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EODG Physics Studentships

Advanced study can be completed as part of the EODG. Several Ph.D. (called a D.Phil. in Oxford) projects are offered each year ranging from hardware development and laboratory measurement to satellite data analysis. The applicants we are seeking should have a strong background in the quantitative sciences (physics, maths chemistry ...). After their D.Phil., EODG graduate students have gone on to a variety of careers. To get an idea have a look here.

To complete a Physics D.Phil. within EODG you must obtain funding from a competitively based source.

  • The common route for UK students is via The Oxford Doctoral Training Partnership in Environmental Research.
  • International students will need to obtain some form of scholarship e.g.
    • a national scholarship for international study from their home country, or
    • an international scholarship such as a Commonwealth or Clarendon award. Note that the standard of these awards is extremely high - successful applicants have usually co-authored several international peer-reviewed papers).

    The admission procedure is explained here. Available EODG projects are listed below.

    Atmospheric Sounding with the IASI satellite instruments

    Supervisor: Dr Anu Dudhia (Department of Physics, University of Oxford)

    Developing retrieval algorithms for nadir-viewing infrared Fourier transform spectrometers such as the IASI instruments on the MetOp satellites, with particular regard to handling inhomogeneous scenes caused by cloud and surface structure.

    The Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) is a nadir-viewing instrument launched on the MetOpA satellite in October 2006, with a second instrument on the MetOpB satellite launched September 2012 and a third due for launch in 2016 on MetOpC.

    These instruments are primarily intended for use by meteorological services, providing profiles of tropospheric temperature and water vapour for numerical weather prediction. However, for such operational uses, a large fraction of IASI spectra are discarded since they contain spatial inhomogeneities due to cloud or complex surface terrain, which are difficult to model.

    The IASI pixels are 12km in diameter but the instrument also includes a co-aligned imaging radiometer of 1 km resolution. The aim of this project is to investigate techniques that make use of this high resolution imager data to characterise the IASI scene and improve the reliability of IASI retrievals in the presence of cloud or mixed surface types. The project is expected to form part of the University of Oxford's academic partnership scheme with the UK Met Office, and also AOPP's contributions to the NERC NCEO programme.

    Skills that would be helpful: computing, atmospheric radiative transfer, remote sensing, inverse methods, statistics.

    IASI Measurements of Global Sea Surface Temperature

    Supervisors Dr Anu Dudhia (Department of Physics, University of Oxford)

    Sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies play an important role in atmospheric variability and predictability. For example the strongest natural fluctuation of climate on interannual time-scales is the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon. The importance of changes in ENSO as the climate changes, and its potential role in possible abrupt shifts have only recently been appreciated. The ATSR instrument series has provided an accurate time series of SST since the mid 1990s. However with the loss of AATSR in 2012 there is a gap in data coverage before the launch of SLSTR (scheduled for 2015).

    In this project the student will use measurements by the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) to estimate SST by a) simulating a single view AATSR measurement and b) optimising IASI channels to measure both SST and contaminant gases (such as H2O, HNO3) in the atmospheric column. Cloud contamination will be minimised using collocated AVHRR observations. Validation of the IASI estimates of SST will be made against AATSR, SLSTR and ocean buoy data.

    This is a computer based data analysis project so the student we are seeking should have a background in mathematics or physics. During the project the student will develop skills in algorithm development, radiative transfer and error propagation.

    The student will be part of the Earth Observation Data Group (EODG) which has on-going links to prospective employers such as the European Space Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the United Kingdom Meteorological Office.

    Current EODG Student Projects

Earth Observation Data Group, Department of Physics, University of Oxford. Page last updated: @08:49 GMT 16-Jun-2018