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Munich Aerospace - Fakultät für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V.

Munich Aerospace PhD Scholarship: Investigations on the Application of Sounding Rockets for the Flight Testing of Optimized Shape Capsules for Return Trajectories


Munich Aerospace is establishing a Research Group “Optimization of the Reentry with Respect to the Minimization of Heating or Infrared Signature”. This minimization of heat loads on the reentry body can be achieved by intelligent choice of trajectory design in combination with an appropriate shape selection of the reentry body. The research group will address both aspects using computational as well as experimental approaches. The German Aerospace Center, Space Operations and Astronaut Training, Mobile Rocket Base, provides flight opportunities on sounding rockets and balloons for researchers in various fields. One application that has increased in demand over the recent decade is the use of sounding rockets as “flying windtunnels” for super- and hypersonic aerothermodynamics of sub and full scale test articles. The experimental data that can be collected with such flights is of high interest and superior quality than ground testing data. The comparison of ground tests and computational simulation with flight data provides valuable insight into the underlying physics. In our group you will find demanding and creative tasks within a professional environment focusing on practical technology and efficient conduct of flight tests. Promotion opportunity is given for all PhD positions. Female applicants are welcome.

Research Topic:
Your research will focus on the design of an optimized reentry body shape and its subsequent flight test for validation. Special focus shall be put on the shape transition in the nose section of the body and the flow behavior in this region of strong curvature. A combination with the optimization of possible reentry trajectories shall result in a proposal of a minimum heating trajectory and body combination. An appropriate validation mission shall be designed, prepared and conducted. The applicability of sounding rockets to reentry flight testing should be evaluated in this context and the limitations and chances should be identified. The project includes the design and ground test of the experimental vehicle and may, depending on schedule and cost, include windtunnel testing. In collaboration with DLR scientists, appropriate materials shall be selected and health monitoring conceived. The research thus encompasses aerodynamics as well as aerothermodynamics and flight dynamics. Active and passive cooling techniques shall be investigated and compared. Functional and robust stabilization methods are essential for the success of the flight test mission. The research project will be conducted in the framework of a Munich Aerospace research group together with three researchers at Technische Universität Munich and Bundeswehr University Munich.

Art der Förderung

Munich Aerospace scholarships are awarded for a period of three years. The monthly scholarship according to the Munich Aerospace scholarship directives is € 1,575 (tax free upon § 3 no. 44 EStG). Munich Aerospace scholarship holders are entitled to attend the Munich Aerospace Graduate School and have access to special events and trainings. An additional grant of up to € 6,100 per year will be available to cover expenses that are directly related to the PhD project (e.g. textbooks, laptop, conference travels, MVV card, housing subsidy).


You should have an excellent university degree (Dipl.-Ing. or master's degree, not older than 3 years) in engineering sciences (e.g. mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering) or natural science (e.g. physics or applied mathematics). Good knowledge of high speed aerodynamics, heat transfer and mathematics are required, experience in the development and application of numerical flow simulation methods and the application of modern programming languages like C ++ are welcome. An ability to work independently, willingness of interdisciplinary cooperation and good German and English skills are required. Experience with sounding rockets and scientific payloads is welcome.


If you are interested please send a full curriculum vitae, a motivation letter and full academic records including final school certificate to moraba@dlr.de

Weitere Informationen


  • Allgemeine Förderung (Lebenshaltungskosten)
  • Forschungsprojekte
  • Förderung von Absolventen


  • Deutschland


  • Promotion

Angestrebter Abschluss

  • Interne Promotion

Geförderte Fachrichtungen

  • allgemein: Ingenieurwissenschaften
  • allgemein: Mathematik, Naturwissenschaften


Munich Aerospace - Fakultät für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V.
Willy-Messerschmitt-Str. 1
85521 Ottobrunn

Telefon: +49 89 307 4849-49
Internet: munich-aerospace.de


Prof. Dr. Felix Huber
Internet: www.munich-aerospace.de/en/scholarships/currently-vacant-scholarships.html

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