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PhD Student to work on ASIM data

Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU)

Frist 28. september 2020

The Section for Astrophysics and Atmospheric Physics at the Danish National Space Institute, DTU Space, seeks a PhD Student to work on data from the Atmosphere-Space Interactions Monitor (ASIM). DTU Space develops instruments and detectors to be used in space for research in astrophysics, the physics of the solar system and Earth observations. ASIM was developed at DTU Space in collaboration with ESA, Terma, the University of Bergen and the University of Valencia. It was launched and secured to the International Space Station (ISS) in April 2018, and has been monitoring the electrical discharges above thunderstorms ever since. Currently the mission is expected to last until the spring of 2022.

Transient Luminous Events (TLEs)
This PhD project will be based on the ASIM data, as well as data from other space-borne instruments (LIS-ISS, TARANIS etc.) and ground-based lightning networks (GLD360, WLLNN). The PhD project will be supported through the ASIM Science Data Centre (ASDC) and will include:

  • Analyzing science data from the ASIM instruments, especially blue jets, TGFs and other TLEs.
  • Comparing the ASIM events with simultaneous events seen by other instruments and networks.
  • Working with researchers and PhD students at DTU Space to develop and quantify theories for the trigger mechanisms behind the poorly-understood TGF events.
  • Maintaining and upgrading the ASDC data-handling pipeline that filters, converts and distributes the ASIM data.
  • Helping the ASDC team and the ISS science user operations team in Belgium (B.USOC) with operation and configuration of the ASIM instruments for maximum science yield.

The successful candidate will work closely with ASIM partners in Norway, Spain, Belgium and Denmark. For more on the ASIM instruments and research see:


All applicants must have a master’s degree in physics or engineering in a related area (fundamental physics, electrical discharges, atmospheric geophysics etc.) at the time of being hired (October/November 2020), and fulfill the academic requirements of DTU:


Candidates should have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree.

The new PhD student will be expected to have previous experience in most of these areas:

  • ASIM science and housekeeping data download and reduction
  • Vaisala GLD 360 data download and analysis
  • LIS-ISS data download and analysis
  • ISS Processed Parameters (PP) use for attitude and geolocation determination.
  • ECSS and CCSDS standards and protocols for telemetry
  • Linux, Python, Docker, GITlab, Jenkins, astropy
  • PostgreSQL, Django, nginx, HighCharts
  • SVN, LaTeX and Word
  • Reading, writing and understanding English at a high technical level
  • Working independently in an interactive, international environment

Approval and Enrolment

The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

We offer
We offer an interesting and challenging position in an international atmosphere with the focus on research, teaching, innovation and scientific advice for the benefit of the surrounding community. At least one extended period of study abroad is required for the PhD education, and there will be shorter trips abroad for conferences and ASIM partner meetings. DTU Space offers a unique, dynamic work environment with flexible working conditions. In the area of technical and natural sciences, DTU is one of the leading technical research and education institutions in Europe. DTU Space has been heavily involved in large international space missions for the last 30 years.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

The position is rated at 37 hours per week.

The workplace will be at the DTU Lyngby Campus. Since a large part of the work is carried out in international cooperation, some travel activity must be expected.

Further information
If you would like additional information about the position, please contact Senior Scientific Officer Carol Anne Oxborrow at


Please submit your online application no later than 28 September 2020 (23:59 local time).

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system
  • (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)

Interviews will be conducted in September and October 2020.

Candidates may apply prior to ob­tai­ning their master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Space has about 180 employees, an annual turn-over of about 150 MDKK and it is located at the Lyngby Campus of the Technical University of Denmark together with 19 other institutes within the technical sciences. As the National Space Institute, DTU Space is the leading institution of public space activities in Denmark. The mission of the Institute is to conduct research, development, public sector consultancy, education and innovation at the highest international level within the following areas: Space Technology & Instrumentation, Earth Observation & Geoscience and Space-& Astrophysics

In the Astrophysics and Atmospheric Division, current focus areas cover large-scale structure of the universe, physics of compact objects, space weather, upper atmosphere physics and cosmo-climatology as well as development of instrumentation, in particular high-energy instrumentation, i.e. X- and gamma ray detectors and -optics.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,000 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.

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Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU) - hurtigt overblik

Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU)
Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU)
DTU er et teknisk eliteuniversitet med international rækkevidde og standard. Vores mission er at udvikle og nyttiggøre naturvidenskab og teknisk videnskab til gavn for samfundet. 11.200 studerende uddanner sig her til fremtiden, og 6.000 medarbejdere har hver dag fokus på uddannelse, forskning, myndighedsrådgivning og innovation, som bidrager til øget vækst og velfærd.

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