Earth Observation

Tilhører studiet:
Physics - master

Earth Observation

Tilhører studiet:
Physics - master
Application deadline
Nordic applicants: 20. April/1. November
International applicants: 1. December
How to apply?

The Earth Observation discipline teaches techniques for monitoring objects, surface classes, processes and parameters on the Earth with space borne and airborne instruments. Earth observation by satellite remote sensing provides large benefits to climate research, environmental monitoring and resource management, particularly in remote and uninhabited areas. The Earth Observation research group in Tromsø specializes in the analysis of satellite images for maritime and cryosphere applications in the High North, but also work with terrestrial applications such as forest monitoring and vegetation mapping.

Questions about the study

Kirsti Merete Johannessen .jpg
Kirsti Merete Johannessen

Studierådgiver / Administrasjon

Earth observation is a discipline of the Master's degree programme in physics.

The central location of Tromsø in the Arctic has led to substantial activity related to earth observation and remote sensing technologies. Today, around 250 people work with remote sensing in the Tromsø area, producing steadily increasing revenues, which makes it a sector of major economic importance. The Earth Observation group at UiT contributes to this development both through fundamental research and application development. The group has strong connections to local companies, research institutes and users of satellite images, as well as to international research institutes. The cross-disciplinary collaboration with these groups is vital in the design of useful tools for applications such as oil spill detection, ship detection, sea ice charting and glacier monitoring. The Earth Observation group possesses a large archive of satellite data and ground truth data, participates actively in cruises and field campaigns that collect reference data, and has access to powerful computing facilities.

The objective of the Earth Observation discipline is to teach the techniques used in satellite remote sensing of the Earth, with a focus on environmental monitoring. The tools are drawn from various fields such as signal and image processing, pattern recognition, applied statistics and physics. The aim is further to deliver candidates to the earth observation community, providing competent workers to all levels of the value chain, from users of remote sensing data in resource management and decision-making bodies to industry companies, research institutes and academia.

Exercises, assignments, and Master's thesis projects given are defined in relation to on-going research activity or current scientific interests within the Earth Observation group.

Compulsory courses in the Earth Observation discipline:

  • FYS-3001 Physics of remote sensing
  • FYS-3012 Pattern recognition
  • FYS-3023 Applied remote sensing
  • FYS-3900 Master's thesis in physics

Generally recommended optional courses in the Earth Observation discipline:

  • FYS-3810 Individual special curriculum
  • STA-2002 Theoretical statistics
  • STA-3001 Computer-intensive statistics
  • STA-3002 Multivariable statistical analysis
  • STA-3003 Nonparametric inference

Optional courses should be determined in collaboration with your supervisor in connection with choice of research topic in the Master's thesis. Other optional courses may be approved on application or if recommended by your supervisor. An individual special curriculum or project paper may also be part of the degree.

If the Master's thesis involves work in a laboratory, in the field or on a research cruise, it is mandatory to conduct a course in safety education prior to commencing the thesis.

With master in physics with specialization in earth observation you can work in fields such as:

  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Application and System Development
  • System Engineering
  • Operation Engineering
  • Satellitt Operations
  • Climate Research and Analysis
  • Machine Learning

Term 10 ects 10 ects 10 ects
First semester (Autumn)
Optional courses (20 ECTS credits)
Second semester (Spring)
FYS-3900 Master's thesis in physics (10 of 60 ECTS credits)
Optional course (10 ECTS credits)
Third semester (Autumn)
FYS-3900 Master's thesis in physics (20 of 60 ECTS credits)
Fourth semester (Spring)
FYS-3900 Master's thesis in physics (30 of 60 ECTS credits)