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Satellite Imagery Processing Specialist(P4)


  • Organization: IAEA - International Atomic Energy Agency
  • Location: Vienna
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Meteorology, Geology and Geography
    • Outer space and satellite technology
    • Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Closing Date: 2022-07-13

Organizational Setting

The Department of Safeguards carries out the IAEA's duties and responsibilities as the world's nuclear inspectorate, supporting global efforts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. The primary role of the Department is to develop and implement IAEA safeguards to ensure that there is no diversion of declared nuclear material from peaceful activities and no indications of undeclared nuclear material in a State as a whole.

The Department comprises nuclear safeguards inspectors, responsible for carrying out inspections of nuclear facilities in over 180 States; and technical staff, responsible for a wide range of activities including\: developing concepts, approaches and methods for implementing safeguards; designing, developing and maintaining safeguards equipment; providing analytical and laboratory services for sample analysis; collecting, processing, evaluating and analysing safeguards-relevant information; and providing information and communication technology infrastructure and services. In addition, the Department benefits from staff providing support in the areas of human resources, finance, communication and administration. 

The Division of Information Management (SGIM) implements state of the art methodologies and techniques for the collection, processing and analysis of a range of safeguards-relevant information, including declarations submitted by States, evaluations resulting from the analysis of samples or measurements collected during infield activities, and information from open sources, including nuclear trade-related data and satellite imagery. Staff perform data validation and complex information analysis and evaluation to support infield activities and provide key input to the State evaluation process. 


Main Purpose


Reporting to the Section Head, the Satellite Imagery Processing Specialist is responsible for maintaining and enhancing the IAEA's capabilities to process commercial satellite imagery from a diverse range of sensors in order to deliver the most appropriate pixel consistency across imagery required to enable in-depth imagery analysis, image enhancement, feature extraction, change detection and further machine learning applications. This work supports the Department of Safeguard’s ongoing monitoring of States’ nuclear sites and infrastructure and the preparation of infield inspection and verification activities so that the IAEA can assure the international community that States are fulfilling their safeguards obligations.




The Satellite Imagery Processing Specialist is an expert in remote sensing, photogrammetry, pre-processing, image registration, and radiometry enhancement, associated with all types of satellite imagery and sensor processing. As the focal point for satellite imagery processing, the Satellite Imagery Processing Specialist is a key contributor to efforts to maintain, develop and improve image processing methodologies to ensure the highest quality of analytical products and their compliance with enterprise geospatial needs.


Functions / Key Results Expected


Lead the image processing activities within the Section for all types of satellite imagery\: Electro-Optical (EO), Thermal-Infrared (TIR), Hyperspectral Imagery (HSI) and synthetic aperture radar (SAR).

Maintain the internally developed satellite imagery processing pipeline and enhance the IAEA’s capabilities to process satellite imagery delivered from a diverse range of sensors and pre-processing levels, including upcoming sensors.

Ensure the highest quality standards for satellite imagery delivered to users or published through GIS web services (e.g. Pansharpening, ortho-rectification, atmospheric corrections, etc.).

Provide insight, advice and recommendations into front/back end satellite imagery processing techniques and methodologies in order to enhance safeguards analytical capabilities.

Investigate and propose new remote sensing techniques and develop new imagery derived products, in particular regarding SAR, HSI or TIR imagery.

Provide training and mentoring to ensure analysts’ state-of-the-art awareness and understanding regarding imagery geo-processing techniques, methodology and associated capabilities.

Support image analysts with the integration of EO, SAR, MS/HSI remote sensing analytics into analytical products.

Lead SAR activities to prepare and combine SAR, including interferometric products, and optical imagery into analytical products and advise on the optimum SAR imagery collection parameters of commercial sensors.

Contribute to maintaining and enhancing capabilities to extract and store standardized imagery metadata in an enterprise database.

Create detailed documentation for advanced processing and analytical workflows, including standard operating procedures.

Present methods and analytical techniques in workshops, conferences, and training courses, including providing Departmental training on non-traditional sensors for safeguards.

Liaise with external organizations to develop and enhance processing techniques used within the Section.

