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Young Graduate Trainee in All Digital Ground Station (satellite communication)


  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location: Darmstadt
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Communication and Public Information
    • Outer space and satellite technology
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
  • Closing Date: Closed


Young Graduate Trainee in All Digital Ground Station (satellite communication)

Job Requisition ID:  18373
Closing Date:  7 March 2024 23:59 CET/CEST
Establishment:  ESOC, Darmstadt, Germany
Directorate:  Directorate of Operations
Publication:  External Only
Vacancy Type:  Young Graduate Trainee
Date Posted:  8 February 2024


Young Graduate Opportunity in the Directorate of Operations


ESA is an equal opportunity employer, committed to achieving diversity within the workforce and creating an inclusive working environment. We therefore welcome applications from all qualified candidates irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, beliefs, age, disability or other characteristics. Applications from women are encouraged.


This post is classified F1 on the Coordinated Organisations’ salary scale.



ESOC, Darmstadt, Germany 


Our team and mission

We're responsible for processing (demodulation/decoding/etc.) the satellite communication signals at our ground stations. Currently, we're making an exciting shift from a traditional setup to a more advanced system called the "All Digital Ground Station". This new method simplifies the signal processing chain, making it more efficient and flexible.

As part of this and other developments, we have a well-equipped lab that mirrors our ESA ground stations. This is where we test and validate new developments for future satellite missions. It's a hands-on space where innovation comes to life.

Our team is made up of diverse and motivated individuals, creating a dynamic and interesting workplace. We're eager to welcome you aboard our journey of exploration and innovation in satellite signal processing. Your unique contributions will be valued as we continue to push the boundaries in our field.


You are encouraged to visit the ESA website:

Field(s) of activity/research for the traineeship

Your role is crucial in shaping the future of our All Digital Ground Station.

Here's a breakdown of what you'll do:

1. Build an Experimental Breadboard System:

Your first task is to create an experimental system for our Ground Station. You'll use our lab facilities for a hands-on experience.

2. Integration of Industry Developments:

You'll work with industry partners to combine their technologies into an experimental system, creating a practical setup. This exposes you to real-world systems and to industry collaborations.

3. System Testing and Problem Analysis:

After setting up the system, you'll run tests to see how well it works and identify any issues. This helps to understand its performance and solve problems that may arise.

4. Collaborative Improvement:

Your role continues beyond testing. Working with experienced engineers, you'll enhance the system based on your findings, making it more reliable and efficient.

5. Foundation for Larger Development:

The system you're building acts as the starting point for a bigger project. Your contributions will directly impact the creation of an advanced system for all ESA satellite ground stations.


Throughout these tasks, you'll be supported by experienced engineers, guiding you and providing valuable insights. We're excited to welcome you as an essential part of our team!

Technical competencies

Knowledge of relevant technical domains
Relevant experience gained during internships/project work
Breadth of exposure coming from past and/or current research/activities
Knowledge of ESA and its programmes/projects

Behavioural competencies

Result Orientation

Operational Efficiency

Fostering Cooperation

Relationship Management

Continuous Improvement

Forward Thinking


You should have just completed, or be in the final year of your Master’ s degree in electrical engineering, telecommunication engineering, software engineering or equivalent field.

Additional requirements

You should have good interpersonal and communication skills and should be able to work in a multicultural environment, both independently and as part of a team.

Experience in signal processing is important and some experience with network communications (LAN/IP) would be an asset.

The working languages of the Agency are English and French. A good knowledge of one of these is required. Knowledge of another Member State language would be an asset.

During the interview motivation and overall professional perspective/career goals will also be explored.

Other information

For behavioural competencies expected from ESA staff in general, please refer to the ESA Competency Framework.


For further information on the Young Graduate Programme please visit: Young Graduate Programme and FAQ Young Graduate Programme


At the Agency we value diversity and we welcome people with disabilities. Whenever possible, we seek to accommodate individuals with disabilities by providing the necessary support at the workplace. The Human Resources Department can also provide assistance during the recruitment process. If you would like to discuss this further please contact us email


Please note that applications are only considered from nationals of one of the following States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Nationals from Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia, as  Associate Member States, or Canada as a Cooperating State, can apply as well as those from Bulgaria, Croatia and Cyprus as European Cooperating States (ECS).

According to the ESA Convention, the recruitment of staff must take into account an adequate distribution of posts among nationals of the ESA Member States*. When short-listing for an interview, priority will first be given to candidates from under-represented Member States*. 


In accordance with the European Space Agency’s security procedures and as part of the selection process, successful candidates will be required to undergo basic screening before appointment conducted by an external background screening service. 

*Member States, Associate Members or Cooperating States.

This vacancy is now closed.
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