MSc topics

MSc topics in Geoscience and Remote Sensing

On this webpage you can find an indicative list of available topics for MSc graduation projects. It is certainly not a restrictive list: you may also define your own research proposal in consultation with a supervisor.

Estimating kinematic parameters of the seafloor using bathymetric data

By analysing a series of bathymetric surveys, the goal is to design an appropriate statistical testing procedure to investigate which alternative mathematical model best represents the seafloor by testing which alternative fits best.

High-precision GNSS positioning

Development of high-precision GNSS positioning for tracking professional cyclists during descents and in time trials.

Application of SAR Interferometry to high resolution glacier velocity mapping

Keeping track of polar ice mass-balances is one of the keys to understanding climate change. One important process is ice discharge from outlet glaciers. You will explore (and push) the limits of observational capabilities by applying InSAR processing techniques to monitor flow velocities of glaciers.

SAR Tomography using pairs of crossing-track interferometric acquisitions

One of the most unique capabilities of remote sensing using Synthetic Aperture Radar is imaging the vertical structure of semi-transparent media such as forest canopies or ice. Sounds interesting? In this MS thesis we (you) will use a unique airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar data set to study how well this may be done with future satellite missions.

Raindrop size distribution: still a challenge!

Raindrop size distribution refers to how many raindrops of size D are present in 1 m3. It is still a challenge to retrieve this information at different altitudes, and it is needed to accurately estimate rainfall rate for weather radars. You will use radar and disdrometer data to advance the retrieval capacities.

Precise Positioning Smartphone

For many years GPS positioning with an accuracy of several meters can be done with handheld devices and car navigation units. More recently GPS positioning has become a standard function on smartphones. Can precise GPS positioning also be performed with a smartphone?

GNSS tracking and magnetometer data from satellites

GNSS receivers and magnetometers are default payloads on a very large number of satellite missions. You will collect those data from low-Earth orbiters and study their value for e.g. ionospheric or geomagnetic monitoring, orbit determination and relative positioning of spacecraft.

Optical landmark navigation for autonomous driving

The idea is to detect landmarks from the images made by the vehicle; based on the known locations of these landmarks, this information can contribute to the positioning solution. Main question: what can optical landmark navigation add to positioning in terms of accuracy, availability and reliability?

Comparison of InSAR and Lidar derived deformations over Rotterdam

Goal of the project is to estimate deformation velocities from Lidar data and compare the outcomes to estimated InSAR velocities. The results should indicate what size of deformations can be estimated using Lidar and should give more insight in the sources of InSAR-derived deformations.

Modelling of mass transport in the Earth’s system

The main objective is to further develop the GRACE data processing technique based on the so-called "mascon approach", with a particular focus on long-term trends in mass transport.

How is rain formed?

In this study, you will analyse the growth process of ice crystals by analysing the details of signals coming from different weather radars: Do they change as function of height? and What is the relation with rainfall at the ground?

No dust, no clouds

In this study, you will analyse the correlation between dust (so-called aerosols) in the atmosphere and cloud properties. The instruments you will use are the cloud radars of the KNMI and TU Delft and an instrument call ‘lidar’.

Automated recognition and extraction of geological features from Drone imagery

In this study, we would like to benefit from 3D scene generation, local characteristic feature and robust descriptor extraction, recognition and classification of natural fracture patterns.

Using drones for weather radar calibration

The aim is to develop a weather radar calibration technique using drones. If successful, such calibration will be carried out on a yearly basis at Cabauw.

The utilization of shipboard GNSS data

The primary objective of this research is to assess the added value of shipboard GNSS data for geoid computations and storm surge model validation/calibration.

Modelling the self-lifting of smoke layers caused by forest and bush fires using Large Eddy Simulations

Objective is to find an answer to the "burning" question whether we can believe that the self-lifting could be responsible for the occurrence of smoke layers at altitudes of up to 16 km.

Assessment of flooding scenarios: impact of dynamic elevation models

Objective: Determine the influence of dynamic (time variable) elevation models to improve the quality of flooding scenarios. (MSc topic in collaboration with Water Resources Management)

Predicting structural disasters: the Heerlen shopping mall disaster

Objective: Determine the opportunities of using remote sensing data to predict structural failure. (MSc topic in collaboration with Building Engineering)

Analysis of urban flood events from radar satellite images

Objective: Can we use satellite radar images to detect urban flood events. (MSc topic in collaboration with Water Resources Management)

Foundation instability observed from space: a feasibility study

Objective: analyze whether satellite remote sensing can be used to detect and monitor foundation instabilities. (MSc topic in collaboration with Building Engineering)

GPS for advanced vehicle applications

The aim is to investigate the system workings of modern GPS receivers in order to estimate the potential for application in vehicles, including between-vehicle communication.

Mapping the ionosphere using GPS

The objective of this project is to study the variability of the ionosphere using dense networks of GNSS receivers. One of the applications will be the modeling of the total electron content for correcting GNSS signals and radar remote sensing (InSAR).

Water vapor estimation with GPS at KNMI

This project focuses on estimation of slant delays from GPS data to derive the 2D and 3D water vapor field in order to improve short term precipitation forecasts.

Imaging interseismic motion on the San Andreas fault with spaceborne radar

The goal of this project will be to develop this technique and use it to extract interseismic motion associated with north‐south sections of the San Andreas fault in California.