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A 99 million pound ($132 million) satellite test facility to be built at the U.K.’s Harwell Campus should bring more business to the space hub here and ensure Britain’s satellite manufacturers can carry on without disruption post-Brexit, according to Chris Mutlow, director of RAL Space, the space division of the U.K. state-run Rutherford Appleton Laboratory here.
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A SpaceX Falcon 9 successfully launched a Dragon cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station Dec. 15 on the first use of a previously-flown first stage for a NASA mission.
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Thales Alenia Space is partnering with three U.S. companies that are working on NASA studies of concepts for the proposed Deep Space Gateway, leveraging its expertise in space station and cargo module development.
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 22:48:52 +0000
AIA CEO Melcher: “I’m very concerned about how our nation has come to accept several anchors that are dragging our industry down"
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Airbus has signed a contract with the European Space Agency to develop a Copernicus Data and Information Access Services, orDIAS, platform that will make data from the Earth-monitoring constellation more accessible to users from about mid-2018.
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 16:57:56 +0000
SpaceIL, the Israeli team in the Google Lunar X Prize competition, says it needs to raise $7.5 million in less than a week in order to complete its lander and retain its launch contract.
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NASA’s Dawn mission to the main asteroid belt, granted a second extended mission earlier this year, will end later next year after a final set of close-up observations of the dwarf planet Ceres.
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Lockheed envisions many uses for artificial intelligence in space, such as being able to quickly detect changes in satellite performance and in the environment.
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 18:53:09 +0000
The Senate Commerce Committee advanced the nomination of Barry Myers to be the next administrator of NOAA to the full Senate despite concerns by the committee’s Democrats about potential conflicts of interest.
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 10:08:47 +0000
A Japanese company planning a series of robotic missions to the moon announced Dec. 13 that it has raised more than $90 million in one of the largest Series A funding rounds for any emerging space venture.
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 08:47:31 +0000
Blue Origin said it carried out a successful test flight of a new version of its New Shepard suborbital vehicle Dec. 12.
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 04:06:57 +0000
Arianespace performed its eleventh and final launch of the year today, sending four Galileo European navigation satellites into medium Earth orbit.
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 20:39:55 +0000
The new decadal survey for Earth science research will likely be unveiled in early January, slightly later than previously planned.
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 20:17:22 +0000
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Dec. 5 okayed the first part of a satellite-servicing mission Orbital ATK’s Space Logistic subsidiary has with Intelsat, saying the servicing vehicle can execute “rendezvous, proximity operations, and docking with the Intelsat-901” satellite while in a graveyard orbit.
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 17:20:18 +0000
Tucked into the details of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act that President Trump signed into law Dec. 12 is a long overdue recognition of the first American astronauts who were lost in service to their country while practicing for a mission.
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 11:41:15 +0000
Rocket Lab scrubbed a launch of its Electron small launch vehicle Dec. 11 after an abort just two seconds before liftoff.
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 03:55:05 +0000
President Trump’s new space policy directive calling for American astronauts to return to the moon is welcome and encouraging news.
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    Job Description
    TitleSupporting Applications Engineer
    Job posted on23/03/2016
    Contract typePermanent
    Start datewithin 2 months
    Job Description

    We are looking to further enhance our team by adding a

    Supporting Applications Engineer

    You will be based initially for 2 years at our client’s headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany. Extension of a further 2 years may be possible. In this large European Agency you will find an excellent and modern working environment with challenging tasks and responsibilities.

    Your Tasks Include:

    The Key Person shall support the maintenance and evolution of off line Ground Segment elements, specifically for quality control, calibration and validation, data visualization and auxiliary data management and services. The application software is mainly developed in C/C++, PERL, and Python. For data visualization a good knowledge in IDL and ENVI is desirable. The Key Person’s duties will include a range of tasks, from the support of the day to day operation and maintenance, the analysis, design, development and testing of the facilities which also includes the handling of anomalies, upgrades and configuration changes for these facilities. The Key Person will be the focal point when it comes to integrating each individual Facility into a system context, covering all aspects from early SW development, definition of interfaces, system integration and testing, and end to end testing of the production system.

    Tasks will also contain the setting-up and implementation of maintenance policies and procedures as well as the co-ordination with external providers of maintenance services. In support to operations, the Key Person may also be required to provide on call support as part of a team of maintenance engineers.

    Besides the above described routine tasks, the Key Person will also be expected to contribute to design and system engineering/re-engineering activities in the area of expertise for existing and future production systems. Candidate areas are programmes such as, MTG, EPS-SG, Jason-CS, Sentinel 3, etc.

    The Key Person is also expected to be involved in further development of product quality monitoring and calibration and validation activities in Operations and in future projects. Contribution is expected principally in the development and implementation of the instrument and product monitoring and reporting function like CHART applications and SAPHIRE, in order to provide wide solutions in particular in the context of offline Monitoring/Quality Control applications used to support operational activities.


    [In this context CHART is a telemetry monitoring tool, developed in python, primarily for analyzing and reporting instrument and spacecraft data retrieved from the MetOp, MSG and NOAA polar orbiting missions.

    Near real time data is ingested into a central database where it is used for additional processing and made available for various analysis features.

    The main aspects of the CHART framework are:

    • Oracle Database used for storing telemetry data.
    • Host virtual servers.
    • Application software.
    • Apache web server.
    • File storage areas.

    The end user functionality supplied by the system can be split into these broad areas:

    • Data ingestion.
    • Processing to produce derived data.
    • Report generation.
    • Interactive web interface.
    • Report publishing.


