On-Board Payload Data Processing Engineer

FPGA board

Job ID: TEC-EDP-413

Deadline: 19 January 2018

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 EDP – Electromagnetics Components Data & Power Systems Engineering Support.
Happiness of our employees has proven key to obtaining excellent results and a client who also regards us highly for excellent service.


A diverse range of support tasks can be carried out by the contractor within the above domains, encompassing hardware, software and system aspects. These can be grouped within the following main headings:

  • Payload data acquisition, processing and storage chains, which can be further divided into:
    • Data acquisition chain: – ADC/ DAC interfaces; – Sensor readout electronics; – Analog signal conditioning;
    • Data processing units: – Concept, design and test of data processing units; – Implementation of payload data processing functions on processors (e.g. DSP, GPU or uProcessor) and FPGAs based platforms; – Trade-off analysis and verification of the performance in simulation and hardware;
    • Instrument controller: – Concept, design and test of payload computers; – Knowledge of applied memory technologies;
    • Mass Memory storage units: – Concept, design and test of mass memories and the applied memory technologies; – Knowledge of file based systems and the CFTP protocol; – HW/ SW partitioning and corresponding trade-offs.
  • High speed networks for data transmission and command & control:
    • Experience with high speed serial link based systems and the testing of these interfaces;
    • SpaceWire, SpaceFibre and related protocols;
    • Protocols providing quality of service, reliability, determinism and FDIR;
    • Ethernet based systems based on Powerlink, AFDX or similar is an asset.
  • Validation of signal and image processing algorithms via simulation techniques (e.g. Matlab, prototyping SW).
  • Specific engineering support in the above domains to mainstream ESA space projects, mainly for (but not restricted to) the development and testing phases.

Specific qualification requirements

  • Master’s degree in engineering.
  • A minimum of 4 years of relevant professional working experience.
  • Experience in defining payload data processing systems architectures.
  • Extensive knowledge in signal and image processing techniques and devices.
  • Extensive experience in procurement of spaceflight hardware units, sub-systems integration and testing in the space industry.
  • Knowledge in spaceflight electronics design related to data acquisition, processing and storage functions, as well as constraints of the space environment.
  • Wide knowledge in communication networks principles, standards and their implementation.
  • Experience in VHDL programming, including reconfiguration and partial reconfiguration techniques is an asset.
  • Ability to work in an autonomous manner, in particular when providing support to projects with high time allocations and this in coordination with the line manager.
  • Fluency in English (both written and spoken) is mandatory; knowledge of another European language is an advantage.

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

Provide prior to 19 January 2018 a summary of why you are a good candidate for the position together with a complete and detailed Candidate Proposal Form or CV and Motivation Letter to Mr. Davide Starnone, at email davide.starnone@aurora.nl quoting reference TEC-EDP-413.

Aurora will agree conditional employment terms and conditions with candidates before submitting them by 24 January 2018, 13.00 hours.

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