PhD position

Arrival Management with an Extended Planning Horizon

Starting date


Duration of contract

3 years


up to renumeration group 13 TVöD

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

Over the past two decades, the Institute of Flight Guidance has achieved a worldwide leading position in the design, development and testing of air traffic controller support systems. The current focus is on the development of approach, sector, taxi and departure management systems for aircraft with different automation levels. These systems consider both functional and non-functional requirements, including resilience, system architecture and system design. In cooperation with international partners such as NASA and ENRI, the Institute is involved in the development of the operational air traffic management of the future. The implementation is carried out with the help of prototypes for assistance and automation functions and their human-machine interfaces. Manual software development is more and more supplemented or even replaced by machine learning methods. The evaluation of the concepts and systems is carried out with the help of human-in-the-loop simulations in the institute's own simulation environment.

As part of our cooperation with ENRI (Japan), we offer a PhD position for the subject of Arrival Management with an extended planning and guidance horizon.

Today's Arrival Management systems generate an approach sequence based on aircraft trajectories from a distance of approx. 80 nautical miles (nm) from the airport. In Europe, the approach flow is also pre-tactically controlled by the network manager, which influences individual, particularly conflicting flight movements by means of a defined take-off time. Extended Arrival Management systems, so-called Extended AMAN, are currently under development, in which the planning horizon is significantly extended, i.e. 350 nm and more using the same planning procedures. This procedure has the disadvantage that the planning systems become increasingly susceptible to uncertainties and inaccuracies as the planning horizon increases.

In the work advertised, an approach management system for a significantly expanded planning and management horizon has to be developed and validated. In doing so, several aspects have to be considered. The first aspect concerns the design of the planning horizon and its suitability for various planning and management procedures to be developed and validated within the work. A further aspect is the influence of uncertainties and disturbances as well as how to deal with them. In the case of uncertainties, the use of statistical information about arrivals is an appropriate way to improve the approach management. The predictability of disturbances plays an important role when considering them. Depending on the predictability, different measures can be taken to increase the stability of the arrival planning. For example, it is possible to predict the course of bad weather areas with a certain probability and, with the aid of statistical approaches, to optimize the arrival management. Due to disturbances, foreseeable overloads can occur in sectors on planned flight paths. Reducing their impact on arrival management is also part of the work.

Your qualifications:

  • completed academic studies in mathematics, data science, computer science, transport or related studies (diploma / master)
  • good knowledge of higher programming languages (C++, Python, etc.)
  • knowledge of mathematical statistics and probability calculus
  • knowledge of data analysis methods and tools
  • very good knowledge of the English language in word and writing is advantageous
  • ability to complete tasks independently and on time 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

Jürgen Rataj
Institut of Flight Guidance

Phone: +49 531 295-2510

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Vacancy 38313

HR department Braunschweig

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DLR site Braunschweig

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DLR Institute of Flight Guidance

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