By continuing to browse this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Read our privacy policy

Young Graduate Trainee in Altius Instrument and System Performance Modelling


  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location: Noordwijk-Binnen
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Statistics
  • Closing Date: 2023-03-26


Young Graduate Trainee in Altius Instrument and System Performance Modelling

Job Req ID:  17251
Closing Date:  28 February 2023 23:59 CET/CEST
Establishment:  ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands
Directorate:  Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes
Publication:  External Only
Vacancy Type:  Young Graduate Trainee
Date Posted:  1 February 2023


Young Graduate Opportunity in the Directorate of Earth Observation 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.


This post is classified F1 on the Coordinated Organisations’ salary scale.



ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands 


Our team and mission

The ESA ALTIUS Altius space mission is aimeds at the development, launch and operations of a limb sounder instrument based on a small satellite. The mMain mission objective is tohe monitoring of the distribution and evolution of stratospheric ozone at high vertical resolution. Secondary objectives include the extension ofextending the observations into other parts of the atmosphere and covering the measurement of the concentration vertical profiles of other atmospheric species, as well as aerosol extinction vertical profiles. It The mission embarks deploys a versatile optical Instrument instrument intended to image the Earth’s limb in the near- UV, vVisible and nNear- iInfrared spectral regions, in combination with an agile platform based on the PROBA bus, ensuring a small, autonomous, multimode mission for atmospheric observations in multiple sounding geometries. Observation modes include bright limb, solar and stellar occultation.

Our ESA Teamteam, composed of three Sections (Instrument, System and Platform), is a versatile group encompassing of engineers and scientists. We are a rather agile group characterised by internal cohesion and a strong sense for of a common goal.

You are encouraged to visit the ESA website:

Field(s) of activity/research for the traineeship

You will, as a Young Graduate Trainee, contribute to:
a)    modelling activities relating to Altius instrument performances (under the direct authority of the Altius Instrument Section); a detailed MATLAB-based model of the Altius instrument is available as an outcome of the previous YGT programme (2021–2023). This model requires continuous improvements, maintenance and gradual updates with “as-built” hardware data in order to allow for regular re-evaluation of the instrument’s most critical geometric, radiometric and spectral L0 performances;

b)    executing cross-validations of the industry-developed System Performance Simulator (in collaboration with the Altius System Section): this activity consists in supporting a campaign of cross-validations whenever major deliveries of updated instrument configuration files are made to the System Performance Simulator to ensure consistency of the input provided with a view to establishing L1 performances;

c)    simulating selected on-ground calibration with the System Performance Simulator: this activity is aimed at gaining confidence in the envisaged instrument on-ground calibration campaign;

d)    supporting the Altius System Section in the in-flight calibration and validation strategy definition and simulations with the System Performance Simulator and the End-to-End Performance Simulator: the aim of this activity is to assess and evaluate the technical and scientific approaches proposed by the various Principal Investigators (PIs) for the instrument and system in-flight calibration and geophysical validation of the Altius atmospheric products.

Technical competencies

Knowledge of relevant technical domains
Relevant experience gained during internships/project work
Breadth of exposure coming from past and/or current research/activities
Knowledge of ESA and its programmes/projects

Behavioural competencies

Result Orientation

Operational Efficiency

Fostering Cooperation

Relationship Management

Continuous Improvement

Forward Thinking


You should have just completed, or be in the final year of your master’s degree in in optical or aerospace engineering (with a strong optical and, possibly, atmospheric data processing background).

Additional requirements

Optical engineering, specifically focusing on optical systems performance modelling and simulation aspects, is considered a strong asset. Experience in observational data processing algorithms for optical instruments for atmosphere science missions is also an asset.

You should have good interpersonal and communication skills and should be able to work in a multicultural environment, both independently and as part of a team.

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.

During the interview, your motivation and overall professional career goals will also be explored. 

Other information

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


For further information on the Young Graduate Programme please visit: Young Graduate Programme and FAQ Young Graduate Programme


At the Agency we value diversity and we welcome people with disabilities. Whenever possible, we seek to accommodate individuals with disabilities by providing the necessary support at the workplace. The Human Resources Department can also provide assistance during the recruitment process. If you would like to discuss this further please contact us 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, 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).

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 candidates from under-represented or balanced 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 conducted by an external background screening service. 

*Member States, Associate Members or Cooperating States.

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.