    In order to make CHART framework as useful as possible to end users it was developed to:

    • Automate all the routine, all S/C analysis and store results.
    • Generate routine reports
    • Provide fingertip access to complete Telemetry archive for investigation and analysis
    • Allow powerful ad-hoc analysis via e.g. MATLAB
    • Provide framework to allow advanced event detection.


    SAPHIRE is a monitoring and reporting tool designed to meet the various monitoring and reporting activities, performed by the Remote Sensing Operation team, related to the acquisition and Level 0 data production within the EPS programme for the METOP and NOAA spacecraft.

    SAPHIRE SW is developed in python and the aim of the tool is to provide all the monitoring and reporting needs in a single maintainable package. The tool has been designed to be configurable to accommodate current and future satellites, changing reporting and monitoring requirements and ad-hoc investigation analysis, over the life time of a programme.


    SAPHIRE tool performs the following application:

    • Data pre-processing and ingestion
    • Oracle Database data table definition
    • Report definition
    • Report component (widget) specification]


    The activity is assumed, as a baseline, to require the full-time participation of one Consultant for the duration of the contract.

    The tasks of the Key Person will be carried out mainly at Client facilities in Darmstadt, but travel within Europe may be required for certain activities.

    Typically tasks will include:

    1. Contribute to the definition, design, implementation and maintenance of architectures for data processing ground segments and their components – with special emphasis on product quality control, calibration and validation, production monitoring and reporting.

    to include:

    • Maintenance and evolutions of the CHART/SAPHIRE framework software;
    • Configuration Management, building and distribution of CHART/SAPHIRE software releases and patches;
    • Contribution to CHART/SAPHIRE software system design and re-engineering;
    • Support the definition, design and implementation of Climate Data Record project;
    1. Support the operations of existing data processing ground segments and their maintenance and evolution. This will also include: Upgrade software, including implementing and maintaining new algorithms for product quality control and calibration/validation activities.
    1. Perform routine tasks in operational systems under configuration control such as:
    • Support the Configuration Management process and the building and distribution of software releases and patches;
    • Support to the development, integration and configuration management of software developed by third parties, its installation, and configuration and testing;
    • Anomaly investigations, documentation and classification;
    • Follow up of the delivery of S/W resolutions for any engineering change (e.g. anomalies and evolutions);
    1. Perform standard SW engineering activities such as:
    • S/W testing in a structured approach to verify that delivered S/W is fulfilling the requirements or to demonstrate that problems have been corrected.
    • S/W integration and verification in the ground segments;
    1. Setting-up and implementation of maintenance policies and procedures;
    1. Support to the procurement and installation of software, and the co-ordination with external providers of support services;
    1. Participation in meetings and formal reviews.


    Your Profile:

    Mandatory Attributes, Skills and Experience

    In addition to having a University degree (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline, the Key Person shall have the following mandatory attributes, skills and experience:

    • Experience in S/W and system design, S/W development, operation, maintenance and trouble shooting of large complex real-time data processing systems for Earth Observation missions.
    • Competence in object-oriented software design and implementation possibly in the context of satellite instrument data processing systems.

    The Key Person should possess very good communication, presentation and team working skills and be able to cope with very high workloads.

    Moreover he/she should possess the following mandatory attitudes and attributes relevant for the development of his/her tasks:

    • Ability to learn and develop the needed skills and knowledge to contribute to the development of Data Processing applications within the Supporting Application Engineering Team. This includes the ability to rapidly absorb, and make use of, information presented in written and oral communications in a dynamic context.
    • Willingness to work within a multi-disciplinary context in cooperation with other teams. The ability to maintain a system overview is essential. He/she shall have a systematic approach to work, be able to plan their work and to cope with tight schedules and multiple tasks. They shall have the capability to write accurate and consistent technical documentation

    Demonstrated knowledge and experience in the following areas is mandatory:

    • C/C++ programming language experience in a UNIX/LINUX based environment;
    • Use of and application programming of database systems ( e.g. ORACLE, INFORMIX, PostgreSQL and MySQL);
    • Competence in the use of scripting languages (e.g., shell scripting, PERL), high-level languages (e.g., Python, Java) and correspondent use of their libraries.

    Desirable Skills and Experience

    Previous experience and knowledge in any of the following areas will be considered an additional asset:

    • Experience with the programming and usage of IDL and Fortran;
    • Knowledge of XML and related technologies (XPATH, SVG, etc.);
    • Experience in Web Programming;
    • Knowledge of web technologies, programming and mark-up languages (e.g. Apache, CGI, JavaScript, UML); Competence in S/W testing, unit test suite maintenance, automated testing, verification and validation;
    • Experience in system design for quality control and cal/val systems;
    • Familiarity with data formats used for meteorological satellite products;
    • Design and implementation of MMI using different toolkits and languages;
    • Knowledge of relevant Standards, Quality Assurance and Configuration Management principles and applications;
    • Competence in the exploitation of modern hardware and operating systems at the application level (e.g. parallel programming (pthreads, MPI, OpenMP))

    The variety of the tasks and the scope of the systems to be supported require the Key Person to be able to work with a high degree of autonomy and to demonstrate good analytical skills.

    The official languages are English and French. The working language for the position is English and therefore the Key Person must be able to work effectively in this language.


    REFERENCE: 16-212314

    LOCATION: Darmstadt, Germany


    CLOSING DATE: 29th April 2016

    MOLTEK has been serving the space and aerospace industries since 1995, providing international consultancy services for a wide variety of clients from private and public corporations to national and international authorities and agencies.

    Contact information
    CompanyMoltek Consultants Ltd
    Contact namePeter Clarke
    AddressThe Business Centre
    Green Road
    United Kingdom
    TN12 8JS
    Phone+44(0)1892 725000
    Fax+44(0)1892 725001
    Web Page

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