ESO Engineering and Technology Research Fellowships / Studentships
ESO Engineering and Technology Research
Post-doctoral Fellowships, PhD Studentships,
Master Internships in various engineering fields
The European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere has as its primary mission to build and operate state-of-the-art facilities for the advancement of astronomical research. A strong Research & Development (R&D) programme is therefore at the core of ESO's activities.
What are we looking for?
What do we offer?
What kind of R&D is being done at ESO?
ESO is working on developments in many fields of engineering. Here are some examples of past and current research & development topics:
- Advanced visible and infra-red detectors: development of new e-APD arrays and CMOS detectors in collaboration with the industry, modeling and advanced testing of the detectors, characterization and optimization, controller development…
- Sub-millimeter receivers for ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter Array): development of cryogenic first-stage amplifiers, development of band 2+3 cartridges…
- Adaptive optics: extreme adaptive optics testbench for exo-planet observation; development of new technologies for deformable mirrors in collaboration with the industry; advanced, extensive AO simulation tools; study and development of new wavefront sensor concepts …
- Laser guide stars: solid state laser development in collaboration with the industry; testing of the laser guide star return flux; up-link and down-link tip-tilt correction for laser communications in collaboration with ESA; field experiments at la Palma (Canary Islands) …
- Interferometry: fringe tracking; differential astrometry; data reduction for high angular resolution imaging …
- Optics and photonics technologies: deflectometry feasibility studies; active phasing experiment; optical metrologies for the characterization at sub-micron level of large scale structures … in our 900 m2 of optical laboratories and integration halls
- Mechanical engineering: opto-mechanics and cryogeny for astronomical instrumentation and telescopes, finite-element analysis and modeling of large structures including wind, gravity and temperature effects, vibration analysis and fighting…
- Control software & engineering: PLC controllers for instruments and cryostats, Real Time Computing Systems for adaptive optics and for the ELT …
- Systems engineering: Prototyping a model-based system engineering (MBSE) approach; verification and commissioning of complex systems; reliability & availability analysis for an VLT or ELT instrument…
The currently funded active R&D projects are:
- Development of deformable mirrors for future ESO projects, with a very large number of actuators.
- Development of a detector test bench for advanced and complete testing of the detectors that are being used in ESO instruments.
- Development of a new generation controller for the ESO visible and infrared detectors.
- Common Instrument Systems for the ELT: prototypes for the technical visible and infra-red cameras of the ELT, definition of the real time software toolbox.
- PCS (Planetary Coronograph System) technology development: extreme adaptive optics.
- Cryo-amplifiers for advanced ALMA receivers.
- Field experiments with Pyramid WFS and pulsed lasers.
- Advanced reflective coatings.
- Large Saphira (e-APDs) Detector.
- Curved detectors.
- Laser Frequency Comb for astronomical applications.
Research subjects for Master's, PhD theses and fellowships
The candidates for a master's thesis can choose one (or a couple) of the subjects proposed in Table 1 according to their studies, experience and interests.
It is expected from the PhD studentship candidates that they develop and grow their research plan based on one of the original subjects given in Table 2, in discussion with their supervisor in their home university and with the ESO supervisor.
We do not propose specific subjects for the fellowship candidates as they have to come with their own original, personal research plan. Of course the candidates are free to take inspiration from the various research topics described here, as we have the infrastructure necessary to support them. But the personal research plan has to show the own ideas, imagination, initiative and structured approach of the candidates.