Participate in Member State supported research and development programmes that utilize SAR data and/or SAR algorithms or tools as well as other emerging sensors (e.g. HSI, TIR).

Collaborate with in-house data scientists to enable artificial intelligence (AI) and more specifically machine learning and deep learning algorithms that will enhance the work of the Section.


Competencies and Expertise

Core Competencies

Name Definition
Teamwork Actively contributes to achieving team results. Supports team decisions.
Planning and Organizing Plans and organizes his/her own work in support of achieving the team or Section’s priorities. Takes into account potential changes and proposes contingency plans.
Communication Communicates orally and in writing in a clear, concise and impartial manner. Takes time to listen to and understand the perspectives of others and proposes solutions.
Achieving Results Takes initiative in defining realistic outputs and clarifying roles, responsibilities and expected results in the context of the Department/Division’s programme. Evaluates his/her results realistically, drawing conclusions from lessons learned.

Functional Competencies

Name Definition
Judgement/decision making Consults with supervisor/manager and takes decisions in full compliance with the Agency’s regulations and rules. Makes decisions reflecting best practice and professional theories and standards.
Resilience Maintains a high level of performance when facing pressure and uncertainty. Able to remain calm and self-controlled, and to respond logically and decisively in difficult situations.
Technical/scientific credibility Ensures that work is in compliance with internationally accepted professional standards and scientific methods. Provides scientifically/technically accepted information that is credible and reliable.

Required Expertise

Function Name Expertise Description
Information Management Guidance Development Demonstrated ability to effectively present processing methods and scientific findings associated with the use of advanced remote-sensing techniques and the interpretation and assessment of industrial sites/infrastructure.
Information Management Information Analytics Expert Tools Expert knowledge of remote-sensing, satellite image pre-processing levels, algorithms and associated techniques including SAR interferometry products and HSI data.
Information Technology Information Technology and Data Processing Very good command of COTS and open-source software including SARScape, SNAP, QGIS, ArcGIS, ENVI for processing and analysing satellite imagery including SAR or HSI imagery data.
Information Management Satellite Imagery Analysis Good understanding of satellite-based analysis and interpretation.

Asset Expertise

Function Name Expertise Description
Information Technology Software Development Experience with geoprocessing Python scripting, Geospatial Data Abstraction Library (GDAL), ability to use and integrate APIs and familiarity with different file formats and uses such as JSON, YAML, XML, KMZ, GDB.


Qualifications, Experience and Language skills


Master's Degree - Advanced university degree in remote sensing, physics, engineering, image processing or a closely related field.

Bachelor's Degree - A first level university degree in remote sensing, physics, engineering, image processing or a closely related field with three additional years of relevant experience may be considered in lieu of the advanced degree.

Minimum of seven years of practical experience in the collection, processing and analysis of commercial SAR and EO satellite imagery, including extensive experience in SAR data processing and SAR interferometric products.

Experience in preparing technical documents, analytical reports and publications in English.

Proven experience in programming scientific or image algorithms, ideally using Python-based workflows including GDAL python bindings, NumPy, Jupyter Notebooks. Familiarity with modern imagery delivery formats including tiled imagery (COG) and analysis ready data (ARD), etc.

Excellent oral and written command of English. Knowledge of other official IAEA languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish) is an asset.




The IAEA offers an attractive remuneration package including a tax-free annual net base salary starting at US $75602 (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance), a variable post adjustment which currently amounts to US $ 28351, dependency benefits, rental subsidy, education grant, relocation and repatriation expenses; 6 weeks' annual vacation, home leave, pension plan and health insurance


Applications from qualified women and candidates from developing countries are encouraged

Applicants should be aware that IAEA staff members are international civil servants and may not accept instructions from any other authority. The IAEA is committed to applying the highest ethical standards in carrying out its mandate. As part of the United Nations common system, the IAEA subscribes to the following core ethical standards (or values)\: Integrity, Professionalism and Respect for diversity. Staff members may be assigned to any location. The IAEA retains the discretion not to make any appointment to this vacancy, to make an appointment at a lower grade or with a different contract type, or to make an appointment with a modified job description or for shorter duration than indicated above. Testing may be part of the recruitment process



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