Offer 64 out of 81 from 27/02/23, 14:06


Tech­ni­sche Uni­ver­sität Ber­lin - Faculty VI - Institute of Geodesy and Geoinformation Science/ Satellite Geodesy

Research Assistant (PostDoc) - salary grade E13 TV-L Berliner Hochschulen

part-time employment may be possible

Besides the Earth Orientation Parameters, the space geodetic technique VLBI (Very Long Baseline Interferometry) provides the International Celestial Reference Frame (ICRF), current release ICRF3. For some years, the observing technique VLBI has been undergoing a modernization of its ground segment called VGOS (VLBI Global Observing System). ICRF3 contains the coordinates of extragalactic radio sources in three different radio frequencies. Since 2012, the European Space Agency (ESA) operates the Gaia satellite mission. At the moment, the Early Data Release 3 (EDR3) is available from this mission. Gaia is a sky-scanning mission currently providing the most accurate star catalogue at optical wavelengths. The Gaia satellite orbits the Lagrange-2-point of the solar system and has no connection to the terrestrial reference frame ITRF (International Terrestrial Reference Frame) that represents the Earth surface; current version ITRF2020. In order to exploit Gaia data on the Earth surface or in Earth orbit, the data set needs to be transformed onto ICRF with highest possible accuracy.

Working field:

Focus of the project is the determination of the transformation parameters between the Gaia data release products and the VLBI CRF during the mission duration of Gaia and beyond. For this purpose, dedicated phase-referencing VLBI observations of radio stars will be planned, applied for at VLBI observing program committees, scheduled and then analyzed. The calibrators for the phase-referencing will be taken from ICRF3 or from the CRF obtained from within the project. This way the optically bright part of Gaia can be aligned indirectly to ICRF3. The optically faint part of Gaia contains a large number of objects that are also included in ICRF3. Thereby, a special challenge is the fact that radio sources and their optical counterparts do not necessarily appear at the same position on the sky. The most precise alignment of both, bright and faint parts of Gaia with the ICRF3 can be obtained based on both methods, thereby providing the basis for the highly accurate determination of the transformation parameters.
The position is part of a joint project with the VLBI Group at Helmholtz Centre Potsdam, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences. The project group led by Prof. Harald Schuh (Technische Universität Berlin and Director of GFZ Department 1) and Dr. Robert Heinkelmann (Head of the VLBI group at GFZ) will also include a doctoral researcher. The two project scientists are expected to collaborate closely. The successful applicant will work together within this project group and with other VLBI scientists at GFZ Potsdam.


  • successfully completed university degree (Master, Diplom or equivalent) and PhD or equivalent in space geodesy or radio astronomy or equivalent
  • specialization in the fields of geodetic / astrometric / astronomical VLBI
  • favorably knowledge of VLBI imaging processing software, such as AIPS
  • knowledge of programming languages such as MatLab, Fortran, Python
  • willingness to assume project responsibility and interest in contributing to a working group
  • good teamwork and resilience
  • very good command of English (written and spoken) required

How to apply:

Please send your application with the reference number and the usual documents (cover letter, curriculum vitae, school and university certificates, publication list) to Prof. Dr. Schuh only by email (single pdf file; max. 5 MB) to

By submitting your application via email you consent to having your data electronically processed and saved. Please note that we do not provide a guarantee for the protection of your personal data when submitted as unprotected file. Please find our data protection notice acc. DSGVO (General Data Protection Regulation) at the TU staff department homepage: or quick access 214041.

To ensure equal opportunities between women and men, applications by women with the required qualifications are explicitly desired. Qualified individuals with disabilities will be favored. The TU Berlin values the diversity of its members and is committed to the goals of equal opportunities.

Technische Universität Berlin - Die Präsidentin - Fakultät VI, Institut für Geodäsie und Geoinformationstechnik, FG Satellitengeodäsie, Prof. Dr. Harald Schuh, Sekr. KAI 2-2, Kaiserin-Augusta-Allee 104-106, 10553 Berlin