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Understanding the light curves of low earth orbit satellites: friend or foe?

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The cost of launching space craft into low earth orbit has been dropping and it is expected that over the next few years many new operators will appear. The purpose of their space craft may not always be entirely clear. This project will obtain and use light curves of satellites to try and understand their nature by classifying the patterns we detect. We will also use also use satellite models made available to us along with rendering programmes to produce artificial light curves for comparison. Our data comes from facilities in the Canary Islands and while these mostly run robotically it would be useful if the successful candidate was prepared to occasionally visit the facility.

More details are available from Prof. Don Pollacco at

Funding Notes

A full PhD scholarship at the standard UK Research Council rates is available. This position is open to all EU/UK applicants with a good degree in any of Physical Sciences / Engineering / Computer Science or Mathematics. Candidates should hold or expect to hold a 1st (or high 2.1) degree, or equivalent.

The Physics department is proud to be an IOP Juno Champion and a winner of an Athena Swan Silver Award, reflecting our commitment to equal opportunity and to fostering an environment in which all can excel.

How good is research at University of Warwick in Physics?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 54.60

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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