Student placement

Concepts for deep-space optical communications

Starting date


Duration of contract

6 months


according to the German TVöD 05

Type of employment


"Cutting-edge research requires excellent minds – particularly more females – at all levels. Launch your mission with us and send in your application now!" Prof. Pascale Ehrenfreund - Chair of the DLR Executive Board

Your mission:

The Satellite Networks department plays since many years a leading role in Europe in the conception and investigation of novel system concepts, transmission techniques, protocols and applications for Satellite Communications.

After the rapid growth of the former Optical Free-Space Communications Group to more than 10 members, in 2011 part of the group was formed into the Advanced Optical Technologies Group (AOT), which deals with the scientific research of future application fields of optical free-space transmission in general.

In the framework of several projects the group is investigating the use of optical technology to be used in deep-space communications. Different scenarios, such as links from the Moon and Mars have been already proposed. Particularities of this type of links impose special constrains in the transmission channel, namely the operation in a photon starved regime and strong limitations on the SWaP (Size, Weight and Power) factor of the spacecraft terminal. The most promising modulation format for such channel is the pulse position modulation (PPM) format, and its variants. It is also relevant to take into account the performance of photon counting receiver for deep-space communications. The work to be performed includes the research and simulation of the communications chain, as well as supporting in a demo measurement camping, with the aim of simulating a direct-to-Earth link from the Moon.

Main tasks:

  • Literature research on deep-space optical communication theory. Including photon counting technology, and atmospheric turbulence effects for downlinks in direct-to-Earth links
  • Design of PPM simulator in Matlab/Simulink
  • Laboratory testbed setup
  • Support in preparation and analysis of demo measurement campaign

Your qualifications:

  • Degree in Electrical Engineering, or similar
  • Proactive and ability to work independently
  • English language proficiency. Ability to work reports in English

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. Our human resources policy puts great value on a healthy work-life balance as well as equal opportunities for men and women. Individuals with disabilities will be given preferential consideration in the event their qualifications are equivalent to those of other candidates.

Technical contact

Ricardo Barrios
Institute of Communications and Navigation

Phone: +49 8153 28-3986

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Vacancy 12067

HR department Oberpfaffenhofen

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DLR site Oberpfaffenhofen

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DLR Institute of Communications and Navigation

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