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Control Software Engineer (M/F)

About us

Space Applications Services NV/SA performs and supports system and software engineering for the European Space Agency (ESA), National Space Agencies and the aerospace industry.
We are involved in international manned & unmanned spacecraft programmes, Earth observation, science, exploration, communications and related technology development.
We are currently looking for a Software Engineer, wishing to join our dynamic and international company for the following position: Control Software Engineer (M/F).

Tasks and Responsibilities

The successful candidate will be working at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) Headquarters in Garching (Munich, Germany) in the ESO Control Software & Engineering Department, on behalf of Space Applications Services. Occasional trips to the ESO observatories in Chile may be required. The Control Software and Engineering Department (CSE) in the Directorate of Engineering (DoE) of ESO is responsible for the definition, design and implementation of complex control systems for advanced optical and infrared astronomical instrumentation and telescope systems required for ESO’s Observatories in Chile. The CSE Department is in particular responsible for the development and maintenance of detector control software for all ESO controllers including NGC (Next Generation Controller). The candidate will take over the responsibility for parts of NGC detector control software and develop/maintain it according to the requirements. This will include in particular the following tasks and responsibilities:

  • Develop and maintain the core software for the NGC controller (2.0) including but not limited to:
    o NGC software adaptation to Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) technologies such the implementation of user interfaces in Qt or the integration with CII;
    o Support the redesign of the detector control software for optical detectors;
    o Implementation of new hardware functions;
  • Develop and maintain instrument specific functionalities for detector control for all ELT instruments and wavefront sensors technologies
  • Support the maintenance and development of the NGC core software and its extensions, e.g. porting to newer releases of the ELT software platform
  • Support instrument assembly, integration and test (AIT) activities in relation to optical and infrared detectors, e.g. configuration control and incremental SW deliveries for systems in production
  • Develop and maintain detector control software for VLT/VLTI instruments
  • Support NGC-related instrument commissioning activities on site
  • Develop and maintain general instrument control software components for ESO projects.

Qualifications and Experience

The ideal candidate is a software engineer with a minimum of 5 years’ experience in implementing real time software for embedded systems as well as higher level, object oriented distributed applications and messaging systems. The candidates should mandatorily have:

  • A Master Degree in Computer Science, Physics, Electrical Engineering or equivalent
  • Proficiency in software development, covering the full software life cycle analysis, design, implementation, testing and maintenance including documentation, preferably with C/C++ and Python
  • Good experience in implementation of real-time data acquisition
  • Minimum three years of hands-on experience in unit testing
  • Minimum three years of hands-on experience in software engineering practices like version control including the related software tools
  • Excellent command of English language, preferably applied in international work environment.

In addition, the candidates will have some of the following skills:

  • Practical experience in implementation of detector control software
  • Good command of C++11 and generic programming techniques
  • Familiarity with LINUX PCI device drivers
  • Basic knowledge of optical and infrared scientific detectors
  • Experience developing user interfaces in Qt.

What Do We Offer?

  • Working for a constantly growing company, with offices located in Belgium, the Nertherlands and the USA
  • A professional, pleasant atmosphere with motivated staff and where autonomy and initiatives are encouraged and with various career growth opportunities
  • An interesting remuneration package with relocation assistance if applicable
  • A full time employment position.

Preference will be given to candidates eligible to work in the European Union or in possession of a European Blue Card.
Occasional trips to ESO observatory in Chile may be necessary.

How To Apply?

Please apply by filling in the online application form and uploading your Motivation Letter and CV (both in English) on the ‘Careers’ section of our website via the “Apply” button.
The application deadline is 23rd August 2017.
Please address you Motivation Letter to: Mr. Olivier Lamborelle at Space Applications Services.

Job ID: CSE-SERV-ESO-2017-08-001

Leuvensesteenweg 325 1932 Zaventem, Belgium
Tel: +32 (0)2 721.54.84


Garching (Munich, Germany)


Space Applications Services - Crew Training & Simulations
Name : Olivier Lamborelle
E-mail address :

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