Money spent by European taxpayers on spacecraft operations represents an excellent investment in infrastructure and in high-tech, value-added jobs, with strong benefits flowing back to ESA Member State citizens.

Advanced mission concepts

Mature innovative technologies for mission operations are functionally and economically instrumental for flying future missions. Since 2001 ESA's Advanced Operations Concepts Office has aimed to facilitate the infusion of advanced technology to the service of those flying space missions at ESA and at European national agencies and industry.


Following technology investigation and feasibility analysis, specific projects are being selected to further validate enabling technologies that support innovative operations concepts. The operational validation is usually performed across more than one mission and over several months.

The output of a project includes documentation, architecture, software and an operational assessment. In specific cases it can be a stand-alone product.

About us

Our team comprises research fellow(s), young graduate trainee(s), on-site and off-site contractors managed by an experienced ESA staff member. Part of the team sees a high turn-over, with typical durations of between one and two years.

The team's competencies include agile methods such as extreme programming and SCRUM applied to the areas of planning, scheduling, monitoring, diagnostic and automation.

In-house expertise covers different branches of computer science including

  • Artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Data mining
  • Constraint programming
  • Multi-agent systems
  • Case-based reasoning
  • Fuzzy logic
  • Operational research
  • Artificial neural networks

In addition statistical analysis, e-learning and web services are among the complementary suite of technologies involved in the process.

We are a customer-focused group! Our behavioural competences include continuous learning, innovation and creativity, problem solving, communication, teamwork, ambassadorship and results orientation.


Here you can find pointers to ESA official request for proposals, trainee positions, and other collaboration opportunities in the domain of innovative technology for space mission operations.

Contact us

If you are interested in the work of the Advanced Operations Concepts Office, if you have ideas to share, proposals, or questions or if your organisation is interested in exploiting the outcome of our projects, please contact us (see link above at right).

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