Course Title: Physics of Satellite Measurement

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Physics of Satellite Measurement

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 1 2022,
Sem 1 2023


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 1 2021

Course Coordinator: Assoc. Prof. Tamar Greaves

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 9556

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 14.6.12

Course Coordinator Availability: Email for appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

This course assumes no previous background in Physics, however VCE Math Methods or first year mathematics (MATH2395, MATH2163 or equivalent) is required to adequately engage with the physics material presented in this course.

Course Description

This course is a second-year core component of the BH116 Bachelor of Applied Science (Surveying) (Honours) and BH117 Bachelor of Science (Geospatial Science) (Honours) programs. It establishes knowledge of the basic concepts in physics and the physical world and provides a conceptual grounding for later courses in the BH116 & BH117 programs. 

It provides an introduction to some of the key concepts in physics and the use of satellites relevant to the Geospatial discipline. The Physics section covers two important components: 1) Satellite Physics (including Units, Motion, Force, Work & Energy and Gravity); and 2) EM Waves (including Optics, Interference & Diffraction). This will then be used in applied areas of Satellite Measurements, with an emphasis on techniques that are useful in Geospatial science. 

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for BH116 Bachelor of Applied Science (Surveying)(Honours) and BH117 Bachelor of Applied Science (Geospatial Science)(Honours)

1.1 Describe the fundamental and applied scientific knowledge that underpins surveying and the geospatial sciences.

1.2 Demonstrate in-depth understanding of the spatial models and mathematical methods used in contemporary practice

1.3 Understand specialist bodies of knowledge in surveying and geospatial science

2.1 Apply standard and advanced techniques to solve a range of measurement and data management problems.

3.1 Design and implement creative solutions to complex problems.

3.2 Interpret and critically analyse results and make informed judgments on the appropriateness of solutions.

3.3 Apply critical and analytical skills in a scientific and professional manner.

4.1 Communicate effectively by means of oral, written and graphical presentations to peers and a wider audience

After completing this course you will: 

  1. Describe and apply basic concepts of force, motion, energy and satellite physics.
  2. Describe and apply basic concepts of optics, interference and diffraction.
  3. Have detailed knowledge of the use of satellite observations for various applications
  4. Have a detailed understanding of the intricacies of satellite positioning
  5. Be able to analyse and solve problems in the areas listed above 

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning will occur through a series of lectures, tutorial discussions, practice class sheets, online tests, and in-class tests.


Overview of Learning Resources

Many good references are available in the Library on the topics covered at this level. Particulars will be given out at the start of the course. You will be able to access lecture notes, course information and assorted learning materials Canvas.

Overview of Assessment

Note that: 

This course has no hurdle requirements. 

Assessment will be through 

  1. Interactive group problem solving 30% (Addresses CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  2. Skills & Capability Assessments 40% (Addresses CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  3. Group oral report – 10% (addresses CLOs 2 and 3)
  4. Global Positioning Satellite assignment – 20% (addresses CLOs 3, 4 and 5)