Offered degree and courses

About the program

The study of space environment is essential to understand and address conditions existing in space that affect the design and operation of satellites. The disturbances in space environment can affect the Earth’s atmosphere, ionosphere and geomagnetic field, giving rise to several other kinds of effects on communication and navigation systems.

A major concern of that program is studying the radiation in space that usually comes from Van Allen belts, solar energetic particles and Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR). For long duration missions, the high doses of radiation can damage electronic components and solar cells of the satellite systems. BAS Institute offers the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Space Environment for educating the next generation of researchers who will attack the challenging problems of mitigating hazards to technological systems susceptible to space weather. The program will explore the space environment in the context of its impact on space system operations. This is an interdisciplinary program including modern methods of space observations and cutting-edge achievements in data mining and computer forecasting.


M.Sc./ Ph.D. space environment Program Courses

Compulsory Core courses:

SEN 501: Space Weather

SEN 502: Space Plasma Physics


Elective courses:

SEN 503: Solar Physics

SEN 504: Geomagnetism

SEN 505: Global Navigation Satellite Systems

SEN 506: Heliospheric Physics

SEN 507: Ionospheric Physics

SEN 508: Cosmic Rays

SEN 509: GIS in Meteorology and Climate Science

SEN 510: Introduction to Space Chemistry (I)

SEN 601: Advanced Space Plasma

SEN 602: GNSS Remote Sensing

SEN 603: Space Weather and Climate Variability

SEN 604: Solar Physics and Magnetohydrodynamics

SEN 605: Advance Heliospheric Physics

SEN 606: Radio Astronomy

SEN 607: Elementary Particles

SEN 608: Earth’s Atmosphere

SEN 609: Materials for Space

SEN 610: Introduction to Space Chemistry (II)

Project-Based Learning/ Research Seminar Course:

SEN 701: Project-based learning in Space Environment

SEN 702 Research seminars on advanced topics in the Space Environment I

SEN 703: Research seminars on advanced topics in the Space Environment II


SEN 501- Space Weather

The course includes elements of Solar Physics, Sun and its Atmosphere, Sunspots and Solar Cycles, Solar Flares Solar Wind, Magnetosphere of Earth, Effects of Solar Wind on Interplanetary Magnetic Fields, Formation of Geomagnetic Cavity,  Magnetopause, Magnetosheath and Bow Shock,  Polar Cusp and magnetotail, Plasma Sphere and Van Allen Radiation Belts, Geomagnetic Storms, Sub­storms and Current Systems, Coronal Mass Ejections, Effect of Magnetic Disturbance on Ionosphere and Thermosphere System.

SEN 502- Space Plasma Physics

Description of the Earth’s plasma environment, plasma parameters, Debye shielding, plasma frequency, the derivation of single particle motions in electromagnetic fields, Trapped Particles, with applications to the Earth’s magnetosphere.

SEN 503- Solar Physics

This course concerns the structure and dynamics of the Sun. Understanding of the basic features of the Sun, solar structure, solar models, energy production in the Sun, solar neutrinos, solar oscillations and helioseismology, convection layer and differential rotation, solar magnetism and dynamo mechanism, solar atmosphere, solar activity.

SEN 504- Geomagnetism

Description of the geomagnetic filed, geomagnetic coordinates, mathematical models of geomagnetic filed, geomagnetic activity, geomagnetic indices, geomagnetic pulsation, satellite and ground-based measurement techniques of geomagnetic filed.

SEN 505- Global Navigation Satellite Systems

Conventional navigation, background, concepts and evolutions of global navigation satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDou/COMPASS) and regional navigations satellite systems (IRNSS, QZSS). Comparison of GNSS with other navigation systems; GNSS measurements: pseudo-ranges, carrier phase and Doppler, Impact of space weather events on GNSS, Errors in GNSS measurements, GNSS applications.

SEN 506- Heliospheric Physics

The properties of the solar wind and its magnetic field change with solar activity and affect the planetary magnetospheres and atmospheres, causing magnetic storms. Contents include the properties of solar wind, solar wind acceleration, heliospheric current sheet, corotating shocks, coronal mass ejections and magnetic clouds, merged interaction regions, termination shock, heliopause, solar magnetic cycle and its effects in the heliosphere, north-south asymmetry, space weather and space climate.

SEN 507- Ionospheric Physics

Introduction to ionosphere, basic concepts of plasma physics applied to ionosphere, structure and variability of Earth’s ionosphere, photochemical processes, Chapman’s theory of photoionization, production of Ionospheric layers and its dynamics. Ionospheric variability, disturbance dynamo in different layers, vertical and zonal plasma motion, external influences to the ionosphere, equatorial electrojet, refractive index of the ionosphere, TEC extraction from dual-frequency GNSS signals.

SEN 508- Cosmic Rays

This course covers a wide range of phenomena associated with cosmic rays interaction including the processes of ionization, bremsstrahlung, synchrotron, pion production, Compton and inverse Compton scattering, as well as cosmic ray acceleration. Specific sources of high energy emission will also be discussed, including active galaxies, pulsars, gamma-ray bursts and supernova remnants. Measurement-techniques, detectors and experiments for detecting high-energy cosmic rays.

SEN 509- GIS in Meteorology and Climate Science

The course gives an introduction to Geographic Information System (GIS), Weather and GIS, Geographical data, environmental data and weather data, GIS approach to access weather data.

SEN 510: Introduction to Space Chemistry (I)

The course gives an introduction to space chemistry and chemical processes under extreme conditions (temperature, pressure, high or low density, bombardment by cosmic rays), and their impact on the early development of our solar system, as well as providing a deeper understanding of processes in earthly regions where conditions approach those of extraterrestrial areas. The course includes topics of research methods used in space chemistry, chemical composition of celestial bodies and solar system,  nuclear reactions and sources of stellar energy, evolution of stars and synthesis of elements, formation of organic compounds due to action of protons in solar and cosmic radiation, chemistry and cosmology-primary synthesis of organic compounds.

