Spacecraft Operations Engineer – CryoSat-2 and Swarm - ESOC Darmstadt, Germany

Thorn SDS is part of the industrial consortia contracted to provide ICT and Engineering services to the European Space Agency (ESOC).  We have a heritage of working in the Space sector, providing talented individuals to work on high-profile and ground-breaking projects.

We are committed to working with the best people, who are determined to use all their skills and experience to deliver successful outcomes to our clients. We want our teams to be experts in their fields and offer training and support within the lifecycle of a project.

We are looking for a Spacecraft Operations Engineer (SOE) to have responsibility for the CryoSat-2 and Swarm Data-Handling sub-system.  You may also need to assume responsibility and perform activities for additional sub-systems or systems within the scope of the general SOE duties, including testing, validating and operating Mission Control, Mission Planning Systems, Simulators and other ground system mission systems.

The general activities to be supported by this service are:

  • Preparation and execution of nominal and contingency flight operations procedures.
  • Coordination of operations with ESA internal and external partners.
  • Execution of Mission Planning.
  • Production of procedures, validation test plans and reports for project specific software and systems (both Ground and Space related).
  • Participation in systems test campaigns, training and simulation programmes.
  • General flight control support service including on-call.
  • Spacecraft performance monitoring and reporting on regular basis.
  • Anomaly investigation and resolution.


Essential requirements

  • Strong technical background in Data Handling area.
  • Proven knowledge of hardware embarked on ESA spacecraft.
  • Good understanding of real-time operating software.
  • Broad knowledge and experience with modern software.
  • On-board software management principles,
  • Good understanding of the PUS standard, the space-to-ground interface and on-board routing.
  • Capable of developing basic software tools to support complex analysis and anomaly investigation.
  • Ability to work in an organised manner, with good reporting skills and reliable deadline meeting.
  • Fluency in English.


Desirable skills

  • Ability to work in an organised manner, with good reporting skills and reliable deadline meeting.
  • Former experience as Data Handling SOE
  • Hands on familiarity with operational tools: MCS, Simulator, DB browser, MOIS or equivalent tool
  • Hands-on familiarity in SVT and flight procedures development
  • Familiarity with low Earth orbit satellites, including basic mission analysis and data handling observation scheduling aspects
  • Familiarity with other platform subsystems will be a plus

You will need the ability to multi-task efficiently; working on multiple activities, multiple subsystems and multiple missions simultaneously. There is a concept for overtime management.  This role does involve European travel.

If you are interested, please email your CV to [email protected]


In line with Asylum & Immigration Legislation, all applicants must be eligible to live and work in the EU. Documented evidence of eligibility will be required from candidates as part of the recruitment process. Furthermore, in view of the nature of the work the company is in, all potential employees will undergo stringent reference and identity checks.

For general candidate enquiries, please contact us.

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