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Postgraduate Geoscience 2021-2022

GL5062: COMPARATIVE PLANETOLOGY AND THE ATMOSPHERE OF EARTH

15 credits

Level 5

First Sub Session

In this course, we will cover how studies of the other planets of the solar system have helped us understand Earth's atmosphere. We will review the fundamental physical and chemical processes in planetary atmospheres, and we will provide an up-to-date overview of modelling, observation methods and missions to study planetary atmospheres.

GL5063: BASICS OF REMOTE SENSING AND GEOSPATIAL ANALYSIS

15 credits

Level 5

First Sub Session

This course will provide an overview of planetary remote sensing principles and methods. The students will be trained on performing geospatial integration and analysis of different spatial datasets. This course introduces the students to the theoretical problems and practice of data capture, handling and methods of analysis of spatial data.

GL5065: INSTRUMENTATION, DESIGN AND DATA FOR PLANETARY EXPLORATION

15 credits

Level 5

First Sub Session

This course gives an overview of the main aspects of the development and exploitation of instrumentation for space exploration. In this course the student will get introduced to the main stages of design of space exploration mission and its instrumentation, the constraints that must be satisfied, and how the data are produced and released. The training will be focused on practical cases, using when possible online tools. Students will get some basic training on project management in space projects, structural and thermal modelling and will get familiarized with the ECSS standards and the planetary data archive.

GL5065: INSTRUMENTATION FOR PLANETARY EXPLORATION

15 credits

Level 5

First Sub Session

This course provides practical training on some of the most challenging issues of space exploration. In this course, the student will overview the present and future challenges of space exploration, including in-situ resource utilization (ISRU), sample return missions and planetary protection (PP).

GL5563: ASTROBIOLOGY, BIOGEOCHEMISTRY AND GEOBIOLOGY FOR EXPLORERS

15 credits

Level 5

Second Sub Session

This course will explore the origins and likely extent of life on Earth and in the Solar System. We will begin by discussing the elements and building blocks of life and processes that can make precursors of life (e.g. amino acids). We will then discuss how microbial life may be fossilised and how to identify ancient and extra-terrestrial signs of life. We will make use of our excellent analytical facilities to show how biotic signals can be distinguished from abiotic effects, including exploring organic carbon biomarkers, and using examples of fossilisation of microorganisms by siliceous and carbonate minerals from lakes, streams, hot-springs and oceans. From there, we will be able to explore potentially habitable environments of our Solar System, and learn about current and future astrobiological exploration missions (Martian rovers and orbiters, asteroid, comets, sample return, ocean worlds…)

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