Post-doctoral position in orbital mechanics (dnr: 2.2.1-78/22)

We are looking for a postdoc to contribute to sustainability in space by studying space objects with optical systems and radar methods.

Earth is surrounded by a cloud of space debris ranging from dead satellites and rocket stages to fragments of material with a total mass on the order of 10,000 tons. Fragmentation events have generated approximately 1 million objects larger than 1 cm. To minimize the risk for future collisions and an exponential growth of the number of new objects, the orbital parameters of space objects must be monitored.

The project work involves both experimental and modelling studies of space object orbit determination. You will further develop an analysis pipeline for multi-station optical observations and high-power large aperture research radar data with the goal of contributing to space situational awareness.

The postdoc position is related to a collaborative project between IRF and the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) funded by the Swedish National Space Agency (SNSA), as well as international projects funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) Space Debris Office. You will be part of a project group consisting of several scientists, engineers and software developers.

We think that you have good knowledge of statistical data analysis and numerical modeling using Python, C/C++ or similar. Relevant experience of software development, signal processing, or analyzing experimental data from optical or radar observations is a merit.

Candidates should have a PhD degree in physics, engineering, applied mathematics or a related field. We will primarily consider candidates with a recent degree. If you have an older degree and wants to refer to special circumstances, such as parental leave, this should be clearly stated in your application. The candidate should not currently be an active postdoctoral researcher at the Swedish Institute of Space Physics.

The position, placed in Kiruna, is for 2 years.

For further information please contact:
Dr Johan Kero, e-mail:, +46-980-790 84

Trade union representatives:
Uwe Raffalski, SACO-S, e-mail:, +46-980- 790 21
Stefan Karlsson, ST, e-mail:, +46-980-790 29

Closing date for applications is 27 March 2022.

Applications should include a CV, a short letter (one page), stating research interests and relevant experience, copies of academic transcripts and contact information for two professional references.

Applications should be submitted, preferably by email, to:

Or by mail:
Swedish Institute of Space Physics,
Box 812,
SE-981 28 Kiruna, Sweden 

Please quote reference number: 2.2.1-78/22

If your application is sent by e-mail you should get a confirmation that we have received it. If you do not get the confirmation within three days, please contact the registrar:  +46 980-790 00.

Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF) is a governmental research institute that conducts postgraduate education and research in space physics, atmospheric physics and space technology. Many of IRF’s projects are run as large international projects in collaboration with other research institutes and space agencies. IRF has about one hundred employees and offices in Kiruna (headquarters), Umeå, Uppsala and Lund.

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