Scientific activities / projects

Ionosphere-Thermosphere Data-Assimilation

Starting date

1 September 2019

Duration of contract

3 years


According to the German 14 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

Our Institute for Solar-Terrestrial Physics develops and investigates new systems and methods for monitoring and modelling of near-Earth space weather. Disturbances in the thermosphere-ionosphere-magnetosphere system can cause disruptions of satellite missions and modern communication, navigation and remote sensing systems. Therefore, our team in Neustrelitz monitors investigates and models the ionosphere for many years. The prediction of perturbations in the ionosphere is a specifically challenging task due to complex coupling mechanisms between thermosphere, ionosphere and magnetosphere and a sparse coverage of measurements especially in the thermosphere and magnetosphere. A key element of this work is the development and operation of numerical models of the coupled thermosphere-ionosphere-magnetosphere system.

Your mission is the implementation and evaluation of cutting edge data-assimilation methods and the assimilation of large amounts of satellite and ground based data into a physics-based model or empirical model of the ionosphere-thermosphere system. Your work will comprise the following tasks:

•Implementing cutting-edge capabilities for assimilating satellite and ground based data into the associated ionosphere model; e.g. ionospheric radio-occultation data, ionosonde data, thermosphere density data etc.

•Proposing and implementing innovative approaches for the utilization of data assimilation techniques

•Assessing software engineering methods to determine the most effective software solutions

•Utilizing one or more state-of-the-art physics-based numerical models of the upper atmosphere and ionosphere or empirical electron density models

•Presenting research findings to the international scientific community and continuously exchange your experience with other teams operating in this field

•Taking charge of project tasks

You will bring in your excellent skills into a successful and motivated research team with long scientific expertise in the ionosphere and space weather context. Here, you will experience a very good working atmosphere in a well-equipped and modern research site situated in a beautiful and livable region of Germany.

Your qualifications:

  • Master of Science or comparable scientific degree in physics, meteorology, applied mathematics or a related natural scientific subject.
  • PhD in physics, meteorology, applied mathematics or a related natural scientific subject.
  • long standing fundamental specialized knowledge and working experience in the development and implementation of modern data assimilation or tomography methods (such as 3D-Var, 4D-Var, ensemble Kalman filter, and hybrid ensemble-variational methods) preferably in the context of geophysical models.
  • long standing working experience in the operation of atmospheric or magneto-hydrodynamic models.
  • excellent programming skills (e.g. Fortran, Python, Matlab, C++, linux scripting) and code management practices.
  • long standing working experience in the scientific context (peer-reviewed journal publications).
  • good capability to communicate in English language
  • working experience with inverse problems and applications of advantage
  • strong aptitude for computational research is a plus
  • a well-developed background in ionospheric research and knowledge of ionospheric effects on radio systems is beneficial
  • a good knowledge of ionosphere-, thermosphere observation data of advantage
  • analytical competence and statistical knowledge is a plus

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

Dr. rer. nat. Claudia Borries
Phone: +49 3981 480 215

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Vacancy 38779

HR department Berlin

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DLR site Neustrelitz

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Institute for Solar-Terrestrial Physics

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