Radio Frequency and Microwave Payload Engineer

Noordwijk, The Netherlands, ESA [11838-20073]

Field(s) of expertise
Electronics Engineering Telecommunications Engineering
Job type

About this job

ESA is looking for a Radio Frequency and Microwave Payload Engineer.

Radio Frequency and Microwave Payload Engineer in the Payload Engineering Section, RF Payloads & Technology Division, Electrical Department, Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality.

The Payload Engineering Section provides functional support to ESA projects and carries out technological research (R&D) in telecommunication payloads and subsystems, microwave and millimetre wave remote-sensing instruments and navigation payloads exploiting analog, digital and optical on-board technologies.


You will report to the Head of Section and your main tasks and responsibilities will include:

  • providing expert technical support and consultancy to ESA projects, programmes and general studies in the area of RF and microwave payloads throughout all project phases, in particular for RF and microwave remote-sensing instruments and payloads for Earth observation, including satcom and navigation payloads;
  • contributing to the overall architectural definition, specification, development and verification of future radio frequency and microwave instruments/payloads for Earth observation, as well as satcom and navigation payloads, including the assessment of new concepts, signal processing techniques and applications of new technologies;
  • assessing new concepts, architectures, technologies and processing techniques to be applied to the next generation of radio frequency and microwave instruments/payloads for Earth observation, as well as for satcom and navigation payloads;
  • defining the technological requirements, technology breadboarding and predevelopment activities of radio frequency and microwave instruments/payloads for Earth observation, as well as of satcom and navigation payloads, in cooperation with ESA’s specialists in the different domains;
  • participating in feasibility studies, project reviews and the 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 in the area of RF and microwave payloads for Earth observation, as well as for satcom and navigation payloads;
  • defining, developing and maintaining radio frequency and microwave payload dimensioning and performance models and simulation tools;
  • defining, initiating and managing R&D activities covering both long- and short-term needs;
  • fostering new application areas for multidisciplinary activities, with the 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 dissemination of the results of activities performed and the transfer of knowledge across the Agency.

Your duties may also include supporting other activities within your area 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
Experience with the design, development and application of relevant tools and methods
Understanding of related technologies, R&D trends and the industrial landscape
Experience in the preparation of procurement activities for technology development and innovation (statements of work, proposal evaluation, etc)
Experience in the management and monitoring of industrial activities, including participation in reviews
Experience in technology roadmap definition and harmonisation


A Master’s degree in telecommunications, electronics or RF/microwave engineering is required.

Additional requirements

  • Experience in the design, technology development and verification of one of more of the following microwave instruments/payloads for Earth observation is required:  radar scatterometers, radar altimeters, synthetic aperture radars (SAR), subsurface sounders and atmospheric radars, passive microwave radiometers (imagers/sounders) for ocean, land and atmospheric sensing.
  • A very good knowledge of radio frequency and microwave payload technologies based on active phased array antennas and of Transmit/Receive Modules for microwave payloads.
  • A very good knowledge of modern computer systems, simulation and modelling tools, programming languages, signal processing techniques and technologies.

The following will be considered assets:

  • Experience in the design, development and verification of satcom and/or navigation payloads
  • A very good knowledge of on-board digital signal processing techniques and technologies for radio frequency and microwave payloads
  • Some years of professional experience in the technical domains required for this position.

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

The closing date for applications is 21 December 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, Latvia 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/

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