UK academician Malcolm Macdonald on the MSc Satellite Applications (with Data Science) program that will give students hands-on experience with data retrieved from satellites.A course to develop satellite applications
Over the last decade, the amount of data retrieved per day from spacecraft in earth orbit has grown exponentially, with trends suggesting that this is likely to be sustained for at least the next 5-10 years. But while the volume of satellite datasets has increased rapidly, trained professionals to process this data are rare. To address this skill gap, the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, is launching MSc Satellite Applications course to address the UN Sustainable Development Goals through satellite applications, entrepreneurship, and data science. “The growth in data has been enabled by a combination of increased government investment, for example, the European Union’s Copernicus program, and the growth in low-cost access to space that has enabled a boom in private investment and entrepreneurial activity in the sector. The growing global support available for entrepreneurial activity, and the rapid increase in data availability and archives has highlighted key skill gaps which the course addresses,” says Malcolm Macdonald, professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Strathclyde.
Why study the program?
“Apart from training in satellite data processing, and application, the course will focus on data science and entrepreneurship skills. This would require students to register a new business while studying for the MSc, and to develop a business plan using the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” Macdonald explains.
As to why Indian students should apply for the program, Macdonald says, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has a strong technical heritage and a growing strength in the use of space-derived data so this course will allow students to gain maximum value from the strengths of ISRO.
“There is a high demand for professionals with skills in satellite applications and data, particularly in the fields of sustainable development, government and industry. Students can pursue careers as geographical information specialists, meteorological experts, geospatial intelligence analysts, space technology business analysts, remote sensing specialists and software developers on course completion. Also, the program can help pave the way for entrepreneurial graduates to launch their own companies,” says Macdonald.
Commencing in September, the one-year program will enable students to perform basic data processing and analysis using Python programming language.
Eligibility: First or second-class honors degree, or equivalent, in engineering or physical sciences or any other relevant discipline such as geography, geoscience, environmental science, and computer science is essential.
Applicants must have an overall band score of IELTS 6.5 (with no component below 5.5) or satisfactory evidence of English language competency according to the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) requirements
Scholarships: The university is offering a number of Faculty of Engineering Excellence Scholarships (FEES) for new self-funded, international (non-EU) fee-paying students with good academic qualifications. Postgraduate taught students will receive up to £3,000 towards their tuition fees
Course fee: £20,050
Intake: September 2019
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