Vacancy Mission Performance Engineer (for ALTIUS)

The ALTIUS mission aims at the development of an Earth limb sounder mission based on a small satellite. Its main objective is the monitoring of the distribution and evolution of stratospheric ozone at high vertical resolution in support of long term monitoring and operational services.
Measurements of concentration profiles of other atmospheric species as well as of aerosol extinction vertical profiles are also envisaged in the frame of monitoring and scientific activities.

Sapienza is looking for a Mission Performance Engineer to contribute to all aspects (project internal activities, monitoring/review of the relevant industrial activities, interaction with Mission Users and Scientists) relevant to the mission performance of the ALTIUS mission up to Level 2.

Responsibilities of the Mission Performance Engineer:

  • Support the definition and maintenance of mission and system level requirements in the following areas:
    • Mission observation requirements and mission data products requirements;
    • ALTIUS End-to-End simulator and Ground Processor Prototype (GPP);
    • Internal and External characterisation and calibration of the instrument;
  • Develop and maintain mission performance mathematical models and tools to support the assessment of the relevant industrial development activities and of the compliance of the system design to the mission performance requirements;
  • Maintain mission level performance and error budgets, in coordination with the other ALTIUS project team members. Analyse the compliance of the mission performance budgets with the end-to-end mission performance requirements and propose corrective actions in case of deviation;
  • Monitor and critically analyse the mission level performance requirement allocation, their flow down to the relevant contributors, the associated margins, their evolution and their verification;
  • Monitor and review the definition and implementation of the ALTIUS characterisation, calibration and validation plans and follow up the specification, procurement and verification/validation of the relevant equipment and activities;
  • Support the payload team for aspects relevant to instrument performance requirements flow-down and instrument performance verification, including relevant models and tools;
  • Follow up the End to End Simulator and GPP specification, procurement, verification/validation and acceptance activities;
  • Acquire working knowledge of the tools for test data generation purposes and internal mission level verification activities;
  • Support the preparation, execution and analysis of the relevant in-flight cal/val operations during the commissioning phase;
  • Support Payload Data Ground Segment (PDGS) Requirement definition and reviews for what concern the Ground processor aspects;
  • Support cross-verification activities of the PDGS operational ground processor against the Ground Processor Prototype;
  • Support the establishment, maintenance and running of the ALTIUS Mission Advisory Group (MAG) for what concerns mission & instrument performance aspects, including end-to-end mission performance verification and compliance status;
  • Interact with the ALTIUS Mission Users Community and Scientific Community for what concerns Mission definition, Products definition and mission & instrument performance aspects.
  • Support the System and Engineering Manager and the other ALTIUS project team members in all aspects related to mission performance, as necessary for the effective execution of the ALTIUS project.
  • Cooperate closely with the ALTIUS payload team in the execution of the relevant tasks.
  • Furthermore she/he will be supported by and is expected to closely cooperate with specialist engineers from the ALTIUS team, from the Earth Observation Projects Department and from the Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality (D/TEC) as appropriate.

Profile for the Mission Performance Engineer:

  • Master’s degree or equivalent qualification in a relevant physical science or engineering subject
  • At least 4 years of previous relevant practical working experience in systems for Earth Atmospheric Composition monitoring and science studies in a space project environment;
  • Knowledge of aerosols and ozone observational data.
  • Experience working with atmospheric composition in Earth-System models and data assimilation
  • Background and experience on the specific issues relevant to bright limb, solar and stellar occultation observing systems are assets.
  • Solid analytical skills and the command of the physics and techniques of Earth limb observation systems (bright limb, solar/stellar occultation)
  • Capability to critically analyse the work performed by industry in the relevant areas, identify problems and propose/instigate corrective actions.
  • Demonstrated proficiency with programming tools and languages relevant to the implementation and maintenance of the system performance models (e.g. MATLAB).
  • Fluent in English. Knowledge of another EU member state language is an asset.


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