Astronomy Instrumentation Co-op Student

  • Part Time
  • Posted 1 month ago
  • The successful candidate must hold or be eligible to obtain the relevant Security and Controlled Goods Clearances.

Company Details


MDA develops and delivers advanced surveillance and intelligence solutions, defence and maritime systems, radar geospatial imagery, space robotics, satellite antennas, and communication subsystems. From locations across Canada, MDA’s global reach and heritage serving international markets with innovative and iconic solutions for space and terrestrial applications is unparalleled.

About Us

Innovation in Space and Defence

MDA has successfully exported its made-in-Canada solutions for more than four decades, and is poised to capture synergies across its associated companies to expand its capabilities in both traditional and developing markets. MDA is committed to delivering innovation and value in next-generation space exploration, Earth observation, space awareness, and defence systems.

The new space economy is based on agility, rapid technology development and harnessing capital to turn commitments into reality, generating benefits for humanity as well as a return on investment. MDA’s 1,900 future-focused employees are working together to turn ideas into the products, services, systems, and solutions that make a better world.

Please review the job details below.

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a radio telescope “mega” project that will be built by more than 10 countries with two sites: Australia (LOW telescope) and South Africa (MID telescope). It will have a total collecting area of approximately one square kilometre. It will operate over a wide range of frequencies and its size will make it 50 times more sensitive than any other radio instrument.  More than 300 engineers and scientists from around the world were involved in the “pre-construction” design phase leading to a Critical Design Review in 2019.

MDA Systems Ltd (MDA) has taken a leadership role in the international consortium for the Central Signal Processing (CSP) Element and is partnered with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) to perform detailed design and prototyping work for the Correlator/Beamformer element of the MID telescope (MID.CBF). The MID.CBF team is jointly led by MDA and the NRC group based at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory in Penticton B.C. and has team members located in New Zealand and Italy as well.  MID.CBF is a high-performance, computationally dense, custom signal processing system that will use the latest FPGA/SoC technology.

As part of the SKA evolutionary prototype being developed during the bridging phase (2020-2021), HAA Astronomy Technology Directorate (ATD) is developing a TALON Demonstrator Correlator (TDC). The TDC will be a small correlator using the NRC TALON technology and Frequency Slice Architecture (FSA) signal processing algorithms. Its purpose is to demonstrate TALON/FSA technology readiness and performance. The TDC will build on the prototyping work done by the NRC/MDA team during SKA pre-construction.  The TDC work will be executed as part of the SKA SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework for Lean Enterprise) program by the NRC/MDA CSP Interface Prototyping Agile (CIPA) Team.

MDA is looking for a student who is highly motivated to jump into the CIPA team and progress the development of the TDC system. The student is expected to work 2 days/week on average over a 6 month period. Depending upon the skills, background, and interest of the chosen student, the scope of work could involve any of the following:

  • Matlab modelling of signal processing algorithms
  • Software development in Python, C++
  • Firmware development on the Intel Stratix 10 FPGA
  • Development of test environments and tools
  • Support for more efficient development processes


The chosen student would participate within a distributed agile engineering team following the SAFe development approach.

  • A university degree in engineering, computer science or other relevant discipline, or an equivalent combination of education and experience (or in the process of achieving this)
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Self-starter, proactive
  • willingness to learn new things

Desirable skills:

  • SW development with Python and C++
  • Digital signal processing, Matlab
  • Firmware development experience
  • Astronomy, radio astronomy

Comments/Special Considerations:

  • The successful candidate must hold or be eligible to obtain the relevant Security and Controlled Goods Clearances.

Competitive Compensation and Benefits Package

MDA provides competitive compensation and benefits packages for its employees at its many locations. As a member of the MDA team, you and your qualified dependents are eligible to participate in a benefit plan that ensures a comprehensive level of protection for employees and their families through health care plans, disability income protection, life insurance, and other employee benefits. The Company’s retirement plans encourage employees to save for their future with a Company matching contribution in many locations.​


Tagged as: Matlab, python, astronomy, C++, digital signal processing, firmware development, radio astronomy, intel stratix 10 fpga

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