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Earth Observation Future Missions Spacecraft Platform Engineer


  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location: Noordwijk
  • Grade: Mid level - A2/A4 - Grade band
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Engineering
    • Environment
    • Communication and Public Information
    • Outer space and satellite technology
  • Closing Date: 2024-04-17



Earth Observation Future Missions Spacecraft Platform Engineer

Job Requisition ID:  18575
Closing Date:  17 April 2024 23:59 CET/CEST
Establishment:  ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands
Directorate:  Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes
Publication:  Internal & External
Vacancy Type:  Permanent
Date Posted:  27 March 2024


Vacancy in the Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes.


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 A2-A4 on the Coordinated Organisations’ salary scale.


ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands  



Earth Observation (EO) Future Missions Spacecraft Platform Engineer in the Future Missions and Instruments Division of the Future Missions and Architecture Department, Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes (D/EOP).


Reporting to the Head of the Technology Coordination and Frequency Management Section, you will work in close cooperation with other staff members of the Future Missions and Instruments Division and the Future Missions and Architecture Department (EOP-F). You will also liaise very closely with the EO Projects Department (EOP-P) and with the Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality (D/TEC).
Your duties will include responsibility for the following tasks related to Earth observation (EO) technology:


  • identifying technology needs for the EO spacecraft platform based on space system requirements, lessons learned from previous and ongoing EO missions, as well as general technology trends including potential spin-in from other industrial sectors, in close collaboration with EOP-P and D/TEC; 
  • defining the evolution of generic EO spacecraft platform product lines (e.g. data handling, AOCS, onboard software, power, propulsion or communications with the ground segment) by European industry in collaboration with other sections in the Future Missions and Instruments Division, EOP-P and D/TEC;
  • defining, negotiating, initiating and managing technology industrial development activities, as well as conducting internal studies, in the area of generic EO spacecraft platforms for the preparation of EO future missions, in coordination with the other sections of the Division, EOP-P and D/TEC; 
  • supporting EO future missions preparation through the participation in the evaluation of proposals in response to calls, reviews, assessment of industrial results, etc.;
  • supporting the adoption of the generic system requirements baseline (such as SRD, OIRD or ECSS standards) tailored to the mission classification, in support of the EO spacecraft platform baseline’s evolution, in close coordination with EOP-P and D/TEC;
  • supporting the adoption of digitalisation in the project life cycle (such as model-based system engineering and MBSE), and the onboarding of relevant new EO spacecraft platform technologies, in close coordination with EOP-P and other directorates;
  • maintaining and improving the Earth 0bservation technology databases to facilitate internal coordination within the Division and Department and with external stakeholders.

When performing these tasks, you will interact closely with representatives of industry and other space agencies.

Technical competencies

Knowledge of innovation-related processes
A background in space engineering with systems orientation and an end-to-end view of Earth observation missions
Experience in spacecraft platform definition and/or development for Earth observation
Knowledge in the application and tailoring of ECSS standards for spacecraft developments
Knowledge of digitalisation and project life cycle
Experience in implementing and driving R&D and/or industrial activities for space technology development

Behavioural competencies

Result Orientation
Operational Efficiency
Fostering Cooperation
Relationship Management
Continuous Improvement
Forward Thinking


A master’s degree or PhD in engineering or physics is required for this post.

Additional requirements

  • A relevant Earth observation background and at least five years of experience in mission system engineering are required.
  • Experience of working in a team or project environment is required.
  • You are expected to be thorough in your approach, open to innovation and to be able to contribute to a dynamic and creative environment in preparatory phases of EO future missions. 
  • You should have good interpersonal skills and be able to work and interact within small teams as well as autonomously. 
  • Experience in spaceborne platform technologies and familiarity with EO remote sensing techniques would be an asset.

Other information

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

For further information please visit: Professionals,What we offerand FAQ  


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.     


The Agency may require applicants to undergo selection tests.


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, the United Kingdom and Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia. When short-listing for an interview, priority will first be given to internal candidates.


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. 


In principle, recruitment will be within the advertised grade band (A2-A4). However, if the selected candidate has less than four years of relevant professional experience following the completion of the master’s degree, the position may be filled at A1 level. 

*Member States, Associate Members or Cooperating States.


We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.