2021 Educational activities

The standard duration of the PhD activity is three years. The PhD title is obtained having overall acquired 180 ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System, assumed equivalent to university credit CFU) credits, and having conducted research activities with original contributions. In this document we adopt the equivalence of the Ministry of Education for International Doctorate which foresees 1 ECTS credit = 25 working hours (it is usually considered that there are 1,500 working hours in a year).
These credits are allocated according to the following scheme:

    • 30 ECTS credits in three years for educational activities: this includes lectures, modules, and seminars, plus hours of study, participation to schools, courses and conferences.
    • 150 ECTS credits for research activities, culminating in the PhD thesis.

By the end of the first year of the PhD program it is expected to achieve at least 9 ECTS in educational activities. In order to be admitted to the third year 21 ECTS should be achieved, while the full educational program of 30 ECTS needs to be fulfilled to be admitted to the thesis evaluation procedure. More details can be found here: https://cisas.unipd.it/phd-course-dottorato/phd-course-general-information.

The courses and the seminar offered by the present educational program are:


10/20 hours courses

10 hours

    • Writing a Scientific Paper/Research Project Proposal, prof. Giampiero Naletto
    Writing a scientific paper: its structure, from the introduction to the conclusions, what to write and what not to write. Preparation of a research project proposal: the general structure of a proposal, and some suggestions.

    • Introduction to Computational Fluid Dynamics, prof. Francesco Picano
    Introduction to the computational description of fluid flows for engineering applications. Main models of fluid, formulation and turbulence. Practice with a commercial solver in order to set-up and run a CFD simulation with a commercial software

    • Remote sensing instruments for atmospheric transparency: theory, instruments and methods, prof. Michele Doro - prof. Markus Gaug
    The Earth’s atmosphere is the medium through which electromagnetic signals emitted by or received by ground-based or space-based human-made devices travel. The molecular and aerosol composition alter the transmission properties in a peculiar wavelength-dependent way. Several instruments allow to monitor the integral or the height-resolved transparency of the atmosphere, the scattering and absorption properties of the suspended particles, at different wavelengths and with different characteristics in terms of exposure (day/night), acceptance, resolution, etc. This course will cover the theoretical backgroun needed for discussing instruments and methods for atmospheric measurements. The goal is to familiarise students with these active fields of research, which count with a great variety of applications, among which for the assessment of the Earth's greenhouse effect and hence its climate change.

20 hours

    • Space Optics and Detectors, prof. Giampiero Naletto - prof.ssa Maria Guglielmina Pelizzo
    Fundamental of optics, basic optical components, optical systems design and ray-tracing, performance evaluation, imaging instruments, spectroscopic instruments, example of space instruments design, realization and testing.
    Photoemission detectors: Photoelectric effect; Quantum efficiency; Photocathode, photomultiplier, channeltron, MCP; MCP detectors, single anode and multi-anode readout. Semiconductor detectors: Atomic theory, semiconductors; Photodiodes and HCT; CCD operation and configurations; Passive and active CMOS (APS); Hybrid detectors; Noise; MTF.

    • Space Systems & their Control, prof. Enrico Lorenzini - prof. Alessandro Francesconi
    In orbit relative motion during proximity maneuvers. Various two-satellite in-orbit rendezvous strategies. Examples of rendezvous between the International Space Station and approaching vehicles. Common sensors for attitude measurement which make use of external targets. Satellite attitude determination techniques.
    In-orbit satellite attitude motion and main control techniques: gravitational gradient, gyroscopic rigidity, and “null momentum” systems. Examples of relative attitude control with small satellites, finalized to docking operations.

    • Measurement techniques: fundamentals, PC based, visual and thermal image analysis based (ex Fundamentals of Measurement and PC-based applications),  prof. Gianluca Rossi - prof. Marco Pertile
    Elements of statistics and inference; uncertainty analysis and propagation methods. Analog-to-digital conversion of time-varying signals and related problems. Programming fundamentals of PC-based acquisition systems. Measurement techniques based on visible and infrared imaging systems. Contactless shape, stress and strain measurements.

    • Exploring the solar system and its environment,  prof. Gabriele Cremonese - prof. Francesco Marzari
    The course is divided in two sections, in the first one there will be a technical-scientific approach to the space missions and the payload, while the second one will have a theoretical approach to the physical characteristics of the Solar System.
    Introduction to the main physical characteristics of the Solar System planets. Introduction and description of the main space missions that explored or will explore the Solar System, from the scientific objectives to the instruments on board. We will discuss some details of some instruments where Padova is strongly involved, related to the future on the Solar System exploration, as BepiColombo, Exomars and JUICE.
    Description and discussion of the model for the formation of planets and its application to the Solar System and the known exoplanetary systems. Overview of the main physical properties of the planets with focus on their magnetic fields and their interaction with the solar wind, formation of the magnetospheres. Brief summary of the non-gravitational forces acting on the minor bodies populating many known planetary systems and related to the absorption and scattering of the solar radiation.

    • Mechanical and thermal properties of material for aerospace constructions, prof. Ugo Galvanetto - prof. Mirco Zaccariotto
    Composite materials are finding an increasing use in the engineering fields where high specific properties (strength/weight, stiffness/weight) are required. Airplanes and spacecraft are typical structures in which the need of weight reduction makes composite materials very convenient.
    The lecture course is more concerned with the structural aspects of the use of composites and therefore it provides the preliminary elements for the structural design of structures made with heterogeneous materials and for the evaluation of their strength and stiffness.
    The second part of the lectures will cover the structural design of instruments for space applications, definition and identification of main external /internal loads, resistance criteria for metallic, optical glasses; study of the expected thermal and mechanical disturbances during a space mission, methods of thermo-mechanical optimization for the reduction of disturbance effects.


2+2 hours seminars

    • Quantum Communication in Space, Prof. Giuseppe Vallone

    • Low-energy transfers at the Lagrangian points L1-L2 of the three-body problem, Prof. Massimiliano Guzzo

    • Computational modelling of strain localisation and crack initiation and propagation in multi-phase porous materials, Prof. Lorenzo Sanavia

    • Optical metrology: synergy between laboratory and space, Prof.ssa Paola Zuppella

    • Stability issues of optical coatings in space environment, Prof. Alain Jody Corso

    • Space electric propulsion, prof. Mirko Magarotto


Seminar held by a professor from a foreign institution (1 hour)

    • From Art to Science: The Flower Constellations, Prof. Daniele Mortari



NOTICE: The PhD course attendance is restricted to STMS PhD students (exceptions have to be approved by the PhD Coordinator)