Sentinel Optical Mission Scientist

Company Details

RHEA Group is an international leading Space and Security engineering organisation providing engineering services and customised technology solutions enabling the design, operation and utilisation of space systems and other critical infrastructure. We attract skilled engineers, scientists and management professionals worldwide; and offer a range of exciting career paths within our organisation and working alongside clients such as the UK Space Agency, the European Space Agency, the European GNSS Agency, NATO, the European Commission, EUMETSAT, etc.

On behalf of ESA, we are currently looking for a Sentinel Optical Mission Scientist to work in its Site (ESTEC) in the beautiful city of Noordwijk, The Netherlands.

His/Hers duties will relate to Mission Science support to the definition and implementation of future Copernicus 2.0 terrestrial optical Sentinel missions and other optical missions, including support to mission requirements consolidation and the development of geophysical algorithms and preparing products.

The Sentinel Optical Mission Scientist will report to the relevant Study/Project Manager and maintain close coordination with the relevant Mission Scientist and other members of the Study/Project team.

For the mission simulator activities, the key person will work closely with the Study Team/Project, but also with experts from the technical directorate.

Tasks and Activities

The scope of work will include:

  • Help to the management of mission requirements for optical Earth observation missions.
  • Support convening and running of relevant CHIME and Next Generation Sentinel Mission Advisory Group and Expert Group activities, including associated organisation and administration.
  • Coordinate the definition and development of algorithms to be used in the conversion of calibrated Top of atmosphere Radiance/Reflectances (Level 1) to geophysical parameters (Level 2).
  • Initiate, manage and monitor the development of the Level 2 prototype processor, including:
    • the definition of the scientific retrieval algorithms,
    • the implementation of the prototypes of the scientific retrieval algorithms,
    • the assessment of Sentinel mission performance on the basis of Level 2 products derived by prototype Level 2 processors.
  • Support and monitor the development of mission specific performance Simulators.
  • Provide support for the running of the Hypersense campaign activities, including associated satellite acquisitions by PRISMA and DESIS.
  • 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.
  • Contribute to the preparation, planning and execution of the instrument commissioning and routine operations activities including the In-orbit Verification Phase and Calibration and Validation activities.
  • Monitor the Sentinel mission performance during commissioning phase.
  • Support the coordination of collaborative efforts with similar missions from other, national Space Agencies (e.g. SBG/NASA, EnMAP/DLR, PRISMA/ASI, Landsat NG/USGS+NASA).
  • Support the generation of project level internal and external reporting (e.g., Quarterly Status Reports).
  • Continue strong partnership with internal (e.g. EOP/TEC-departments) and external entities (e.g. NASA, ASI, DLR).

 Skills and Experience

The following skills and experience are mandatory:

  • PhD, with at least of 6 years scientific experience.
  • Specialisation in terrestrial Earth observation remote sensing and optical bio-geophysical variable retrieval.
  • Demonstrated experience in terrestrial science, with strong knowledge in radiative transfer and vegetation variable retrievals.
  • Knowledge on remote sensing principles, retrieval techniques, error assessment, data assimilation principles.
  • Strong fundamental background in optical remote sensing, and in particular in hyperspectral remote sensing.
  • Familiarity with the Copernicus Space Component Programme.
  • Familiarity with EC’s directives and policies and services related to vegetation and soil monitoring and related operational Land monitoring services.
  • Familiarity with Level 1 and Level 2 processing of vegetation and soil observations and related atmospheric corrections.
  • (Strong) Experience in the development of Algorithm Theoretical Baseline Documents (ATBDs) and in setting up (pre-)operational processing systems.
  • Ability to work independently and in teams.
  • Demonstrated autonomy and good organisation, planning, management and communication skills.
  • Proficiency in the English language, both written and spoken.


RHEA Group is a growing international company, focusing on providing innovative, market-ready solutions and services in our key sectors of Space and Security for both commercial and institutional customers. We employ over 500 staff working across 10 different countries. We work with distinguished clients such as the European Space Agency, EUMETSAT, NATO, European Commission, Canadian Government and national space agencies.

When you work for RHEA, you will have the opportunity to work alongside some of the best talented minds and experts in our industries, either working at our clients sites on some of the most exciting space missions or on cutting-edge projects in security, concurrent design, data  and ground systems within our own offices.

To attract the best candidates, RHEA offers our employees competitive remuneration packages, unique career opportunities, individualised training and development programmes and local relocation support to take the stress out moving to another country or city. We are recruiting now. We understand your concerns during this period of a global pandemic and we will work with you, at your pace ensuring your questions are answered and maximum flexibility is offered.

Tagged as: remote sensing, phd position, terrestrial Earth observation, Sentinel mission performance

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