Science Software Engineering Support

Job ID: SCO-02-01

Deadline: 31 January 2020

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 ESAC.


Software engineer support is required for software engineering tasks in the development/maintenance or enhancement of the SOC systems.

The main services required include:

  • Write technical requirements for SOC and archives subsystems and provide flow down from higher level requirements.
    • Analysis of functionalities of existing SW systems and assessment of potential reusability.
    • Analysis of requirements and propagation of impacts.
  • Perform SW architectural design as needed.
  • Implement/Maintain one or more subsystems/modules according to the requirements in the agreed language using the agreed tools.
  • Development and integration of scientific algorithms
    • Coding scientific algorithms in specified language following detailed mathematical descriptions.
    • Integrating these algorithms into the SOC framework.
    • Testing and validating new implemented functionality (unit / integration tests) using Gaia data.
    • Optimize new code in terms of memory / CPU usage.
    • Collaborate with external scientists as needed.
  • Ensure timely delivery of SW releases and relative increments.
    • Deploy and configure new versions of the systems/modules on the validation and operational systems as requested.
  • Software Configuration, integration and setting up of operating systems and layered software.
  • Support the definition of Operational SGS Procedures (for procedures involving the use of SW).
    • Training and supervision of SOC operators for the Operational tasks.
  • Contribute to System verification and scientific validation.
    • Aid in the definition, conduction and analysis of large-scale testing campaigns including a first assessment of the scientific quality of results.
    • Documenting results of test campaigns in the form of validation test reports.
  • Contribute to the definition of Interface Control Documents (ICDs) and interface definitions.
  • Provide documentation for subsystems and manage change requests via Change Control Boards

Specific Software Engineering Support for Gaia

  • Maintenance of existing code modules such as MDB, AGIS, IDT and Gaia Tools java Library as requested
  • Aid in the creation of the future astrometric solutions.
  • Populating the operational AGIS processing DB with IDT and all needed auxiliary data

Specific qualification requirements

  • A University degree or PhD in Aerospace Engineering, Applied Physics, Astrophysics or in equivalent relevant fields.
  • Several years of working experience in programming languages such as Java, C, Python.
  • Experience in data modelling and database design.
  • Expertise in the development and command of modern and commonly used scientific analysis software, ideally with applications in Space Science.
  • Experience on ESA Science Ground Segment software engineering processes, such as ECSS-E-ST-40C and ECSS-Q-ST-80C standards
  • Experience in software configuration control processes and tools
  • Background in Science or Astronomy would be an asset
  • Good understanding of Scientific Operations of an international space-based observatory.
  • Excellent analytical and communication experience.
  • A high level of written and spoken Englishis essential. Fluency in Spanish also desirable.
  • Flexibility and appreciation ofdiversity and of international working environment.
  • Excellent organisation skillsfor projects execution and associated documentation.

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. 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 31 January 2020 a summary of why you are a good candidate for the position together with a complete and detailed Candidate Proposal Form or your CV with a motivation letter to Mr. Davide Starnone, at email quoting reference SCO-02-01.

Aurora will agree conditional employment terms and conditions with candidates before presenting their detailed technical proposal and candidates to ESA by 4 February 2020, 13:00 hours.

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