Skip to main content

This job has expired

Sentinel-3 Next Generation Topography Payload Manager

European Space Agency
Noordwijk, Netherlands
Posting live until
10 Apr 2024

Job Details

Sentinel-3 Next Generation Topography Payload Manager

Closing Date:  10 April 2024 23:59 CET/CEST

Vacancy Type:  Permanent

Vacancy in the Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes.

ESA is an equal opportunity employer, committed to achieving diversity within the workforce and creating an inclusive working environment. We therefore welcome applications from all qualified candidates irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, beliefs, age, disability or other characteristics. Applications from women are encouraged.

Location ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands 


Payload Manager for the Copernicus Sentinel-3 Next Generation Topography mission.

If selected for this position, you will report to the Sentinel-6 and Sentinel-3 Next Generation Topography (NGT) Project Manager for all technical and programmatic matters and will work within the S6- and S3-NGT single project team. You will interface with and will receive support from other engineers of the project and will also receive specialized technical support from the Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality (D/TEC).


You will be responsible for the development of the S3-NGT instruments, including the nadir and swath altimeters, the multi-beam microwave radiometer, the precise orbit determination receiver(s) and the passive laser retroreflector.

You will also be responsible for the development of the on-board payload data processing elements, as well as the on-ground prototype processors and the associated performance simulators.

Your specific responsibilities and duties will include:

  • definition and maintenance of the Sentinel-3 NGT instrument requirements, ensuring coherence with the overall mission and system requirements and satellite performances and constraints; management of industrial activities for the procurement of the Sentinel-3 NGT Instruments, including also related Ground Support Equipment and test facilities, in accordance with cost and schedule constraints; definition and maintenance of the performance budgets in close coordination with other Project section managers and relevant external stakeholders; definition and maintenance of the on-ground prototype processors and the associated performance simulator requirements; management of the industrial activities for the procurement of the on-ground prototype processors and the associated performance simulators in accordance with cost and schedule constraints; monitoring of the verification activities and the qualification and acceptance of the instruments and associated ground prototype processors and performance simulator elements; management of the instrument-related configuration control activities, such as documentation control, deviations, non-conformance and waiver processing; provision of support as required to other Project areas in order to ensure a consistent approach towards procurement, assembly, integration and verification at satellite level, and for preparation of the launch campaign and in-orbit operations; provision of support for the preparation and execution of the instruments’ in-orbit commissioning; management of the Payload Team, including the definition of day-to-day tasks and objectives as well as the setting of annual performance objectives and their assessment, including training needs, and ensuring the motivation and commitment of staff towards the Project’s goals; provision of support to the Project Manager in the planning, cost control, risks management and mitigation and problems investigation and solving activities; provision of support to general Project reporting tasks, such as monthly and QSR/QIR reporting, and other Department-level activities as required.

You will also be responsible for identifying, assessing, managing and reporting the health and safety risks in your area of responsibility.

Technical competencies

  • In-depth experience in the design, development, integration, verification, characterisation and testing of RF instruments.
  • Multidisciplinary technical knowledge of your area of responsibility, in particular for altimetry and/radiometer instruments. Knowledge of precise orbit determination payloads would be an asset.
  • Experience in calibration and commissioning in flight of Earth observation payloads and the related supporting activities.
  • In-depth experience in the management of industrial contracts, including procurement processes and application of product assurance standards.
  • Knowledge of industrial costs and schedule aspects


A master’s degree in a scientific or engineering discipline is required for this post.

Additional requirements

You should, in addition, have:

  • the potential to manage individuals or a team; the ability to organise individual and team activities and ensure a motivating work environment; strong leadership capabilities, with proven relationship management and communication skills; the ability to drive your team’s performance, developing your people by encouraging learning, delegating responsibility and giving regular and constructive feedback; strong problem-solving skills to deal with day-to-day operational challenges, together with demonstrated planning and organisational skills; a strong result orientation with the ability to set priorities and present practical solutions both orally and in writing; the ability to manage challenging situations proactively and constructively and to be customer-focused; excellent cognitive, analytical and delegation skills; the ability to anticipate problems, resolve complex issues and relate situations to their context.

