Student placement

Deep-space optical communications – laboratory demonstrator

Starting date

1 April 2020

Duration of contract

6 months


up 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

The optical communication group of DLR’s Institute of Communications and Navigation develop experimental laser communication systems for optical data links between airborne carriers such as airplanes or satellites and optical ground stations. The system development covers several disciplines such as optics, mechanics, electronics and programming.

The successful applicant will support our team in the development of a demonstrator for single-photon counting detection of deep-space optical communications applications. Foremost, the student will perform theoretical analysis of the transmission in mission scenario and will scale it down to a laboratory and/or outdoor terrestrial demonstrator. Electrical and optical signal distortion analysis would conclude the analytical part, which shall be followed by experimental work on the laboratory prototype, where the relevant system parametres can be verified. Successful laboratory tests would then qualify the prototype to be tested by the student with the team in an outdoor testbed.

It is an excellent opportunity to work on a cutting edge topic, gain experience on real optical hardware, and improve your engineering skills.

Your tasks:

  • physical system analysis incl. mission and demonstrator system performance
  • setup of a laboratory demonstrator and performance verification
  • programming of Python or Matlab simulation and measurement tools and scripts

Your qualifications:

  • study direction of physics, communications, optical or electrical engineering
  • experience in optical laboratory setups and testing is an advantage
  • interest in optical satellite communications

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

Juraj Poliak
Institute of Communications and Navigation

Phone: +49 8153 28-1470

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Vacancy 47741

HR department Oberpfaffenhofen

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DLR site Oberpfaffenhofen

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DLR Institute of Communications and Navigation

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