Archive Scientists in Planetary Science

Job ID: Planetary-ESAC

Deadline 26 February 2021

Aurora is an established supplier of skilled manpower to ESA. Aurora has the opportunity to expand our support to ESA in the domain of Science Operations.
Happiness of our employees has proven key to obtaining excellent results and a client who also regards us highly for excellent service.


Aurora with its Consortium is the largest Service provider of engineering and scientific support at ESA/ESAC.

Employees are our key resource! We know that progress is only achieved by a happy motivated team, that’s why Aurora employs top quality staff by offering challenging work, responsibility, a pleasant environment and excellent remuneration.

The service to be provided is in support to Archive development and operation. The following main activities will have to be carried out:

  • Provide general support to the SGS Science Data Processing and Archiving Coordinator.
  • Provide consultancy and support to the Instrument Teams for the definition of their science products.
  • Support internal reviews of the science products during the design phase.
  • Support and follow-up the production of all relevant instrument archive documentation (e.g. EAICDs, calibration reports) by the Instrument Teams.
  • Provide support to mission Science Archive development and follow-up the mission Archive implementation.
  • Support the definition of requirements for the Planetary Science Archive (PSA), including the handling and visualisation of products as well as the map view functionalities.
  • Participate in the Archive Validation & Testing activities.
  • Support the verification and validation of all science data deliveries from the instrument teams before delivery to the scientific community.
  • Support the organization of Science Archive peer reviews, as required.
  • Follow up the population of the Archive with the initial data sets and contribute to their validation and quality control.
  • Support to data users (helpdesk, data workshops, conferences).
  • Support the definition, specification and production of higher-level data products (e.g. maps) for distribution to the scientific community, and the enhancement of existing data sets in collaboration with the Instrument Teams.
  • Support the definition and evaluation of methods and tools for in-flight calibrations.
  • Support the reconstruction of the observations geometry and the definition and generation of geometry products as required.
  • Provide Support to the missions (e.g. SWT, Conferences, Scientific workshops, etc.) as required.
  • Participate in Scientific Working Groups as required.
  • Support the integration and development of the Planetary Data Standard PDS4.

Specific qualification requirements

  • PhD or equivalent qualification in astronomy, physics or a related discipline.
  • Proven experience in planetary science and data processing of space-based data.
  • Expertise with planetary data analysis, reduction and calibration software.
  • Knowledge on instrumentation in at least two scientific disciplines (remote sensing, radio science, spectral imaging, particle and plasma physics, in-situ measurements).
  • Good knowledge of space geometry concepts and use of other ancillary information including experience with the SPICE ancillary information system.
  • Knowledge of the Planetary Data System (PDS) standards.
  • Experience of scientific data handling for usage in Planetary Science Archives.
  • Experience in providing support and interacting with instrument scientists and engineers, and with the scientific community is an asset.
  • Knowledge of science operations is an advantage.
  • Excellent analytical and communication skills, and a pragmatic and proactive attitude to resolving problems.
  • Excellent communications skills.
  • A high level of written and spoken English is essential.

Legal and Security Requirements

  • All applicants must be legally allowed to work in Spain without the need to obtain a work visa. Only European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) and SWISS citizens can be employed by Aurora in Spain.
  • 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.
  • In line with ESA’s security requirements, 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, and Aurora will validate your employment history.


It is expected that the work will be performed at the ESAC, the European Space Astronomy Centre at Villafranca del Castillo, near Madrid (Spain).


  • The selected candidate will receive good remuneration  in line with ESA Job Class.
  • You will be registered for both social security and tax in Spain.
  • The standard working hours are 40 per week. There are 12 public holidays and an additional 30 annual days holiday.
  • In addition to public health services Aurora provides private medical insurance in Spain.
  • Training to improve efficiency and provide strength for future career are of course included.
  • Aurora can assist financially and provide recent experience information for relocation.

To be considered for this Position

Prior to  26 February 2021, if you think you are an excellent engineer or scientist  and you have the right profile to cover one or more of the above activities, you can directly get in contact with Davide Starnone at email or you can formally apply via our Job Application form quoting Planetary-ESAC (AO/2-100045/20/ES/JD ) as reference.

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