Ground Segment Manager

Updated: about 2 months ago
Job Type: Permanent
Deadline: 02 Jan 2023

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 .

ESRIN, Frascati, Italy  


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

In the framework of the implementation of an Earth Observation mission, the Ground Segment Manager is responsible for the early definition of the Payload Data Ground Segment (PDGS) in Phase 0, A and B1, its implementation during Phases B2, C and D, its transfer into operations, commissioning, and routine operations during Phases E and F, ensuring the optimised integration of mission-specific elements with mission-generic services throughout all mission phases.

If selected for this position, within the Section, you will be initially assigned to the Ground Segment for the Third Party Missions funded by the EU Copernicus programme (i.e. Copernicus Contributing Missions - CCM) with the objective of providing the Copernicus Services with coherent operational access to EO missions in addition to the Sentinel missions.

Further information on the current operational set-up for the Copernicus Contributing Missions can be found at 


You will report to the Head of the ESA and TPM Ground Segment Section and will be responsible for the Payload Data Ground Segment of one or more EO missions.

Your generic duties as Ground Segment Manager will evolve in line with the design, implementation and operations of the above EO mission(s) and will include:

•    in Phase A, support to the ESA EO mission evaluation through the definition of the PDGS operations concept and the PDGS implementation strategy;
•    in Phase B, C, D and E1, implementation of the PDGS in accordance with the applicable policies, mission objectives, reference operational model and technology evolutions;
•    in Phase E2 and F, end-to-end management of the PDGS operations in accordance with the mission objectives and requirements.

As an initial assignment you will manage the Ground Segment operations of the Copernicus Contributing Missions and your duties will also include:

•    implementing, in coordination with the Mission Manager, the procurement of Copernicus Contributing Missions data;
•    ensuring the timely delivery of Copernicus Contributing Missions data to the Copernicus Services through effective management of the technical and operational interfaces between the Copernicus Contributing Missions’ data suppliers and the systems providing data access to the Copernicus Services (for both systematic and on-demand data);
•    ensuring a smooth operational flow for the provision of the Copernicus Contributing Missions data, setting up and maintaining effective coordination between the Copernicus Contributing Missions data suppliers and the systems providing data access to the Copernicus Services, including resolution of technical and operational issues;
•    collecting new requirements from the Copernicus Services and assessing their operational impact;
•    reporting on a regular basis on the Ground Segment operations of the Copernicus Contributing Missions.

The above duties may be reviewed, and you may be assigned to the Ground Segment of another EO mission under the responsibility of the Section.

Technical competencies

Knowledge of Payload Data Ground Segments for Earth Observation missions

Knowledge of the Copernicus Space Component Programme

Good knowledge of Earth Observation products and applications

Experience in technical project management

Sound experience in operations management

Knowledge of procurement processes

Behavioural competencies

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


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

Additional requirements

You should also:

•    have the ability to work effectively in an international and multidisciplinary team
•    have a high level of motivation and dedication
•    be able to propose technical solutions with a user-needs-driven strategic perspective
•    demonstrate flexibility in dealing with an evolving EO landscape and its technical and operational challenges

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 .


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.

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 or balanced Member States*.  ( )

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. 

Recruitment will normally be at the first grade in the band (A2); however, if the candidate selected has little or no experience, the position may be filled at A1 level.

*Member States, Associate Members or Cooperating States.

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