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Young Graduate Trainee for Radiofrequency Technologies and Techniques

  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location:
  • Grade: F1 - Young Graduate Trainee - Junior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Technology, Electronics and Mechanics
    • Mechanics and Electronics (Engineering)
  • Closing Date: 2020-02-04

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Young Graduate Traineeship Opportunity in the Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality.

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 Radiofrequency Technologies and Techniques

This post is classified F1.


ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands 

Our team and mission

The Radio Frequency Payloads & Technology Division is responsible for RF payloads, instruments and technologies for space and ground applications, including all equipment having an RF space/ground interface and its associated laboratories. It supports the definition, specification and development/ procurement of laboratories for ESA projects and technology programmes or external customers.

The Division consists of four Sections covering the following domains:

  • Payloads with RF interface for telecommunication and navigation exploiting different technologies (e.g. analogue, digital, optical) including design, performance analysis tools and testing;
  • Earth observation and scientific RF active and passive instruments design, performance analysis, engineering & testing up to sub-millimetre waves;
  • Wave-propagation and interaction relevant to space communications, navigation and remote sensing, including interference and regulatory aspects;
  • Antenna systems, architecture, technologies and techniques for all space applications, including space vehicle TT&C and user segment terminals, as well as antenna engineering and RF testing of antenna and material;
  • RF equipment and technologies, including RF passive  and active technologies, vacuum electronics and high power RF phenomena (multipactor, corona and passive intermodulation).
  • Time & Frequency references, modelling, design tools, measurements, performance characterisation and calibration techniques.

The Division manages laboratories to test/proof concept soundness and validation as well as to enable hands-on. This covers:

  • microwave and millimetre wave (
  • payload engineering
  • antenna testing
  • high-power RF phenomena and high-power space material characterisation (

Candidates interested are encouraged to visit the ESA website:

Field(s) of activity

Within the RF Equipment and Technologies Section, you will have the opportunity to work in one of the following, depending on your background:

  1. RF active technologies: Investigating RF transistor optimum loading conditions by means of passive, active and hybrid load-pull is key to developing amplifiers with optimum output power and efficiency. This is particularly important for multi-beam active antennas where high efficiency is required. The proposed training opportunity will support the Section's active component characterisation activities using state-of-the-art semiconductor technologies, with additional work towards high efficiency architecture concepts and designs.
  2. Time and Frequency (T&F) subsystems and equipment: T&F equipment and subsystems (e.g. oscillators, atomic clocks, UTC laboratory) require extensive characterisation and performance analysis in a wide range of operational and environmental conditions. The proposed training opportunity will include development of new tests beds and characterisation techniques as required for validation and verification of new equipment and subsystems.
  3. RF passive technologies: Numerous satellite mega-constellations are currently being developed and deployed. Equipment accommodation and cost are a big concern for these small platform satellites when considering high performance RF passive hardware (filters, isolators, switches, beamforming networks, etc.). This can only be achieved by developing innovative solutions comprising novel synthesis methods for filters, use of advanced technologies/materials and higher level function integration adapted for mass production. The proposed training opportunity will touch upon the above topics. The work will consist of design, analysis with circuit and/or full-wave electromagnetic simulations, breadboarding and experimental validation in ESA’s microwave laboratory for fully integrated passive hardware.
  4. Additive manufacturing (AM) for RF parts: AM is already used for manufacturing space RF parts. Currently designers are mostly limiting themselves to traditional topologies (driven by classic manufacturing techniques such as milling). AM brings new design freedom to designers to explore disruptive solutions. To harness all AM’s potential, a new set of  dedicated design and manufacturing rules for this specific manufacturing approach needs to be established. This training opportunity aims to work in a multi-disciplinary environment with material, processes and RF aspects. The target is to master some AM approaches and new design/manufacturing rules for RF/Microwave parts to get optimised designs.
  5. Passive Intermodulation (PIM) prediction and mitigation techniques: The high RF power trend for satellite payloads imposes challenging requirements for PIM on the output RF passive hardware. The main goal of this training opportunity will be to investigate the PIM effect and identification of suitable procedures to mitigate PIM generation. You will investigate standard PIM source parameters affecting PIM (temperature, pressure, power, frequency, order) and mitigation techniques, supported by measurements.
  6. High power RF breakdown under modulated signals: Currently predictions of high power RF breakdown are performed assuming unmodulated signals and in most cases single-carrier scenarios. Recent studies and experiment results suggest that use of the real signal (modulated in most cases) in the prediction would have a significant impact on the RF breakdown threshold. A reliable approach to predict multipactor breakdown in this case would provide a unique possibility to reduce testing requirements – resulting in significant risk, cost and schedule reduction. The proposed training opportunity will focus on multipactor prediction in 3D structures considering arbitrary signals (modulated, multicarrier, pulsed, chirp).
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, preferably in telecommunications, electrical/electronic or microwave engineering.

Additional requirements

 Knowledge of design tools such as ADS, MWO, HFSS, CST or MICIAN, as well as experience in RF testing and programming e.g. MATLAB, LabView, 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. 

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.

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