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Intern in the Mechanical Department


  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location: Noordwijk-Binnen
  • Grade: Internship - Internship
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Technology, Electronics and Mechanics
    • Mechanics and Electronics (Engineering)
  • Closing Date: Closed


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.




Our team and mission

The Mechanical Department is responsible for automation and robotics, life and physical sciences instrumentation, life support, optics, opto-electronics, structures, mechanisms, materials, thermal control, propulsion and aero-thermodynamics, and the verification of space vehicles systems and subsystems.


The position is offered in the Optics Section that provides functional support to ESA projects and carries out technology research (R&D) in optics for space applications. The Optics Section’s activities cover the development of novel optical systems, such as spectro-radiometric imaging instruments, operating in the UV to infrared spectral range, and interferometers, including the relevant optical ground equipment.


The Optics Section is responsible for developing a broad range of technologies addressing optical components and processes, such as polarisers, gratings, coatings, polishing methodologies, and the metrology of optical components. Significant work is also done on the development of technologies for the next generation of X-ray space telescopes.


For further information visit our web site:

Field(s) of activity for the internship

Topic: In flight optical instrument calibration from ground 


Optical space instruments normally require a radiometric calibration and characterisation before launch and during operation. As an intern, you will have the opportunity to learn about radiometric calibration concepts for optical space instrumentation. You will learn about the different calibration and characterisation measurements performed on-ground and the various possibilities for calibration in space.


You will study the current in-flight calibration methods for optical instruments using ground-based devices. You will investigate a novel calibration concept from ground and assess its advantages and drawbacks. You will identify the critical parameters of the concept and define a conceptual design of the calibration hardware for the application in the visible spectrum. You will estimate the achievable calibration performance of the proposed setup and define an initial test in combination with an operational optical payload.

Behavioural competencies

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


You must have student status and 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.


You should preferably be in the final year of their study in optical engineering, physics or other relevant discipline for the topic.

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

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

This vacancy is now closed.