Flight Dynamics Operations Engineer – Test and Validation Attitude for Science Missions

Darmstadt, Germany, Terma [21_74308]

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

About this job

For our customer, ESOC in Darmstadt, Germany, we are seeking an experienced Flight Dynamics Operations Engineers.
The primary areas of responsibility for this position are the Test & Validation in the AOCS domain (TVA) for Science Missions, including interplanetary missions and missions in Lagrangian orbits.
The service to be provided is primarily related to EXOMARS RSP, Euclid launch preparation, LEOP support and operations, and BepiColombo operations.
However, the engineer may also be requested to provide the services related to GAIA, Mars Express, ExoMars TGO, JUICE, Hera and Solar Orbiter.


The general activities to be supported (depending on the phase of the mission) are listed in the following and shall be provided on the Flight Dynamics compute platform (ORATOS):

  • Test and Validation
    • Execution of operational tasks
    • Validation of operational Flight Dynamics data products such as command parameter sets, reports, event predictions and acquisition data before delivery to Flight Control Team and other users
    • Validation of operational Flight Dynamics subsytems’ processes and procedures
  • Flight Dynamics Application Layer:
    • Maintenance and sustaining of software elements of the Flight Dynamics Application Layer
  • Flight Dynamics System Development:
    • Specification of modifications, enhancements and additions to existing software elements
    • Implementation of modifications, enhancements and additions to existing software elements
    • Installation of modifications, enhancements and additions to existing software elements on operational platform(s)- design, coordination and implementation of tests
    • Definition, planning and participation in tests
    • Set-up procedures
    • Flight Dynamics (Sub-)System configuration
  • General Flight Dynamics operations engineering activities

During the on-call periods the staff on call may be provided by ESOC with a mobile phone -depending on the operational needs. Dependent on the case the staff may need to come to ESOC on short notice (typically within one hour) to provide the required operations support. Details of the actual on-call service shall be agreed between ESA and the provider.
This is a full-time position to be located at ESOC’s premises in Darmstadt with the planned start date ASAP but no later than 1st February 2022.


In addition to having a university degree in a relevant engineering field, astronomy, mathematics or physics, you should be able to cover many of the following topics:
Essential skills are:

  • Very good skills in linear algebra, in particular for problem solving related to geometry in the Euclidean 3–dimensional space.
  • Being familiar with different representations of rotation in 3D, thus including the representation of S/C attitude (cosine direction matrix, Euler symmetric parameters/ quaternions, Euler-angles, …) is an asset.
  • Very good skills in calculus in one or several variables.
  • Skills in numerical methods for:
    • equations solving,
    • integration of differential equations,
    • function approximation and interpolation,
    • optimisation,
    • linear algebra problems.
  • Very good skills in classical mechanics, including:
    • kinematics and dynamics of point masses,
    • dynamics of rigid bodies,
    • dynamics expressed in non-inertial reference frames, e.g. including dynamics in rotating frames, rotation dynamics expressed in body fixed frame,
    • conservation laws in mechanics,
    • gravitational forces and field,
    • orbit dynamics, keplerian orbits and Kepler laws.
    • Ability to solve mechanics problems via analytical mechanics methods (e.g. lagrangian formulation) is a valuable asset.
  • Skills to apply above knowledge to develop solutions to technical problems in cooperation with customers and other experts.
  • Very good C++ programming skills and experience, in particular in object-oriented design and coding skills using C++ as main programming language. Knowledge of Unix/Linux, and scripting languages and is a valuable asset.
  • Experience in Linux operating system.
  • Will to take operational responsibility in multi-discipline teams.
  • Fluency in English, both in speech and writing.
  • Coordinate and interact with other service providers in operations and other fields.
  • Ability to work independently.

Desirable skills include:

  • Familiarity with the ESOC environment.
  • Familiarity/experience with Flight Dynamics operations engineering tasks.
  • Experience with network services and protocols, and system administration.
  • Experience in scripting languages, python, mathematica.

You will be able to conduct all activities in an orderly and disciplined manner, able to work calmly and accurately under stress and able to work without supervision.
What can Terma offer
At Terma, we consider skilled employees, enthusiasm and job satisfaction as the very foundation of our success and as a prerequisite for the development of the “best-in-class” solutions that Terma provides. We lead the way in applying new technology, offering a wide range of growth opportunities for each individual and emphasizing mutual respect across the board in our workplace.
Terma offers you a pleasant working environment at the customer site, where you will be able to take on challenging tasks and responsibilities in a highly professional company:

  • Great opportunities for training and personal development
  • Challenges in advanced technical environment
  • International and cosmopolitan working atmosphere
  • An employment contract with an attractive package with extra-legal benefits
  • Highly competitive salary

Recruitment is depending on successful selection by the customer.
Additional information
For further information, please contact Mrs. Raluca Moise or Mr. Patrick Hanke by telephone [+49 6151 860050] or by email [recruitment.de@terma.com].
To ensure that your application will reach us and is properly processed please apply through the link below with a Cover Letter and an up-to-date Curriculum Vitae: 

Closing date: August 27th, 2021
Please note that applicants must hold all appropriate documentation and permits to work in Europe.

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