Intern in the Research and Payloads Group
Internship Opportunity in the Directorate of Human and Robotic Exploration Programmes.
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 Research and Payloads Group manages and controls the financial sub-envelope allocated to SciSpacE and the exploration science activities in accordance with the E3P Work Plan. This shall include the industrial costs delegated to the various projects and the associated internal costs; define the research strategy and priorities for ISS, non-ISS platforms and the robotic exploration of Moon and Mars in close coordination with the scientific community and the member states as customers; provide the end-to-end management for the ESA ISS research programme focusing on customer needs and maximising scientific and economic benefits; provide the end-to-end management and integration function for the ESA ISS utilisation activities (scientific research, technology demonstrators, exploration preparation activities, education and communication); implement the multi-increment planning function and generate the strategic and tactical ISS utilisation plan, among other tasks.
The division deals with the project ACES. You will be working entirely with the ACES project which is a very active flight project. We are currently in the middle of finalising the development steps on key equipment which will be flown as part of the ACES payload. The team consists of engineers, scientists, and project office members who each have their own role in running the project. On the engineering side we have specialists in electronics, mechanical, materials science, product assurance, and thermal engineering. Our scientists are specialist in Atomic clock, time science, data processing, amongst other subjects. The project office includes specialists in schedule, risk, finance, contracts, and project management.
For further information visit our web site: http://www.esa.int
Field(s) of activity for the internship
You can choose between the following topics:
1) Topic 1: Software data processing via programming
One of the objectives of ACES is to prove Einstein’s general theory of relativity. This requires highly accurate measurements of time on ground being compared to measurements on-board the Space station using ACES. The objective here would be to assist in the processing of data coming out of tests which simulate the operation of the payload in orbit. This data requires processing mathematically in order to extract key data from the noise. Since ACES requires highly accurate time information (10 to the minus 15 seconds) it is of paramount importance to be able to interpret data correctly. As an intern, you will contribute to the analysis and processing of this science data. You will also have the opportunity to study the theory behind ACES and the physics and engineering involved in the project and the obtaining of such results. You will be invited to travel to our contractor to see hardware.
2) Topic 2: Electronics modelling of the highly accurate RF link between ISS and Earth
One of the objectives of ACES is to prove Einstein’s general theory of relativity. This requires highly accurate measurements of time on ground being compared to measurements on-board the Space station using ACES. The objective here would be to assist in the modelling of the highly innovative electronics being used to combine clock data from the on-board payload clocks and send them down to the ground stations. Modelling must consider the constraints of daily operation of the ISS as well as weather etc. As an intern, you will help with the modelling, which uses some highly innovative ideas to back-trace the actual performance measured versus the expectations of the design, looking for optimisations. You will also have the opportunity to study the theory behind ACES and the physics and engineering involved in the project and the hardware. You will be invited to travel to our contractor to see hardware.
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.
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.
1) Topic 1: A good mathematical background and experience with Software programming is required. An academic background in Physics would be considered an asset though not essential.
2) Topic 2: A good electronics background and hands-on experience of electronics modelling (Spice family or similar) is required. Some background in RF theory, FPGAs, and/or Firmware would be helpful.
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@example.com.
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).