Intern in the Future Missions and Architecture Department

Updated: 4 months ago
Deadline: 30 Nov 2022

Internship Opportunity 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.


Our team and mission

The Future Missions and Architecture Department is responsible for defining and preparing future Earth Observation systems, technologies, and architectures: Responsible for the preparatory activities for future missions in general, for studies relating to future Earth Observation architectures, missions, and instruments, and for the Earth Observation future technologies activities of the Agency. The Department is responsible for investigating new domains in Earth Observation, including innovative methods and technologies, which he prepares for use in other Departments, Directorates, or with external partners. It ensures ESA’s Earth Observation System Architect role by establishing an end-to-end system (of systems) view of ESA’s Earth Observation activities, in synergy with European, national, and commercial Earth Observation programmes.

The role of the Future Missions & Instruments Division is to prepare the Earth observation (EO) missions and technologies of the future, encompassing a wide range of scientific missions (Earth Explorers, small satellites like the Scout) and operational missions (Copernicus Sentinels and Meteosat/Metop).

For further information visit our web site:

Field(s) of activity for the internship

Topic: Updating Earth Observation Mission Concept Compendium + NewSpace industrial teams

You will support the work of the Department in the surveying of planned and on-going activities related to the preparation of Earth Observation (EO) Mission Concepts. In particular you will perform the following activities in the Technology Coordination and Frequency Management Section of the Future Missions and Instruments Division:

  • supporting the establishment of assessment and synthesis of the type of EO payloads, both RF and Optical, that could be embarked in Earth Observation, including among others their observation technique, frequency used, preliminary analysis for future EO satellite missions.
  • supporting the update of the EO Mission Concept Compendium, with new EO mission concepts that have not been selected for Phase 0/A but have a potential to become candidates in future Calls for new EO Mission Concept Ideas.
  • synthetising the challenges and status of the critical space technologies needed in the Mission Concepts included the compendium and support the elaboration of a potential roadmap for its implementation. By space technology for EO, it is understood and limited to on-Board Technology, thus it excludes On-Ground data processing technology for EO applications.
  • contributing to the monitoring and assessment of other EO mission concepts and related technologies in commercial / NewSpace as well as National programmes, and synthesize their capability and evolution.

You will be exposed to the wide range of technology developments in the field of EO instrumentation (mainly optical and microwave) and of spacecraft technologies in general and will gain experience in technological and system engineering aspects for Earth Observation missions.

Behavioural competencies

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


You must have student status and be enrolled at university for the entire duration of the internship. You should preferably be in your final or second to last year of a university course at master’s level in a technical or scientific discipline.

Additional requirements

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.

Other information

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

If you require support with your application due to a disability, please email .

Internships can take place remotely, on-site or partially on-site depending on the pandemic situation, and in line with the relevant Establishment’s policy (e.g. possible Green Pass requirement) applicable at the time of starting the internship.


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, and the United Kingdom. Nationals from Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia, as Associate Member States, or Canada as a Cooperating State, can apply as well as those from Bulgaria and Cyprus as European Cooperating States (ECS).

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