Science Operations Engineer

Job ID: SCO-05_OpEng-MEX

Deadline: 15 December 2023

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 obtaining favorable recognition from clients who value our top-notch service delivery.


As Science Operations Engineer you will initially be assigned to the MEX mission but are expected to be flexible to work for other  missions if required.

If selected, the main activities to be performed are:

  • Payload Operations System Configuration
  • Payload Operations Implementation
  • Medium Term Planning (MTP) Iteration and Product Delivery
  • Short Term Planning (STP) Iteration and Product Delivery
  • Payload Operations Coordination with Instrument Teams
  • Payload Resource and Constraint Modelling
  • Maintenance of Payload Operations Systems and Interfaces

Specific Service Tasks

As part of the service, the following main tasks will have to be carried out.

Science Operations Engineer Uplink Data Production Tasks:

  • Definition/update and population of the SOC configuration controlled operations data (instrument models, observation definitions, observation geometries);
  • Definition and generation of the SOC operations plan and procedures;
  • Maintain the ICDs for the SOC-PI team interface.

Science Operations Engineering tasks:

  • Medium Term Planning Activities:
    • Kick-off MTP science planning by providing the PI teams with the baseline observation types;
    • Scheduling defined contributing observations within the MTP period;
    • Use of MAPPS to generate an operationally feasible candidate plan including pointing and resource allocations;
    • Refining the science plan directly with the PI teams at the observation level;
    • Gaining approval of the final MTP plan and freeze the MTP baseline;
    • Generating the pointing and payload request files, then deliver to the MOC.
  • Short Term Planning Activities:
    • Generating a full set of instrument timelines (ITLs) for all four 1-week commanding periods that correspond to the agreed MTP;
    • Working with the PI teams to update their commanding for each CP in turn;
    • Using MAPPS to check that any commanding updates respect the operations constraints and remain within the envelope established in the MTP;
    • Generating the payload operations requests and submitting them to the MOC 1 week before execution for each CP.

Specific qualification requirements

  • A graduate degree (Masters) in a scientific or technical subject and relevant professional experience.
  • You must be able to work in English

Specific knowledge is required in the following areas:

  • Experience in uplink science operations for solar system missions;
  • Experience in payload modeling, simulation and commanding;
  • Experience with simulation software for spacecraft operations and observation geometry;
  • Experience with planetary science operation tools (MAPPS, EPS, SPICE) is considered a bonus;
  • Good communication skills;
  • Good team working skills.

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.


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

Employment Contract

  • The selected candidate will receive good remuneration.
  • 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 15 December 2023 , please apply via our Job Application form quoting SCO-05_OpEng-MEX as reference.

If not directly interested, feel free to share by this Job Vacancy with your friends!