SEN 601- Advanced Space Plasma

The origin and effects of electron/ion/neutral collisions and plasma conductivity, the formation of the ionosphere, ionospheric currents, magnetospheric convection and dynamics, and solar wind-magnetosphere coupling. A brief revision of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) theory, the main focus will be put on subjects like force-free fields, flux ropes in space plasmas and magnetic helicity. Plasma Instabilities (micro- and macroinstabilities) Theory of collisionless shocks waves, dissipation of shocks, shock acceleration and solar energetic particles.


SEN 602- GNSS Remote Sensing

The course provides an overview of the state of the art of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) remote sensing technique. Also addressed are relevant challenging issues associated with GNSS remote sensing services and the performance enhancement of GNSS remote sensing to accurately and reliably retrieve different meteorological parameters. The course includes an introduction to GNSS, GNSS atmospheric and multipath delays, status of GNSS remote sensing, atmospheric sensing, ocean sensing, hydrology sensing, cryosphere mapping.

SEN 603- Space Weather and Climate Variability

This course constitutes a solid introduction to space weather, studying how the Sun affects Earth’s environment, and the technological and economic impacts of this interaction. Key concepts include: The sun, atmosphere and geomagnetism. Impacts of space storms on ground systems, satellites, radio communications and navigation are discussed, climate variability and space weather, methods of space weather now-casting, modeling and forecasting for impacts’ mitigation.

SEN 604- Solar Physics and Magnetohydrodynamics       

The course covers solar/terrestrial connection, atmospheric waves, numerical techniques, helioseismology, convection, turbulence, winds and critical points, magnetic fields, coronal heating, reconnection, magneto-rotational instability, laminar and turbulent dynamos, magnetic helicity, and coronal mass ejections.

SEN 605- Advance Heliospheric Physics       

The solar wind and its effects on cosmic rays. The equations of the solar

wind: mass, momentum, angular momentum, and energy balance. Transport processes. Waves, shocks, and instabilities in the solar wind. The basic equations of energetic particle transport. Solar modulation of solar and galactic cosmic rays. Interaction of energetic particles with shock waves.

SEN 606- Radio Astronomy

Radio sources and radiation mechanisms, spectra from astronomical objects like stars, emission nebulae, galaxies, quasars, exotic stars and pulsars, theory of Pulsars, types of solar radio-bursts, radio telescopes, detection techniques for X­ray and Gamma­ray.

SEN 607- Elementary Particles

Familiar particles (photons-electrons-proton-neutrons), conservation laws and invariance principles, antiparticles and dirac relativistic theory, Feynman diagrams, decay and neutrino, pions and its properties, isospin, nucleon magnetic moments, strange particles, leptons, the original quark model.

SEN 608- Earth’s Atmosphere

Basic concepts of Earth’s atmosphere, hydrostatic equations, scale height, chemical concepts of atmosphere, thermodynamic considerations, solar radiation and its effect on atmosphere, dynamics of Earth’s atmosphere, equation of motion of neutral atmosphere, thermal wind equation, elements of planetary waves, internal gravity waves and atmospheric tides, fundamental description of atmospheric dynamics and effects of dynamics on chemical species and basic concepts of neutral atmospheric modeling.

SEN 609- Materials for Space

Structure of metals, Types and structure of alloys, Types of grain boundaries, Mechanical properties: Plastic deformation: Single crystal and Polycrystalline materials, Material tests: Hardness; Tension; Fatigue and Creep, Strengthening mechanisms, Behavior of Materials in Space (Temperature, Pressure and Radiation), Outgassing, Corona Discharge, Coating and Coating compounds, Radiation Damage Effects of Vibrations and Shocks on Spacecraft Structures, Spacecraft Thermal Environments, semiconductors and solar cells.

SEN 610: Introduction to Space Chemistry (II)

An overview of the Chemistry of the Solar System, earth’s moon and terrestrial planets, Mercury, Venus, and Mars. Venus’ atmosphere chemical reactions, Mars orbital features and the Martian moons and Trojans surface chemistry, and Mars. Chemistry in the Martian atmosphere, Ceres, Asteroids, Meteorites, and interplanetary dust, Carbon bearing components in carbonaceous chondrites and interplanetary dust particles, comet chemistry and Kuiper belt objects.

SEN 801- M.Sc. Thesis: For the Thesis Master’s in SEN, students will be trained, with the help of their supervisors, to perform a literature review, identify important issues in a specific field and understand the scientific approach to research questions in SEN, carry out a scientific study and appropriately managing the obtained data. The students will be trained and encouraged to prepare their work for publication in high impact scientific journals. The student will be guided to submit a research thesis not exceeding 60,000 words, including tables, figures, and footnotes, and present an appropriate defense in an oral examination.

SEN 802 – Ph.D. Thesis: For the Thesis Ph.D.’s in SEN, students will be trained, with the help of their supervisors, to perform a literature review, identify important issues in a specific field and understand the scientific approach to research questions in SEN, carry out a scientific study and appropriately managing the obtained data. Importantly, the Ph.D. graduate students will be provided with a complete and thorough opportunity to become a research scientist, to be exposed to the highest quality research methods and techniques in the field of SEN. Also, student will be supported by an environment that fosters critical thinking. In addition, they will be provided with an appreciation for the value of multidisciplinary collaborations. The students will be trained and encouraged to prepare their work for publication in high impact scientific journals. The student will be guided to submit a research thesis not exceeding 100,000 words, including tables, figures, and footnotes, and present an appropriate defense in an oral examination.