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Student placement

Electronics & Firmware Design and Implementation for an Optical Ground Station

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

Free Space Optical (FSO) communication systems not only overcome the bandwidth limitations of RF systems, but also offer improved power efficiency, security and size compared to their traditional counterparts. Furthermore FSO is the opener and mandatory for Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) over large distances. The Optical Communication Systems Group at the Institute of Communications and Navigation has its own optical ground station for a wide range of experiments including optical up- and downlinks to satellites.

In this position you would need to tackle the challenges that come together with the development of electronics, such as designing a printed circuit board (PCB) for data processing using a micro-controller. Thus it also includes writing the firmware for it. For the digital data to be handled, various interfaces are to be implemented such as UART and Ethernet. Using the micro-controller, the received data needs to be encoded and reshaped to a particular analogue signal. Being involved with the project from beginning to the end you would get the chance to see the end result of your work implemented in the Optical Ground Station and first tests done with a CubeSat.

Your qualifications:

  • study of Electrical Engineering or similar
  • knowledge of electronics development including microcontrollers
  • knowledge in programming microcontrollers
  • experience in electronic design tools such as Altium Designer or similar
  • knowledge in data processing preferred

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

Paul Gagern
Institute of Communications and Navigation

Phone: +49 8153 28-3419

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Vacancy 47817

HR department Oberpfaffenhofen

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DLR site Oberpfaffenhofen

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DLR Institute of Communications and Navigation

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