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Spacecraft Operations Engineer (Earth Observation/Sentinels Missions)

Please Note: The application deadline for this job has now passed.

Job Introduction

Serco is a specialist at delivering vital services on behalf of European, National and Local Governments.

Serco Europe employ’s a large workforce in Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, Germany, Holland, Spain, Italy and the UK.

Our European operations have ca. 2,000 employees delivering critical services to public institutions throughout Europe. 


Role Responsibility

For our activities in ESOC, we are currently looking for a Spacecraft Operations Engineer, assigned initially to pre-operational Sentinels missions within the Earth Observation mission division (i.e. not linked to Copernicus COP-1 operational phases).

The primary areas of responsibility for the Key person covers Spacecraft Platform (Thermal, Power, TT&C) and Ground Operations engineering responsibilities in support to the Earth Observation missions, in prevision of the upcoming pre-operational activities to be performed with the current and future Sentinels and Earth Explorers missions.

The Key person will be part of the Flight Control Team (FCT), to participate in the pre-operational phases, including special operations (i.e. LEOP, Commissioning) and in testing campaigns (Simulations, SVT, in-flight tests). The Key person may be requested to assume the responsibility and perform activities for additional subsystems or systems within the scope of general SOE services, including test, validation and operation of the Mission Control System, Mission Planning System and Simulator.

The general activities to be supported by the Key person are (depending on the phase of the mission):


Satellite Operations

• Validation, test and operation of the MCS, including the Mission Planning System;

• Validation, test and operation of the Simulator;

• Generation, validation and maintenance of the FOP in the volumes indicated by the TR (initially platform Power/Thermal/TTC area, but also for other subsystems);

• Support for FOS procurement, integration and tests;

• Participation in System Validation Tests (SVT), Ground Segment Validation (GSV) and Training and Simulations programme;

• Review of satellite documents;

• Participation to pre-operational activities (LEOP and/or Commissioning operations) as required.


Ground Operations

• Collection of information / data regarding the performance of the mission and provision of inputs for mission reports;

• Support the FCT in the configuration, set-up and operation of the Sentinels NDIU CORTEX and Lite;

• Support the FCT in the configuration, set-up and operation of the Sentinels MUST and GFTS servers;

• Routine Mission plan generation support/checking, as required.

The Key person is required to familiarise him/herself with the missions he/she is supporting and in particular with the procedures and tools that are needed to perform the EO mission’s operations.

The tasks to be performed require a considerable initiative and flexibility in executing the assigned tasks.


The Ideal Candidate


The key person should bring:

  • Initial experience (1-2 years) in working in an operational environment (previous experience in operations for EO / LEO satellites);
  • Initial experience (1-2 years) with flight procedures life cycle, including validation;
  • Initial experience (1-2 years) with Packet Utilisation Standard;
  • Initial experience (1-2 years) in ground tests preparation and execution, e.g. SVTs and GSVs;
  • Good experience with office automation tools, including MS-EXCEL and MS-ACCESS;
  • Some programming experience, possibly with Visual Basic and/or SQL;
  • Initial experience (1-2 years) with anomaly investigations at Ground Segment level;
  • Familiarity with operational simulators, ideally SimSat (1-2 years);
  • Familiarity with satellite control systems, ideally SCOS2000 (1-2 years);
  • Initial experience with low Earth orbit satellites operations (1-2 years), ideally including experience in preparatory phase (OPSPREP) and special operations (LEOP, simulations campaign, Commissioning);
  • Well-organised, proactive, able to prioritise and manage several activities in parallel;
  • Capable of coordinate and interact with other service providers in operations and other fields;
  • Fluency in English, both in speech and writing.



The following will be considered an asset:

  • Spacecraft Flight Operations knowledge, in particular for the Power/Thermal/TTC subsystems;
  • Initial experience (1-2 years) with anomaly investigations at Spacecraft level;
  • Familiarity with Network Distribution and Interface Units or similar EGSE equipment;
  • Familiarity with MUST and GFTS;
  • Familiarity with TM/TC databases, preferably SCOS2000 compatible.



Any offer of employment is contingent upon you providing documents to verify your identity and employment eligibility, as required by law.

Applicants are reminded that they will be requested to produce such documentation during the recruitment process.

Please contact a member of the recruitment team if you require further details of acceptable types of documentation required for verification of identity and work authorization. 

For positions located within the Darmstadt Support Office please note that only applicants with no family affiliation within the Company will be considered.

Data Protection:

When creating a profile on the Serco Career Centre you agreed to the Data Protection policy, a copy is available upon request.

You may submit a written request revoking your consent to this agreement at any time.

Package Description

Full details on application.

Relocation assistance provided (if applicable).

About the Company

Serco Services GmbH, part of the Serco group, A FTSE250, Multi-national Service Provider with over 50,000 employees worldwide.

Serco’s space heritage over the last 40 years has placed us in the Space News Top 50 Space Industry Manufacturing and Services Companies - We work alongside EUMETSAT and the European Space Agency, where we are the largest on-site service provider with ca. 300 staff.

What connects the ever growing Serco workforce is a passion for delivering great service – To keep ahead we have to constantly evolve and enhance the way we deliver our services and everyone in Serco has a role to play here.

Serco provide the right environment to encourage ideas and a comprehensive Best Practice support network that enables them to put their ideas into action.

If you share our values then join with over 50,000 colleagues globally who are equally as passionate about delivering great service as you.

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