👷 Intern in the Ground Systems Engineering and Innovation Department

space station

Internship Opportunity in the Directorate of Operations.

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.



Our team and mission

The Ground Systems Engineering and Innovation Department is responsible for all the ground systems engineering and support activities required to support mission operations and implement innovation. The Department maintains and manages a full level of competences, technologies and services in all engineering disciplines related to ground systems, infrastructure, technology evolution and Engineering R&T and innovation. The Department provides expert support in these areas to the Directorate for all current and potential missions and leads, in the role of architect, ground systems evolution and innovation implementation in the infrastructure. The Department is furthermore responsible for the overall technical standardisation coordination for the ground segment, in the Management Council of the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS).

The Antenna and Infrastructure Section, responsible for development of the complete antenna/radar front-end, deals with diverse subjects ranging from modern power plants to state-of-the-art high-pointing-accuracy antenna structure design. We often start projects from the 'green field' state (literally from ground up) and carry through to the delivery of the complete antenna system and associated infrastructure. The strength of the section is a deep knowledge of the front-end sub-systems, in particular mechanical, servo, high power RF, cooling and power generation, as required to achieve challenging performance requirements from the complete system.

For further information visit our web site: http://www.esa.int

Field(s) of activity for the internship

As an intern, you will be working on the following topic: Validation of servo simulation models against wind disturbance

Servo simulation models are existing in MATLAB/SIMULINK to analyze the tracking errors of each antenna axis (AZ& EL) for different antenna positions and based on the input tracking profile and for different wind disturbance profiles. The simulated wind disturbances are based on literature. Those shall be compared with wind profiles measured at existing antennas. The tracking error shall be simulated using the disturbance of the measured wind profiles and compared to literature based wind profiles.\

Additionally, you can choose between the following optional topics:

  1. Topic 1: Comparison table for all ESTRACK Deep Space Antennas of relevant servo mechanical parameters and related performance values.

For future antenna investments it is necessary to have quick access to relevant servo mechanical design parameters and related performance values. The task is to review design documentation and to extract relevant servo mechanical design parameters and related performance values for all ESTRACK Deep Space stations. Finally the data shall be user friendly fitted in an excel file with a link to the information source.

  1. Topic 2: Review and improvement of existing MATLAB Antenna simulator by implementing a visualization of the antenna movements.

In MATLAB exists an Antenna simulator which performs the inverse kinematics to calculate the movement of each antenna axis based on tracking profiles. First task would be to get acquainted with this tool. In the next step the antenna movement shall be visualized using 3D models of the antenna and an existing open software (SPANviewer) to view the animated models. The existing MATLAB GUI shall be extended with that feature.

Behavioural competencies

Result Orientation
Operational Efficiency
Fostering Cooperation
Relationship Management
Continuous Improvement
Forward Thinking


You must have student status and be enrolled at university for the entire duration of the internship. You should preferably be in your final or second to last year of a university course at master’s level in a technical or scientific discipline.

Additional requirements

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.

Educational knowledge:

  1. Topic 1: Knowledge in Mechatronics, Control engineering, Signal processing and MATLAB/SIMULINK would be an asset. 
  2. Topic 2: Knowledge in Mechanical Engineering would be an asset. 
  3. Topic 3: Knowledge in MATLAB, Programming capabilities and CAD tools would be an asset.

Other information

For behavioural competencies expected from ESA staff in general, please refer to the ESA Competency Framework.

If you require support with your application due to a disability, please email contact.human.resources@esa.int.

Internships can take place remotely, on-site or partially on-site depending on the pandemic situation, and in line with the relevant Establishment’s policy (e.g. possible Green Pass requirement) applicable at the time of starting the internship.


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, and the United Kingdom. Nationals from Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia, as Associate Member States, or Canada as a Cooperating State, can apply as well as those from Bulgaria and Cyprus as European Cooperating States (ECS).

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Germany, Darmstadt
Posted 7d ago
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