PhD Studentship in Space Instrumentation (MicroADS Mission), University of Sussex, UK

University of Sussex, UKApplications are invited for a prestigious fully-funded 3 year PhD studentship in Space Instrumentation at the University of Sussex. The successful applicant will join the MicroADS mission team in the Space Research Group. MicroADS is a novel satellite attitude determination system which offers star-tracker levels of performance in a much smaller instrument. It is anticipated that MicroADS will be flown on a LEO demonstrator mission in c.2021.

Type of award
Postgraduate Research

About the PhD Studentship
You will work on developing the MicroADS instrument hardware and on board instrument software, with the exact split between these activities determined by your aptitude and the instrument’s needs. Your work will include development and characterisation of the instrument optics, electronics, and interfaces with spacecraft systems. The PhD requires a strong practical/experimental background in physics and/or spacecraft engineering.

About the Space Research Group
The Space Research Group conducts fundamental and applied work in a variety of areas related to space science, spacecraft engineering, and high performance hardware for terrestrial environments. The group is particularly well known for its world-leading contributions in: X-ray spectrometers for astronomy and planetary science; e spectrometers for space plasma physics; radioisotope microbatteries; compound semiconductor material physics; spacecraft GNC systems; and extreme environment instrumentation. The Space Research Group is entrepreneurial, business-focused, and committed to the highest quality of scientific research.

About the PhD supervisor
The PhD will be supervised by Prof. Anna M. Barnett. Prof. Barnett is Professor of Space Research and Director of the Sussex Space Research Group. She is an experimental physicist with internationally recognised expertise in detector physics and instrumentation for space science and extreme terrestrial environments (high temperature, intense radiation). As of April 2018, Prof. Barnett holds research funding totalling >£2M in value. She has won numerous prizes and awards including the 2016 Philip Leverhulme Prize, and she is the youngest person ever awarded a Personal Chair at University of Sussex (equivalent to a US Full Professor with Tenure).

The PhD studentship will include a 3 year tax-free stipend at standard postgraduate rates (currently £14,940 per year) and fees as follows: (a) UK/EU applicants, full fees; (b) overseas applicants, a contribution of up to £12,000 towards overseas fees in some cases.

Applications are invited from individuals with a good Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Physics, Spacecraft Engineering, or a comparable subject. A strong practical background and a deep work ethic are required.

University of Sussex is committed to equality and diversity. Applications are welcomed from all.

25 May 2018 17:00 (GMT)

How to apply
Applications must be submitted via the University of Sussex Postgraduate Admissions System at Please indicate on the form that you wish to be supervised by Prof. Anna M. Barnett. Please do include a full CV, covering letter, and one page statement explaining your motivation for wishing to undertake a PhD in space instrumentation. A research proposal is not required.

Contact us
Informal enquiries about the position are welcome and may be addressed to Prof. Anna M. Barnett (

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