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Course paper / final thesis

Development of an optical ranging system

Starting date

1 july 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.

This position will be focused on the development of Adaptive Optics, a technique used to dynamically correct the adverse effects of turbulence in the atmosphere on the optical communications channel.

The successful applicant will support our team in the development of the control software that powers the Adaptive Optics system. This software operates in real-time to calculate measurements of the optical wave-front and compute actuator commands to correct it. Consequently, it must feature high computational performance whilst retaining maintainability. In the project, the software will be optimised for computational performance and benchmarked extensively. Currently, it is written in C++ and Python and runs on standard CPU hardware, running a Linux based OS. Investigations into other hardware solutions, such as GPUs, and software environments, such as dedicated “real-time” OSes will be carried out. It is an excellent opportunity to work on a cutting edge topic, gain experience using high performance computational hardware, and improve your software engineering skills.

The subject offers several internship and Master Thesis topics like:

  • Optimisation of adaptive optics control software for optical free space communication
  • Investigation of Adaptive Optics control software on various computational environments

Your qualifications:

  • experience of programming in Python, C/C++
  • experience of software engineering
  • experience of high performance programming

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. Andrew Reeves
Institute of Communications and Navigation

Phone: +49 8153 28-3374

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Vacancy 49520

HR department Oberpfaffenhofen

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DLR site Oberpfaffenhofen

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DLR Institute of Communications and Navigation

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