Arctic Weather Satellite Ground Segment Engineer

Job ID: EOP-136

Deadline 5 March 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 Earth Observation.
Happiness of our employees has proven key to obtaining excellent results and a client who also regards us highly for excellent service.


The vacancy is for an Arctic Weather Satellite (AWS) Ground Segment Engineer, in the System Support Division, Earth Observation Department, Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes.

The postholder will report functionally to the AWS Project Manager, and will be responsible for all aspects of the AWS Ground Segment. The postholder will coordinate with the System Support Division to ensure usage of common standards and methods, and access to the necessary resources on system support issues, where appropriate.

AWS is conceived as the prototype satellite (approx. 120 kg) for a future constellation of small satellites providing all-weather microwave sounding of the global atmosphere with frequent revisit observations over the Arctic region. The AWS prototype is being implemented as a dedicated ESA Programme Element under the Earth Watch Programme, while any future constellation will be implemented in cooperation with EUMETSAT. Launch of AWS is planned in early 2024.

The postholder will support the definition and monitor the implementation of the Ground Segment and the preparation of the Spacecraft in-orbit Operations up to and including the commissioning phase. The Ground Segment consists of three elements, namely the Ground Station (GS), Monitoring and Control Segment (MCS) and Payload Data Ground Segment (PDGS).

The duties will include:

  • Reviewing and assessing the proposed Ground Segment design, including identification of possible options, trade-offs and design / cost drivers and guaranteeing compliance with requirements;
  • Coordinating with the AWS team to ensure Ground Segment design and compatibility with the system/operations, including consistency of design, testing and performance with other elements of the system and future AWS constellation requirements;
  • Managing and monitoring industrial activities for the Ground Segment;
  • Supporting AWS project reviews;
  • Reviewing and verifying the space-to-ground interface in cooperation with the AWS team;
  • Liaising with EUMETSAT with respect to future AWS constellation Ground Segment optimisation;
  • Monitoring the definition of the Level-1 data processor and its implementation and the verification of its interfaces with PDGS;
  • Supporting Ground Segment validation activities, including Satellite System Validation Tests (SSVTs);
  • Supporting the preparation of the Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP), the Satellite In-Orbit Verification (SIOV) and Commissioning phases;
  • In carrying out these tasks, the postholder will coordinate closely with other AWS team members, and also with support from the Earth Observation Programmes and Technical and Quality Directorates.

Specific qualification requirements

  • A university Master degree (MSc or Phd) in a relevant technical or scientific discipline (e.g. Space system engineering).
  • Previous experience in ground segment projects.
  • Experience in earth observation is highly desirable.
  • Good practical, analytical and interpersonal skills, with the ability to work effectively both autonomously and in a team.
  • Good communication skills, be self-motivated and have a pro-active and results-oriented approach.
  • Proficient in the English Language (Spoken and Written).

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 5 March 2021, please apply via our Job Application form quoting EOP-136 as reference.

Aurora will agree conditional employment terms and conditions with candidates before presenting them by 9 March 2021, 13.00 hours.

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