Company Details

ONERA, a central player in aeronautical and space research, prepares the defense of tomorrow, responds to the aeronautical and space challenges of the future, and contributes to the competitiveness of the aerospace industry.

Presentation of ONERA

ONERA, a central player in aeronautical and space research, employs more than 2,000 people. Placed under the supervision of the Ministry of the Armed Forces, it has a budget of 266 million euros (2022), more than half of which comes from study, research and test contracts. State expert, ONERA prepares the defense of tomorrow, responds to the aeronautical and space challenges of the future, and contributes to the competitiveness of the aerospace industry. He masters all the disciplines and technologies in the field. All the major civil and military aerospace programs in France and Europe carry part of ONERA’s DNA: Ariane, Airbus, Falcon, Rafale, missiles, helicopters, engines, radars, etc. Recognized internationally and often awarded, its researchers train many doctoral students.

Presentation of the department

ONERA’s Department of Physics, Instrumentation, Environment, Space (DPHY) designs innovative instruments and assesses certain aerospace environments and their consequences on embedded systems. In particular, it develops inertial instruments for guidance-navigation, geodesy or fundamental physics (based on micro technologies, electrostatics or atomic interferometry), methods for the metrological characterization of flows or plasmas (based on optical spectroscopy, ‘OPO, LIDAR, photoacoustic…) as well as plasma sources such as electric satellite thrusters. He studies lightning and its impact on aircraft as well as the space environment, its effects on materials and electronic components,


You will be attached to the Laser Sources and Metrology (SLM) research unit of the DPHY. This unit is in charge of the development of optical and atomic metrology techniques, as well as their implementation in instrumental validation prototypes covering various application fields. For this, SLM develops laser sources, instruments and metrology techniques implementing processes from both classical and quantum optics, linear and non-linear. SLM develops in particular: local or remote gas spectrometry systems; quantum and atomic sensors such as cold atom inertial sensors; and also benches and optical diagnostic probes.

Your work will take place within the framework of the European project ADEQUADE dedicated to quantum technologies and for which ONERA is engaged in the development of a cold atom gravimeter for embedded applications, a field of great expertise for ONERA, by studying more particularly so-called “strap-down” solutions, ie without a gyro-stabilized platform dynamically guaranteeing the verticality of the sensor.

You will join the project team and your mission will include both technical participation in the design, supply, assembly, piloting and testing phases of a cold atom inertial system, as well as the management of interactions with the coordinator and project partners (an appetite for project management is necessary). You will also participate in other more forward-looking aspects of the project on Rydberg atom-based sensors or applications of twin photon sources for metrology. You will participate in the scientific influence of this project by contributing to scientific publications and conference communications.

This position will be the subject of an open-ended Contract Project or Research Operation Contract for a minimum of 3 years.

Your missions will be subject to a national defense clearance.


  • Doctor or engineer with strong specialization in optics;
  • Experience in the field of cold atoms or quantum optics;
  • Ability to work in a team around a unifying project, appetite for project management;
  • Strong taste for putting innovative and fundamental concepts into practice for an application purpose;
  • Very good command of English;
  • Ability to write in French and English (specifications, technical reports, publications);
  • Computer knowledge (Python, Labview) appreciated.


Joining ONERA means joining the leading player in aeronautics and space research in France, it means building the future now, it means innovating every day in a cutting-edge sector.

At ONERA, you will find a balance between professional life and personal life and an environment that promotes the continuous training of employees.

Our company is committed to a policy in favor of the integration and continued employment of people with disabilities.

Tagged as: R&D, quantum optics, cold atoms

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