Minimize Young Graduate Trainee for Mission Operations (EarthCARE)

Date added: 04 December 2017

Organisation: European Space Agency (ESA)

Location: Darmstadt, Germany

Closing date for applications: 17 December 2017

Our team and mission

The Young Graduate Trainee (YGT) for Mission Operations (EarthCARE) (3961) will be part of the Earth Explorer Management Office, Earth Observation Missions Division, Mission Operations Department.

The Earth, Cloud, Aerosol and Radiation Explorer (EarthCARE) satellite will advance our understanding of the role that clouds and aerosols plan in reflecting incident solar radiation back into space and trapping infrared radiation emitted from the Earth's surface.

The EarthCARE operations team is part of the Earth Observation Missions Division, within the Mission Operations Department of the Directorate of Operations. The Earth Observation (EO) Missions Division is responsible for EO missions in preparation and in flight, currently including SMOS, CryoSat-2, Swarm, Aeolus, EarthCARE, Biomass, FLEX, Sentinel-1/2/3/5p/6 (Copernicus missions).

The EarthCARE mission operations team is responsible for the preparation of the Flight Operations Segment for the EarthCARE mission, which is currently planned for launch in the timeframe 2019/2020.

Interested candidates are encouraged to visit the ESA website:

Field(s) of activities

Working as a member of the EarthCARE Flight Control Team, the Young Graduate Trainee (YGT) will assist the Spacecraft Operations Manager in the user acceptance testing of the Flight Operations Segment main facilities, namely Mission Control System, Simulator and Flight Dynamics together with the execution of the System Testing activities (e.g. System Validation Tests, Ground Segment Operational Validation campaign). In particular, the trainee will be assigned to the following main tasks:

  • Testing of the Mission Control System, Mission Planning System and Simulator. This activity includes review of test cases and test procedures against user defined requirements, test execution at requirement and also operational scenario level plus the associated reporting. In addition, the trainee will support the preparation of the simulator for use during the simulations campaign prior to launch.
  • Support the preparation, execution and reporting tasks in the frame of System Validation Tests with the spacecraft as well as Ground Segment Operational Validation campaign activities with all parts of the EarthCARE Ground Segment.
  • Support the preparation and validation of flight procedures. This activity includes review of the relevant Flight Operations Manual volumes, generation and review of nominal and contingency recovery procedures, validation of procedures with the simulator as well as the spacecraft.
  • Support the Flight Control Team in the analysis for the Ground Station visibility for the LEOP and Commissioning phases and also the impacts of the EarthCARE calibrations on the ground segment.

EarthCARE is currently in the preparation phase, with a launch expected in 2019/2020 timeframe. During the period covered by this training opportunity, updated ground systems will be deployed and tested, several System Validation Tests with the satellite flight model will be executed, and the Ground Segment Operational Validation at system level will be executed. Preparation for the Launch and Early Orbit Phase, Commissioning and routine operations phases will be started.

The traineeship will cover several engineering disciplines, from user requirements review to testing of different ground segment elements and their validation at subsystem and system level. The use of operations tools, potentially including definition and development will be explored, which will be used to support the team during the preparation activities and also the in flight operations phases.

Technical competencies

  • Knowledge of relevant technical domains
  • Relevant experience gained during internships/project work
  • Breadth of exposure coming from past and/or current research/activities
  • Knowledge of ESA and its programmes/projects


Applicants should have just completed, or be in their final year of a University course at Masters Level (or equivalent) in a technical or scientific discipline.

Additional requirements

Applicants should be computer literate and able to use scripting languages or other tools to support the activities, but should be aware that this will not be a full-time programming position.

The working languages of the Agency are English and French. A good knowledge of one of these is required. Knowledge of another Member State language would be an asset.

In addition, applicants should demonstrate good interpersonal skills and the capacity to work both independently and as part of a team.

During the interview the candidates' motivation and overall professional perspective/career goals will also be explored.

Learn more about the role and how to apply.

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