The research conducted by members of Space Lab covers both upstream (broadly space technology providers) and downstream (broadly space technology users) sectors. Research activity occurs across the Faculties of Engineering, Natural Sciences and Medicine and Imperial’s Business School and ranges from planetary science to navigation and positioning solutions‌. Imperial’s research strengths lie in the breadth of our activity and our expertise in combining research in physical sciences with engineering and medicine. Below we describe a series of research themes that showcase the breadth of expertise in space research and engineering at Imperial College. 

Research themes overview

Our researchers are grouped by their seven themes below.

Areas of research


Space Science

  • Planetary Science
  • Heliospheric and Space Physics
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Astrostatistics
  • Plasma Physics

View space science case studies

Cluster space mission

Space Technology

  • Sensors
  • Satellite sub-systems
  • Satellite deployables
  • Mission design, covering launch, space, ground and operation
  • Instrument operations
  • Spacecraft design
  • Robotics
  • Materials

View space technology case studies

Artist impression of the Earth in between the Sun and the Aurora Borealis

Natural and Space Hazards

  • Space Weather
  • Space physiology and health
  • Risk assessment, mitigation and insurance
  • Impacts
  • Climate Change

Underpinning computing and data science

  • Data analysis and visualisation
  • Software systems

View computing and data science case studies

Positioning, Navigation, Timing

  • GPS and GNSS technology

View positioning, navigation and timing case studies

Earth Observation and Remote Sensing

Earth Observation and Remote Sensing

  • Instrument operations
  • Exploring processes in the earth system

Find out more about Imperial's Earth Observation Group

Artist's impression of a satellite


  • Communications and Signal Processing

View telecommunications case studies