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VN 20/12 Altimetry Instrument System Engineer

In the context of Copernicus and through its Jason-CS programme, the EUMETSAT Copernicus Mission Development Division is involved in the development of ocean altimetry missions, focusing on system and data processing. EUMETSAT is also the operator of the Copernicus Jason-3, Sentinel-3 and Jason-CS/Sentinel-6 marine missions, based on a partnership with ESA and other European and US partners.                                 

In partnership with ESA, EUMETSAT is now planning for the next generation multi-orbit ocean altimeter system and mission expected to take over Sentinel-3 and Sentinel-6 in the 2030 timeframe, and assessing the possible use of the CRISTAL mission for acquiring additional altimeter data over the open ocean. 

 Reporting to the EUMETSAT phase A/B manager for future Copernicus missions and to the System Manager for future Copernicus Sentinel altimetry missions in the development phase, the Altimetry Instrument System Engineer will follow up the ESA-led definition of requirements, design and development of altimeter instrument suites (altimeter, microwave radiometer, orbit determination system). He/she will assess critical information for the development of data processing and satellite operations by EUMETSAT and support its appropriation by multi-disciplinary teams.


  • Support the evaluation of new concepts for altimeter instrument suites by ESA, including the assessment of impacts of technology evolutions on the definition of future altimeter missions;
  • Attend as an observer and support, as requested, the relevant Mission Advisory Group meetings;
  • Support and follow-up the ESA-led design and development of altimeter instrument suites, and the assessment of impacts at mission and system levels, including the assessment of:
  • Instrument performance and operability requirements;
  • Instrument compliance with mission and system-level requirements;
  • Results of on-ground calibration, testing and qualification;
  • Impacts of instrument non-conformances at system and data processing levels;
  • Instrument-relevant results of System Validation Tests.
  • Participate in major system, satellite, and instruments reviews as appropriate;
  • Facilitate the appropriation of critical instrument information for data processing within the multi-disciplinary EUMETSAT functional instrument chain team and operations preparation teams;
  • Assess the specification and relevance to EUMETSAT of instrument-related tools developed by ESA for the purpose of in-orbit verification and commissioning of instrument and output products;
  • Support the development of additional tools needed by EUMETSAT for calibration, commissioning and validation of operational Level 1 and Level 2 products;
  • Support commissioning of instruments and end-to-end operability and performance validation, in close coordination with altimeter scientists and data processing experts;
  • Participate in Anomaly Review Boards for instrument anomalies possibly affecting system performance or operations;  
  • Provide feedback, lessons learnt and experience from instrument in-orbit verification and commissioning to subsequent instruments / satellites.


Darmstadt, Germany


University degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline (e.g. physics, electrical engineering, remote sensing).


The official languages of EUMETSAT are English and French. Candidates must be fluent in English and have a working knowledge of French.


31 May 2020


  • Good background in the field of satellite radar altimetry;
  • Experience in the design and development of radar instruments;
  • Experience in instrument data processing & handling;
  • Ability to express ideas and issues clearly, and in a concise manner to others (i.e. analysis, synthesis and presentation skills) is a key requirement;
  • Strong interpersonal skills, with a proven ability to work as part of a team.


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 A3/A4 on the EUMETSAT salary scales. The minimum basic salary for this post is EURO 7154 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.)