Find a job in Greater Rotterdam-The Hague area (the Netherlands)

Connect to our innovative ecosystems in vibrant cities such as Rotterdam, The Hague, Delft and Leiden and work together on global challenges!
Explore opportunities across industries, including IT jobs, data science jobs, engineering jobs, and more.

Laser Engineer

European Space Agency

European Space Agency

Software Engineering
noordwijk, netherlands
Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2024

ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands


Laser Engineer in the Optoelectronics Section, Mechatronics and Optics Division, Mechanical Department, Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality.

The Optoelectronics Section provides functional support to ESA projects and carries out technological research and development (R&D) in the field of optoelectronic device technologies and applications.

In particular, the Optoelectronics Section deals with the specification, development and characterisation of photonic component subsystems and active optical instruments, such as lasers and detectors operating in the UV to FIR wavelength ranges, fibre-optic sensors, lidars, optical communication systems and quantum technologies.

You will support the Aeolus-2 DWL (Doppler wind lidar) instrument (for both the development and recurrent satellites), as the Aeolus-2 Laser Engineer during its development. You will report to the Aeolus-2 Payload Manager for all technical and programmatic matters of the project. You will be collocated with the Aeolus-2 Project Team.

Aeolus-2 is an operational follow-on to the successful Aeolus Earth Explorer mission and is run in collaboration with EUMETSAT for a series of two satellites, with ESA responsible for the definition and development of the space segment and, on behalf of EUMETSAT, the procurement of the recurrent satellite. The primary payload for Aeolus-2 is a Doppler wind lidar (DWL) designed to measure atmospheric winds through the measurement of Doppler shifts in the backscatter of emitted laser light from molecules and aerosols in the atmosphere.

The Aeolus-2 DWL instrument has completed Phase A/B1 with an Instrument Consolidation Study, and two parallel System Accommodation Studies (Phase A/B1) and various technology pre-development activities are ongoing. The Aeolus-2 Programme for Phase B2/C/D/E1 was approved at the ESA Council meeting at ministerial level in November 2022.


Your tasks and responsibilities will include:

  • supporting the definition, consolidation and maintenance of the Aeolus-2 Laser Transmitter Assembly (AE2-LTA) requirements, consistent with the Aeolus-2 DWL instrument and system and mission requirements;
  • interfacing with industry for AE2-LTA pre-development activities with the aim of reaching Technology Readiness Level 6 at the Instrument Preliminary Design Review;
  • supporting the preparation of the overall RfQ for the Aeolus-2 DWL instrument’s Phase B2/C/D/E1 for AE2-LTA accommodation and interfaces, including the subsequent evaluation and negotiations;
  • supporting the preparation of the Aeolus-2 Satellite Prime ITT for AE2-LTA accommodation and interfaces;
  • supporting ongoing Aeolus-2 pre-development activities for the interface with the AE2-LTA;
  • consolidating the AE2-LTA’s design, development, performance and interfaces, ensuring consistency with the Aeolus-2 technical and programmatic requirements;
  • monitoring and controlling progress in the AE2-LTA’s industrial Phase B/C/D/E1, including the qualification process and procurement activities, ensuring consistency with the Aeolus-2 technical and programmatic requirements;
  • ensuring that AE2-LTA operability is fully compatible with overall Aeolus-2 mission requirements, satellite operations, observability and availability requirements;
  • identifying and defining support activities aiming to consolidate the design of the AE2-LTA;
  • supporting the definition and execution of AE2-LTA calibration and characterisation campaigns ensuring the availability of key data for processing;
  • supporting the DWL instrument’s calibration and characterisation campaigns for the elements relevant to the AE2-LTA and its interfaces;
  • supporting the preparation and implementation of AIT activities specific to the AE2-LTA at laser, DWL instrument and satellite level;
  • supporting the instrument and satellite for the preparation and implementation of the launch campaign and in-orbit commissioning for the elements relevant to the AE2-LTA and its interfaces;
  • providing early warning and appropriate technical analysis of potential problem areas, monitoring risks and ensuring appropriate mitigation actions are identified and implemented;
  • monitoring the development of AE2-LTA performance assessment tools, including simulators and models in industry or internally, and analysing impacts on mission performance resulting from deviations during the development of Aeolus-2;
  • participating in AE2-LTA reviews and supporting spacecraft and instrument reviews for the elements relevant to the AE2-LTA and its interfaces;
  • monitoring laser-relevant scientific and technological trends and maintaining state-of-the-art expertise;
  • contributing to the dissemination of the results of technology development activities and the transfer of knowledge within the Agency.

In carrying out these tasks, you will coordinate closely with other Aeolus-2 Project Team members, specifically with the Aeolus-2 Instrument Engineer, and support from the Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality.

Technical competencies

Experience in spaceborne optical instrument development
Experience in lasers and laser optics
Experience in laser performance and verification
Experience in the management and monitoring of industrial activities, including participation in reviews
Knowledge of ESA space systems procurement, development and verification processes and standards

Behavioural competencies

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


A master’s degree in a relevant physical sciences or engineering discipline is required for this post.

Additional requirements

Proven experience in the development of spaceborne optical instruments, including lidar instruments, plus solid hands-on experience of instrument development in a project/procurement environment is required.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusiveness
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.

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 via email at

Important Information and Disclaimer
In principle, recruitment will be within the advertised grade band (A2-A4). However, if the selected candidate has less than four years of relevant professional experience following the completion of the master’s degree, the position may be filled at A1 level.

During the recruitment process, the Agency may request applicants to undergo selection tests. Additionally, successful candidates will need to undergo basic screening before appointment, which will be conducted by an external background screening service, in compliance with the European Space Agency's security procedures.

Note that ESA is in the process of transitioning to a Matrix setup, which could lead to organisational changes affecting this position.

The information published on ESA’s careers website regarding working conditions is correct at the time of publication. It is not intended to be exhaustive and may not address all questions you would have.

Nationality and Languages
Please note that applications can only be 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, the United Kingdom and Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

According to the ESA Convention, the recruitment of staff must take into account an adequate distribution of posts among nationals of the ESA Member States*. When short-listing for an interview, priority will first be given to internal candidates and secondly to external candidates from under-represented Member States*.

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.

*Member States, Associate Members or Cooperating States.