2 PhDs on Modulation and Coding for Adaptive Free-Space Optical Communications

2 PhDs on Modulation and Coding for Adaptive Free-Space Optical Communications

Published Deadline Location
20 Sep 31 Dec Eindhoven

Job description

Are you fascinated by the idea of high-speed space Internet, envisioned to be powered by more than 50000 low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites expected to be launched within 10 years? Join us on this research project in collaboration with multiple tech companies to develop and demonstrate the next generation of free-space optical (FSO) communication systems for satellite communications.

Job Description

Satellite-based links are of key importance to provide ever-increasing data rates. Free-space optics is a technology that can help satisfy this demand thanks to the vast amounts of bandwidth available in the THz-regime. The Eindhoven University of Technology recognizes the crucial paradigm shift, from intensity-modulated to coherent transmission, necessary in next generation FSO communication systems to provide high throughputs. To address this challenge, we are excited to announce 2 PhD positions (P1 & P2) in the field of Modulation and Coding for Adaptive FSO communications.

These two positions are part of a collaborative research project between leading technology companies (TNO, Aircision, Hyperion Technologies, ADVA Network Security, Luxquanta, and Cubiq Technologies) and two research groups at TU/e: the Signal Processing Systems (SPS) and the Electronic Systems (ES) group. The research in this project will be performed between these companies and research groups. You will be a part of a team that consists of 2 EngDs, 2 PhDs, and 1 postdoc. Successful candidates will work on hard and/or soft decision decoding of forward error correction codes (P1) and advanced modulation and probabilistic/geometric shaping (P2) for the FSO channel.

The first PhD (P1) will focus on the design optimal hybrid FEC design for FSO systems. This design will revolve around two criteria: (i) minimising the gap to the information-theoretic limits identified in WP2 (WP2.4), and (ii) optimising FEC energy efficiency. To meet these criteria, two alternative approaches will be followed: (1) combining the improved design of algebraic code classes with novel soft-aided algebraic decoders, and (2) investigating new algorithms for highly quantized probabilistic decoders.

This second PhD (P2) will develop optimal constellation shaping designs for the FSO channel. Two complementary goals will be pursued: (i) the maximisation of the so-called shaping gain when hybrid demappers and decoders are adopted, and (ii) robustness against the variation in channel (i.e., weather) conditions. The first goal targets the time the FSO link operates at high SNR, i.e., under very good weather conditions, while the second goal targets the time the FSO link operates under poor and unsteady weather conditions where high reliability is still expected.


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)


  • A Master's degree in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, or a related field.
  • Strong background in digital signal processing, communication theory, information theory, and coding theory.
  • Proficiency in programming languages such as MATLAB, Python, or C/C++.
  • A research-oriented attitude.
  • Ability to work in a collaborative interdisciplinary team and interested in collaborating with industry.
  • Motivated to develop your teaching skills and coach students.
  • Fluent in spoken and written English (C1 level).
  • (Optional) Some experience in RTL design and FPGA prototyping using VHDL/Verilog and/or HLS tools.

Conditions of employment

A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university, in an interdisciplinary setting and within an international network. You will work on a beautiful, green campus within walking distance of the central train station. In addition, we offer you:
  • Full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months. You will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • Salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, paid pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, scale P (min. €2,770 max. €3,539).
  • A year-end bonus of 8.3% and annual vacation pay of 8%.
  • High-quality training programs and other support to grow into a self-aware, autonomous scientific researcher. At TU/e we challenge you to take charge of your own learning process.
  • An excellent technical infrastructure, on-campus children's day care and sports facilities.
  • An allowance for commuting, working from home and internet costs.
  • A Staff Immigration Team and a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) for international candidates.

Additional information

About us

Eindhoven University of Technology is an internationally top-ranking university in the Netherlands that combines scientific curiosity with a hands-on attitude. Our spirit of collaboration translates into an open culture and a top-five position in collaborating with advanced industries. Fundamental knowledge enables us to design solutions for the highly complex problems of today and tomorrow. 

Curious to hear more about what it's like as a PhD candidate at TU/e? Please view the video.

The Information and Communication Theory Lab (ICT Lab) at TU/e is a globally recognized research group focusing on information and communication theory, and its applications. At the ICT Lab, we study information processing in a broad sense. We focus on finding fundamental limits but also on the data processing techniques (often codes and digital signal processing algorithms) and architectures that aim at approaching these limits. Main areas of interest are source coding, channel coding, multi-user information theory, security, and machine learning. We typically use information-theoretical frameworks to model the scenarios under investigation. This allows us to find out what the optimal trade-offs are. The scenarios that we study often result from close interaction with industry.

Curious to hear more about research at the ICT Lab? Please view this video.


Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more?
Please contact the hiring managers dr. Alex Alvarado, Associate Professor (SPS Group) at a.alvarado[at]tue.nl or dr. Alexios Balatsoukas-Stimming (ES Group) at a.k.balatsoukas.stimming[at]tue.nl.

Visit our website for more information about the application process or the conditions of employment. For More information about the research groups in this project please visit


For any other informal inquires, please contact the secretary of the ICT Lab, Mrs. Emeral Clump-Busser at ictlab[at]tue.nl

Are you inspired and would like to know more about working at TU/e? Please visit our career page.


We invite you to submit a complete application by using the apply button.
The application should include:
  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications and the contact information of three references.
  • BSc and MSc transcripts
  • Up to two written scientific reports (e.g., BSc/MSc thesis, traineeship report, or scientific paper) in any language (preferably in English)

We look forward to receiving your application and will screen it as soon as possible. The vacancy will remain open until the position is filled.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • V36.6914


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)

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De Rondom 70, 5612 AP, Eindhoven

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 31 Dec 2023 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).