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Scientist in the field of free-space optical communications / adaptive optics

Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation IOSB, Ettlingen, Germany
Job Description

The Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation IOSB in Ettlingen has an opening for a:




Fraunhofer Society is the largest organization for applied research in Europe. One of 72 Fraunhofer institutes, the Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation (IOSB) in Ettlingen supports research in areas such as real-time image processing, pattern recognition, and performance optimization of electro-optical systems.


The Adaptive Optics Group (AO) at Fraunhofer IOSB invites applications for immediate participation in the project „Turbulence compensation for atmospheric and underwater environments“. The project is concerned with the development of new modalities of reliable transfer of signals through challenging random media, e.g. through water. In particular, the incumbent will participate in the conception of AO strategies counteracting the occurrence of branch points and scintillation and in their implementation in laboratory environment and under field conditions. The emphasis in the project is on laser-based communications and modeling of strong (or “deep”) turbulence.


Research activities in the Adaptive Optics Group at Fraunhofer IOSB revolve around imaging through turbulence (especially along horizontal paths and strong turbulence) and free-space laser communications. We develop simulations, theoretical models, image processing software and adaptive optics systems. Imaging and laser propagation through strong turbulence has unique challenges, quite different from astronomical adaptive optics, and therefore, we rely on unconventional approaches to the problem. The group has participated in several international collaborations and experiments and has had projects funded by foreign agencies, in particular from the aerospace and defense sector. More information about the AO Group at Fraunhofer IOSB can be found under: www.iosb.fraunhofer.de/?adaptive_optics



What we expect from you

The successful candidate will have experience with some or all of the following fields:

  • adaptive optics
  • atmospheric turbulence
  • lasers
  • sensors
  • interferometry
  • opto-mechanical design & analysis
  • systems implementation, optimization and alignment


Candidates with moderate experience in optics but with a strong background in telecommunications are also encouraged to apply, as are candidates with strong skills in simulations and theoretical modeling rather than in experimental, laboratory work.


Tasks of the incumbent will include:

  • experimental or simulation-based verification of novel adaptive optics modalities, including: the holographic wavefront sensor, wavefront sensorless AO, and/or interferometric approaches
  • setting up the new laser communications laboratory
  • establishment of the free-space communications link between Ettlingen and Karlsruhe and also an underwater link
  • taking part in field trials, operation of the existing Shack-Hartmann-based AO system
  • Given the incumbent’s prior experience in telecommunications, more emphasis could be placed on the implementation of the advanced multiplexing approaches, in particular orbital angular momentum multiplexing.


When compatible with the candidate’s background, theoretical modeling of problems in imaging and laser propagation could also be undertaken in addition to laboratory work. He/she is also expected to publish papers and give presentations at international conferences.


What you can expect from us

  • opportunity to work on challenging projects at the forefront of science
  • the chance to collaborate with the best scientists from around the world
  • work-life balance


Expected start date: February 2020


Appointment, remuneration and social security benefits are based on the public-sector collective wage agreement (TVöD). Additionally, Fraunhofer may grant performance-based variable remuneration components.


In case of identical qualifications, preference will be given to severely disabled candidates. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is committed to providing equal career opportunities for men and women.


Fraunhofer is Europe’s largest application-oriented research organization. Our research efforts are geared entirely to people’s needs: health, security, communication, energy and the environment. As a result, the work undertaken by our researchers and developers has a significant impact on people’s lives. We are creative. We shape technology. We design products. We improve methods and techniques. We open up new vistas.


Applicants should submit a curriculum vitae and a statement of research interests to personal@iosb.fraunhofer.de

Please include the reference number IOSB-2019-64. This position will be open until filled.


If you have any further questions, please contact:

Dr. Szymon Gladysz

Telephone: +49 7243 992-120


Additional information is available at:


31 October 2019
30 December 2019
Optical Components, Lasers, Sensors