Course paper / final thesis, Student placement, Internship

Application of Laser Guide Star for Lasercom

Starting date

2 January 2019

Duration of contract

6 months


According to the German TVöD 5

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.

One of its research groups is the Advanced Optical Technologies Group.

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.

Earth-to-space communications will benefit strongly from Optical Transmission Technology due to its minimal signal beam spread. The performance of these links can be improved by an optical beacon source from the ground station location to the receiver’s position in space. However, the uplink signal suffers from atmospheric index-of-refraction turbulence, leading to angular beam-wander and intensity fluctuations. Adaptive Optics, a technique often used in astronomy, can in principle be used to pre-distort the beacon’s wave-front, leading to a corrected beam after the atmospheric link section. In order to correct the atmospherics effects an artificial reference can be used, by means of a Laser Guide Star (LGS), where the ground station provides a laser beam that allows probing the atmosphere through its backscatter signal.

Your main tasks within the research activities of the group will be:

  • literature research on free-space optical communication theory, specifically interesting is channel modelling for uplink applications, i.e. ground-to-space. Additionally, research on adaptive optics and laser guide stars is required
  • the work can be focused on two different aspects
    •    one is the design of an optical apparatus for the separation of the LGS signal from natural guide star reference
    •    the other option focuses on image processing for sport detection and tracking
  • design and implementation of robust image segmentation algorithms, to detect the LGS under low image SNR conditions
  • post-processing of measuring campaign data. Comparison of experimental data with theory
  • optical design using Zemax, procurement of parts, assembly, alignment and testing
  • consolidation of the data requires, among other, writing of reports, generation of meaningful plots and database of post–processed data
  • final Report / Thesis writing

Your qualifications:

  • degree in Electrical Engineering, Physics, Optics or similar is of advantage
  • past experience with optical design software Zemax is a plus
  • proficiency in Matlab/Python and image processing/Segmentation is an asset
  • proactive and ability to work independently
  • English language proficiency and ability to work reports in English is advantageous

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 places great value on a healthy family and work-life-balance as well as equal opportunities for persons of all genders (m/f/non-binary). 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

Ricardo Barrios
Institute of Communications and Navigation

Phone: +49 8153 28-3986

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Vacancy 28746

HR department Oberpfaffenhofen

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DLR site Oberpfaffenhofen

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DLR Institute of Communications and Navigation

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