Sentinel SAR Mission Scientist

Company Details

ATG's mission is to support and enable the space industry in its endless drive towards technological and economical growth. By making available our knowledge, expertise and unique technological solutions to key players, we truly aim to accelerate innovation throughout the community.

Job Overview

On behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA), we are looking for a Sentinel SAR Mission Scientist for their location in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, to join their Campaigns Section.

Please note this is an external consultant position not a Staff position.

Tasks & Responsibilities

  • The duties of the contractor focus on Mission Science support to future Copernicus SAR Sentinel missions under definition or implementation by ESA. This includes support to mission requirements consolidation and maintenance, traceability to user needs, assessment and documentation of information products to be generated by the missions, their accuracy as a function of the satellite and Level-1 characteristics and to verify these can be achieved based on the mission design choices.
  • The Contractor is expected to support the Mission Advisory Group (MAG) meetings, research and formulation of mission requirements, defining and support to managing relevant studies with the applications and science community, and performing analyses and investigations into critical mission science issues linked to products and product implementation (e.g. end to end performance analyses).
  • Help to the management of the mission requirements for Copernicus SAR missions in support to the Mission Scientist(s);
  • Support the implementation and running of the Copernicus ROSE-L and Sentinel-1 Next Generation (S1 NG) MAG and Expert Group activities;
  • Define and help manage mission requirement consolidation studies for S1 NG, to interpret user requirements provided by the European Commission and the Copernicus user community, and establish methods to evaluate the end-to-end performance of the mission with respect to product quality;
  • Define and help manage studies and campaigns required to address any critical issues during the S1 NG and ROSE-L mission development;
  • Assess in detail the implications of “continuity of service” as a priority requirement for S1 NG, with respect to the current generation of Sentinel-1;
  • Document and develop the synergies between C-band and L-band Copernicus SAR missions operating as a system of systems;
  • Support the definition of the ground segment requirements and interface requirements, regarding Level 1 / Level 2 processor implementation and data distribution to the end users;
  • Support the coordination of collaborative efforts with similar missions from other, national Space Agencies (e.g. NISAR/NASA, SAOCOM/CONAE, PalSAR-2 and PalSAR-4/JAXA);
  • Develop and document a framework for error budgets for Level-2 information products guaranteed by the SAR missions (e.g. through the use and further elaboration of End-to-end performance frameworks);
  • Support the definition of Level-2 information products guaranteed by the SAR missions;
  • Preparation of documents and technical notes as required in support of the Project;
  • In performing these tasks, the contractor will report to the relevant Mission Scientist(s) and maintaining close coordination with the relevant Project teams. For End-to-end performance aspects the Contractor will work closely with the Study Teams/Projects, but also with experts from the technical directorate.


  •  PhD and a minimum of 6 years scientific experience;
  • Knowledge of remote sensing principles, retrieval techniques, error assessment;
  • Strong fundamental background in SAR remote sensing including technical characteristics of SAR satellites;
  • Proficiency in the programming and use of software focused on managing satellite data, image analyses, transformation of Level-1 data into geophysical information products and statistical and error analyses;
  • Familiarity with the Copernicus Programme including the programme goals, the role of the Space Component and the status and scope of Copernicus Services;
  • Demonstrated interest in the wider context of Copernicus and its role with respect to EC policies and priorities;
  • Familiarity with Level 1 and Level 2 processing of satellite SAR data;
  • Experience in the development of Algorithm Theoretical Baseline Documents (ATBDs);
  • Able to work independently and in teams;
  • Good organisational, management and communication skills;
  • Proficient in the English language (spoken and written).

ATG Europe offers excellent working conditions and provides you with all the necessary means to further your career. We believe that training and education, combined with regular assessments and a personal development plan, will create the best environment for growth. If needed we also assist you with settling in your new home or finding the right school for your children. ATG will help in any way it can, including a relocation budget that is applicable for ATG staff as well as employees working at one of our clients.

Tagged as: Copernicus SAR Sentinel missions, mission scientist, ROSE-L, Sentinel-1, SAR remote sensing, SAR satellites

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