Possible theses

  Schwimmbadtest zur Positionierung © Dirk Heinen

In EnEx and TRIPLE, base technologies are being developed in cooperation with DLR, other universities and colleges to enable future space missions to the icy moons of the solar system in order to search for extraterrestrial life there.

It is focused on the development of melting probes and acoustic navigation systems. Important aspects are, for example, the design of melting probe subsystems and the testing of the probes, the understanding of the physical properties of different acoustic transducers and the acoustic properties of ice, as well as the development of efficient algorithms and electronic circuits.

Knowledge of laboratory work, programming, electronics development, or Linux-based operating systems is not required and can be taught by the supervisor and colleagues as part of the thesis work. Interest in the subject matter and initiative in solving various problems are helpful.

The topics listed here are intended to serve as examples of possible projects. In a personal discussion, the topic will be formulated together with the supervisor, taking into account your interests, skills and knowledge.

If you are interested, please contact Prof. Dr. Christopher Wiebusch or Dr. Dirk Heinen.


Data Analysis & Detector Development

In EnEx and TRIPLE, melting probes are being developed to melt through thick ice sheets as autonomously as possible. Acoustic transmitters and receivers are needed for localization and forefield exploration of these probes. Therefore, work on the characterization of acoustic transducers as well as measurements of the acoustic properties of ice are offered, which can be performed in laboratory, open water and also glacier tests.

Here are some examples of possible topics in data analysis and detector development:

  • Investigation of the TRIPLE-IceCraft's curve capability as a function of various probe parameters.
  • Setup and testing of subsystems, e.g. the system (IMU and magnetometer) for inertial navigation and depth determination, for TRIPLE-IceCraft.
  • Setup and system tests for the acoustic forefield reconnaissance system TRIPLE-FRS (can be combined with simulations).
  • Analysis of acoustic signal using Machine Learning methods for TRIPLE-IceCraft and TRIPLE-FRS
  • Co-development of an analysis toolbox for the acoustic analysis of measurement data for TRIPLE-FRS
  • Analysis of 2023 Antarctic data (sensors data of the melting probe, acoustics data and camera images)
  • Validation of acoustic transmitter characteristics and comparison with an electro-mechanical model or FEM simulations (several topics with different focus on data analysis/measurement setup/simulation are possible).

Electronics Development & Hardware Related Programming

Melting probes need to read a large number of sensors and control their subsystems. To be able to handle the large amounts of data, a modern system-on-chip (SoC) platform. Efficient algorithms and system software or electronics for individual sensors can be developed within the scope of theses. Some topics can also be offered in cooperation with the IceCube working group.

In addition, a variety of topics in the area of electronics development and circuit design for the different subsystems can be offered.

Here are some examples of possible topics in the area of electronics development & hardware-related programming:

  • Design and test of a system for powerline communication for long cable lengths (> 1 km) for TRIPLE-IceCraft.
  • Design, development and test of electronic components and firmware (microcontroller) for TRIPLE-IceCraft.
  • Development and programming of FPGA/SoC/micro controller firmware for control and data acquisition of acoustic instrumentation for TRIPLE-FRS.

Simulation Work

The TRIPLE and EnEx systems use acoustic simulations not only to verify field measurements and better understand the propagation of sound in various media, but also to test imaging techniques (sonography).

The use of simulation tools such as COMSOL, NI Multisim, K-Wave and Matlab can be taught as part of a thesis and offers many possible topics in the field of acoustic simulation.

Here are some examples of possible topics in the area of simulation work:

  • Creation of an electrical-mechanical equivalent circuit diagram for acoustic instrumentation.
  • Simulation of the system for forefield exploration and validation of the simulation on the basis of test data.

Further Topics

In addition to the topics presented above, we offer further work:

  • Literature research on measurements of the Cassini spacecraft at Enceladus.


Do not hesitate to contact us dirctly per email or phone.