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TU Delft – PhD position in Space Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Optical Engineering

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

The Netherlands

Apply Before the Deadline

Oct 31, 2021 23:59 (GMT +2)

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Faculty of Aerospace Engineering within the Space Systems Engineering section invites applications for PhD position at TU Delft (Delft University of Technology), the Netherlands


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General Info

Position: PhD position
No. of Positions: 1
Research Field: , ,
Deadline to Apply: October 31, 2021(GMT +2)
Joining Date: ASAP
Contract Period: 4 Years
Salary: 2.434,00 - 3.111,00 Euro/Month

Faculty of Aerospace Engineering
TU Delft (Delft University of Technology)
Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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Qualification Details

We are looking for a candidate with an MSc degree in an area such as Space Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Optical Engineering, or similar. The candidate is expected to be passionate about developing novel control schemes with an application on optical communication. Experience on programming in MATLAB and C/C++ is required. Hands-on experience of using optical testbench is an asset. The candidate must have strong analytical skills and must be able to work at the intersection of several research domains. A very good command of the English language is required, as well as excellent communication skills.

Responsibilities/Job Description

In the NWO-funded Perspective program Optical Wireless Superhighways, new perspectives can be opened for wireless communication which will offer unprecedented capacity, connection density, privacy, and energy efficiency. Five universities and a variety of knowledge Institutes and industries are joining forces to explore these opportunities at all length scales: ranging from ultra-long links between satellites, to short links within indoor rooms. We are looking for enthusiastic PhD students to join our program.

Free-space optical communication is capable of higher data rates, over longer distances for less power compared to traditional radio communication due to its very narrow beam. Most of the current concepts and prototype systems are capable of single point-to-point communication only. A multi-beam terminal is able to receive data from multiple gateways simultaneously and can transmit data to multiple users simultaneously. Hence, multi-beam technology allows for simultaneous high data-rate optical communications within a complex network, while reducing the cost per link even further through shared hardware. The primary challenge of a multi-beam terminal, especially with the use cases of e.g. spacecraft, is the high precision and agile steering/tracking of multiple beams simultaneously under disturbances, with much lower mass, power, volume and cost. There are several potential technologies to realise this, but none of them have been studied in the context of free-space optical communication within a network. The objective of this project is to investigate the suitability of these potential technologies, including the SLM’s (Spatial Light Modulators) due to their high resolution and the MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) micro mirror arrays due to their fast response and accuracy.

The project will be carried out within the Space Systems Engineering section of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering in collaboration with the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO). A large component of the project consists of the design of a multibeaming system architecture, steering/tracking control/tracking, and relevant verifications via ground experiments.

How to Apply?

Online Application through "Apply Now" Button from this page or from advertisement webpage (URL below)

Reference Number: TUD01525
(If any, use it in the necessary place)

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Documents Required

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before 31-10-2021 via the application button and upload your motivation and CV.

  • A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.
  • Applying for an exemption for specific research and educational areas is an obligatory part of the selection procedure for this vacancy. This exemption must be obtained from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) before an employment contract is agreed upon. Click here for more information.
  • You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.
  • Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated.
  • For more information about the application procedure, please contact Debby van der Sande,

About the Department

The Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at Delft University of Technology is one of the world’s most highly ranked (and most comprehensive) research, education and innovation communities devoted entirely to aerospace engineering. More than 200 science staff, around 250 PhD candidates and over 2,700 BSc and MSc students apply aerospace engineering disciplines to address the global societal challenges that threaten us today, climate change without doubt being the most important. Our focal subjects: sustainable aerospace, big data and artificial intelligence, bio-inspired engineering and smart instruments and systems. Working at the faculty means working together. With partners in other faculties, knowledge institutes, governments and industry, both aerospace and non-aerospace. Working in field labs and innovation hubs on our university campus and beyond.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering.

About the Employer: Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Note or Other details

TU Delft offers PhD-candidates a 4-year contract, with an official go/no go progress assessment after one year. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2434 per month in the first year to € 3111 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.

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Contact details

For more information about the application procedure, please contact Debby van der Sande,

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