Research assistant Data Engineer position at Freie Universität Berlin (Germany)

The Freie Universität Berlin (Department of Geosciences/Planetary Sciences), which cooperates with the Institute of Planetary Research of the German Aerospace Center e.V. (DLR) within the PLATO mission, invites applications for a Data Engineer position to work as Research Assistant in the Ground segment data processing engineering support to the PLATO Calibration and Operations Team (PCOT).
The position is a full-time job limited to 30.09.2024.

Job Reference: WiMi_PLATO-PCOT_Planetologie 2021_EN
Application deadline:  29.11.2021
Starting date:  
Where: Freie Universität Berlin, Kaiserswerther Str. 16-18, 14195 Berlin (Germany)
Duration of the contract:  until 30.09.2024 – full-time

Job Tasks 

The position announced is part of the work performed by the PLATO Mission Consortium (PMC) and will be performed in close cooperation with PMC partners in Berlin (Institut für Planetenforschung des Deutschen Zentrums für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V.), other European PMC members and with ESA.
Applicants shall contribute to the work of the PLATO Calibration and Operations Team (PCOT) and take part in supporting the PLATO Data Center (PDC), the Science Operations Center (SOC) and other groups within the Science Ground Segment (SGS) concerning issues on design, requirements management, integration and verification of the PLATO On-ground data processing Calibration pipeline.

  • Supporting the design and elicitation of requirements of the CPDS (Calibration Parameters Derivation System).
  • Supporting definition of the calibration products derived from the CPDS.
  • Interface with the Data Processing System (DPS) for the provision of the on-board science configuration parameters via CPDS.
  • Interface with PDC for the provision of calibration parameters used for instrumental corrections on the L1 ground-processing pipeline.
  • Supporting implementation of CPDS interfaces with the rest of the Ground Data Processing (GDP) subsystems.
  • Supporting the CPDS verification and overall GDP verification.
  • Supporting the PCOT Manager (PCOTM) with the elaboration of Calibration and Operations plans and P/L User Manual.

Profile’s requirements 

  • A Master degree in engineering or physics
  • Professional experience in a scientific or technical environment.


  • Experience in optical payload operations and associated software systems is highly desirable.
  • Experience in Agile and/or DevOps methodologies and DevOps would be a further asset.
  • Experience in ground processing pipelines for space instruments (preferably optical payload).
  • Understanding of development and maintenance of ground infrastructure and/or software systems.
  • Knowledge of large operations and associated software systems, preferably space-based high motivation, ability to work independently as well as part of a team, excellent communication skills.
  • very good written and spoken English language competences
  • good programming skills
  • good documentation skills

How to apply 

Applications should be sent by e-mail, together with significant documents, indicating the reference code (WiMi_PLATO-PCOT_Planetologie 2021_EN), in PDF format (preferably as one document) to Mrs. Prof. Dr. Heike Rauer: or postal.

Further information can be found in the job announcement on the FU website.