MAPPS System and Software Engineer

Rosetta Mission Analysis

Job ID: SCI-124

Deadline: 25 August 2016

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 within the Science Operations Department to support the Mission Analysis and Payload Planning System (MAPPS) at ESAC in Madrid, Spain.


The MAPPS software is a well-established tool in support of the Science Operations Centres (SOCs) of the ESA Solar System missions.

The MAPPS software provides a wide range of planning and simulation features, used in the different phases of the planning process for the scientific experiments and the consolidation and conflict resolution of the overall experiments planning.

This work is intended to provide a number of specialised services to support ESA in System and Software Engineering at ESAC for support to the Science Operations Centres (SOCs) of the current and future ESA missions, currently Rosetta, ExoMars 2016, SolarOrbiter, BepiColombo and JUICE.

This support includes the development of planning and simulation tools and in particular of MAPPS, which in use by the MarsExpress and Rosetta missions and is currently being adapted for use by the ExoMars 2016 and Juice missions.

Specific Service Tasks

This service is for software support to contribute to the maintenance and further evolution of the MAPPS software, as well as to provide first-line support to the SOCs mission planners and scientific users, based at ESAC (Madrid).

Specific Tasks:

  • Implementation of new MAPPS features as defined by the users of the different Solar System missions, following the priorities set by the MAPPS CCB (Change Control Board).
  • Implementation of new MAPPS features, in the area of the Graphical User Interface, and in backend processing software.
  • Understand and improve the overall architecture of the extensive MAPPS software – the team should take ownership of the project
  • Identify bottlenecks and bugs, and devise solutions to these problems.
  • Supporting the MAPPS software deliveries following the existing maintenance and release procedures. Improving these procedures where needed, also considering the long life-time of the software.
  • Provide first-line user support, e.g. helping the user configuring and using any new features, analysing potential bugs and providing fixes.
  • Building compelling, interactive visualizations (timelines, maps, geometrical data, statistics, etc..) and user interfaces.
  • Participate in all phases of development (specification, design, development, bug fixing, testing, and documentation) according to the ESA software engineering processes.
  • Regular software releases, following an agile development methodology.
  • System and Software engineering documentation (i.e. Architectural and system design, software test plan and reports) when applicable.
  • Software architecture, design documentation.
  • Software documentation (interfacing to user as well as developer).
  • Software (source and object code).
  • Software unit tests with an approved test coverage.
  • Definition of Interface Control Documents (ICD’s) and file interchange formats with external coordination units.
  • Attendance in approved groups and meetings.
  • Participation in software integration, validation, product validation and verification campaigns.
  • Progress reports.

Specific qualification requirements

Minimum Requirements

  • Engineering PhD or Master Degree in computer Science or related fields.
  • Relevant professional experience of at least 4 years.
  • Extensive experience with object-oriented programming and relative design patterns.
  • Recent experience in C++ development (>2 years).
  • Extensive experience in designing and producing meaningful, effective interactive/customized data visualization and Graphical User Interfaces (GUI).
  • Experience in language tools for memory debugging, memory leak detection and profiling.
  • General knowledge on commonly used bug reporting systems (e.g. JIRA) and software versioning systems (e.g. GIT).
  • Experience with the Windows and Linux operating systems.
  • You must be able to work in English.

Optional Requirements

  • Experience in other programming languages, such as Java, C, Python.
  • Experience in developing web applications.
  • Experience with the Qt toolkit or any comparable C++ based GUI toolkits.
  • Knowledge of the ECSS-E-ST-40C standard.
  • Knowledge of spacecraft systems engineering.
  • Experience in modelling and simulation of spacecraft systems.

The selected provider must be willing to render the service in a team environment. Good interpersonal and communication skills, together with a pro-active attitude to problem solving and customer focus are required.

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 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.


  • You will be registered for both social security and tax in Spain.
  • The standard working hours are 40 per week including sometimes support in the evenings and weekends.
  • 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

Provide prior to 25 August 2016 a summary of why you are a good candidate for the position together with a complete and detailed Recruitment Form or CV and Motivation letter to Mr. Davide Starnone, at email quoting reference SCO-124.

Aurora will agree conditional employment terms and conditions with candidates before presenting their detailed technical proposal and candidates to ESAby 31 August 2016, 13:00 hours.