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Young Graduate Trainee for Weather Satellite Instrument Data Processing

  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location:
  • Grade: F1 - Young Graduate Trainee - Junior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Outer space and satellite technology
    • Statistics
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
  • Closing Date: 2019-12-15

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Young Graduate Traineeship Opportunity 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. Applications from women are encouraged.

Young Graduate Trainee for Weather Satellite Instrument Data Processing

This post is classified F1.


ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands 

Our team and mission

The position is within the System & Operations Section of the Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) project, in the Earth Observation Department, at ESTEC.

MTG is the next generation of European meteorological geostationary satellites, developed through  cooperation between Eumetsat and ESA. This new series will comprise six spacecraft: four MTG-I satellites carrying the Flexible Combining Imager (FCI) and Lightning Imager (LI) instruments, and two MTG-S satellites carrying the Infrared Sounder (IRS) and Ultra-violet/Visible/Near-Infrared (UVN) sounder. The launch of the first satellite is due in 2021.

See for context:

Candidates interested are encouraged to visit the ESA website:

Field(s) of activity

Between launch and commencement of nominal operations, the satellites undergo a commissioning phase where the proper functioning and performance of instruments are verified. For these activities, various algorithms and derived software tools are used to process and assess on the ground the science data streams coming from the different instruments.

The MTG project is looking to hire a Trainee to support validation of these tools and their interfaces.

Assisting ESA engineers working in this domain, you as a YGT will contribute to the following tasks:

  • supporting the project team in preparing commissioning of the first MTG satellites.
  • monitoring installation documentation from suppliers, setting up in the ESA environment the different Payload Data Simulators (PDG) and Instrument Quality tools (IQT) (science data ground processor used for commissioning of satellites).
  • following user manual documentation from suppliers, mastering use of the various PDG and IQT, reproducing software acceptance testing campaigns and raising anomalies for any discrepancies found.
  • deploying the PDG and IQT to produce and analyse the different types of dataset required by the project, to ensure readiness of tools and their interfaces for commissioning activities.
  • supporting ESA engineers in the review and acceptance of new IQT/PDG versions.

Relevant technical domains:

  • space systems and scientific instrumentation
  • algorithms, image processing and data analysis (using matlab/python)
  • familiarity with using Linux systems and eagerness to address IT problems

During this Traineeship, you will have the opportunity to:

  • work on a next-generation operational mission that will be the gold standard for the next decades in weather forecasting, in a complex environment involving most major European space actors (ESA, Eumetsat, TAS, OHB, Airbus, GMV, Leonardo)
  • interact and work in close collaboration with ESA engineers acting in all fields of space engineering (instrument, operations, data handling, databases)
  • acquire a system engineering view of four state-of-the-art Earth observation instruments
  • acquire knowledge in image navigation registration, image processing, payload engineering, space software development, software prototyping using Matlab, Python
  • become familiar with ESA standards (ECSS), processes and practices used across the European space sector
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
Self Motivation
Continuous Learning
Cross-Cultural Sensitivity

You should have just completed, or be in the final year of a university course at Master's level (or equivalent) in a technical or scientific discipline.

Additional requirements

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. 

You should demonstrate good interpersonal skills and the capacity to work both independently and as part of a team.  

During the interview your 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.

The closing date for applications is  15 December 2019.

If you require support with your application due to a disability, please 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 Slovenia, as an Associate Member, or Canada as a Cooperating State, can apply as well as those from Bulgaria, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia as European Cooperating States (ECS).

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

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.

What does it mean?

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