Payload Technology Validation Engineer

Job ID: S-AST-185

Deadline: 2 August 2021

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 the domain of SCI – Missions and Research Activities. We are looking for a Payload and Validation Engineer to support the SCI-F (Payload Technology Validation Activities), in the Directorate of Science (D/SCI).

Happiness of our employees has proven key to obtaining excellent results and a client who also regards us highly for excellent service.

Main Tasks & Responsibilities:

  • Coordinate with the mission study team, project team or operations team for the definition of the validation activities.
  • Definition of the validation activities setups.
  • Prepare and maintain test documentation (test requirements, test plan and test report).
  • Perform commissioning of the validation activities setup.
  • Perform tests related to payload validation activities.
  • Perform tests data analysis and reporting to the supported study team, project team or operations team.
  • Support to monitoring of industrial technology development activities.
  • Support to payload reviews.
  • Support to evaluation of proposals in response of Calls of missions.
  • Provide payload expertise for future mission studies.
  • Support to infrastructure maintenance, in particular with respect to opto-electronic and electrical equipment calibration and service.

Specific Tasks Applicable.

  • Software development in support to payload technology validation activities (data analysis and equipment control).
  • Support in the development and testing of front-end electronics for sensors (CCD, Infrared detectors etc.).
  • Design of low-noise analogue and digital electronics as required for the implementation of payload validation activities. This aspect of the work has a particular emphasis on imaging detector read-out electronics.
  • Manufacturing and test of electronic circuits.
  • Supporting electronic system, components and electro-optical sensor characterisations in the sections laboratories.
  • Development of firmware and instrument control and readout software.

It is expected that the Payload Validation Engineer will support reviews, working groups and meetings, examples are:

  • Specific working groups.
  • Future mission review panels.
  • Project review panels.
  • Technology Development Activity Reviews.
  • Payload validation test bench reviews.

Specific qualification requirements

  • A Master or Phd degree in Physics, Electrical or Aerospace Engineering.
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in the Research and Testing of dedicated payload technologies.
  • Excellent knowledge and Proficiency in:
  • Imaging detectors for science payload.
  • Related payload system design and performances evaluation.
  • Electro-optical test bench technology.
  • Data analysis and modelling for electro-optical performances evaluation.
  • C language (essentially for use with hardware drivers) and one or 2 assembly languages and/or VHDL..
  • Python (Scientific Python programming, familiarity with libraries: ctypes, pyfits, pyvisa, pyGTK, scipy, numpy).
    o C++ skills.
  • Bread-boarding and testing.
  • Design, manufacturing, testing and performance analysis of noise-optimised electronic circuits, preferably in the space domain.
  • Low-noise analogue, high-speed digital techniques and mixed-signal circuits, preferably in the field of image sensors.
  • PCB CAD and electronic circuit simulation software tools.
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Ability to work effectively, autonomously and cooperatively in a diverse and international team environment, defining and implementing solutions in line with team and individual objectives, as well as project deadlines.
  • A very good working knowledge of spoken and written English is essential.

Legal and Security Requirements

  • All applicants must be legally allowed to work in The Netherlands
  • Applicants are required to provide a copy of their passport and degree certificate. Aurora will validate the Degree with the issuing University and provide evidence to ESA.
  • Prior to issuing a letter of employment the applicant shall provide to Aurora a recent official document declaring that they are of good conduct from the country where currently resident.


The work will be performed at the European Space Technology and Research Centre (ESTEC) at Noordwijk, The Netherlands.


  • The selected candidate will receive good remuneration  in line with ESA Job Class.
  • Will be registered for both social security and tax in the Netherlands.
  • The standard working hours are 40 per week. There are 12 public holidays and an additional 30 annual days holiday.
  • Training to improve efficiency and provide strength for future career are of course included.
  • Aurora assist with relocation both with support and financially.
  • Aurora contributes to a company pension scheme.

To be considered for this Position

Prior to  2 August 2021, please apply via our Job Application form quoting S-AST-185 (RT-S/SCI-FIV/00185) as reference.

Aurora will agree conditional employment terms and conditions with candidates before presenting them by 4 August 2021, 13.00 hours.

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