Scientific activities / projects

Development of Technologies for Navigation Systems for Space Applications

Starting date


Duration of contract

2 years


up to German TVöD 13

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 Institute of Space Systems in Bremen designs and analyzes future spacecraft and space missions (launchers, orbital and exploration systems, and satellites), and assesses them with regard to their technical performance and cost. It applies state-of-the-art methods of multi-disciplinary engineering in system design and analysis – for example, a computerized system for concurrent design. The Guidance, Navigation and Control Systems Department focuses on the capability to analyze, design, develop, implement, simulate, test, and verify attitude and orbit control systems (AOCS) / guidance, navigation, and control (GNC) systems for space applications and their components. This involves a range of disciplines, including requirements management, systems engineering, algorithm development, software implementation, systems analysis/simulation/verification, and hardware-in-the-loop testing. The GNC Systems Department is also conducting research and development of promising and strategic technologies for AOCS and GNC systems.
The GNC Systems Department is involved into the Mission to the Moon of PTScientists, the first European Moon landing mission, as an official partner. The mission objective is to be the first private company to safely land a spacecraft on the Moon, to explore the area around the Apollo 17 landing site with two rovers, and to send pictures and videos down to Earth. In the frame of this project, the GNC Systems Department leads the development of the GNC subsystem as scientific partner. The work comprises the development of optical navigation technologies, the controller synthesis for descent and soft landing, the optimization of the landing trajectory as well as the comprehensive verification of all associated elements.

Within this context, we are looking for scientific staff members to conduct the following tasks within the Navigation Research Group:

  • development of strapdown integration algorithms for inertial measurements in scenarios such as space transportation, operation in the vicinity of Earth and other planetary bodies, and landing on the Moon, Mars, and asteroids
  • development of navigation filters/data fusion algorithms with the focus on the combination of inertial measurements and measurements of GNSS receivers, cameras, star trackers, altimeters, Sun sensors, etc.
  • modelling of realistic environments, dynamics, and sensor signals
  • full characterization of inertial sensors
  • integration and utilization of sensors such as cameras, IMUs, etc. in a real-time environment
  • project/activity results documentation, presentation, and publication
  • commitment to group activities such as maintenance and development of laboratories, development and improvement of procedures, knowledge management, or acquisition of external funding

Your qualifications:

  • successfully completed university degree on master's level or equivalent (according to § 7 II Tarifvertrag über die Entgeltordnung des Bundes – TV EntgO Bund) in the domain of aerospace/space engineering, control engineering, mathematics, computer science, or similar
  • practical experience in methods of sensor data fusion and state estimation (Kalman-Filter)
  • knowledge in the area of inertial navigation and GNSS navigation
  • good programming skills in C, C++, MATLAB/Simulink
  • fluent in written and spoken English, ideally with work experience abroad
  • experience with scientific publications (articles in peer-reviewed journals, conference contributions, etc.)
  • conformance with the personal requirements for handling of export controlled goods and information according to German, European and American export control laws
  • willingness to domestic and international travels on official business
  • practical experience with methods of inertial navigation desired, such as: modelling of space vehicle dynamics in the vicinity of Earth and other planetary bodies; modelling of inertial sensors (accelerometers and gyros); strapdown integration algorithm implementation for measurements of inertial sensors in several types of reference frames (Earth-Centered Earth-Fixed, Inertial, Local, etc.); estimation of sensor Parameters.
  • experience in modelling complementary sensors such as GNSS receivers, cameras, star trackers, altimeters, Sun sensors desired
  • experience in methods of parameter estimation is an advantage
  • experience in handling hardware desired
  • PhD in the area of INS/GNSS navigation is an advantage
  • supervision of Bachelor or Master theses desireable
  • mastery of written and spoken German is an advantage

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

Hans Krüger
Institute of Space Systems

Phone: +49 421 24420-1126

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Vacancy 19965

HR department Braunschweig

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DLR site Bremen

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DLR Institute of Space Systems

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