• Offered by Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Areas of interest Astronomy and Astrophysics, Photonics, Physics, Biomedical Science, Environmental Science
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Francois Rigaut
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2023
    See Future Offerings

This course covers topics related to active areas of optical and infrared instrumentation research. The course spans a variety of subjects to introduce a global understanding of optical scientific instrumentation, covering areas including optics, detectors, signal and noise. It uses examples from astronomical instrumentation but the principles covered can also be applied to other types of optical scientific instrumentation, including those used in medical, environmental, physics, and other applications.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Apply theoretical and practical foundations of optical and remote sensing knowledge in an advanced topic;
  2. Conduct background research by reading and understanding current technical literature;
  3. Analyse cutting edge optical and remote sensing instrument systems;
  4. Organise the technical ideas behind optical and remote sensing instrument systems;
  5. Understand the link between science requirements, instrument design and data analysis.

Indicative Assessment

  1. 3 assignments (45) [LO 1,2,3]
  2. 1 lab report (15) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  3. Final Exam (25) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  4. Student presentation (15) [LO 1,2,3]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the semester including:

  • 2 hours of lectures and 1 hour of tutorial per week
  • Approximately 10 hours of pre-laboratory preparation and lab work
  • Approximately 84 hours of self-study which will include preparation for lectures, presentations and other assessment tasks (average 7 hours per week ).

Inherent Requirements

To be determined

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in the course you must be currently enrolled in the Master of Astronomy & Astrophysics (Advanced), the Master of Science in Astronomy & Astrophysics, the Master of Science (Advanced) in Astronomy & Astrophysics, Master of Science in Quantum Technology, Master of Science (Advanced) in Quantum Technology, Master of Science in Precision Instrumentation and Measurement, Master of Science (Advanced) in Precision Instrumentation and Measurement, Master of Science in Theoretical Physics or Master of Science (Advanced) in Theoretical Physics. Incompatible with PHYS8016.

Prescribed Texts

Lecture notes and select references relevant to topic, as well as research articles from technical journals.

Assumed Knowledge

12 units of university level mathematics for physicists and engineers; 12 units of first year university advanced level physics. Students must be familiar with the basic theory of optics, including familiarity with Maxwell’s equations and wave concepts.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $4320
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $6180
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
5924 24 Jul 2023 31 Jul 2023 31 Aug 2023 27 Oct 2023 In Person View

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