Software Defined Radio for Space Communication Downlinks

Traditionally all components of a radio communication system have been implemented in hardware. Hardware implementations are reliable and fast but they are also costly and highly inflexible.  In the last decade the increase in computing power of processors has made it possible to replace most of the hardware components with software.  The key advantage of a software defined radio (SDR) is its enorm flexibility, which makes possible introduce modifications in a short time (i.e. due to an update in communication standards).

Receivers for the  downlink of space communications systems are subject to strict quality standards and are usually implemented in hardware. The malfunctioning of some component of the communications system, such as the antenna of a space probe or satellite, may require a modification of the receiver algorithms and or transmitter waveform and a full redesign of the hardware receiver on ground, which takes years of work. For this reason it is appealing to develop a fully Software Defined Radio complying with the latest communication standards for satellite communications, whose flexibility can guarantee the safety of present and future space missions.


Development of a Sofware Defined Radio Receiver for Space Communications complying with CCSDS standards.


Good knowledge of Digital Communication Systems (Modulation, Channel Coding, Channel Estimation)
Proficient in Matlab, C and C++
Proficient in English
Ability to work in a Multicultural Environment


6 - 8 month 



Offer valid till01.01.2013

Francisco Lazaro
Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)

Institut für Kommunikation und Navigation
, Satellitennetze
Tel: +49 8153 28-2815

Fax: +49 8153 28-2844

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