Visibility maps for remote sensing and surveying (17/13)

Company: The Open University, Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)

Location: Milton Keynes

Company Description: The Open University has committed, through the creation of the Space Strategic Research Area (Space SRA), to generating a step-change in its capability to address global challenges and its role in the growth of the space sector of the UK economy. The aim of the Space SRA is to contribute to significant cross-fertilization of people, instrumentation, and ideas. To support research infrastructure, develop research leadership, and cultivate new collaborations and partnerships.

Project Description: In the last years, satellite remote sensing is becoming more and more relevant for the UK economy and it facilitates science on a worldwide scale. Satellite images can be used to retrieve physical parameters of observed scenes (e.g. biomass of plants). However, in many applications it is essential to know the angle at which we observe the objects. In this project, you will use freely available GIS software and Digital Elevation Models (DEM) to evaluate the angle of incidence in each pixels of remote sensing images as function of the topography. You will also evaluate where topographic features are hiding parts of the scene (i.e. shadows), generating a “visibility map”. This is especially relevant for side-looking sensors as radar satellites.

The skills you will learn/practice are essential for ground sensors as well (e.g. theodolites), therefore this work will be very relevant for the surveying industry as well as GIS companies. You will also be participating in a multidisciplinary research project that is aimed at measuring the world forests biomass using satellites (with connections to global changes).

Student Specification:

  • The person should have studied Geographical Information Systems (or related subjects) and be working toward a degree in Engineering, Geography, Surveying or related subjects.
  • Knowledge of either Matlab or Python scripting languages is beneficial, but not compulsory

The Nitty Gritty:

8 week fixed term contract to be agreed with the successful candidate, but expected to start during June 2017. £310 per week (£1,350 pcm) gross. Induction Day will be at Harwell on 26 June 2017.

Closing Date for Applications: This role is now closed.

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