Scientific Working in Earth Oriented Space Science and Technology

ECTS: 5 | credit hours: 5


Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Florian Seitz

PD Dr. habil Dmitry Efremenko


Basic mathematical and physical knowledge is expected.
In addition, the successful participation in the following modules from the first semester ESPACE is recommended:

  • Introduction to Satellite Navigation and Orbit Mechanics (BGU61029)
  • Introduction to Earth system science (BGU45037)


After the successful completion of the module, the students have gained the scientific soft-skill competencies to:

  • work independently on solving complex scholarly problems, using the scientific methods of Earth Oriented Space Science and Technology.
  • demonstrate their ability to solve scientific problems by means of examples from the topic of electromagnetic scattering/radiative transfer, and to prepare and present the approaches and outcomes in a scientific paper
  • to apply the methods for literature research for a selected topic associated with ESPACE;
  • to analyze the collected material;
  • to develop from it a logically structured presentation;
  • to present it to an audience;
  • to assess questions from the audience in a public discussion;
  • to publicly defend the contents of the scientific presentation


The theoretical foundations of the research paper are presented in the lecture "Mie Theory and Radiative Transfer". They cover:
1. Mathematical background: scalar and vector fields; line and surface integrals; nabla operator; differential relationships for vector fields; irrotational and solenoidal fields; Gauss and Stokes theorems.
2. Electrostatic: Coulomb's law; the electrostatic field; divergence and curl of the electrostatic field. Magnetostatic: Ampere's law; the magnetostatic field; divergence and curl of the magnetostatic field.
3. Poisson and Laplace equations. Overview of the finite element method.
4. Electrodynamics: equation of continuity for the electric charge; Maxwell's displacement current; electromotive force; Faraday's law of induction; Maxwell's microscopic and macroscopic equations.
5. Electromagnetic waves: wave equation in time and frequency domains; plane and spherical waves; observables and averages.
6. Electromagnetic scattering theory: Stratton-Chu representation theorem; far-field pattern and amplitude matrix; phase and extinction matrices; extinction, scattering and absorption cross-sections; optical theorem; reciprocity principle.
7. Mie theory: vector wave equation; vector spherical wave functions, solution of the transmission boundary-value problem; computation of the far-field pattern, optical cross-sections and phase function in the framework of the Mie theory.
8. Derivation of the radiative transfer equation starting from Maxwell's equations.
9. Radiance rotation effect. Isotropization of the transmission function

The last four lectures of Mie Theory and Radiative Transfer are devoted to practical aspects and consist in the elaboration project work. Computations will be performed by using a dedicated computer code for radiative transfer calculation. Great importance is attached to the synthesis abilities of the theoretical part and the interpretation of the numerical results. The strategy and results of the computations are presented by the students in their research papers.

Seminar "ESPACE Seminar":
Each student prepares and gives an oral presentation of 20 minutes length on an up-to-date scientific topic from Earth Oriented Space Science and Technology. The presentations are spread over the lecture period. During the preparation of their presentation the students are guided by a supervisor who provides relevant information material (in the form of scientific articles, books, slides, etc.) and gives feedback during the preparation. The presentations are followed by a discussion of the topic in which all participants are encouraged to participate.


  • Albuquerque, Ulysses Paulino de (2015): Speaking in public about science. A quick guide for the preparation of good lectures, seminars, and scientific presentations. Cham: Springer
  • Bohren, Craig F. (.; Huffman, Donald R. (2013): Absorption and scattering of light by small particles. New York: Wiley
  • van de Hulst, Hendrik C. (ca. 2009): Light scattering by small particles. [Nachdr.]. New York, NY: Dover (Dover classics of science and mathematics)