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Young Graduate Trainee for Earth Observation data ground operations

  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location:
  • Grade: F1 - Young Graduate Trainee - Junior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Statistics
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
    • Environment
    • Outer space and satellite technology
  • 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 Earth Observation Data Ground Segment Operations

This post is classified F1.


ESRIN, Frascati, Italy 

Our team and mission

Under the direct authority of the Director of Earth Observation Programmes, the Head of the Mission Management & Ground Segments Department is responsible for the management of EO missions handled by ESA in Phase E2 and for the design, development and operation of the related Payload Data Ground Segments (PDGS) and related data management. This includes project management of Programmes and missions in their exploitation phase (E2 and beyond) and implementation of R&D projects related to ground segment and data management.

Candidates interested are encouraged to visit the ESA website:

Field(s) of activity

As a YGT, you will be involved in detailed internal study of the stability and calibration of air quality measurement devices, based on commercial-grade sensors and microcontrollers (Raspberry, Arduino).

You will first contribute to analysis of sensors currently used in ESA’s Air Quality Platform Operational Project to measure the different pollutants/gasses and propose alternatives with a view to measurement repeatability and accuracy.

You will identify possible calibration alternatives, with particular emphasis on approaches that do not require availability of expensive reference source or measurement tools and can be implemented in a secondary school laboratory. The possible expected errors of the methods will be characterised in terms of bias and variance.

You will characterise the performance, design engineer, connectivity, block diagram and other characteristics of the current sensors used in AQP when the information from manufacturer datasheets is missing.

You will design an electronic system  to check the functionality of the currently-used sensors for the AQP. This system will be able to check both the static and dynamic working range of the sensors in order to prepare the first step for the calibration activity.

You will carry out statistical analyses of the time series acquired in one year of operations from the different AQPs.

Lastly, you will be involved in selecting suitable satellite observation data (e.g. Sentinel 5P) that can be used to overlay ground measurements done by these Platforms.

For reference, see the work done for the ESA’s Living Planet Symposium 2019 at:

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 Masters level (or equivalent) in a technical or scientific discipline.

Additional requirements

Specific knowledge in one of the following disciplines shall be considered an asset: metrology, microcontrollers programming, atmospheric chemistry.

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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