyse the data output
Upon completing the course, the students will be able to:
- Identify suitable scientific sensor types needed to achieve mission aims
- Construct instrumentation to be flown on the drone, based on predefined mission specifications
- Appraise and test the instrumentation in a lab setting prior to drone launch
- Be able to perform data analysis and interpretation from multiple data sets taken both in situ from instrumentation launched from the drone and from remote sensing satellites
- Gain familiarity and experience when working with optics, understand the functionality of the different components and investigate the limitations in the system
Upon completing the course, the students will:
- Work effectively as part of a team to build and deploy instrumentation from drones in the field
- Build and program simple electronic sensors for use in the field
- Discuss and plan the various mission elements in terms of the science aims
- Collect and organize their data to present to their peers summarizing the mission aims, achievements and conclusions
- Gain an insight into the requirements of optical instrumentation
The course extends over a full semester. Initially, students attend two days of compulsory Arctic survival and safety training.
The lectures will be supported by interactive seminars where the students will learn to manipulate and combine datasets from a variety of instrumentation and relate them to physical processes in the Near-Earth environment. The students will have hands on experience as to what is involved in the planning, designing, building and execution of a space or satellite mission through a 2 week space mission management module. They will also be responsible for designing and building of a small instrument package to be deployed from a drone aircraft at 35 m altitude. Both these components will be undertaken in collaboration with NAROM (Norwegian Centre for Space-related Education). The students will also be responsible for collecting data from the drone experiment which will form the basis for the poster and oral presentation. There will be a one week optical laboratory where the students will build a basic spectrometer and investigate the principles of spectroscopy, imaging and calibration.
The course will also include an excursion to a variety of different ground based installations: The Kjell Henriksen Observatory, the EISCAT Svalbard radar and the Svalbard SuperDARN radar. Data from these installations will be used in the course. The course will also include an excursion to SvalSat (TBC).
Total lecture hours: Ca. 70 hours.
Total seminar hours: Ca. 30 hours.
Fieldwork / excursions: 3–5 days.
Compulsory learning activities:
Fieldwork, lab work.
All compulsory learning activities must be approved in order to sit the exam.
Percentage of final grade
|Poster and oral presentation||40%|
|Written exam||3 hours||60%|
All assessments must be passed in order to pass the course. Only the final grade will be reported, based on an average of the grades from the examination parts.
Application deadline: 15 April 2019