Satellite System and Performance Engineer

Updated: 3 months 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 is a non-renewable post for a limited duration until 31/12/2026 and is classified A2-A4 on the Coordinated Organisations’ salary scale .

This opportunity is open for the specific needs of a National Project. Accordingly, the external candidate selected for this post will continue to be considered an external candidate for the purposes of any future applications to the Agency.

ESRIN, Frascati, Italy 


Satellite System and Performance Engineer in the IRIDE project.

You will report to the IRIDE Project  Manager in the IT PNRR programme, Earth Observation Projects Department, Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes.

The IRIDE project is the Earth Observation component of the Italian PNRR programme: Italy’s national recovery and resilience plan, to which ESA is providing technical assistance.

The IRIDE system is composed of the Upstream, Downstream and Service Elements.

The Upstream Element is composed of six constellations, comprising several sensing technologies: radar, optical, multispectral and hyperspectral.

You will support the Upstream system engineering and performance activities for the IRIDE constellations.


Your tasks and responsibilities will include:

  • monitoring of industrial activities for the satellites’ design, implementation, testing, verification, validation and commissioning, including all spacecraft subsystem aspects: structure, thermal, propulsion, mechanisms, power, electrical, electromagnetic and RF compatibility and avionics (AOCS, data handling and communications);
  • monitoring of industrial activities for all aspects relating to system budgets;
  • monitoring of industrial activities for all aspects relating to end-to-end performance, including support to all activities relating to data simulation, definition and implementation of data processing algorithms, definition and implementation of characterisation and calibration activities and data analysis (from pre-launch calibration campaigns to in-orbit verification during the commissioning phase);
  • monitoring of AIT/AIV activities in collaboration with the Upstream AITV Engineer, including aspects relating to Ground Segment equipment and test facilities;
  • supporting the assessment and management of deviations, waivers and non-conformances;
  • contributing to the definition of the IRIDE system architecture and operations concept, focusing in particular on satellites’ operational capabilities;
  • acting as Technical Officer for some of the IRIDE constellation contracts with responsibility for monitoring industry’s activities to ensure appropriate planning and implementation of activities for instrument and satellite (P)FMs, providing early warnings of major problem areas and anomalies and ensuring that appropriate mitigation actions are identified and implemented;
  • participation in reviews for the IRIDE constellations, including TRRs, TRBs and IOCRs;
  • supporting activities for the launcher interface definition and procurement of the launch services, including the launcher adapter;
  • supporting the launch campaign and LEOP/commissioning activities;
  • reporting on activities to the IRIDE Project Manager, escalating technical, programmatic and personnel issues as appropriate.

Technical competencies

Knowledge and experience of Optical and SAR Earth Observation Missions

Experience of satellites implementation (design, development, verification, validation and qualification), in particular for Earth Observation Missions

Knowledge of satellite architecture and design

Experience of managing technical interfaces between platform, instruments and launchers

Experience in evaluation of spacecraft budgets and performance analyses (on-ground and in orbit)

Experience of technical management and coordination

Behavioural competencies

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


A master's degree in aerospace engineering or another relevant engineering subject is required for this post.

Additional requirements

A minimum of seven years’ experience in space system engineering is required. You should also:

  • have a high level of self-motivation and autonomy;
  • have the ability to work effectively in an interdisciplinary team;
  • demonstrate flexibility in dealing with day-to-day operational challenges;
  • have knowledge of ECSS standards.

Experience in frequency and spectrum management would be an asset.

Knowledge of orbital dynamics and analyses would be a further asset.

​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.   

Applicants must be eligible to access technology and hardware which is subject to European and US export control regulations.  

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 at .


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.

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.

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