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On-Board Data Handling and Data Processing Engineer


  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location: Noordwijk-Binnen
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Engineering
    • Statistics
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
  • Closing Date: 2023-12-11


On-Board Data Handling and Data Processing Engineer

Job Req ID:  17392
Closing Date:  14 March 2023 23:59 CET/CEST
Establishment:  ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands
Directorate:  Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality
Publication:  Internal & External
Vacancy Type:  Permanent
Date Posted:  21 February 2023


Vacancy 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.


This post is classified A2-A4 on the Coordinated Organisations’ salary scale.


ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands  



On-Board Data Handling and Data Processing Engineer in the On-Board Computer and Data Handling Section, Data Systems, Microelectronics and Component Technology Division, Electrical Department, Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality.


The On-Board Computer and Data Handling Section provides functional support to ESA projects and carries out technological research and development (R&D) in turnkey on-board hardware data handling solutions with an emphasis on: 


  • platform and payload data handling architectures and their building blocks (equipment and units, modules and key components);
  • units such as on-board computers, mass memories, remote terminals and instrument control units*;
  • digital and analogue signal processing electronics for payload and platform functions;
  • front-end acquisition and processing chain electronics*;
  • on-board data transfer interfaces, buses and associated protocols (high and low speed);
  • platform data handling functions related to security, data authentication, encryption and compression;
  • use of microelectronics devices;
  • implementation, inference, verification and validation of algorithms** on processing hardware platforms for space applications* in close collaboration with other discipline experts (software, microelectronics and applications engineers).


* except for RF payloads.
** including artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms.


If selected for the position, you will report to the Head of Section. Within the technical fields described above, your main tasks and responsibilities will include:


  • providing expert technical support and consultancy on ESA projects, programmes and general studies in the field of platform and payload data handling and processing systems throughout all project phases;
  • participating in feasibility studies, project reviews and evaluation of procurement proposals;
  • identifying critical development problems and assisting in their resolution;
  • contributing to the definition of technology development requirements and work plans for the Agency’s technology programmes;
  • defining, initiating and managing R&D activities covering both long- and short-term needs;
  • fostering new application areas for multidisciplinary activities, placing emphasis on innovative concepts, cutting-edge technologies and system architectures;
  • conducting laboratory activities as required;
  • monitoring applicable scientific and technological trends to maintain state-of-the-art expertise;
  • contributing to the dissemination of the results of the activities performed and the transfer of knowledge across the Agency.


Your duties may also include supporting other activities within your field of competence.

Technical competencies

General background and specific experience in the technical domains covered by the position
Hands-on hardware experience
Understanding of related technologies, R&D trends and the industrial landscape
Project support experience in a relevant domain
Experience in the preparation of procurement activities for technology development and innovation (statements of work, proposal evaluations, etc.)
Experience in the management and monitoring of industrial activities, including participation in reviews
Experience in technology roadmap definition and harmonisation

Behavioural competencies

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


A Master’s degree in electronics, electrical engineering, networks, telecommunications or a related field is required for this post.

Additional requirements

At least 10 years of professional experience in the:

  • design, review, simulation and verification of end-to-end processing chains and data handling architectures;
  • design, review, simulation, manufacturing and testing of platform and payload data handling and processing equipment, modules and boards (use of FPGA/processors/microcontrollers, single-point-failure-free circuitry, failure containment techniques and use of Rad-Hard components/COTS with radiation mitigation techniques).

Knowledge in the following fields would be considered an asset:

  • Design of data handling and processing electrical ground support equipment;
  • Implementation, inference, training, verification and validation of machine learning algorithms on hardware platforms (for space or terrestrial applications);
  • Laboratory experience;
  • Conference and workshop technical and organisational committees.

Other information

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

For further information please visit: Professionals,What we offerand FAQ  


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.     


The Agency may require applicants to undergo selection tests.


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, the United Kingdom and Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia.


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 internal candidates and secondly to external 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. 


Recruitment will normally be at the first grade in the band (A2); however, if the candidate selected has little or no experience, the position may be filled at A1 level.

*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.