Course paper / final thesis

Physically based simulation of eclipses in virtual reality

Starting date


Duration of contract

6 months

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:

Goal of this thesis is to develop a software module for the simulation of solar and lunar eclispses based on the physical principles light propagation.

In DLR’s department for Simulation and Software Technology, a virtual-reality simulation of our solar system is being developed. With sophisticated level-of-detail-algorithms, high resolution digital elevation models and satellite imagery, entire planets and space missions can be explored in real-time. One interesting phenomenon in outer space happens when one celestial body traverses the shadow cone of another.

In the scope of this thesis not only the size of the shadow’s umbra, penumbra and antumbra shall be calculated in real-time, but also atmospheric properties (Rayleigh scattering) of the shadow casting body shall be taken into account. These effects are responsible for the reddish color of Moon during a lunar eclipse. Existing algorithms shall be evaluated regarding their real-time applicability and new algorithms can be developed. Finally, tests and benchmarks shall prove the efficiency of the implementation and comparisons with real photography shall prove the physical correctness.

Your qualifications:

  • Computer Science student or similar
  • good programming skills with C++, OpenGL and GLSL
  • experience in working with HTML, CSS and JavaScript is a plus
  • preferably experience in working with Linux

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.

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Technical contact

Mr. Simon Schneegans
Simulation and Software Technology

Phone: +49 531 295-2333

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Vacancy 22263

HR department Braunschweig

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DLR site Braunschweig

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DLR Simulations and Software Technology

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