Optical Payload Engineer (ESA-ESTEC)

Noordwijk, The Netherlands, Serco Europe [2240]

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

About this job

Serco is a leading Space Services Provider with thousands of skilled resources that has supported over 50 space missions on behalf of more than 10 Space or Government agencies around the globe, including the ESA and NASA. Serco offers space capability across the full space lifecycle from satellite testing to Launch services, LEOP to spacecraft operations, space surveillance to data management, and supporting downstream application development. With over 55 years history in the space sector Serco is well placed to contribute to National strategies and New Space ventures who want to scale their businesses/organizations with skilled talent.

We are seeking an Optical Payload Engineer to work on our Customers Site (ESA-ESTEC) in the Netherlands. This is a fantastic opportunity to get into one of the most sought after space agencies in the world.


  • Provide support to the instrument and ground segment engineers for the analysis of IPF acceptance test data sets (calibration and monitoring products and in some cases science products). Mission Analysis.
  • To assist the project during system level tests (IST, SVT and MTL, for example) with the analysis of data sets primarily concerning the instrument(s) and Star tracker telemetry.
  • Supporting the commissioning phase activities in the form of preparatory activities and post launch analysis and monitoring of payload data sets. To off-line process science data acquisitions over calibration regions to generate stack data for diagnostic purposes.
  • Support changes to the Project monitoring facility (in the form of new or upgraded outputs) interfacing with the instrument and ground segment engineers.
  • Provide support to Project GSOV in the form of operating level 0-L1a-L1b-L2 processors to provide off line products and diagnostic data sets. Interfacing with ground segment engineer.
  • To understand the low level functioning of the level 0 –level 1b science, monitoring and calibration processors. In particular, all level 0 –level 1a chains and level 1a-1b LRM chain.
  • Interfacing with the instrument and ground segment engineer.
  • To support the lead investigator (via interface with the instrument engineer) with the statistical analysis of simulated ocean stack and level 1b data in order to determine the apparent cause of a statistical no-conformance which may or may not be linked to simulation features.

This is a position for an Optical Payload Engineer, supporting the Earth Explorer Mission Programme in Earth Observation Project Department, in particular EarthCARE, Harmony and potentially other project (e.g Scout Project). The additional tasks below describe support work to be given during the development phase of a project namely Phase B2/C/D/E1. The work should be executed by a suitably qualified on-site contractor. The tasks are applicable to all EarthCARE Optical Instruments (ATLID, MSI, and BBR) and to Harmony Thermal InfraRed Instrument and shall comprise:

  • Provide support for the review of proposed Optical Instrument design and verification activities at unit, instrument and system level making corrective inputs as required, ensure compliance with Instrument requirements.
  • Provide support for the review of proposed in-flight and on-ground calibration and characterization activities making corrective inputs as required.
  • Provide support for the review of the Instrument specific elements of Ground Support Equipment design and implementation.
  • Participating to test preparation and execution reviews, witnessing of qualification & acceptance tests and technical assessment of test results with participation to NRB’s in case of anomalies,
  • Provide support for the instruments delivery, operations, integration and test at satellite level;
  • Support for the preparation and execution of instrument commissioning.
  • Case by case support to other spacecraft verification areas as required.


  • University degree (Masters/PhD) in Engineering.
  • At least 4 years of space projects experience relevant to the Task Description, in particular in Optical instrument design and verification, electronics, instrument control and operations.
  • Familiarity with instrument testing and instrument GSE specification and design.
  • Ability to work both autonomously and as part of a team within the boundaries of assigned tasks and a stringent schedule.
  • Good communication skills also regarding written reporting.
  • Experience in data processing of space and airborne radar systems and relevant to the task description.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills are needed and comfortable with working in a diverse and multinational team environment
  • Problem solving mind set and high capacity to deliver are highly considered.
  • Proficient in the English language, both written and spoken.
  • Knowledge of another EU member state language is an asset.


What we offer:

  • Competitive Salary.
  • Corporate Benefits Package.
  • Support provided on relocation – Information available upon request.
  • Company Events.

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