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VN 20/21 Head of Copernicus Mission Development Division

Building on its multi-mission infrastructure and synergies with its own missions, EUMETSAT is the operator of those Copernicus missions dedicated to ocean (Jason-3, Sentinel-3) and atmospheric composition (Sentinel-4 and Sentinel-5) monitoring.

Through its Copernicus Mission Development Division (CMD), EUMETSAT also cooperates with ESA in the design and development of future and next generation Sentinel satellite systems, focusing on system-level and ground segment activities. This includes mainly the Jason-CS/Sentinel-6 ocean altimetry system, involving also NASA and NOAA, a future CO2 monitoring mission designed to support the Paris Agreement, and next generation Sentinel marine missions for continuing the Sentinel-3 and Sentinel-6 ocean colour, sea surface temperature and sea surface height measurements after 2030.

The EUMETSAT activities are funded by the EU Copernicus programme, under Cooperation Agreements with the European Commission, and by EUMETSAT ocean altimetry programmes, e.g. the Jason-CS programme.

In the next five years, the focus will be the preparation for the launch of Jason-CS/Sentinel-6B, the full development of the CO2 monitoring mission, currently under phase B and planned for launch in 2025, and the phase 0/A/B studies for the next generation of Sentinel-3 and Sentinel-6 marine missions.

For this purpose, the CMD Division includes into two distinct Project teams, for the CO2 monitoring mission and ocean missions

Reporting to the Director of Programme Preparation and Development, the Head of the CMD Division manages all EUMETSAT contributions to the development of future Copernicus Sentinel satellite systems to be operated by EUMETSAT, from phase 0/A to hand over to operations, and the associated cooperation with ESA.


  • Manage the Copernicus Mission Development Division, its Project Teams and resources;
  • Contribute to the design and development of the Copernicus CO2 monitoring mission in partnership with ESA:
    • Complete EUMETSAT’s contribution to the preliminary design phase (phase B), focusing on ground segment and system aspects, and plan the transition towards phase C/D/E1;
    • Establish the internal project breakdown structures and plans for the development phase (C/D/E1) and cooperation and management arrangements with ESA;
    • Supervise the contribution of EUMETSAT to the development phase (C/D/E1), focusing on:
      • The deployment and testing of the mission control centre in partnership with ESOC;
      • The deployment and full testing of data processing and data access systems, based on upgrades of existing infrastructure;
      • Support to system validation tests with the satellite(s);
      • Ground segment and system integration, verification and validation testing;
      • Operations preparation;
      • In orbit commissioning of the full system;
    • Organise ground segment and system level reviews and co-organise joint reviews with ESA, and serve as a member of Review Steering Committees;
  • Prepare for future and next generation Copernicus marine missions:
    • Prepare for the launch of the recurrent Jason-CS/Sentinel-6B satellite (2025), in partnership with ESA, NASA and NOAA;
      • Plan system and operations preparation activities, and adjust the organisation of the CMD project team and internal support arrangements;
      • Supervise system, operations preparation activities and support to satellite and system commissioning, until handover to the Operations department;
    • Contribute to the design of a next generation multi-orbit Copernicus altimeter system/mission (Sentinel 3 NG Topo plus Sentinel-6 NG) replacing Sentinel-3 and Sentinel-6 altimeter missions in the 2030 timeframe, and prepare EUMETSAT’s contribution to the development phase:
      • Manage contributions to phase 0/A/B activities for a next generation multi-orbit Copernicus altimeter system/mission (Sentinel 3 NG Topo and Sentinel-6 NG), focusing on ground segment and system aspects;
      • Complete the preliminary design of the ground segment, and define/propose a EUMETSAT optional programme covering its development;
    • Contribute to the design of the next generation of Sentinel marine imagery mission (Sentinel-3 OPT) and plan EUMETSAT’s contribution to the development phase;
  • Establish the necessary support arrangements with the Technical and Scientific Support and the Operations departments for the above tasks;
  • Provide divisional planning, analysis of indicators, assessment of risks and other management information to the Director of Programme Preparation and Development, for integration and assessment at departmental level;
  • Follow up and support the negotiation of the Contribution Agreement with the European Commission for Copernicus entrusted tasks associated to the above; 
  • Deliver development inputs to EUMETSAT’s Copernicus reports, work programmes and procurement plans to the EUMETSAT Copernicus Programme Office;
  • Support high level management interactions with the Commission and ESA;
  • Prepare documents and make presentations at meetings of stakeholders, including meetings of the EUMETSAT Council and advisory bodies and of the Copernicus governance.


Darmstadt, Germany


A University degree in a relevant discipline or comparable qualifications in an engineering field is required.


The official languages of EUMETSAT are English and French. Candidates must be able to work effectively in English and have some knowledge of French.


27 May 2020


  • In depth knowledge and practice of engineering, development, integration and testing of space systems, based on relevant standards; 
  • Successful experience of planning and management of development projects for Earth observation satellite systems under schedule, quality and cost constraints, preferably including system and ground segment developments;
  • Extensive people management experience, including proven ability to lead and motivate teams in challenging situations;
  • Proven ability to analyse, synthesise and communicate complex issues, verbally and in writing;
  • Strong interpersonal, influencing and communications skills with internal and external stakeholders.


The initial contract will be of 4 years’ duration, with subsequent 5 year contracts being awarded thereafter, subject to individual performance and organisation requirements. There is no limit to the amount of follow-up contracts a staff member can receive up to the EUMETSAT retirement age of 63 and there are certainly opportunities to establish a long career perspective at EUMETSAT.
This post is graded A4/A5 on the EUMETSAT salary scales. The minimum basic salary for this post is EURO 8312 per month (net of internal tax) which may be negotiable on the basis of skills and experience. The salary scale provides for increments on the anniversary of taking up employment, and scales are reviewed by the EUMETSAT Council with effect from 1 January each year. In addition to basic salary, EUMETSAT offers attractive benefits. Further information, including salary details, is available on the EUMETSAT web site.

EUMETSAT is committed to providing an equal opportunities work environment for men and women.
Please note that only nationals of EUMETSAT Member States may apply. The EUMETSAT Convention requires that Staff shall be recruited on the basis of their qualifications, account being taken of the international character of EUMETSAT.


EUMETSAT is Europe’s meteorological satellite agency. Its role is to establish and operate meteorological satellites to monitor the weather and climate from space - 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This information is supplied to the National Meteorological Services of the organisation's Member and Cooperating States in Europe, as well as other users worldwide.

EUMETSAT also operates several Copernicus missions on behalf of the European Union and provide data services to the Copernicus marine and atmospheric services and their users.

As an intergovernmental European Organisation, EUMETSAT has 30 Member States (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.)