Experimental Methods in Space Physics

Undergraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content


The aim of the course is to:

  • Give the students knowledge on the physical principles for measurements of different parameters relevant for studies of processes and phenomena in near-Earth space
  • Provide the students experience with the interpretation of measurements gathered by ground-based experiments and space probes in order to describe the signatures of an auroral event or a geomagnetic storm.


Content:The course covers several experimental methods and instruments in space physics, including instrument carriers, satellite mechanics, detectors for charged particles and X-rays, measurement of magnetic fields on the ground and in space, radio methods and optical observations. Excursion to Andøya Space Centre or Spitzbergen. The course provides base for instrumentation and analysis of measurements in space physics.

This course has a very low capacity. Master students in space physics will be prioritized.



Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


The student

  • has overview over key parameters influencing processes and phenomena in the Sun-Earth system
  • has thorough knowledge on the physical principles behind measurements of different parameters in space, ionosphere and ground-based experiments
  • can evaluate the advantages and limitations of selected experimental methods


The student can

  • gather and systematize real time measurements from relevant space probes and ground-based experiments during an auroral event or a geomagnetic storm
  • interpret the measurements

General competence

The student can

  • work in a team on the analysis of simultaneous observations from several different space physics experiments.
  • use approved norms for academic writing of a scientific report


Grading Scale
The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.