Course paper / final thesis, Student placement

Development of deployable Space structures in a DLR-NASA-Cooperative project

Starting date

1 October 2018

Duration of contract

6 - 9 months


According to the German TVöD 5

Type of employment

Full-time (part-time possible)

"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:

As part of our cooperative project between DLR and NASA, various deployable structural systems are currently being developed for future space applications. Possible applications include Solar Shades (for shading instruments), drag sails to reduce space debris, and small solar sails (propelled by sunlight). For this purpose, fundamentally new foldable and deployable bionic, areal distributed structures, similar to those of insect wings and leaves, are being developed and investigated. As part of your activity, an FE model will be expanded and compared with practical experiments to characterize the mechanical properties. For this purpose, a suitable experimental setup should be created and implemented. At a conceptual level, the generated results are then transferred into an overall structural model. Your work will provide the basis for a following deployment demonstrator to be tested in a parabolic flight campaign (2020) by DLR and NASA.

In detail, your activity will include:

  • analysis and simulation of elements of the areal distributed, deployable space structure using FE (extension of an existing model)
  • prototype construction with 3D printer
  • design, construction and application of a bending device
  • bending tests with prototypes and comparison with FE model
  • exchange with team members in the project
  • design and implementation of structural elements in the overall structure system

Your qualifications:

  • Student in the Master / Diploma Program of Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science or similar
  • basic knowledge in application of finite element analysis (experience with ANSYS APDL desirable but not required)
  • good English skill level
  • teamwork, creativity, independence and self-responsibility
  • programming skills in Python, Matlab or similar programming language desirable
  • interest in space structures and exchange in an international team

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

Martin Eckhard Zander
Institute of Composite Structures and Adaptative Systems

Phone: +49 531 295-2316

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Vacancy 25122

HR department Braunschweig

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DLR site Braunschweig

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DLR Institute of Composite Structures and Adaptive Systems

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