Scientific activities / projects

Automated processes for satellite-based ship detection

Starting date


Duration of contract

3 years


according to the German TVöD 14

Type of employment


Your mission:

In the Remote Sensing Institute innovative procedures for the analysis of earth observation data are developed within the scope of research projects. At the Maritime Safety and Security Lab located at Bremen Airport new methods for derivation of maritime information from satellite data are created. These are integrated into operational software processors, which generate maritime data products in near real-time at DLR’s antenna stations. Besides securing of civil ship traffic and offshore infrastructures fields of application include also surveillance of safety zones, pursuit of illegal fishery and reconnaissance of water pollution.

The holder of the position will be responsible for the following tasks:
Advancement of existing methods for detection and classification of ship signatures in satellite-based SAR data assisted by additional data sources

  • Familiarization with complex procedures in relevant scientific disciplines for detection and differentiation of maritime objects in SAR images
  • Evaluation of these procedures with regard to near real-time requirements
  • Estimation of additional value of data fusion with various complementary datasets (AIS, optical remote sensing, etc.) and further context information
  • Development of methods for automatic data fusion of SAR data with complementary datasets and conception of procedures for interpretation of overall information, e.g. by neural networks
  • Implementation of developed methods into existing analysis software
  • Maintenance and improvement of the ship detection software with focus on reliability and performance
  • Publication of results in scientific journals and books
  • Initiation and coordination of international cooperation
  • Composing of scientific proposals for further funding of the research activities of the Maritime Safety and Security Lab
  • Supervision of PhD and master students

Your qualifications:

  • University degree (diploma / master) in informatics, geo-informatics, mathematics, physics or an equivalent field
  • Multi-year experience and knowledge in processing and combination of large amounts of data in the fields of Data Fusion and Data Science
  • Good programming skills in C++
  • Experience in documentation and demonstration of scientific results in articles, presentations and lectures as well as willingness to attend conferences
  • Experience with preparation of scientific project proposals
  • Good oral and written English communication skills
  • Preferably a PhD degree
  • Experience in databases and their architecture is beneficial
  • Experience in the fields of (SAR) remote sensing, processing and analysis of image data as well as data visualisation (with IDL, Matlab, Python) is desired
  • Background knowledge in oceanography is very helpful

Your benefits:

Look forward to a fulfilling job with an employer who appreciates your commitment and supports your personal and professional development. Our unique infrastructure offers you a working environment in which you have unparalled scope to develop your creative ideas and accomplish your professional objectives. We are striving to increase the proportion of female employees and therefore particularly welcome applications from women. Disabled applicants with equivalent qualifications will be given preferential treatment.

Technical contact

Björn Tings
The Remote Sensing Technology Institute

Phone: +49 421 24420-1860

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Vacancy 11717

HR department Oberpfaffenhofen

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DLR site Bremen Airport

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DLR Remote Sensing Technology Institute

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