Eagle-1 Optical/QKD System Engineer

Noordwijk, The Netherlands, ESA [12344]

Field(s) of expertise
Aerospace Engineering
Job type

About this job

ESA is looking for an Eagle-1 Optical/QKD System 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.

Eagle-1 is one of the “SAGA-CON” contributing missions under the SAGA programme, with SAGA being the space component of the EU’s EuroQCI initiative. It will be implemented through a partnership between ESA and a private operator. Eagle-1 is an end-to-end system including in-orbit pre-commercial QKD services for the partner operator, European Commission, ESA and its Member States.
If successfully appointed to this position, you will report to the Eagle-1 Project Manager and be responsible for monitoring the design, development, integration and testing of the satellite optical payload as well as the optical ground terminals. You will also be responsible for monitoring development of the system level QKD concept and the resulting overall payload architecture, with the aim of achieving the required QKD performance at system level.


  • Monitoring development of the system level QKD concept and the resulting overall payload architecture.
  • Monitoring the design, development, integration and testing of the (optical) payload.
  • Monitoring payload accommodation and interfaces to the platform.
  • Monitoring the design, development, integration and testing of the (optical) ground terminals.
  • Monitoring payload and ground terminal procurement activities.
  • Monitoring development of all validation models at equipment and payload level.
  • Monitoring development of the necessary MGSE/EGSE for the optical payload to perform the payload and satellite integration and test activities.
  • Supporting the definition, preparation and execution of the payload- and satellite-level tests, including environmental (TVAC, Mechanical) and in-orbit tests.
  • Supporting preparation of the operational procedures.
  • Monitoring schedule for the (optical) payload-level activities.
  • Identifying potential risks associated with (optical) payload activities and proposing appropriate risk mitigation measures.
  • Coordinating, together with the Product Assurance Manager, the implementation of ESA expertise to support payload activities.


Technical competencies
Knowledge of QKD concepts and their realisation via space borne optical payloads. Knowledge of optical communication technology
Experience in the design, development, testing and operation of optical on-board payloads and ground terminals
Experience with industrial procurement, design, development and verification processes
Multi-disciplinary and comprehensive knowledge of & experience with space system design, development, verification/testing, launch and in-orbit validation
Knowledge of & experience with PA standards and their application in space projects
Complex project risk management processes
A Master’s degree in an engineering or scientific discipline is required.

Additional requirements
You should also have:

  • Strong problem-solving skills to deal with day-to-day operational challenges, together with demonstrated planning and organisational skills;
  • Strong result orientation with the ability to set priorities and present practical solutions.
  • An excellent ability to provide clear and concise reporting, both orally and in writing;
  • the ability to clearly communicate the “big picture view” of an issue without unnecessary detail.

Direct experience of working with a commercial telecommunications prime contractor and/or operator will be a distinct advantage. Experience with ESA’s Partnership Projects would be an asset.
You should demonstrate proven technical capabilities in optical payload engineering and the capacity to apply analytical and sound judgment to resolve problems pragmatically.
For a complete job description, click on “apply”.
The closing date for applications is 27 June 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, Lithuania 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
We are the European Space Agency. Our mission is the peaceful exploration and use of space for the benefit of everyone. We watch over 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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