EO Microwave Payload Engineer


Noordwijk, The Netherlands, ESA [9787]

Field(s) of expertise
Education and STEM Electronics Engineering
Job type

About this job

ESA is looking for an EO Microwave Payload Engineer.


Reporting to the Head of the Microwave Instruments Section, you will be responsible for the end-to-end definition, engineering, technology breadboarding and pre-development of microwave payloads for future EO research missions – e.g. Earth Explorers, Missions of Opportunity and Scout missions – and operational missions, e.g. Earth Watch, Copernicus and meteorological missions.

The types of payload include passive microwave imagers/sounders for ocean, land and atmospheric sensing as well as active sensors such as scatterometers, altimeters, synthetic aperture radars (SAR), subsurface sounders and atmospheric radars, using wavelengths extending to the sub-mm wave range. You will be engaged in the study and pre-development of one or more of these types of payload.

Duties include:
• Identifying and investigating new observation principles, techniques and technology in coordination with staff in this Department, in the Science, Applications & Climate Department and in the Directorate of Technology, Engineering & Quality( D/TEC), interfacing with research and technical groups as required;
• Maintaining knowledge of the relevant technology status and payload development programmes inside/outside ESA, including development undertaken by other space agencies in Europe and worldwide, as well as commercial initiatives such as those under NewSpace, in close collaboration with the Division’s Technology Coordination & Frequency Management Section;
• Defining and assessing the end-to-end performance and technology readiness of new microwave EO payloads in close collaboration with the EO system engineers of the Division’s Mission & System Studies Section, taking into account mission, system and programmatic objectives and requirements;
• Defining, initiating and managing industrial contracts for the study and risk-retirement of new microwave payloads, according to the agreed activity plan;
• Performing risk-retirement activities through technology breadboarding and pre-development of microwave payloads for all future EO missions up to completion, coordinating instrument pre-development activities with project teams when required;
• Developing ground-based or airborne microwave payload models, according to the concepts’ maturity and performance demonstration needs;
• Providing expert support to the Division for the microwave payload aspects of missions undergoing evaluation or preparation, including for evaluation of mission proposals, support to Phase 0/A and mission architecture studies, contributing to the preparation of technical and scientific dossiers on new EO research missions and operational missions;
• Supporting InCubed proposal evaluation and technical management of activities when related to EO microwave payloads and technologies;
• Defining, developing, maintaining and upgrading microwave payload dimensioning and performance models and tools to assess new instrument concepts.

You will work in close cooperation with other staff from the Division and D/EOP and will also liaise with D/TEC and other Directorates involved in microwave technology and engineering activities.


Technical competencies

• Familiarity with microwave remote sensing techniques;
• Knowledge of innovation-related processes;
• Knowledge of technical domains and related R&D space industry trends;
• Experience in spaceborne microwave instrument development.


You should have a PhD or Master’s degree in electrical/electronic engineering or physics.

Additional requirements

Contribute to a dynamic and creative environment in preparatory phases of EO missions.

Have good interpersonal skills, being able to work and interact within small teams as well as autonomously.

At least seven years’ relevant experience in EO microwave payloads and associated developments.

Experience in working in team/project environment is desirable.

Familiarity with microwave sensing techniques such as passive microwave imaging/sounding, altimetry and atmospheric radar sensing, and experience of hardware development and performance analysis models/tools, are desirable.

For a complete job description and to apply, click on “apply”.

The closing date for applications is 26 November 2020.


If you require support with your application due to a disability, please email contact.human.resources@esa.int.

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 and Slovenia.

We offer

The European Space Agency (ESA) is an equal opportunities employer that offers competitive salaries exempt from national income tax and excellent employment conditions, such as allowances for expatriates and relocation support.
For more information: http://www.esa.int/About_Us/Careers_at_ESA

About us

The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. ESA is an international organisation with 22 Member States. By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, it can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.
Learn more: http://www.esa.int/