Vacancy On-Board Payload Data Processing Engineer

Sapienza is looking to recruit an On-board payload data processing engineer to work with ESA-ESTEC in the Netherlands, Noordwijk. Support will be provided to the Technical Quality Management (TEC) directorate within the On-board payload data processing section.

Responsibilities of the On-Board Payload Data Processing Engineer

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

Profile of the On-Board Payload Data Processing Engineer

  • PhD or Master’s degree in Engineering from a recognised Institution or equivalent
  • At least 4 years of previous relevant practical working experience
  • Experience in VHDL programming, including reconfiguration and partial reconfiguration techniques is an asset
  • 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
  • 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
  • Fluent in English; knowledge of another ESA member-state language is an asset
  • Candidates must be eligible to work in the EU.


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