GNSS / PNT Internship

Location: Harwell, Oxfordshire
Responsible to: Deputy CTO
Contract: Fixed term contract – 3 month probation and 1 month notice
Holiday: 28 days per annum, plus statutory holidays
Equal Opportunities: The Satellite Application Catapult strives to be an equal opportunities employer and commitment to this process will be expected.

About Us

The Satellite Applications Catapult is an independent technology and innovation company whose purpose is to promote, develop and facilitate the commercialisation and advancement of the satellite applications industry. The company is a not for profit Research Organisation, with a commercial trading subsidiary. The organisation embraces an open and innovative culture, encouraging an ethos of knowledge exchange and sector engagement, and has quickly become a world class centre of facilities and expertise.

We’re one of ten Catapults established and overseen by Innovate UK. They are places where the best of the UK’s innovative businesses and researchers work together to bring new products and services more quickly to commercialisation. Focusing on areas with great market potential, Catapults will open up global opportunities for the UK and generate economic growth for the future.

Our Mission

To innovate for a better world, empowered by satellites

Our Vision

To be a world-leading technology and innovation company, helping businesses of all sizes to realise the potential from space. By embracing a pioneering, agile, collaborative and entrepreneurial spirit, we create valued partnerships to deliver game-changing results.

Our Culture

The Catapult fosters an open and collaborative culture that stimulates and develops staff and encourages collaboration and innovation. Our employee value proposition is strong. We have worked hard to create an environment which is dynamic, exciting, challenging, rewarding, flexible and, most importantly, fun. More about the Catapult Culture.

The Role

The successful candidate will acquire rewarding hands-on experience on technical and/or business areas of the position, navigation and timing (PNT) domain, but also benefit from the Catapult network. This network encompasses multinational space companies like Airbus Defence & Space, GNSS-focused companies like u-Blox, emerging start-ups that will drive the future of the PNT market, and many user organisations in automotive, LBS, and other sectors. Working within the Catapult is a great opportunity for anybody who wants to be immerged in the sector, acquire meaningful technical, business and networking experience.

Current and emerging GNSS and positioning markets are addressed by thousands of different GNSS terminals, all claiming to have excellent levels of accuracy, using different metrics, based on different techniques… The Satellite Applications Catapult aims to develop standardised tests that will allow characterisation of receivers according to performance (accuracy & precision), the signals employed (multi-constellation, multi-frequency, SBAS aided…), technologies (PPP, RTK, multi-frequency), its robustness and integrity, using clear statements and unified metrics.

The purpose of this position is to define and develop the set of test scenarios that will be used as a testbench to systematically quantify performance of positioning equipment. The intern will learn how to operate the equipment that is comprised in the Catapult’s Navigation Lab. This equipment enables the Satellite Applications Catapult to test GNSS equipment in both real and simulated scenarios, and to subject the equipment under test to interference in the GNSS band and other anomalous events, in a controlled environment. Through his work at the Catapult, the intern is expected to become familiar with different types of GNSS equipment available in the market and the techniques involved in operating and testing GNSS equipment in different areas and applications. He/she will also acquire an understanding on robust PNT (Position Navigation and Timing), and the effects of interference (both intentional and unintentional) on the GNSS equipment and end user applications particularly in land transport and maritime domains.

The Trainee will further support the PNT Team in any other duties that might surface during his employment, and that will further expand its knowledge on Navigation, like signal characterisation, multi-sensor positioning or GIS systems.

Main Responsibilities and Activities


  • Operate & develop the Navigation Lab as part of the GNSS Centre being developed by Catapult and 3 external partner organisations. This will be a state of the art GNSS laboratory composed of GNSS receivers, GNSS simulators and testing facilities
  • Support development of Indoor position testing capability compatible with GNSS Centre
  • Expand or gain an understanding of GNSS operations, and its applications in different fields
  • Test multiple and diverse COTS GNSS receivers (from high end to integrated equipment), in both real and simulated scenarios
  • Define and propose a GNSS benchmark set of tests, comprised of both real and simulated GNSS tests, which will be used to systematically categorize GNSS receivers and solutions.
  • Develop the tools/scripts needed to support the previous activities


  • Review and document the GNSS equipment available in the market
  • Support the Catapult’s PNT experts to assess the GNSS market needs and trends

Any other duties dependent on the needs of the business

Desired Experience

  • Project planning
  • Stakeholder Management
  • Working in the Space environment

About You

Required Skills and Experience

  • Students in the last year (placement year) of their Engineering, Science, or Mathematics Bachelors degree. Masters or Doctoral students may also apply.
  • Strong mathematical and physical background: algebra, statistics, algorithms, geometry.
  • Understanding of and interest in GNSS and other positioning systems and techniques. Experience of GNSS Test and Simulation equipment an advantage.
  • Software: Matlab or Python. C or JAVA.
  • Highly motivated, pro-active, and able to act on own initiative (seeking approval where necessary)
  • Willing to “go the extra mile” to deliver valuable results of high quality and on time.
  • Willingness to learn new techniques, approaches, and technologies in a rapidly evolving technical arena.
  • Ability to interact with key decision makers and to challenge status quo when appropriate.
  • Ability to multi-task and work under pressure.
  • Ability to exercise effective judgment, discretion, sensitivity, creativity to changing needs and situations.
  • Ability to think “outside the box” to create pragmatic solutions.


If you are up for the challenge and thrive in a fast-paced and creative environment, send your CV along with a covering letter to

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