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Ph.D. Student Position in Onboard Space Systems with focus on Advanced Software Defined Radio Technology for Satellite Ground Segments , Sweden


The Division of Space Technology is based at the Space Campus in Kiruna, the space capital of Sweden. The town is located on the 67th parallel north, about 150 km above the Polar Circle, which enables a set of unique conditions for space-related research and industry. It is home to an array of space activities, including the Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF) and the SSC-Esrange Space Center, along with a consortium of multinational companies. Several ESA’s antennas are also located in Kiruna, providing facilities for tracking, telemetry and radiometric measurements. Kiruna is a popular tourist attraction for its icehotel, midnight sun and northern lights. It also hosts the world’s largest underground iron ore mine.

The current research at the Division of Space Technology is in remote sensing, atmospheric physics and instrument development, and is of a very high international standard. LTU is now expanding the research in the space technology field with a new group in Onboard Space Systems. The scientific leader for the group is Prof. Reza Emami with a strong background in aerospace mechatronics and robotics. We currently seek several Ph.D. students to join his team.

Onboard space systems includes systems for control, instrumentation and communication in the upper atmosphere and in space. Of particular importance are reliable, radiation resistant low-power electronic systems and miniaturization of these.

The purpose of the project is to design, develop and implement a new architecture for the RF-basebands of the satellite ground stations that will allow a more software centric operations, based on the Software Defined Radio (SDR) technology. The new architecture will contain some advanced features such as cognitive radio capabilities, where the transmission parameters (bitrate, modulation, etc.) can be adapted to various conditions and enhanced during operation, as well as providing multiple-access beam services to communicate with several spacecraft. The research will be conducted in close collaboration with SSC-Esrange based in Kiruna.

The Ph.D. candidate will be conducting a series of research and development tasks, including:

  • Theoretical and hands-on familiarization with industrial and research-oriented ground segments and the existing open architectures for satellite ground stations.
  • Thorough literature survey of the state-of-the-art research and development on software defined radio and cognitive radio.
  • Theoretical and hands-on familiarization with small satellites and their operation.
  • System specifications for SDR-based ground segment, and systematic assessment of the available commercial off-the-shelf hardware and software for the SDR technology.
  • Design, Implementation and integration of the SDR software and hardware platform.
  • Advancement of the platform with cognitive and multiple-access beam capabilities.
  • Experiment design and SDR platform verifications and validations.
  • End-to-end tests for various missions under different conditions.
  • Dissemination of the generated knowledge in the form of technical reports as well as publications in relevant scientific and industrial forums and established journals.

The Ph.D. study is for 4 years, full-time. Administration and/or lecturing 20% may be added. 

We seek a candidate with an excellent academic standing for both master’s and bachelor’s degrees within a natural science or a technological subject. Strong written and oral communication skills in English are required. Also, evidence of proficiency in scientific writing and sufficient knowledge in computer programming is required. Hands-on experience in multidisciplinary systems engineering is meriting.

Specific qualifications for this position is a Master`s thesis in the field of space systems engineering, familiarity with satellite systems and SDR technology, software architectures, and knowledge of satellite ground station operations.

An individual fulfills the general eligibility requirements for the third-cycle educational programme when he or she 1) has completed a second-cycle degree, 2) has completed higher education courses worth at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 are for second-cycle courses, or 3) in some other manner, in this country or abroad, has acquired the equivalent qualifications.

Read more; General curricula for the Board of the faculty of humanities and social sciences

For further information, please contact: Prof./chair Reza Emami, or Head of department Jonas Ekman, +46 920 492828,

Union representatives: SACO-Daina Dagis , +46 (0)920-493880 or OFR- Lars Frisk, +46 (0)920-491792

Luleå University of Technology is actively working on equality and diversity that contributes to a creative study- and work environment. The University's core values ​​are based on respect, trust, openness and responsibility.

In case of different interpretations of the English and Swedish versions of this announcement, the Swedish version takes precedence.

We prefer that you apply for this position by clicking on the apply button below. The application should include a CV, motivation letter and copies of verified diplomas from high school and universities. Mark your application with the reference number below. Your application, including diplomas, must be written in English or Swedish.

Further Information

Application Deadline : 5 June 2015

Ph.D. Student Position in Onboard Space Systems with focus on Advanced Software Defined Radio Technology for Satellite Ground Segments : PDF

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Posted on 2015-05-19 01:49:49

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