Scientific activities / projects

Ionosphere-Thermosphere Research

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 assessment of coupling mechanisms of the thermosphere-ionosphere-magnetosphere system with dynamics from below (originating in litho- or hydrosphere or the lower and middle atmosphere) or above (originating from solar radiation, wind and interplanetary magnetic field). Your work will comprise the following tasks:

  • Conduct research into determining the nature/magnitude/interrelationship of atmospheric and space-plasma properties and flows, waves and tides, neutral winds, electromagnetic field and wave properties, and inter-hemispheric and vertical coupling between atmospheric regions through empirical studies, theoretical and computational means.

  • Applying scientific methods to tackle key unsolved problems in solar-terrestrial physics, with specific focus on the thermosphere-ionosphere-magnetosphere system

  • Utilizing one or more state-of-the-art physics-based numerical models of the upper atmosphere and ionosphere, comparing with multiple observational data sets from the Earth's upper atmosphere, ionosphere and solar parameters, interpreting results, and documenting findings

  • 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 and broad scientific expertise in the ionosphere and space weather context which involves data acquisition and processing, phenomenological physical studies and technological impact assessment. Here, you will experience a very good working atmosphere.

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 ample experience in the interpretation and analysis of ionosphere-, thermosphere observations with advanced methods
  • strong aptitude for computational research
  • excellent programming skills (e.g. Fortran, Python, Matlab, C++)
  • long lasting experience in scientific work and peer-reviewed publishing
  • good capability to communicate in English
  • a well-developed background in ionospheric research is beneficial
  • desirable is a good knowledge and ample experience in the operation of atmospheric models
  • desirable are analytical competence and statistical knowledge

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 38786

HR department Berlin

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DLR site Neustrelitz

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Institute for Solar-Terrestrial Physics

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