Earth Observation Ground Segment and Data Manager

Updated: 24 days ago

ESRIN, Frascati, Italy  


Earth Observation Ground Segment and Data Manager in the ESA and Third Party Missions Ground Segment Section, ESA Ground Segment and Data Management Division, Earth Observation Mission Management and Ground Segment Department, Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes.

ESA and third party missions data are generated and managed using a flexible and resilient industrial service-oriented architecture. This architecture enables all ESA-managed end-to-end activities needed to generate and make available validated, quality Earth observation (EO) science data to a wide user community. 

The ESA and third party missions data management system covers both mission-specific and mission-generic elements and, through innovative interfaces and services, is part of a wider European Earth Observation Data and Operations Framework. New EO missions are progressively onboarded in this system which integrates new mission-specific elements and upgrades mission-generic elements as necessary. You will be responsible for the onboarding activities of one or more EO missions during the pre-launch phases and/or for the data generation and management operations of one or more EO missions after the satellite launch.


Reporting to the Head of ESA and Third Party Missions Ground Segment Section, your tasks and responsibilities will include the following.

During the onboarding of new EO missions:

  • In preliminary assessments, supporting the evaluation of new ESA EO missions based on the operations concept for the science data generation and management systems and the associated onboarding complexity, as well as the evaluation of the related costs;
  • Contributing to the definition of new EO mission system requirements and interacting with the Space Segment and Flight Operations Segment Teams for all matters related to the specific characteristics of new EO missions (e.g. on-board handling of science data, downlink and on-ground acquisition, operations concept definition and instrument planning, science data formatting and processing);
  • Preparing the onboarding of new EO missions by establishing and maintaining a Project Plan that includes all necessary evolutions to the EO ground segment and data management technical and operational baseline, i.e. new mission-specific elements and integration/upgrades of mission-generic services;
  • Specifying and managing the development of new mission-specific elements, including procurement of mission-specific elements and services, as well as integration and validation activities to ensure operational readiness;
  • Defining the specific needs entailed by new EO missions on existing EO mission-generic services and interacting as necessary with the relevant service managers to ensure the timely upgrade of such services, as well as following up the necessary integration and validation activities to ensure operational readiness;
  • Establishing, in cooperation with the Space Segment and Flight Operations Segment Teams, the pre-launch and commissioning system activities and supporting them;
  • Coordinating end-to-end the transfer to operations (TTO) of the mission-specific and mission-generic data management services, interacting with the relevant EO service managers for the latter.

During EO mission operations:

  • Managing end-to-end the data generation and management operations for one or more EO missions in close coordination with the relevant EO service managers, and ensuring effective interaction with the teams in charge of EO Mission Management, EO Mission Product Quality Management and Flight Operations Management. This task includes the definition of the mission data management operations plan according to the applicable policies and mission objectives, the end-to-end procurement of relevant mission-specific operations services and the overall operational management for one or more EO missions.  

In all phases, your responsibilities will include:

  • generating and maintaining the necessary management, technical and operational documentation, including tailoring the generic technical baseline to mission-specific needs;
  • fostering synergies between the ESA and TPM data generation and management system and the EO Data and Operations Framework, notably in the area of advanced data processing and streamlined onboarding approaches for new missions;
  • actively contributing to the definition and deployment of innovative technological solutions, notably in the IT domain, and operational concepts within the context of the EO Data and Operations Framework;
  • assisting the Head of the ESA and Third Party Missions Ground Segment Section in other tasks (such as audits or support for other projects within and outside the EOP-G Department), as required.

Knowledge of procurement processes

Solid knowledge of data generation and management systems for EO missions

Proven experience in key technical domains (e.g. mission planning and data processing) of EO data generation and management systems throughout the whole mission lifecycle

Good experience in operations management for EO data generation and management systems

Good experience in technical project management

Knowledge of procurement processes

Behavioural competencies

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


A master's in a relevant engineering discipline is required for this post.

Additional requirements

You should also:

  • have the capability to work effectively and with a good degree of autonomy in an international and interdisciplinary team
  • have a high level of motivation and dedication
  • have an overall system view, and a capacity to propose solutions within a broader, strategic perspective
  • demonstrate knowledge of ICT solutions with associated performance, security and data protection principles applied to operational services
  • demonstrate flexibility in dealing with an evolving EO landscape and its technical and operational challenges

Knowledge of innovative technologies and operational approaches for scientific payload data processing would be considered an asset

Diversity, Equity and Inclusiveness 
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.

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 via email at [email protected] .
Important Information and Disclaimer
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.

During the recruitment process, the Agency may request applicants to undergo selection tests. Additionally, successful candidates will need to undergo basic screening before appointment, which will be conducted by an external background screening service, in compliance with the European Space Agency's security procedures.

Note that ESA is in the process of transitioning to a Matrix setup, which could lead to organisational changes affecting this position.

The information published on ESA’s careers website regarding working conditions is correct at the time of publication. It is not intended to be exhaustive and may not address all questions you would have. 

Nationality and Languages 
Please note that applications can only be 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. 

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 *. 

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.  

*Member States, Associate Members or Cooperating States.

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