On-Board Computer and Data Handling Engineer

Noordwijk, The Netherlands, ESA [10178]

Field(s) of expertise
Information Technology
Job type

About this job

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


The On-Board Computer & Data Handling Section provides functional support to ESA projects and carries out technological research (R&D) in the field(s) of:

  • platform and payload data handling architectures and their building blocks (equipment/units, modules and key components);
  • units such as on-board computers, mass memories, remote terminals, instrument control units*;
  • digital and analogue signal processing electronics for payload/platform control 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, compression, machine learning and artificial intelligence;
  • use of microelectronics devices.

*except for RF payloads.

You will report to the Head of Section and, within the technical fields described above, your main tasks and responsibilities will include:

  • providing expert technical support and consultancy to ESA projects, programmes and general studies in the field of platform and payload data handling 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;
  • laboratory activities as required;
  • monitoring applicable scientific and technological trends and maintaining 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
  • Experience in the development and verification of space hardware
  • Understanding of related technologies, R&D trends and the industrial landscape
  • Project support experience in a relevant domain
  • Spacecraft systems knowledge
  • Experience in preparation of procurement activities for technology development and innovation (statements of work, proposal evaluation)

Behavioural competencies

  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Innovation & Creativity
  • Problem Solving
  • Results Orientation
  • Planning & Organisation


A Master’s degree in computer science, networks, electronics, telecommunications or a related field is required.

Additional requirements

  • A good knowledge of the design, simulation, manufacturing and testing of platform and payload data handling equipment, modules, boards and components is required.
  • Some years of professional experience in the field of hardware design supporting artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks, and computer vision will be considered an asset.

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