Research Assistant in UAV Airborne Engineering

Technical University of Denmark - DTU Space

DTU Space is seeking an applicant for a 2-year research assistant position in UAV-based mechanical and electrical engineering. 

High‐quality geophysical mapping of the subsurface is critical to successful mineral exploration.In beginning of 2018, DTU Space launches the 3-years MuVerDrone project (funded by EIT – RM: the European Institute of Technology – Raw Materials) with the purpose of developing a multi-versatile and long-range UAV geophysical surveying platform.

The MuVerDrone project will build on the recently completed v. 1.0 of the Smart UAV platform: a hybrid multi‐rotor and fixed‐wing UAV developed by DTU Space and Sky‐Watch (see application page at: The Smart UAV platform is ideal for geophysical surveying purposes given its VTOL and long-range capabilities. 

You will be in charge of designing, building and implementing an ultra-lightweight, aerodynamic and flexible sub-bottom carbon-fiber frame on the Smart UAV. The frame will be mounted with two magnetometers (GSMP-35U) for a horizontal magnetic gradiometer system. 

Acquisition of high-quality magnetic gradiometer data for mineral exploration purposes relies on high signal-to-noise ratio data. Low noise levels are mainly obtained by distancing the magnetometers from the UAV platform. 

You will be in charge of designing, building and integrating a sub-bottom frame on the Smart UAV to be used for a magnetic gradiometer system. 

The frame integrated with the Smart UAV must provide an ultra-lightweight, aerodynamic and mechanically stable setup for the gradiometer system by minimizing shaking during flight and be long-time durable even in harsh weather conditions. 

We imagine a solution ( that comprises a non-magnetic carbon fiber frame with fully automatic retractable skids that can be lowered automatically during flight to distance the sensors from the UAV and provide optimal sensor distance for mineral exploration purposes (3-4 meters). 

A key task of the position, will be to improve our intended version of the frame setup – or if needed to provide alternative solutions. 

Responsibilities and tasks
Are you familiar with mechanical and electrical engineering, lightweight materials, and are you interested UAVs and magnetic data acquisition, then you could be our new research assistant at DTU Space. 

You will be in charge of designing, building and integrating an ultra-lightweight, mechanically stable and durable sub-bottom frame system on the Smart UAV intended for a magnetic gradiometer system. 

You are expected to collaborate closely with aerodynamic experts, UAV pilots, and geophysicists at the project. You will not be involved in the magnetic data processing but solely in the frame design, construction and testing. 

You will take active part in our planned flight tests both in Denmark and elsewhere in order to test and iteratively improve the frame setup. 

The research assistant position is part of the MuVerDrone project, which is funded by EIT RM (the European Institute of technology – Raw Materials). You are expected to collaborate with partners of the MuVerDrone project and to participate actively in the EIT- RM community. 

Application procedure
To apply, please read the full job advertisement at

Application deadline: 15 December 2017 (Local time). 

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 5,800 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 11,000 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government, and public agencies.

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