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Young Graduate Trainee for Radar Instrument (SAR) Performance Assessment

  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location:
  • Grade: F1 - Young Graduate Trainee - Junior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Mechanics and Electronics (Engineering)
  • 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 Radar Instrument (SAR) Performance Assessment

This post is classified F1.


ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands 

Our team and mission

The role of the Future Missions and Instruments Division is to prepare the Earth observation  missions, instruments and technologies of the future, encompassing a wide range of research missions (Earth Explorers Core, Fast-Track, Missions of Opportunity, Scouts) and operational missions (Copernicus Sentinels with the EU and meteorology missions with Eumetsat). The work carried out is mainly related to:

1. end-to-end definition of space missions, including orbits, instruments, platforms, end-to-end performance, data flow, launcher interfaces and ground processing to meet observation requirements

2. definition and pre-development of instruments (optical, microwave) and platforms (including payload data handling/transmission) including breadboarding of critical elements for technology development and risk retirement

The work is carried out in close cooperation with specialists in the different technology domains as well as with scientists and/or data users proposing the mission or expected to use its results.

As a YGT, you  will join the Microwave Instruments Section of the Future Missions & Instruments Division, Future Systems Department, Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes.

Interested candidates are encouraged to visit the ESA website:

Field(s) of activity

You will be supporting the work of the Section and Division in the definition, analysis, trade-off and performance assessment of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) concepts to be operated in geosynchronous orbit.

A geosynchronous SAR is a highly innovative concept, addressing key applications such as predictions of intense rainfall and related flooding and landslides, understanding the diurnal water cycle (e.g. soil moisture in dry environments and snowmelt/re-freeze) and near real-time prediction of ground motion.

You will cover a key role in providing hands-on engineering support to the Section, contributing to verifying feasibility as well as assessing and optimising the performance of challenging geosynchronous SAR concepts such as Hydroterra, one of three candidate Earth Explorer-10 missions currently in Phase 0.

Your tasks will include:

  • supporting identification, definition and analysis of geosynchronous synthetic aperture radar concepts
  • modelling instrument concepts and where applicable  mission and system aspects impacting instrument performance
  • using existing as well as developing new software tools for assessing the performance of geosynchronous SAR concepts
  • performing instrument performance assessments, including sensitivity analyses with respect to system and instrument impairments
  • supporting identification and trade-off of effective SAR data processing strategies and algorithms as required
  • contributing to identification, definition and accuracy assessment of instrument calibration concepts
  • engaging with ESA experts in multiple domains (e.g. science, system, instruments)
  • providing support to modelling and performance assessment tasks in the Section as required
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 (e.g. electrical/electronic engineering, mathematics or physics).  

Additional requirements

Knowledge and/or experience in computer programming (e.g. Matlab or Python) is required. 

Knowledge and/or experience in synthetic aperture radar modelling and performance assessment, as well as signal processing, is 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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