Job Properties
  • Job Type
    Full-time Position
  • Background
  • Languages
    English French
  • Experience Required
    3 - 5 Years
  • Degree Required
    • Province
    • Date Posted
      December 26,2020
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    Payload Opto-Mechanical AIT Engineer

    PLATO is the third medium-size mission under the Agency’s Cosmic Vision Science programme and its goals are to search for and characterise exoplanets around Sun-like stars in their habitable zone.

    As the successful incumbent, you will report to the Mission Performance & Operations Manager (SCI-PLM), in the PLATO Project, Projects Department, Directorate of Science.


    You will be responsible for ensuring the adequate and timely assembly, integration and testing of the PLATO payload opto-mechanical elements consisting of 26 visible-light cameras.

    Specific duties include:
    • Leading the camera manufacturing and integration capability assessment:
    • Evaluating the manufacturing capability assessment for the camera elements;
    • Consolidating, in collaboration with camera team partners, the mechanical AIT activities relating to the production of cameras for the flight model;
    • Defining and monitoring development of the early model, focusing on the feasibility of manufacturing and testing;
    • Ensuring robustness of the camera flight mechanical AIT schedule, including contingency scenarios to meet the programme schedule;

    • Coordinating the camera alignment and test campaign preparation:
    • Providing support to the camera team partners with regard to definition and optimisation of the alignment procedures, and related Ground Segment Equipment (GSE) definition;
    • Leading the definition of the camera thermo-mechanical test procedures;
    • Providing support to the Mission System Performance Engineer, Mission & Payload Verification Engineer and camera partners with regard to definition of the opto-mechanical performance verification campaign;
    • Providing support with respect to the definition and implementation of functional test procedures, as required;

    • Leading the camera mechanical AIT logistics aspects:
    • Supporting the camera team with regard to the definition, development and tracking of flight camera hardware traceability (serialisation, documentation, inventory, etc.);
    • Ensuring efficient procedures are established for transport, handling and control across parallel integration and testing sites;
    • Supporting camera team partners as required regarding logistics aspects: transport, storage arrangements, customs clearance, etc.;
    • Defining, in collaboration with the Mission & Payload Manager, the process and logistics for incremental camera delivery to the prime contractor;

    Duties continued

    • Following up the camera AIT campaign:
    • Acting as the day-to-day project interface with the PLATO camera AIT team regarding all aspects of integration, alignment and testing of the PLATO cameras;
    • Participating, as required, in the critical AIT camera development and flight model activities;
    • Coordinating, along with the camera lead engineer, the participation of the ESA Payload team in the AIT campaign;
    • Ensuring adequate documentation, traceability and resolution of AIT anomalies following agreed processes, and coordinating involvement of the required expertise;
    • Ensuring the timely delivery of camera systems through close monitoring of the schedule, early identification of potential bottlenecks and delays, and the swift definition of alternatives with the Mission & Payload Manager;

    • Supporting AIT interfaces and activities at spacecraft level:
    • Acting as Payload Systems Team representative with respect to the definition, control and verification of AIT interfaces between cameras and spacecraft;
    • Providing support to the PLATO AIV and Spacecraft section with regard to the review and definition of alignment and integration procedures at spacecraft level;
    • Coordinating the delivery of development and flight model cameras to the spacecraft team;
    • Providing post-delivery support and participating, as requested, in the spacecraft level camera integration and testing.

    Participating in other Project and Science Projects Departmental tasks when required.
    You will coordinate and work closely with members of the Section and with those of the AIV and Spacecraft Sections. You will be supported by Directorate of Technical and Quality Management engineers, as required.

    Technical competencies

    Systems engineering
    Definition and execution of opto-mechanical systems testing
    Optical mechanical integration and alignment activities
    Optical GSE at scientific instrument level
    Thermo-mechanical AIV/AIT background including test facilities
    Optical instrument functional test definition and assessment

    Behavioural competencies

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


    A Master's degree or equivalent qualification in a relevant engineering discipline is required.

    Additional requirements

    Effective communication skills are of the utmost importance in building up successful professional relationships with the many interfaces.
    Operational efficiency includes strong planning capabilities to optimise and adapt the schedule.

    Other information

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

    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.

    The Agency may require applicants to undergo selection tests.

    The closing date for applications is 27 January 2021 .

    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 at .

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