Guidance Navigation and Control Systems Engineer
Noordwijk, The Netherlands
5 dagen geleden


Vacancy in the Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality.

ESA is an equal opportunity employer, committed to achieving diversity within the workforce and creating an inclusive working environment.

For this purpose, we welcome applications from all qualified candidates irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, beliefs, age, disability or other characteristics.

Applications from women are encouraged.


Guidance Navigation and Control Systems Engineer

This post is classified A2-A4 on the Coordinated Organisations’ salary scale.


ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands


Guidance Navigation and Control System Engineer in the Guidance Navigation and Control Section, GNC, AOCS and Pointing Division, Systems Department, Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality.

The Guidance Navigation and Control (GNC) Section provides functional support to ESA projects in the technical field of GNC systems for planetary exploration orbiters and landers, launch and transportation systems, re-entry vehicles, and new generation space vehicles for in-orbit robotic operations (including in-orbit servicing, in-orbit assembly, debris removal) and for specialized applications such as rendezvous and formation flying.

The Guidance Navigation and Control Section carries out technological research in the fields of GNC systems for space vehicles including interplanetary cruise, aero assistance, precision landing, ascent, rendezvous and docking, re-entry, formation flying and drag-free systems.

This covers with special emphasis the following areas : autonomous and fault-tolerant systems (including Health Monitoring Systems), advanced guidance, control, estimation and optimization techniques and tools, as well as technology development of GNC sensors with emphasis on vision-based navigation and hybrid navigation concepts.


Reporting to the Head of Section and within the technical fields described above, the main tasks and responsibilities of the post holder will include :

  • providing expert technical support and consultancy to ESA projects, programmes and general studies in the field of GNC requirements analysis and trade-offs (for system, software and hardware units), GNC performance analyses and budgeting, GNC system, software and unit procurement, GNC systems verification & validation throughout all project phases, including GNC Fault Detection Isolation and Recovery (FDIR);
  • participating in feasibility studies (including Phase 0 in the ESA Concurrent Design Facility), project reviews and evaluation of procurement proposals;
  • identifying critical development problems and assisting in their resolution;
  • contributing to the definition of technology development requirements and work plans for the Agency’s technology programmes;
  • defining, initiating and managing R&D activities covering both long- and short-term needs and addressing mission enabling GNC system concepts as well as mathematical modelling, multi-physics simulation of complex spacecraft dynamics, advanced guidance, control, estimation and optimization techniques and tools;
  • fostering new application areas for multidisciplinary activities, placing emphasis on innovative concepts, cutting-edge technologies and system architectures;
  • laboratory activities for the evaluation and prototyping of new GNC systems and sensors as required;
  • monitoring applicable scientific and technological trends and maintaining a state-of-the-art expertise;
  • contributing to the dissemination of the results of the activities performed and the transfer of knowledge across the Agency.
  • Duties may also include supporting other activities within the post holder’s field of competence.

    Technical competencies

    General background and specific experience in the technical domains covered by the positionUnderstanding of related technologies, R&D trends and the industrial landscapeProject support experience in a relevant domainExperience with laboratory and field testing of relevant technical equipmentExperience in the preparation of procurement activities for technology development and innovation (statements of work, proposal evaluation, etc)Experience in the management and monitoring of industrial activities, including participation in reviews

    Behavioural competencies

    Result Orientation

    Operational Efficiency

    Fostering Cooperation

    Relationship Management

    Continuous Improvement


    A Master’s degree in Control or Aerospace Engineering is required.

    Additional requirements

    Proven experience in the development of GNC systems for Space Transportation and / or Rendezvous Systems.

    Preference will be given to those with strong expertise in two or more of the following areas related to the position :

  • Dynamics and guidance of space transportation systems (atmospheric and / or orbital flight) and / or rendezvous systems,
  • Methods and principles for local and global optimization of space trajectories,
  • Relative navigation technology (sensors and techniques, including data fusion) for space systems,
  • Mathematical modelling and multi-physics / multi-domain simulation techniques,
  • Classical as well as advanced (robust, adaptive, non-linear) control and filtering techniques,
  • Control-structure interaction mitigation systems for orbital and / or space transportation vehicles.
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