BepiColombo Spacecraft Operations Engineer



Required Start Date

1st February 2012


At least until March 2015 (end of BepiColombo Earth swing-by phase)

Submission Deadline

29 September 2012



ESOC, Darmstadt

Technical Requirements

The BepiColombo Mission Control Team requires a Spacecraft Operations Engineer to prepare and conduct the mission operations. The selected candidate will report to the BepiColombo Spacecraft Operations Manager.

The SOE will take part in the typical tasks of mission preparation and implementation  of the relevant Ground Segment during the Mission Preparation Phase and will support the Flight Operations after launch, carrying out all standard SOE tasks:

  • Familiarize with the BepiColombo mission characteristics and support operational analyses of the mission
  • Support to the development, integration and validation of the ground systems and facilities required for BepiColombo.
  • Support Project in reviews of spacecraft system, subsystem and payload documentation regarding operational aspects
  • Provide operations support to the Spacecraft Operations Manager at Systems & Spacecraft level for mission management and mission planning.
  • Prepare and validate nominal and contingency procedures for flight and for spacecraft testing on ground.
  • Support the SVT, SOVs, Ground Segment Integration Tests, Training and Simulations.
  • Participate in LEOP and Mission Critical operations
  • Support in-flight operations, including nominal, critical, contingency and on-call support.
  • Support off-line evaluation of the spacecraft in-flight performance
  • Support maintenance of on-board software

The main responsibility of the SOE will be on data handling hardware and software, and on On-board Software Maintenance for the spacecraft platform processors. The SOE will also be in charge of operations preparation for one or more payload instruments. The SOE may be asked to develop and maintain software tools as required to improve the efficiency of the flight control team. He/she may also be asked to provide ad-hoc consultancy and on-board software maintenance support to other HSO-OP missions.

Academic Requirements

Candidates should hold a University degree in Engineering, Science or related subjects


Specific Requirements

The candidate shall have the following skills:


  • Strong educational background in computer science
  • Hands-on experience in software development and maintenance
  • Understanding of spacecraft data handling architecture
  • Understanding of Flight Control Team tasks and responsibilities pre- and post-launch
  • Understanding of ground systems and facilities required to support spacecraft operations
  • Be fluent in English, both spoken and written.
  • Be system-minded
  • Be able to work as a member of an interdisciplinary team
  • Be able to work independently with little or no supervision.


  • Hands-on experience in spacecraft operations, in particular in the area of data handling and on-board software maintenance
  • Hands-on experience in ground systems integration and testing
  • Familiarity with the ESOC environment
  • Good spacecraft subsystem knowledge, in particular at platform level.
  • Operational experience with interplanetary missions
  • Hands-on experience in satellite integration and testing