Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Centre for Space, Atmospheric and Oceanic Science

Contact us

Tel: +44 (0) 1225 386330


In the Centre for Space, Atmospheric & Oceanic Science (CSAOS) we research the effects of the natural environment on the propagation of the radio and acoustic waves used in communication, navigation and remote-sensing systems. We use these remote-sensing systems for scientific studies of the geophysical environment.

Our research is driven by the need to understand the response of the natural environment to climate variability and space weather. We also research the effects these phenomena have on critical modern technological systems, such as satellite navigation and timing systems (including GPS).

Currently, our research includes the following areas:

  • space-weather impacts on Global Navigation Satellite Systems
  • satellite and radar studies of the stratosphere and mesosphere
  • imaging and image processing for geophysical and other applications
  • radio emissions from lightning and sprites
  • marine acoustics and sonar
  • radio systems for security applications.

Our research delivers impact in wide-ranging areas, including contributing to changes in government policy, such as the addition of space weather to the National Risk Register, driving international UK/US initiatives in space-weather research, providing the Met Office with powerful new scientific tools to improve forecasting and helping protect the UK from the accidental or deliberate jamming of GPS-reliant infrastructure.

We have a lively research community of academics, researchers and postgraduates, including senior staff on secondment from the Met Office and Honary Professors from leading UK industry. We engage in strongly interdisciplinary research, receive significant external research funding and collaborate with leading national and international research groups.

We welcome graduate students to join us to study for PhDs and have an excellent track record in providing our PhD graduates with the experience and skills needed to begin successful careers in research and industry.

Dr Ivan Astin

  • Sampling aspects in remote sensing
  • Extremes in deep-ocean currents
  • Physics of oceanic tides
  • Active and passive remote sensing of clouds
  • Bayesian statistical methods in remote sensing

Dr Philippe Blondel

  • Marine acoustics - sonar imaging and advanced processing
  • Passice acoustics - use of ambient noise to quantify human activities and biodiversity
  • Arctic remote sensing - satellite, sonar and soundscapes, monitoring adaptations to climate change
  • De-risking offshore industry - Marine Renewable Energies and seismic exploration
  • "Big data" and machine learning - from seafloor observatories to deep-space applications

Dr Robert Burston

  • Heliophysics, particularly solar wind-magnetosphere-atmosphere interactions
  • Comparative studies of Mercury, Earth, Jupiter and Saturn in relation to their magnetospheric dynamics
  • Applied non-linear dynamics and chaos theory
  • The physics of naturally occurring plasmas, particularly instability theory
  • The physics of Earth's polar cap ionosphere, particularly polar cap plasma patches

Dr Adrian Evans

  • Image processing for remote sensing
  • Cloud tracking using algorithms for non-rigid motion
  • Texture analysis in synthetic aperture radar images
  • Speckle reduction in radar and sonar imagery
  • Segmentation of multichannel images

Dr Martin F├╝llekrug

  • Science - atmospheric electricity, Near-Earth Space, solar-terrestrial physics
  • Methods - atmospheric electrodynamics, sensor networks, big data
  • Applications- lightning, space weather, communications, timing
  • Education - atmospheric and space science, data analysis, fundamental physics

Dr Keri Nicoll

  • Sensor and instrumentational development
  • Airborne platforms (unmanned aircraft and balloons)
  • Electrification of particles and atmospheric electricity
  • Solar-terrestrial science
  • Cloud and aerosol physics

Professor Cathryn Mitchell

  • Radio propagation
  • Effects of the ionosphere on global navigation satellite systems
  • Tomography and data assimilation
  • Space weather and ionospheric monitoring

Professor Nicholas Mitchell

  • Atmospheric dynamics & radar
  • Coupling and dynamics of the middle atmosphere
  • Solar-terrestrial science
  • Radar remote sensing of the atmosphere
  • Winds, waves, tides, clouds and meteors in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere

Dr Robert Watson

  • Remote sensing and tropospheric radio propagation
  • Measurement of tropospheric water vapour using radiometers and GPS satellites
  • Measurement of precipitation using weather radar
  • Radio propagation in the troposphere and fade mitigation strategies

We are funded by:

  • The Science and Technology Facilities Council
  • The Natural Environment Research Council
  • The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
  • The Ministry of Defence
  • The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
  • The European Union
  • Industry