System Operations 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 December 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 or ESOC, Darmstadt, Germany


System Operations Engineer in the IRIDE project.

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 activities for the implementation and commissioning of the flight operations segment for the IRIDE constellations.
You will hierarchically report to the IRIDE Downstream Manager in the IRIDE Downstream Section, IRIDE Project, Earth Observation National Programmes, Earth Observation Projects Department, Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes.
You will functionally report to the staff responsible for IRIDE Flight Control Segment within the Mission Operations Department, Directorate of Operations. 

Note: this post is to be based initially in ESRIN, but may be re-assigned to ESOC. If ESOC is selected as the duty station, frequent travel to ESRIN/Italy may be required. 


Your duties will include: 

  • managing technical activities in the area of the flight operations segment, including requirements, development, testing, integration with the rest of the ground segment, post-launch commissioning and the initial operations phase; 
  • supporting operations preparation for the constellations part of the project; 
  • supporting the ground segment system level definition, interface specification and implementation; 
  • evaluating the industrial deliverables and their formal acceptance by the Agency; 
  • preparing and implementing the main milestones, including specific reviews and key decision points (KDPs) at flight operations segment level, and participating in system milestones.

Technical competencies

Detailed knowledge of ground segments in general, and the flight operations segment in particular

Understanding of the development and maintenance of ground infrastructure and/or software systems

Experience in spacecraft operations, in particular for Earth observation satellites

Experience in the ground segment and operations development phase

Experience in technical management and coordination

Behavioural competencies

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


You should have a master’s in a relevant engineering subject.

Additional requirements

You should also: 

  • have a minimum of five years’ direct experience in the flight operations segment and the preparation and execution of operations. Experience with more than one mission would be considered an asset.
  • have a high level of self-motivation and autonomy and the ability to work effectively in an interdisciplinary team.
  • demonstrate flexibility in dealing with day-to-day operational challenges.
  • demonstrate a strong capacity for teamwork.

​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 at [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.

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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