Reliability and safe disposal within ASCenSIon project (ESR12)

Technische Universität Braunschweig (TUBS)

PhD 3.5 years Braunschweig, Germany

Uploaded 13 Mar 2020

Job Description

The PhD programme is offered by the Department of Mechanical Engineering at TU BS. The ESR will focus on reliability concepts of reusable launcher systems. The work will be based on existing methods of satellite reliability and will incorporate aspects from space situational awareness and from the space debris environment. The candidate can build upon the previous research of the Institute of Space Systems on space debris modelling and end-of-life concepts.

Determining the exact place and time of re-entries is still challenging because different uncertainties need to be considered. In today’s launcher development, very conservative methods like combinatorial reliability are applied for reliability calculation. This frequently leads to masses and costs higher than necessary.

Research Objectives

  1. Developing a new reliability model for rocket flight with special focus on re-entry by transferring existing reliability methods to launcher concepts defined
  2. Implementing a software or software component that can determine re-entry prediction for new rocket concepts based on mission designs investigated
  3. Considering space situational awareness aspects, such as propagation with uncertainties, the space debris flux, and collision probabilities within the software
  4. Investigating new concepts that enhance or allow a safe disposal, such as green propellants, passivation, enhanced break-up or advantageous orbits

Person Specification

Essential skills:

  • MSc or equivalent in the field of aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering, physics or mathematics
  • Applicants must have a solid knowledge of space technology
  • Applicants must have a proven knowledge in numerical mathematics, stochastics, and programming (e.g. Matlab, Fortran, C, C++)
  • Ability to work highly efficient and self-reliantly in a diverse inter-disciplinary and multicultural environment
  • Ability to work in a team, as well as independently
  • Ability to solve complex problems with adherence of strict deadlines
  • Excellent communication skills (both written and verbal) in English to derive the full benefit from the network training
  • Proactive attitude
  • As secondments and events are foreseen, applicants must be ready to travel
  • Applicants must be eligible to enroll on a PhD programme offered by the Department of Mechanical Engineering at TUBS. Therewith, the degree must be approved by TUBS
  • Applicants having a degree in a field contrary to aerospace engineering or comparable engineering sciences have to pass additional modules where required. Find more information at


Desired skills:

  • Experience in laboratory work including the design, conduction and evaluation of experiments
  • Project management
  • Knowledge of the host institution language is a plus