Area of research:
Scientific / postdoctoral posts,Other,PHD Thesis
Free Space Optical Communications with satellites is currently an exciting topic of development, with the potential to provide high bandwidth communications links for allowing broadband internet into remote areas, or providing unbreakable encrypted channels using Quantum Key Distribution. This becomes increasingly important in our world which requires global connectivity, and in which Quantum computers are becoming available that threaten existing encryption techniques.
Free space links present new challenges as well as new opportunities. The light must travel through the atmosphere which causes instabilities. At the Institute for Communications and Navigations at DLR, we are developing technologies that can correct the light in real-time to provide stable and efficient communications links, such as Adaptive Optics. Adaptive Optics systems detect the wave-front error imparted on the light incoming to the Optical Ground Station, and perform correction using a “deformable mirror” that changes its shape to match the incoming wave. In this way, the light is better coupled to a communications system and the light transmitted from the ground station to the satellite is also stabilised.
As part of our team, you would be developing the next generation of Adaptive Optics systems for free space optical communications. This includes development and testing of new control systems, algorithms and software for the Adaptive Optics system. Among others, you will be responsible for the following tasks:
- development and optimisation of Adaptive Optics control software
- software integration of new and novel hardware into the adaptive optics system
- exploration of novel adaptive optics real-time control techniques, such as the use of Graphical Processing Units (GPUs), or Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs)
- development of advanced control algorithms for the Adaptive Optics control loop
- development of control and automated calibration techniques for adaptive optics systems and free space optical communications terminals in general
- participation in measurement campaigns in Germany and further afield to test Adaptive Optics systems in real satellite links
This research center is part of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers. With more than 42,000 employees and an annual budget of over € 5 billion, the Helmholtz Association is Germany’s largest scientific organisation.
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