EO Microwave Payload Engineer

Noordwijk, The Netherlands, ESA [9787-22557]

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

About this job

ESA is looking for an EO Microwave Payload Engineer. 

ESA is an equal opportunity employer, committed to achieving diversity within the workforce and creating an inclusive working environment. For this purpose, we welcome applications from all qualified candidates irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, beliefs, age, disability or other characteristics. Applications from women are encouraged.


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 8 April 2021.

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 at 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.
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. (https://esamultimedia.esa.int/docs/careers/NationalityTargets.pdf)
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.

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
We are the European Space Agency. Our mission is the peaceful exploration and use of space for the benefit of everyone. We watch over the Earth, develop and launch inspiring and unique space projects, train astronauts and push the boundaries of science and technology, seeking answers to the big questions about the Universe. We are a family of scientists, engineers and business professionals from all over Europe working together in a diverse and multinational environment. We are dedicated to united space in Europe and united Europe in space. Learn more: http://www.esa.int/

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