Vacancy Copernicus Post Launch Support Engineer

Sapienza Consulting are currently recruiting a post launch support engineer for the Copernicus programme. The Post Launch Support (PLS) function is established for each of the ESA-supported Sentinel missions (Sentinel-1, -2, -3 & -5p) to provide necessary engineering support for monitoring, maintaining & optimizing the satellite(s) performance throughout their lifetime(s), until conclusion of each mission.

Responsibilities of the Copernicus Post Launch Support Engineer

  • Coordinate the internal & external support to PLS (ESA Project Team, TEC experts, Mission Analysis & System Support, Industry);
  • Coordinate with the ESA Project Team (were relevant) to exchange technical status on the flying- and non-flying satellite(s), identifying coordination issues of relevance and following them to conclusion;
  • Support PLS at the regular (weekly) Operations Boards;
  • Support the Operations Team(s) by providing or facilitating responses to technical support requests from either the Flight operations Segment (FOS) or Payload Data Ground Segment (PDGS);
  • Maintain & distribute the PLS On-Call lists to the FOS (& other parties where relevant) in a timely manner;
  • Support the Mission Manager and his/her team by providing technical advice related to issues of Satellite(s) performance;
  • Support the Project Team(s) by providing timely & pertinent feedback on any issue detected in-flight with potential impact on satellite(s) still under development;
  • Provide specific technical expertise to support Performance Monitoring, Analysis & Optimisation tasks and Anomaly Investigations, with overall aim to improve mission quality and/or lifetime;
  • Preparation of Technical Documentation, such as Reports, Technical Notes and other requested documentation;
  • Review and synthesis of Technical Reports and documents produced by Industry, and extraction of relevant technical information for use in generation of PLS Performance metrics and reports;
  • Organise and support the 6-monthly In-Orbit Performance Reviews in cooperation with the Industrial Prime contractor, including associated follow-up activities (eg administration, actions follow up etc);
  • Respond to Anomaly Warnings received from the Flight Operations Segment (FOS) in an appropriate & timely manner, providing support and facilitating the necessary follow-on actions;
  • Supporting and lead complex investigations that arise as a result of satellite performance and anomalies, ensuring adequate coordination with involved partners (MM, FOS, Industry, Project, Management);
  • Prepare, coordinate & follow-up on engineering requests for the Industrial contractors in support of Anomaly Investigations and other technical analyses;
  • Support the meetings of the Satellite Configuration Control Board (CCB);
  • Support Satellite Decommissioning & Disposal activities as required by Mission status;
  • Monitor, track and report the status of activities performed by the Industrial contractors in support of the PLS function (technical, commercial and schedule status);
  • Preparation of Commercial Documentation, such as Statement of Work and other requested documentation;
  • Review commercial payment requests & the associated justifications submitted by Industry (regular milestones or as result of ad-hoc Cost Reimbursement activities);
  • Bring innovation to satellite performance analysis by investigating emerging technologies that enhance the ability for early detection of performance trends and deviations.
  • Maintain the relevant PLS technical records, databases & documentation in accordance with established procedures;
  • Maintain a regular (weekly) reporting & coordination with the PLS Manager;

Post-launch support duties will include, starting with ERS-2 and Envisat radar altimeters and microwave radiometers (reporting to the Head of the Post-Launch Support Office):

  • Preventive maintenance:
    • Routine monitoring of key HK TM parameters and of the science data.
    • Six-monthly review of the In Orbit performance.
    • Implementation of corrections for detected deviation of the performance.
  • Corrective Maintenance:
    • Leading the investigation of anomalies or deviations and
    • Implementation of corrections for detected anomalies.
  • Instrument Operations extension:
    • Analysis for the prediction of the long term evolution.
    • Implementation of operational changes allowing the extension of the operations.
  • IOP reporting:
    • Provision of input for the PLSO management reports (weekly, monthly and six-monthly reports).

Profile of the Copernicus Post Launch Support Engineer

  • PhD or Master’s degree in Engineering or equivalent
  • At least 4 years of previous relevant practical working experience
  • Ability to work both autonomously and as part of a team within the boundaries of assigned tasks and a stringent schedule.
  • Experience in instrument calibration and data processing.
  • Some experience in hardware development and verification for space applications and relevant to the task description.
  • 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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