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LCNS Platform Principal Engineer


  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location: Harwell
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Engineering
    • Communication and Public Information
  • Closing Date: Closed


LCNS Platform Principal Engineer

Job Req ID:  17845
Closing Date:  27 August 2023 23:59 CET/CEST
Establishment:  ECSAT, Harwell, United Kingdom
Directorate:  Directorate of Connectivity and Secure Communicati
Publication:  Internal & External
Vacancy Type:  Permanent
Date Posted:  31 July 2023


Vacancy in the Directorate of Connectivity and Secure Communications.


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.


ECSAT, Harwell, United Kingdom  



LCNS Platform Principal Engineer in the LCNS Space Segment Section in the Moonlight/LCNS (Lunar Communication and Navigation System) Programme in the Directorate of Connectivity and Secure Communication (D/CSC).

Reporting to the LCNS Space Segment Manager, you will be responsible for leading the overall COM and NAV satellite platform activities of the Moonlight/LCNS Partnership Project.

You will coordinate with the cross-functional and cross-directorate joint System Engineering Team from the Directorate of Connectivity and Secure Communication (D/CSC) and the Directorate of Navigation (D/NAV) in respect of technologies and product activities relating to satellite platforms. You will liaise closely with the Directorates of Operations (D/OPS) and Technology, Engineering and Quality (D/TEC), and will coordinate with industry teams for the LCNS Project.


Your tasks and responsibilities will include:

•    responsibility for the adaptation/development, qualification and verification of the COM and NAV satellite platforms and further satellite platform technologies and product activities, as well as the support products;
•    acting as a focal point for the evaluation, support and follow-up of industrial activities, including industry-level reviews, in relation to the satellite platforms, subsystems and units;
•    responsibility for the engineering aspects, requirements and specifications, budgets, design drivers, internal and external platform interfaces, COM and NAV satellite platform performance and operational concepts (including FDIR strategy) of the satellite platforms, including their consistency with the system requirements, specifications and budgets;
•    evaluating and supporting the industry teams for satellite platform subsystem developments, including structure, thermal, propulsion, mechanisms, power generation and storage, avionics (AOCS, data handling and communications), TT&C and inter-satellite links (if used), as well as other industry technology and product developments, including analysis, design, trade-off assessments, technology developments and verification;
•    supporting the definition and execution of the satellite verification, on-ground pre-validation, launch and commissioning activities in your areas of responsibility and coordinating with the Space Segment AIV Engineer for implementation and monitoring of AIT/AIV activities on platform subsystems and units;
•    responsibility for the evolution of the satellite platform beyond the in-orbit verification and validation of the first elements, paying due attention to its operational significance for ESA and partner missions and commercial service provision cost-effectiveness;
•    supporting industry tailoring and leading the subsequent application of satellite platform-related ECSS, international and industry standards;
•    supporting satellite-to­launcher interface activities, including potential ESA-provided launch or rideshare activities;
•    liaising with the other Space Segment engineers working on COM and NAV payloads and AIV to ensure the timely execution of relevant activities as well as the availability and delivery of platform items, for example for verification activities;
•    ensuring close coordination with and support for other project functions, such as the LCNS system, segment and lower-level reviews, PA&S and security activities;
•    supporting satellite platform anomaly-handling, NRBs, the NCR process and RFDs/RFWs in close coordination with all other relevant disciplines, and notably the PA&S Manager;
•    supporting the Moonlight Programme Joint Management Team (JMT), for example on R&D activities complementary to Moonlight, interoperability and standardisation;
•    proactively monitoring relevant schedules, identifying risk and problem areas, providing assessments and proposing mitigation actions from industry and on the ESA side;
•    identifying, leading and efficiently coordinating specialised engineering support required from the Directorates of Operations and Technology, Engineering and Quality in the appropriate areas of competence;
•    providing regular and ad hoc reporting to the Space Segment Manager; 
•    supporting other activities of the Department as required and relevant to your experience.

Technical competencies

Experience with satellite engineering, requirements and interfaces
Experience in ESA and industrial development, verification and procurement processes for telecommunications and/or navigation satellite platforms
Experience with ESA space systems development, verification and review processes and standards
Experience in project risk management processes
Knowledge of industrial costs and schedule aspects

Behavioural competencies

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


A master's degree in a relevant engineering discipline is required.

Additional requirements

Previous experience in the fields of platform procurement and rapid and agile development of small spacecraft platforms.

Direct experience of working with a commercial telecommunications and/or navigation company will be a distinct advantage. Experience in Public-Private Partnership projects is an asset.

You should have the ability to proactively engage and coordinate a diverse range of expert technical support providers.

You are capable of applying analytical skills and sound judgement in resolving complex problems and making decisions. You have good communication skills, both verbal and written, with the ability to summarise complex information.

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.     

Applicants must be eligible to access technology and hardware which is subject to European and US export control regulations.

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 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. 


In principle, recruitment will be within the advertised grade band (A2-A4). However, if the selected candidate has less than four years of relevant professional experience following the completion of the master’s degree, the position may be filled at A1 level. 

*Member States, Associate Members or Cooperating States.

This vacancy is now closed.
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