Space Flight Dynamics Engineer


The key person will join our Flight Dynamics team supporting on a daily basis our customer ESA/ESOC. The ESOC Flight Dynamics division provides mission analysis and flight dynamics operations support to ESA and third party missions during all mission phases. Flight Dynamics cooperates with different elements of the ground segment, such as the flight control teams, ground operations teams, science teams, the projects teams and the spacecraft manufacturers.

More specifically, the selected key person will primarily support the Flight Dynamics operations for the Sentinel missions of the EU Copernicus programme.

Location: Darmstadt/Germany
How to apply:
Reference: DER/PLC/21/24

Tasks & Responsibilities

The key person will join a team responsible of the following tasks (not limited to):

  • Orbit determination and manoeuvre optimization
  • Attitude determination and on-board systems monitoring and verification
  • AOCS command generation
  • AOCS and optical sensors calibration
  • Test & Validation for the above
  • Performing studies and technical analyses to support the above


  • Routine mission operations
  • Pre-launch activities, like software development and testing, procedure writing, technical analyses, support to test and simulation campaigns
  • Support during critical mission phases (e.g. launch and commissioning, end of mission activities)
  • Support of collision avoidance manoeuvres (with space debris) including on-call service
  • Maintenance and evolution of the flight dynamics system.


Mandatory skills:

  • University degree in a relevant engineering field, astronomy, mathematics or physics
  • Very good skills in linear algebra, in particular for problem solving related to geometry in the Euclidean 3–dimensional space.
  • Being familiar with different representations of rotation in 3D, thus including the representation of S/C attitude (cosine direction matrix, Euler symmetric parameters/ quaternions, Euler-angles …) is an asset.
  • Very good skills in calculus in one or several variables.
  • Skills in numerical methods for:
    • equations solving,
    • integration of differential equations,
    • function approximation and interpolation,
    • optimisation,
    • linear algebra problems.
  • Very good skills in classical mechanics, including:
    • kinematics and dynamics of point masses,
    • dynamics of rigid bodies,
    • dynamics expressed in non-inertial reference frames, e.g. including dynamics in rotating frames, rotation dynamics expressed in body fixed frame,
    • conservation laws in mechanics,
    • gravitational forces and field,
    • orbit dynamics, Keplerian orbits and Kepler laws.
  • Ability to solve mechanics problems via analytical mechanics methods (e.g. Lagrangian formulation) is a valuable asset.
  • Skills to apply their knowledge to develop solutions to technical (mathematical and dynamical) problems in cooperation with customers and other experts
  • Ability to define, implement, validate and operate software which applies the above solutions (using e.g. Unix and/or Linux scripting languages, Fortran 77 and/or 95, Python, C++)
  • Will to take operational responsibility in multi-discipline teams
  • Fluency in English, both in speech and writing
  • Coordinate and interact with other service providers in operations and other fields.
  • Ability to work independently
  • The ability to multi-task efficiently; working on multiple activities, multiple subsystems and multiple missions simultaneously.

Additional skills (which will be considered as an advantage):

  • Familiarity with the ESOC environment
  • Familiarity/experience with Flight Dynamics operations engineering tasks
  • Experience dealing with external interfaces
About the author