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Aurora is a daughter company of LSE Space who themselves are part of the Swedish Space Corporation group. We are a friendly business, operate autonomously and benefit from our relationship within this corporate structure.

Science Archives and Virtual Observatory Java developer (SRE-124)

Aurora is an established supplier of skilled manpower to ESA and in particular at ESTEC and ESAC. Aurora has the opportunity to expand our support to ESA in Science Archive and Virtual Observatory team within the Science and Robotic Exploration Directorate (D/SRE). Aurora currently has a team of 16 engineers and scientists at ESAC.


Within the Science Operations Department’s overall responsibility for scientific operations development and execution for astronomy missions, the Science Archives and Computer Engineering Unit carries in particular the role of developing science archives, providing easy access to mission data for the scientific community worldwide. A Science Archives Team in ESAC works on various archive projects (ISO, XMM-Newton, INTEGRAL, HERSCHEL, ROSETTA, MARS EXPRESS, SMART-1, VENUS EXPRESS, SOHO, Planck and more to come). All mission archives are on-line via the World Wide Web, with data distribution usually being done via FTP. Modular and flexible multi-tier and client–server architecture –together with the use of an object-oriented approach, Java and XML– allows configurability and re-use of systems across projects.

Furthermore, ESA, through the ESAC Science Archives Team is playing a greater role in the Virtual Observatory (VO) worldwide to position itself as THE main VO actor for all European space-based astronomical data. A VO is a network of interoperating data archives and software tools that use the connectivity provided by the Internet (and in future the GRID) to form a scientific research environment in which astronomical research programs can be conducted. The vast astronomical archives and databases around the world, together with analysis tools and computational services, are linked together into an integrated facility, not only connecting astronomical data centres and providers but also providing collective capabilities beyond those possible in any individual archive.

No one in the Science Archives Team is dedicated to any archive in particular, but everybody works on similar sub-system(s) across all the projects. There are database engineers, experts on user interface and middle-tier and other specialists on data storage, data distribution and interoperability aspects.

The tasks related to Science Archives and VO user interfaces and middle-tier applications:

The Archive team also perform the following tasks related to Science Archives and VO databases: Specific tasks related to Science Archives and VO data distribution and interoperability applications are the following:

Specific qualification requirements

University degree in computer science, or software engineering, or scientific discipline, or equivalent.

Specific knowledge is required in the following areas:

All applicants must be legally allowed to work in Spain without the need to obtain a work visa.


The work will be performed at the ESAC, the European Space Astronomy Centre, at Villafranca del Castillo, near Madrid, Spain.


To be considered for this Position

Provide prior to 16 November 2010 a summary of why you are a good candidate for the position together with a complete and detailed Recruitment Form to Mr. Alex Jeanes, at email quoting reference SRE-124.

Aurora will agree conditional employment terms and conditions with candidates before presenting their recruitment form to ESA by 19 November 2010. ESA will select the candidates for interview and Aurora will provide for interview travel costs. Should ESA select you then a formal letter of employment shall be issued with an agreed start date.