Student placement, Internship

Planning, Integration, Testing and Qualification of a Free-Space-Optical CubeSat for Intersatellite Links

Starting date

15 November 2022

Duration of contract

6 months


up to German TVöD 5

Type of employment


At DLR we are developing miniaturized communication terminals that operate at optical wavelengths. These terminals have many advantages over the traditional radiofrequency systems: higher data rates, miniaturization, security, few regulations, …

One of our newest developments is the project CubeISL. It is based on past projects that are currently operating in space, like OSIRIS4CubeSat. Its main goal is transferring the technology of laser communications from direct-to-Earth (Space to ground) towards intersatellite links between two CubeSats. On CubeISL we are currently testing the first design iteration. The purpose of this test is to verify the functionality and quantify the performance of each subsystem (mechanical, optical, electronical, software, and their interfaces). Once this is finished, we will proceed to integrate and qualify the CubeSats that will fly to space in 2024.

What would your task be in CubeISL?

Your working student position will consist on assisting the CubeISL team, especially in the Lab, with any test that is to be performed. This position offers a unique opportunity to work in a multidisciplinary environment, develop and work with hardware that will fly to space, and help establish the new state-of-the-art in optical communications with CubeSats.

Of course, we don’t expect you to come with all the necessary knowledge to build an optical-communication CubeSat. But with time, we would like you to be motivated to learn and assist as much as possible during the integration, testing, and qualification process.

Some of the tasks that you would be doing are:

  • Operate and integrate mechanical, optical and electrical components.
  • Measure and characterize the performance of optical and mechanical subsystems.
  • Test a fully integrated satellite communication terminal.
  • Program hexapods to simulate real space scenarios and demonstrate optical links between two terminals.
  • Simulate optical and mechanical systems and compare the results to the ones measured with the hardware.
  • Write reports about the conducted tests.

Your qualifications:

  • Extensive multidisciplinary skills.
  • Extensive experience with hardware projects at university, past working positions, or as part of hobbies.
  • Experience working in a laboratory with delicate equipment and following safety guidelines.
  • Basic knowledge designing mechanical and optical systems is a plus.
  • Basic experience with MatLab and programming.
  • Knowedge of orbital dynamics and space environment will be evaluated positively.
  • Interest in optical communications.
  • Motivation to build and test a system that will fly to space.
  • Ability to work independently and in a team.

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

Mr Jorge Rosano Nonay
Institute of Communications and Navigation

Phone: +49 8153 28-2411

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Vacancy 70753

HR department Oberpfaffenhofen

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DLR site Oberpfaffenhofen

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DLR Institute of Communications and Navigation

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