The new master’s programme Aerospace engineering and communictions (ASE&C) is starting in response to the great interest in this field. It was demonstrated by the keen participation of bachelor students in the education programme Space Challenges and in the international contest MIC2/MIC4 (Ideas for Micro/Nano-Satellite Utilization).
Students will acquire knowledge in two major fields during their study in the programme: aerospace engineering and wireless communications.
In the first field, this is a classical and state-of-the-art knowledge in space physics, cosmic impact on Earth and the environment, impact of different physical processes and phenomena on spacecrafts; space technologies for research and analysis; materials for space application; aerodynamics; about development, system analysis, navigation, energy support and equipment of small satellites and their usage.
In the second field, this is a scientific and engineering knowledge on satellite communications; about signals, channels, networks and equipment of the systems involved in wireless and satellite communications. Microprocessors, integrated circuits, microwave communication devices and systems, microwave measurements, wireless networks and protocols, antenna and antenna arrays, electromagnetic compatibility, etc., are studied to accomplish working knowledge necessary for the relevant job positions. The solid background in physics of our graduate students contributes with an additional point of view to the study in these engineering fields to produce better approach to the technology of small satellites and unmanned vehicles, satellite communications and their various applications. Employers highly value such complete education in the field.
Aim of the programme:
The exceptional economic effectiveness of the investments creates in many private companies great interest in the aerospace sector. This is connected with demand for qualified in the field job applicants. The goal of this programme is to prepare qualified graduates to meet the demand of the business for specialists ready to start work immediately in various projects of aerospace industry. It creates exceptional opportunities for professional realization. Companies will support the education in the programme and graduates will have prospects for jobs in the field with good conditions for work and professional growth.
The space sector and its applications create high challenges and stimulate the development of new technologies with direct applications in many fields of human activity. Space has brought innovation, competitiveness and wealth back to Earth. Space systems, telecommunications, navigation, remote sensing, are the basis for applications in key strategic and high economic value sectors, e.g. security, transport, energy, environment, etc., and in daily life. Space exploration is one of the most technologically challenging undertakings humans can engage in and it requires innovative solutions to meet these challenges. This innovation can be used to address societal challenges such as intelligent energy, resources, waste and water management, health and wellness, environment control, etc. By addressing the challenges of exploration, we will therefore invigorate innovation, competitiveness and economic growth well beyond the space sector itself.
Structure of the programme and enrolment of students:
The programme ASE&C has two modules, which are mutually connected: Module 1 „Aerospace engineering (small satellites)“ and Module 2 „Wireless and satellite communications”. Their curriculum contains variety of possibilities for education of the students. Introductory compulsory and elective disciplines determine the direction of further study in the modules. The curriculum includes 3 common and 4 compulsory disciplines for each module. Specialization continues with various elective disciplines (11 in each module). There are also single disciplines allowing invitation of distinguished Bulgarian or foreign experts to teach various courses in the field of aerospace engineering and communications.
The duration of the programme is 1.5 years, or 3 terms, including 840 teaching hours (with 70 ECTS credits). It ends with a learning practice (or self-preparation; 5 credits) and a master’s thesis (100 additional hours and 15 ECTS credits). Education is based on combined physics/engineering approach with special attention to practical and self-dependent work in all disciplines.
Students with a bachelor’s degree in physics, engineering physics or in related fields of technical or natural sciences can be enrolled in this master’s programme. Students with a bachelor’s degree who have background in engineering physics, technical electrodynamics and electronics, computer science, webs, communications, communication and information technologies, optics, space engineering, space sciences, etc. can apply for this programme. Students with a bachelor’s degree in other fields pass exams in basic physics during the programme. The admission of students is without preliminary exam; they can apply only with their bachelor diploma according to the rules in Sofia University. The applicants have to apply for the programme far before the start of the academic year in Sofia University.The programme starts with the winter term on 1st of October each year. Students graduate with defense of a master’s thesis.
Graduates from the master’s programme Aerospace engineering and communications are prepared for practical work in development, design, production, installation and support of small satellites and their communication devices. They are also familiar with the basic applications of satellites and are able to propose and develop new applications.
Graduates from module 1 of the programme can work in the fields related to development and support of small satellites and unmanned flying systems, development, design and production of parts and systems for satellites, reduction of satellite data and images, satellite navigation and telemetry (GPS- systems) in companies specializing in the field of aerospace engineering, electronics and information technologies, etc. They can continue their education in a PhD programme or apply for faculty positions.
Graduates from module 2 of the programme can work in the fields related to development, expanding, restructuring and support of wireless and or wire webs in companies specializing in the field of satellite communications, electronics and information technologies, etc. They can continue their education in a PhD programme or apply for faculty positions.
Exchange of students in this programme with other universities is expected in the frame of the ERASMUS programme. There are signed agreements between Sofia University and Ecole d’Ingenieurs (ECE – Paris, France), Aalborg University (Copenhagen, Denmark) and Instituto Superior Technico (IST – Lisbon, Portugal) for exchange of 3 students for 18 months total in the field of communications.
Foreign students will study in English.