Master in Electronic Engineering, Digital Electronic Engineering, Computer Systems : On Board Computer Engineer at ESTEC, Noordwijk, NL

Your mission:

Have you (almost) completed your degree studies? Are you inspired by space exploration and keen to pursue a career in this exciting field? If so, perhaps you should take a closer look at the German Trainee Programme. Organised by DLR, it offers you the chance to work shoulder to shoulder with experts from the 20 member states of ESA - keeping your finger on the pulse of Europe‘s space programmes. Over a period up to 24 months, you will actively contribute to the latest research and/or technology projects. This is complemented by a generous scholarship. What better way to launch your career in international space business? The next GTP commences on 01.02.2015.

The On-Board Computers & Data Handling section (TEC-EDD), part of the Data Systems division within the Technical and Quality Management Directorate, is responsible for project support and technology development of space applications for all that concerns On-board Computers (OBC) and Data Handling (essentially space-borne control and data handling computers, avionics, mass memories, data and command & control busses). The section is, besides activities related to the specification and validation of OBCs and Data Handling, also actively involved in the design of the required building blocks. These elements must comply with high reliability and availability requirements combined to specific immunity to the space environment, in particular related to radiation induced effects. The section can rely also on a laboratory facility that allows hands-on work. More information can be found at

On-Board Computers & Data Handling systems of a spacecraft gather all the functionalities and components that are expected for a real time command and control system that includes on board computers, analogue and digital acquisition of on board sensors, on board communications (busses, networks), mass storage, distribution of commands, monitoring of the good health of the different subsystems and payload equipment, link with the ground control centre through the Telemetry and Telecommand channels. In this context, there is a large field of complementary competences and skills that are necessary ranging from  electronics/microelectronics, ASIC and FPGAs development, computer architecture, fault tolerant computing, real time processing and related software, wireless, control buses, protocols, data and sensor networking.


The purpose of the training is to introduce the young graduate who has acquired a solid general formation in one or several of the above mentioned domains to the specificities of on board  avionics in order to complement his initial formation.

In detail, since the section is involved in development of microcontrollers and IO-extenders specifically targeted for space use,we expect trainee to be involved in the definition and implementation of use cases for space grade microcontrollers in all the above mentioned fields of applications (OBCs for small satellites, communication links, mass memories) taking into account the usual reliability/availability, power, performance and environmental (e.g. radiation) constraints for the target applications.

The trainee will be integrated in a team that will provide him/her the necessary guidance and brief him about the specificity of on board system compared to ground system such as the need for long term reliability and availability, the harsh environment constraints due to radiation effects, on board autonomy to ensure the operations and eventually the survival of the spacecraft.

Applications received until 7th September 2014 will be considered.

Your qualifications:

  • German citizenship is absolutely necessary
  • applicants should have just completed (conclusion not older than two years) or be in their final year of a university course at Master’s level in Electronic Engineering, Computer Systems, with focus on embedded digital controllers development
  • knowledge of HDL programming languages and EDA tools
  • knowledge of microcontroller programming languages for embedded applications (e.g. using C or Assembly)
  • familiarity with use of electronics lab equipment (Oscilloscope, Logic Analyser)
  • candidates must be fluent in English or French, the official languages of the agency

Your benefits:

Look forward to a fulfilling job with an employer who appreciates your commitment and supports your personal and professional development. Our unique infrastructure offers you a working environment in which you have unparalled scope to develop your creative ideas and accomplish your professional objectives. Disabled applicants with equivalent qualifications will be given preferential treatment.

German Trainee Programme

February 2015

12 up to 24 months

attractive scholarship


Contact person :

Larissa Seidlez

Strategy and International Relations

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German Trainee Programme

Career opportunities

As a child she dreamt of adventures in space; as a teenager she attended space conferences; she went on to become a trainee at ESA; and today she is a...

Kick Off Meeting for the German Trainee Programme 2010