EO Future Missions End-to-End System Engineer

Updated: about 1 month ago

Vacancy in the Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes.

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

This post is classified A2-A4 on the Coordinated Organisations’ salary scale .

ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands  


Earth Observation Future Missions End-to-End System Engineer in the Mission and System Studies Section, Future Missions and Instruments Division, Future Missions and Architecture Department, Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes.

Reporting to the Head of the Mission and System Studies Section in the Future Missions and Instruments Division, you will be involved with the end-to-end preparation of EO (Earth Observation) future missions through appropriate engineering activities, working in close cooperation with staff within this and other divisions in the Directorate, most notably the Earth and Mission Science Division, as well as interacting with Earth observation users (such as Science Mission Advisory Groups).


Your responsibilities will include some or all of the following:

  • defining, negotiating, initiating and managing industrial activities including pre-Phase A and mission/architecture studies for EO future missions (such as Earth Explorers, missions of opportunity, Copernicus and meteorological missions), involving the technical coordination of a small team of engineers;
  • defining, negotiating, initiating and managing Phase A industrial activities for missions not yet approved for implementation (for instance Earth Explorers or missions of opportunity), including the technical coordination of a small team of engineers, and ensuring the hand-over to the Project Department after approval for implementation;
  • defining, initiating, managing or supporting industrial architecture studies for EO future missions;
  • acting as the focal point for mission analyses and performing mission analyses for ESA EO future missions and others, including revisit/coverage time (for single satellites and constellation concepts), propellant and Delta V budget;
  • initiating and performing internal studies to assess the results of industrial activities;
  • initiating and performing internal studies to assess the merits of new end-to-end mission concepts;
  • defining and updating system specifications throughout the preparatory phases of EO future missions, in close cooperation and direct interaction with the Earth and Mission Science Division and with the relevant Science Mission Advisory Groups, supporting the establishment of mission requirements and deriving system requirements traceable to mission requirements and user needs;
  • ensuring the technical coherence of the end-to-end system design, including end-to-end mission performance, system-level budgets, system performance analyses, definition of spacecraft and payload subsystems and related data processing, as well as interfaces with the ground segment and with the launcher;
  • contributing to the evaluation of industrial and scientific proposals, in particular for Earth Explorers and missions of opportunity;
  • contributing to the preparation of scientific and technical dossiers on ESA EO missions;
  • supporting Scout proposal evaluation and follow-up of activities;
  • supporting InCubed proposal evaluation and follow-up of EO upstream activities;
  • contributing to the analysis of EO development undertaken by other space agencies in Europe and worldwide, as well as commercial initiatives such as under NewSpace;
  • defining, negotiating, initiating and managing end-to-end performance simulator studies in support of the end-to-end definition of small missions;
  • contributing to the specification and development of mission analysis, mission performance and system-sizing tools used in the Future Missions and Instruments Division.

Technical competencies

Knowledge of ESA's development, verification and procurement processes

Knowledge of optical and/or microwave remote sensing techniques and understanding of Earth observation user needs

A background in space engineering with systems orientation and an end-to-end view of Earth observation missions

Knowledge of mission analysis tools for EO missions

Behavioural competencies

Result Orientation
Operational Efficiency
Fostering Cooperation
Relationship Management
Continuous Improvement
Forward Thinking


A master’s degree or PhD in engineering or physics is required for this post.

Additional requirements

At least five years of relevant experience in space mission preparation and/or development is required.

Experience in the preparation (Phases 0 and A) of EO missions is required.

Experience in mission analysis for EO missions is required.

Experience of working in a team or project environment is required.

You should have good interpersonal skills and be able to work, coordinate and interact within small teams as well as autonomously.

You should be able to coordinate and iterate with Earth observation scientists and users for the definition of mission needs and requirements.

You will be expected to contribute to a dynamic and creative environment in preparatory phases of EO future missions.

Familiarity with the development of end-to-end performance simulator and system performance evaluation is desirable.

Other information

For behavioural competencies expected from ESA staff in general, please refer to the ESA Competency Framework .

For further information please visit: Professionals ,What we offer  and FAQ    

The working languages of the Agency are English and French. A good knowledge of one of these is required. Knowledge of another Member State language would be an asset.     

The Agency may require applicants to undergo selection tests.

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 email [email protected] .


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, Slovakia and Slovenia. When short-listing for an interview, priority will first be given to internal candidates.

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 conducted by an external background screening service. 

In principle, recruitment will be within the advertised grade band (A2-A4). However, if the selected candidate has less than four years of relevant professional experience following the completion of the master’s degree, the position may be filled at A1 level. 

*Member States, Associate Members or Cooperating States.

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