Course paper / final thesis

Design of a focal plane array (FPA) based optical tracking sensor for optical communication terminals in space applications

Starting date

15 October 2022

Duration of contract

6 months


up to the German TVöD 5

Type of employment


The optical communication group of DLR’s Institute of Communications and Navigation develops experimental laser communication systems for optical data links between airborne carriers such as airplanes or satellites and optical ground stations. In order to enable a stable connection, usually an active tracking system using NIR optical sensors is used. To optimize the controller, an optical sensor based on a focal plane array with FPGA based real time pattern recognition for tracking should be developed.


  • circuit simulation and design of FPA peripheral circuit
  • Hardware implementation of FPA circuit
  • VHDL implementation of the FPA/FPGA interface
  • VHDL implementation of image processing for pattern recognition and target identification
  • Test of circuits and complete system

Your qualifications:

  • study direction of electrical engineering or similar
  • profound knowledge in analogue and mixed signal circuit design
  • profound knowledge in VHDL programming
  • very good knowledge in C and scripting languages (i.e. Python, Matlab)
  • basic knowledge about pattern recognition theory
  • interest in optical systems

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 unparalleled 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 (f/m/x). 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

Fabian Rein
Institute of Communications and Navigation

Phone: +49 8153 28-3923

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Vacancy 69557

HR department Oberpfaffenhofen

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DLR site Oberpfaffenhofen

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DLR Institute of Communications and Navigation

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