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Radio Frequency and Microwave Payload Engineer

Noordwijk-Binnen (Netherlands)

  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location: Noordwijk-Binnen (Netherlands)
  • Grade: A2/A4 - Grade band - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Communication and Public Information
    • Engineering
    • Scientist and Researcher
    • Physics and Mathematics
    • Outer space and satellite technology
    • Mechanics and Electronics (Engineering)
  • Closing Date: 2021-06-07

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Vacancy in the Directorate of Technology, Engineering & 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.

Radio Frequency and Microwave Payload Engineer

This post is classified A2-A4 on the Coordinated Organisations’ salary scale.

ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands  


Radio Frequency and Microwave Payload Engineer in the Payload Engineering Section, RF Payloads & Technology Division, Electrical Department, Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality.

The Payload Engineering Section provides functional support to ESA projects and carries out technological research (R&D) in telecommunication payloads and subsystems, microwave and millimetre wave remote-sensing instruments and navigation payloads exploiting analog, digital and optical on-board technologies.


You will report to the Head of Section and your main tasks and responsibilities will include:

  • providing expert technical support and consultancy to ESA projects, programmes and general studies in the area of RF and microwave payloads throughout all project phases, in particular for RF and microwave remote-sensing instruments and payloads for Earth observation, including satcom and navigation payloads;
  • contributing to the overall architectural definition, specification, development and verification of future radio frequency and microwave instruments/payloads for Earth observation, as well as satcom and navigation payloads, including the assessment of new concepts, signal processing techniques and applications of new technologies;
  • assessing new concepts, architectures, technologies and processing techniques to be applied to the next generation of radio frequency and microwave instruments/payloads for Earth observation, as well as for satcom and navigation payloads;
  • defining the technological requirements, technology breadboarding and predevelopment activities of radio frequency and microwave instruments/payloads for Earth observation, as well as of satcom and navigation payloads, in cooperation with ESA’s specialists in the different domains;
  • participating in feasibility studies, project reviews and the evaluation of procurement proposals;
  • identifying critical development problems and assisting in their resolution;
  • contributing to the definition of technology development requirements and work plans for the Agency’s technology programmes in the area of RF and microwave payloads for Earth observation, as well as for satcom and navigation payloads;
  • •defining, developing and maintaining radio frequency and microwave payload dimensioning and performance models and simulation tools;
  • •defining, initiating and managing R&D activities covering both long- and short-term needs;
  • fostering new application areas for multidisciplinary activities, with the emphasis on innovative concepts, cutting-edge technologies and system architectures;
  • laboratory activities as required;
  • monitoring applicable scientific and technological trends and maintaining state-of-the-art expertise;
  • contributing to dissemination of the results of activities performed and the transfer of knowledge across the Agency.

Your duties may also include supporting other activities within your area of competence.

Technical competencies
General background and specific experience in the technical domains covered by the position
Hands-on hardware experience
Experience in the development and verification of space hardware
Experience with the design, development and application of relevant tools and methods
Understanding of related technologies, R&D trends and the industrial landscape
Experience in the preparation of procurement activities for technology development and innovation (statements of work, proposal evaluation, etc)
Experience in the management and monitoring of industrial activities, including participation in reviews
Experience in technology roadmap definition and harmonisation
Behavioural competencies

Result Orientation 

Operational Efficiency 

Fostering Cooperation 

Relationship Management 

Continuous Improvement 

Forward Thinking


A Master’s degree in telecommunications, electronics or RF/microwave engineering is required.

Additional requirements
  • Experience in the design, technology development and verification of one of more of the following microwave instruments/payloads for Earth observation is required:  radar scatterometers, radar altimeters, synthetic aperture radars (SAR), subsurface sounders and atmospheric radars, passive microwave radiometers (imagers/sounders) for ocean, land and atmospheric sensing.
  • A very good knowledge of radio frequency and microwave payload technologies based on active phased array antennas and of Transmit/Receive Modules for microwave payloads.
  • A very good knowledge of modern computer systems, simulation and modelling tools, programming languages, signal processing techniques and technologies.

The following will be considered assets:

  • Experience in the design, development and verification of satcom and/or navigation payloads
  • A very good knowledge of on-board digital signal processing techniques and technologies for radio frequency and microwave payloads
  • Some years of professional experience in the technical domains required for this position.

Other information

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

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.

The closing date for applications is 21 December 2020.

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, the United Kingdom and Canada, Latvia and Slovenia.

According to the ESA Convention the recruitment of staff must take into account an adequate distribution of posts among nationals of the ESA Member States. When short-listing for an interview, priority will first be given to internal candidates and secondly to external 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. 

Recruitment will normally be at the first grade in the band (A2); however, if the candidate selected has little or no experience, the position may be filled at A1 level.

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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