RF Navigation Payload Engineer (ESA-ESTEC)

Noordwijk, The Netherlands, Serco Europe [2309]

Field(s) of expertise
Navigation Engineering
Job type

About this job

Serco is a leading Space Services Provider with thousands of skilled resources that has supported over 50 space missions on behalf of more than 10 Space or Government agencies around the globe, including the ESA and NASA. Serco offers space capability across the full space lifecycle from satellite testing to Launch services, LEOP to spacecraft operations, space surveillance to data management, and supporting downstream application development. With over 55 years history in the space sector Serco is well placed to contribute to National strategies and New Space ventures who want to scale their businesses/organizations with skilled talent.

Until now, all navigation satellites have flown high up in medium-Earth orbit – which delivers metre-level accuracy. At such altitudes the satellites move slowly across the sky, helping ensure global availability of satellite navigation signals, albeit at relatively low power.

ESA’s new LEO PNT constellation would move to a ‘multilayer system of systems’ approach, with medium-Earth orbit signals supplemented by those from low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites at altitudes of less than 2000 km – along with additional inputs from terrestrial PNT systems and user-based sensors, made up of approximately a dozen satellites, helping European companies move forward at a time when worldwide commercial interest is high in LEO constellations of all kinds, especially for telecommunications and PNT.

With this in mind Serco requires an RF Navigation Payload Engineer to join our team at the ESA-ESTEC site in the Netherlands to work on the LEO-PNT project.


The candidate will provide support as Navigation Payload Engineer to the LEO-PNT Project, in particular:

  • Support the procurement of the LEO-PNT payload elements.
  • Manage and control Navigation payload(s) requirements.
  • Monitor and control Navigation payload performance allocation and Budgeting.
  • Participate to the Navigation payload procurement process.
  • Monitor all aspects of the Navigation payload development (design, implementation and verification/testing).
  • Follow-up the qualification and acceptance verification activities identifying also the necessary breadboarding and model-philosophy approach.
  • Assess payload and system navigation performance during all project phases.

Interact with ESA unit-equipment specialists as necessary for the navigation payload complete development Support section’s activities, in particular:

  • Contribute to internal R&D activities for the design, modelling, architectural trade-off and performance assessment of navigation payloads with main emphasis on payloads based on digital signal processing and active antennas.
  • Perform technical management of R&D activities with industry/institutions in the field of advanced payload concepts and sub-systems/equipment development for navigation payloads.
  • Contribute to the generation and promotion of innovative ideas for future satellite missions in the field of RF payloads, including the definition of ESA R&D programmes.
  • Define technical requirements and statements of work for R&D activities to be performed by industry, from early conceptual studies to full hardware development.
  • Carry out computer simulations at system/subsystem level for the assessment of end-to-end payload performance, with particular emphasis on signal quality for navigation payloads.
  • Contribute to the development/usage of internally developed analysis/simulation tools.
  • Maintain state-of-the-art expertise by monitoring the RF/Microwave systems technological trends and applying them in the day-to-day tasks.


  • University Master’s degree in Telecommunications, Microwave or RF Electronics Engineering.
  • Minimum 4 years of relevant experience.
  • Good background and working experience on design and development of Radio Frequency Payloads in the domain of Navigation Satellite communications, or any other relevant space domain.
  • Solid, hands-on experience in RF and digital Payload development (and relevant subsystems) integrated into a project/procurement environment is required.

Knowledge and Experience on the following topics are considered an asset:

  • Radio frequency and microwave payloads architectures and technologies.
  • Two-way time and frequency transfer and synchronisation techniques and relevant technologies.
  • Simulation of RF Payloads, communication systems and performance assessment (with e.g. Matlab, Python).
  • Digital signal processing techniques.
  • End-to-end payload performance and signal quality analysis.
  • Promoting cooperation and team-working, problem solving.
  • Comfortable with working in a diverse and multinational team environment.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills are needed, together with a high degree organizational and communication abilities.
  • Proficient in the English language, both written and spoken.
  • Knowledge of another EU member state language is an asset.

All candidates must be eligible to work in the EU.

Within Serco we believe there is a place here for everyone. Diversity & Inclusion at Serco is based on a culture where every voice is heard, and every employee feels valued. Working together as one team, we can enhance the experience of our people and teams, improve the value of our solutions to better serve the missions of our customers, and make a difference in our world. We are enthusiastic and passionate about our work which is infectious. We allow our employees to take responsibility for their work and promote a positive working culture.

What we offer:

  • Competitive Salary
  • Corporate benefits package including pension
  • Hybrid working
  • Free access to ESTEC recreation centre (gym, swimming and much more)
  • Relocation allowance
  • Company Events

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