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Job advertisement Research Associate in Remote Sensing

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European Geosciences Union

Research Associate in Remote Sensing

Research Associate in Remote Sensing

German Aerospace Center (DLR) logo

German Aerospace Center (DLR)

DLR is the Federal Republic of Germany’s research centre for aeronautics and space. We conduct research and development activities in the fields of aeronautics, space, energy, transport, security and digitalisation. The German Space Agency at DLR plans and implements the national space programme on behalf of the federal government. Two DLR project management agencies oversee funding programmes and support knowledge transfer.

Climate, mobility and technology are changing globally. DLR uses the expertise of its 55 research institutes and facilities to develop solutions to these challenges. Our 10,000 employees (as of February 2021) share a mission – to explore Earth and space and develop technologies for a sustainable future. In doing so, DLR contributes to strengthening Germany’s position as a prime location for research and industry.

DLR has 10,000 employees at 30 locations in Germany: Cologne (headquarters), Aachen, Aachen-Merzbrück, Augsburg, Berlin, Bonn, Braunschweig, Bremen, Bremerhaven, Cochstedt, Cottbus, Dresden, Geesthacht, Göttingen, Hamburg, Hanover, Jena, Jülich, Lampoldshausen, Neustrelitz, Oberpfaffenhofen, Oldenburg, Rheinbach, Stade, St. Augustin, Stuttgart, Trauen, Ulm, Weilheim and Zittau. DLR also has offices in Brussels, Paris, Tokyo and Washington D.C.

DLR’s performance is based on its well trained and highly motivated employees, who are able to continue their training while at DLR. Equal opportunities are a top priority. Flexible working hours, part-time employment and special support measures ensure that work and family life can be satisfactorily combined.


Munich, Germany


Relevant division
Atmospheric Sciences (AS)

Full time



Preferred education

Application deadline
Open until the position is filled

14 November 2022

Job description
Your mission:

The Lidar Department at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics develops and operates ground-based, airborne and spaceborne lidar systems for active remote sensing of important meteorological quantities and atmospheric trace gases for weather and climate research and air traffic safety.

With its lidar systems, the department participates in national and international flight measurement campaigns for atmospheric and climate research and contributes to the investigation of the atmosphere from the ground to the lower thermosphere. A major focus of the Lidar Department’s work is the support of ESA’s Aeolus mission. Aeolus was successfully launched into space in August 2018 and carries the world’s first wind lidar.

DLR supports the operation and data processing of the Aeolus mission as part of the Data Innovation and Science Cluster (DISC). The DISC is a consortium of 10 international partners lead by DLR-IPA. Its activities include e.g. the monitoring of the instrument and data products, the further development of retrieval algorithms and processors, and the impact assessment of Aeolus wind data for numerical weather prediction. The main focus of the open position will be to improve the data quality of wind and aerosol products of Aeolus and a possible follow-on mission.

Within the scope of this research field, your responsibilities will include:

  • Improve the data quality of wind and aerosol products from ESA’s Aeolus satellite
    • independent development and refinement of methods for the correction of systematic errors and calibration of Aeolus data products
    • implementation of these methods in scientific prototype processors
    • coordination of reprocessing activities in cooperation with ESA and project partners in the DISC, in particular the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF)
  • Further development of the existing data processing chain L0-L1A-L1B for Phase-F of Aeolus and a possible Aeolus follow-on mission based on E2S simulations
    • simulate realistic and idealized atmospheric scenes using the Aeolus End-to-End Simulator (E2S), process these simulations towards the Level 1B product, and correlate with actual Aeolus observations
    • analyse and resolve inconsistencies between Aeolus E2S and actual in-orbit instrument behaviour by adjusting instrument parameters
    • simulation of the expected performance of the Aeolus follow-on mission by appropriate adjustment of the E2S instrument parameters
    • identification of necessary further developments of the E2S towards E2S2G for the Aeolus follow-up mission

Your qualifications:
  • completed scientific university studies (Master/Diploma) in mathematics, physics, remote sensing, meteorology or in a comparable field of study
  • very good knowledge in scientific programming with Python and Matlab
  • experience in developing retrieval algorithms and data products for satellite missions
  • knowledge of lidar remote sensing, especially the Aeolus mission and its measurement principles and data processing desirable
  • ideally PhD in mathematics, physics, remote sensing, meteorology or in a comparable field of study
  • knowledge in UNIX, Github, R, Julia and C++ is a plus
  • experience in developing operational or prototype software for satellite missions is of advantage
  • experience in managing projects / work packages is advantageous
  • ability to work in a team desirable
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.