PhD Studentship Opportunity in Adaptive Communication Modelling using Software Defined Radio

University of Surrey - Department of Electronic Engineering

The Surrey Space Centre is part of the Department of Electronic Engineering and is a world-class institution for space engineering research with growing capabilities in small satellites. The successful candidate will join the Onboard Data Handling Group and be conducting research into high rate radio communications links.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has recently led a push for space agencies and industry to move from the over utilised S- and X-Band Telemetry Tracking and Control (TT&C) and Payload links into X- and Ka-Bands (25.5-27 GHz) respectively and in the longer term we may see a move into Q- or V-Band for high data throughput systems. However, in the Ka-, Q- and V-Band case there is limited accuracy in the current ESA and NASA atmospheric loss models for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) missions covering rain and ice depolarisation, tropospheric scintillation, and other attenuations leading to a fading and lossy satellite link. Combining SSC and SSTL expertise in software defined radio and LEO communication links towards new adaptive coding and modulation (ACM) techniques, Surrey plans to lead the way in characterising these channels, as well as determining techniques and hardware required for future communications in these bands.


This project will present the opportunity of collaborating with leading space industries such as Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. This project is funded with a Home/EU studentship from the Surrey Space Centre. The funding is available for 3 years for a total amount of £18,491 p.a. this is made up of a bursary (£14,296) and fees (£4,195) per annum, pro rata and will be increased every year to cover the cost of both fees and bursary up to a total of three years.

Apply now

We wish to start this PhD project for October 2018, however, a selection of excellent candidates is fundamental to us and a slightly later date could be agreed if necessary. Only Home/EU applicants need apply via our online system:

  1. Apply to study on the Space Engineering PhD programme
  2. In the application form, clearly state you are applying for the PhD scholarship supervised by Dr Chris Bridges, Surrey Space Centre
  3. All applications must be submitted by the 16th May 2018.
  4. Interviews will be held during July/August 2018 with a view of a start date of October 2018.
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