Vacature Optical Instrument Principal Engineer

Optical Instrument Principal Engineer in Noordwijk Zh

Optical Instrument Principal Engineer

Job Requisition ID: 18180

Closing Date: 8 December 2023 23:59 CET/CEST

Establishment: ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands

Directorate: Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes

Publication: External Only

Vacancy Type: Fixed-Term

Date Posted: 17 November 2023

ESA is an equal opportunity employer, committed to achieving diversity within the workforce and creating an inclusive working environment. We therefore welcome applications from all qualified candidates irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, beliefs, age, disability or other characteristics. Applications from women are encouraged.

This opportunity is open for the specific needs of a National Project. Accordingly, the external candidate selected for this post will continue to be considered an external candidate for the purposes of any future applications to the Agency.

ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands


We are recruiting for the position of Optical Instrument Principal Engineer for the Spanish National Earth Observation Mission.

On all technical and programmatic matters, you will report to the Project Manager of the assigned National Mission.

You will be technically responsible for the definition, development, implementation, verification, calibration and validation of the instruments in compliance with the associated requirements and interfaces.

You will support the Project Manager on all technical and programmatic aspects pertinent to the instrument's scope.


Your tasks and responsibilities will include:

  • monitoring industrial activities related to the procurement of the instrument and associated ground support equipment (GSE), in particular critical subsystems, ensuring suitable planning and progress of work;
  • consolidating and maintaining instrument requirements, ensuring their consistent definition and flow-down to system, subsystem and equipment level, with support from the engineers of the corresponding disciplines and the industrial consortium;
  • supervising the overall instrument definition process, ensuring a robust architecture and that its design and interfaces are established in a consistent and cost-effective manner;
  • monitoring and controlling performance evolution at overall level down to lower levels, ensuring requirements are met at instrument and system level during all programme phases up to the instrument flight acceptance review;
  • monitoring and controlling the correct implementation of the instrument development and its assembly, integration, testing and verification process (i.e. AIV/AIT) from equipment and subsystem level, consistent with spacecraft-level verification, and coordinating the instrument Verification Control Boards;
  • ensuring suitable support for the instrument prime contractor during instrument integration phases with the platform and during the spacecraft verification process up to the flight acceptance review of all eight spacecraft;
  • ensuring timely development and maintenance of models, GSE, simulators, tools and documentation, including the necessary characterisation databases and key data, required for the definition of technical instrument budgets and the evaluation of instrument performance;
  • supervising the definition of the instrument characterisation, calibration and validation approach and the execution of related activities on-ground and preparation for in-orbit up to instrument flight acceptance review;
  • working with other project members and coordinating the technical specialists to ensure timely and consistent support through the instrument definition, procurement and verification phases;
  • providing regular reporting and support to the Project Manager on all the relevant aspects of the instrument design, development, procurement and scheduling;
  • identifying risks and potential problem areas, proposing mitigation actions where appropriate;
  • ensuring the coordination with other National Programmes (where applicable).

Knowledge and experience in optical design, development, AIT/AIV and calibration for Earth observation optical instruments

Knowledge and experience in optical instrument performance and verification

Experience of managing technical interfaces between subsystems both within the ESA project team environment and for the industrial consortium

Medium-complexity project schedule and risk management processes


A master's in a relevant scientific or engineering discipline is required.

Additional requirements

Consolidated experience in optical instrument engineering and experience in the field of spaceborne optical instrument design and procurement.

You should also:

  • have a high level of self-motivation and autonomy;
  • have the capability to work effectively in an interdisciplinary team;
  • demonstrate flexibility in dealing with day-to-day operational challenges.

Knowledge of the following would be considered a strong asset:

  • ESA and industrial procurement processes and standards for space system development, verification and product assurance;
  • the technical and programmatic characteristics and challenges specific to space system constellations.

Functie:optical instrument principal engineer
Salaris:onbekend – onbekend
Uren per week:1 – 40

Heb je interesse in deze vacature en wil je graag op deze functie solliciteren? Neem dan contact op met ARES - (Association of Retired ESA Staff in Nederland). via onbekend of onbekend. Of bezoek hun website onbekend.

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