Internship at EAC: Electronic Fieldbook Development

6 June 2018

The European Astronaut Centre is looking for a dynamic intern to continue the Electronic Fieldbook (EFB) development for the PANGAEA training and planetary analogue surface activities. This full-time internship is based at EAC, near the historic city of Cologne.

Overview of the PANGAEA course

The training program PANGAEA (Planetary ANalogue Geological and Astrobiological Exercise for Astronauts) is designed to convey to the astronauts a basic knowledge about geologic processes and environments on the Earth, the Moon, Mars and asteroids, as well as to develop the crew’s observational and decisional skills in identifying prominent geological features on field, conducting efficient sampling and report correctly to the ground the observations gathered during the field activity. The training also involves tests of technological tools for sampling and scientific analysis on field and the development of operation concepts for geological field activities.

Overview of the tasks proposed in this internship 

During planetary activities and analogue simulations on Earth, astronauts gather a variety of data – including pictures, videos, audio recordings, text notes, GPS locations and scientific data retrieved with analysis tools, such as spectrometers – and associate them to the retrieved samples, in order to increase their scientific value.

Currently, data are captured through a multitude of devices and, mostly, stored locally. In order to improve the effectiveness of operations, scientists located in a Control Room should ideally receive in near-real time at least a relevant portion of the data acquired on the field and, after a brief analysis, provide scientific and operational guidance to the astronauts. In addition, a procedure viewer would be beneficial to guide the astronauts through the execution of procedures and experiments.

The 'Electronic Fieldbook' (EFB) is intended to be an integrated system allowing to perform all the above in a reliable, intuitive and time-efficient manner. Its development is currently in the early stages and the selected candidate will push it forward by adding new modules and features.

Duties 

  • Familiarising with the data collected during past PANGAEA missions and their logical structure.
  • Familiarising with the current version of the EFB system, its requirements and the framework used.
  • Designing, producing and testing of core elements of the system, to be integrated in its current version. These include, for instance, a procedure viewer, support databases and operational databases.
  • Laying the groundwork for future, advanced modules that will allow to interface external peripherals – like 360° camera or spectrometers – with the EFB system.

Desired skills and expertise

Applicants should:

  • Be enrolled in a university course - bachelor or master - or equivalent post-graduate qualification. Preferred subjects are software engineering, computer sciences and telecommunications engineering.
  • Have academic or professional experience with at least one of the programming languages and frameworks currently used in the project: CouchDB, Java, JavaScript, AngularJS, HTML, REST paradigm.

Having a good knowledge of networking protocols would be an asset, as the system will work in scenarios with unreliable connectivity.

Applicants are also required to be:

  • Fluent in English
  • Organised and result-oriented

Enthusiasm and willingness to show initiative are important. Successful applicants will be expected to work as part of a team within a complex, multi-cultural environment.

How to apply

Please send your application form and all the documents required to the email address esa.caves@esa.int

Closing date

We will welcome applications until the end of October 2018, however we encourage interested students to apply as soon as possible, as we might assign all the available slots much earlier than. Possible starting dates are:

  • 15 July 2018
  • 15 August 2018
  • 1 October 2018
  • 1 December 2018

Please inform us about your availability when submitting the application.

Terms and conditions

Click here for more information about requirements and terms and conditions.

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