People management experience is an asset, as is international experience, i.e. outside your home country, as well as experience in diverse functional areas relevant to ESA activities.

Other information

For more information please click APPLY.

The working languages of the Agency are English and French. A good knowledge of one of these is required. Knowledge of another Member State language would be an asset.    

Applicants must be eligible to access technology and hardware which is subject to European and US export control regulations.

The Agency may require applicants to undergo selection tests.

At the Agency we value diversity and we welcome people with disabilities.  Whenever possible, we seek to accommodate individuals with disabilities by providing the necessary support at the workplace.  The Human Resources Department can also provide assistance during the recruitment process. If you would like to discuss this further please contact us email

Please note that applications are only considered from nationals of one of the following States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia.



Image credit: ESA/Science Office

We are the European Space Agency (ESA). Our mission is the peaceful exploration and use of space for the benefit of everyone. We watch over Earth, develop and launch inspiring and unique space projects, train astronauts and push the boundaries of science and technology, seeking answers to the big questions about the universe. We are a family of scientists, engineers and business professionals from all over Europe working together in a diverse and multinational environment. We are dedicated to united space in Europe and united Europe in space. 

Why work for us
Are you enthusiastic, curious, a team player and eager to work in an international setting? With its 22 Member States and more than 2700 staff members working across Europe in nine different locations, ESA is the only space agency of its kind and a unique place to work. Joining ESA means working together on pioneering missions in a diverse and friendly environment with great benefits as well as numerous services and activities provided on site.

Training and development
Once you become an ESA employee, you will have access to a wide range of courses on many different topics as well as the opportunity to exchange and network with experts and other colleagues.

Graduate schemes
There are six entry-level and research programmes open to students and recent graduates who are nationals of ESA Member States or Cooperating States:

  • Student Internships are open to students still enrolled at university. Priority is given to Master’s students, but Bachelor’s students can also apply. Applications open in November each year.
  • The Young Graduate Trainee Programme is open to recently graduated Master’s students. Applications open in February each year.
  • National Trainee Programmes are offered to Master’s graduates through bilateral agreements between ESA and certain participating countries. Selection rounds are announced and managed by those countries. 
  • The Junior Professional Programme is designed for Master’s graduates with 2–3 years of professional experience. Selections take place every three years with the next one planned for 2024/2025.
  • Researchers can apply to ESA for co-funding for space-related PhD and postdoc research activities. Apply all year round at
  • The Research Fellowship Programme accepts applications from postdocs. Vacancies are published throughout the year, except for the Research Fellowships in Space Science, which open for application in August each year.

Ready to launch your career with ESA? Browse the positions we’re currently recruiting for at Subscribe to our careers news to stay informed of our updates and campaigns and also set up a job alert on our recruiting site so that you never miss an opportunity.

Who we are looking for
ESA offers a number of entry-level programmes targeting students (Master or PhD), recent graduates and young professionals alongside its vacancies for experienced professionals. One of them could be your path to space! In line with our core business as a space science and technology organization, most ESA staff positions are in engineering and scientific disciplines. However, we also recruit for the business support services that are essential in helping us to achieve our goals.

France, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium, UK

Number of employees

Main areas of research
All engineering and science disciplines related to the space sector are covered at ESA but also more. Check out our main website and our Science page to find out what we are doing. You may be surprised by the domains we cover and find something there for you too

Desired degree disciplines/class
The majority of professional roles at ESA require a Master as a minimum. For specific vacancies, a PhD may be necessary

How to apply
Apply online at

Closing date
Vacancies are regularly published on our recruiting website. Most standard vacancies remain open for three weeks from the date of publication, while vacancies for specific programmes are usually open for four weeks and roster positions remain open for several months

Tel +33 01 53 69 76 54

Company info
ESA Headquarters
8-10 rue Mario Nikis
CS 45741
75738 Paris Cedex 15

Get job alerts

Create a job alert and receive personalised job recommendations straight to your inbox.

Create alert