Scientific activities / projects, PhD position

Preparation of an in-orbit demonstration of a GNSS augmentation system

Starting date


Duration of contract

3 years


up to the German TVöD 13

Type of employment

Full-time (part-time possible)

The Navigation Department works on a wide range of selected topics in the field of navigation such as design of new antenna systems, novel receiver and transmitter technologies, system evolution of existing and signal design of future global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) and many more.

In addition to our site in Oberpfaffenhofen, the department's staff is also involved in the Innovation Center for Small Aircraft Technologies (INK) in Aachen, where the vacant position is located. At the INK, work is being carried out together with other project partners on the development of autonomous aircraft types that are intended to meet special requirements in terms of flight safety, flight performance and noise emissions.

Our contribution as the Navigation Department at INK is the development of a novel integrity concept for global navigation satellite systems needed for autonomous operation of small aircraft (e.g., air cabs, drones, etc.).

Your future position is assigned to the cross-sectional group "Systems Engineering and Project Management". Within the department, this working group bundles essential functions and tasks in the areas of systems engineering and project management, especially in international and multi-lateral projects.

You will be working with us on the system architecture of a novel, global augmentation system for existing navigation systems, especially with regard to their integrity. The integrity concept is based on the use of small satellites in low earth orbit (LEO) and will be demonstrated in an in-orbit verification mission after a design and development phase. For this purpose, you will work on systems engineering issues for the feasibility study and actively drive forward the realization of the demo mission in space.

However, the use of LEO satellites for GNSS monitoring brings new challenges: the precise determination of the orbit must be ensured, and the payloads in LEO satellites can have very stringent requirements in terms of size, power consumption and cost, which limits the technical solutions.

The interdisciplinary nature of your work is based on this challenge. In the project you will take over partially the technical leadership of the international project team in cooperation with our French project partners at CNES.

In close cooperation with scientists from different disciplines (signal design, optical communication, antenna design, receiver design, etc.) you will realize this strategically important research and development project.

For the success of the project, you will contribute with your imagination, your creativity and your pleasure in working in an international research team.

We offer you a pleasant working atmosphere on par with your superiors, state-of-the-art equipment and an environment with national and international cooperation. Opportunities for professional development (e.g. PMP Project Management, DLR PhD program, etc.) are provided.

Flexible working hours and an individual agreement on mobile working are a matter of course for us.

Your qualifications:

  • completed scientific university studies (Master / Diploma Univ.) in engineering (e.g. systems engineering, aerospace engineering, electrical engineering and information technology) or other studies relevant to the job (e.g. physics)
  • experience in the field of global navigation satellite systems
  • initial experience in navigation system integrity
  • experience in project work
  • first experience in the field of systems engineering
  • willingness to work on international projects including travel activities
  • good command of English

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

Dr. Tobias Schmidt
Institute of Communications and Navigation

Phone: +49 8153 28-2798

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Vacancy 75100

HR department Oberpfaffenhofen

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DLR Institute of Communications and Navigation

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