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Intern in the Software division of the Systems Department

Noordwijk-Binnen (Netherlands)

  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location: Noordwijk-Binnen (Netherlands)
  • Grade: Internship
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
  • Closing Date: 2021-11-30

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Internship 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. We therefore welcome applications from all qualified candidates irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, beliefs, age, disability or other characteristics. Applications from women are encouraged.



ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands 

Our team and mission

The Software Systems division covers the domain of software engineering for embedded software systems (i.e. software on-board a spacecraft) and ground software systems (i.e. software systems to support the design and verification of space systems). The division is concerned with the necessary Software engineering technologies, methods and tools to support the development of such software systems. This covers in particular standards and reference architectures, System-software co-engineering methods, Requirements engineering and modelling, Design methods, automatic code and test generation, languages and compilers, Modelling and Simulation for system engineering and in support of testing and verification.

In addition, the division studies the challenges of new technologies (such as artificial intelligence) and the possibilities of their applications for space systems. The division is supporting all ESA satellite projects in the above domains.


You are encouraged to visit the ESA website:

Field(s) of activity/research for the traineeship


Topic 1 – Electrical Ground Support Equipment Reference Facility (ERF)

The European Ground System – Common Core (EGS‐CC) project aims at developing the core functions of the next generation European Electrical Ground support Equipment (EGSE) and Mission Control Systems (MCS). The facilities built on top of the EGS‐CC will support  the functional Verification (FV) of satellites at early development stages, the satellite level assembly integration and verification (AIV) process and the Mission Control pre‐ and post‐launch. As such the EGS-CC is one of the largest software development in the EGSE domain based on a state-of-the-art technology stack.

The activity will focus on your participation in the ESTEC team, preparing an EGSE Reference Facility based on the EGS-CC.

This training opportunity will provide you the possibility to learn (more) about the modern software methods and tools for real-time monitoring and control systems such as EGS-CC which will be used in future EGSE (Electrical Ground Support Equipment) and MCS (Mission Control Systems). These are large and complex systems involving single to hundreds of users requiring a diverse set of state-of-the-art software technologies.


Topic 2 – Functional Verification Bench (FVB)
Your task will be to join the ESTEC team, participate in the development of next generation SVFs and application for system validation. The FVB is an important key infrastructure in the satellite development that is able to simulate all main spacecraft equipment and run the onboard software for functional verification, providing full insight in a spacecraft (sub)system functioning.

A reference or straw-man mission has been developed (EagleEye) that provides a realistic context in which new applications can be demonstrated and verified. Also opportunities to support new CubeSat mission development is included.
This training opportunity will provide you the possibility to learn (more) about the modern software methods and tools for real-time system modeling and simulation provide increased knowledge in the domain of Functional Verification for System Verification/Validation. Also providing practical experience in implementing and building complex software systems in the space domain, in developing and utilizing FVB and providing knowledge about spacecraft systems.

Behavioural competencies

Result Orientation
Operational Efficiency
Fostering Cooperation
Relationship Management
Continuous Improvement
Forward Thinking


You must be enrolled at university for the entire duration of the internship. You should preferably be in your final or second to last year of a University course at master's level 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.

Knowledge and background in Software Engineering, Modeling and Simulation is an asset.

The topics listed in Section 2 above respectively require such educational knowledge as reflected in the technical keywords below:

Topic 1 - EGSE Reference Facility (ERF)
JAVA, Groovy, Software Development Tools (JIRA, Confluence, Crowd, SonarCube, MagicDraw), Configuration management and build tools (SVN, Git, Jenkins, Nexus, Gradle), Software technologies and applications (Apache ServiceMix (CXF, Camel), Apache (OSGi, Karaf, Blueprint, Zookeeper), ZeroMq Eclipse RCP,Eclipse equinox, Hadoop, HDFS, CCS Boy), Database methods and tools (Oracle, Postgres, Hadoop)

Topic 2 – Software Verification Facility (SVF)
Software Development Environments, (real-time) simulators, System Simulation Facilities, Software Validation Facilities, emulators, communication busses (MIL1553 bus, CAN), real-time system, onboard software, operating systems (RTEMS), programming /modelling/scripting languages (Matlab, C/C++, Java/Groovy), Space Simulation Models. Simulation Tools used are Mathwork Matlab/Simulink, EuroSim
Used Standards are ECSS-E40 Software, ECSS TM 10-21 System Modelling and Simulation, ECSS E40-07 SMP and E-70-31 MCM, E70-32 PLUTO and E70-41 PUS

Other information

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


If you require support with your application due to a disability, please email [email protected].

Internships can take place remotely, on-site or partially on-site depending on the pandemic situation, and in line with the relevant Establishment’s policy (e.g. possible Green Pass requirement) applicable at the time of starting the internship.


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 Latvia, Lithuania and Slovenia, as Associate Member States, or Canada as a Cooperating State, can apply as well as those from Bulgaria, Cyprus and Slovakia as European Cooperating States (ECS).

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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