Ground Station Systems Engineer


The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) is a public entity under the National Department of Science and Innovation (DSI). SANSA has a mandate to drive the promotion and use of space and cooperation in space-related activities. To achieve this mandate, the Agency fosters research in space science and technology, advances space engineering programmes, and supports the creation of an environment conducive to industrial development in space technologies within the framework of national government policy. More information about the organization can be found at

SANSA is committed to attracting, developing, and retaining employees who are passionate about the success of the national space industry. Personal growth, which is one of our values, encourages employees to invest time in education and training through bursaries and training courses offered to them.

SANSA thrives on our employees’ creativity, competencies, and expertise, and on their ingenuity to succeed in a high-performing environment. If you aspire to the SANSA values of Service, Teamwork, Respect, Integrity, Personal Growth, and Excellence, and living these in a fast-paced and innovative environment, then SANSA could be the place for you.

The following permanent employment opportunity exists at the SANSA Hartbeeshoek site situated in Hartebeesthoek, Gauteng to be filled by an individual with the relevant experience, skills, drive, and qualifications who puts the interests of the nation first, has a commercial mindset, thinks as our customers, knowledge-driven and people-centric.


SANSA is embarking on the establishment of a new ground station at Matjiesfontein in the Western Cape where it will be establishing new satellite TT&C and data download antennas for use in both the Near-Earth environment and missions in cislunar space for both local and international agencies and clients. The ground station could also be expanded to cater for Deep Space missions. We require a Ground Station Systems Engineer who will work with the project manager to realize this new ground station. The position reports to the Hartebeeshoek site, Project Manager. The Ground Station Systems Engineer will be responsible for ensuring that all requirements for the new ground station are met and that the project is successfully delivered to the clients, both internal and external. The Ground Station Systems Engineer will have at their disposal a team of technical experts in a variety of disciplines whom they will collaborate with in order to deliver the system optimally. This position will also be responsible for RF system engineering design, upgrade, and support on Satellite Ground Segment Systems and related sub-systems and systems engineering on Space Operations Hartebeeshoek site and customer-owned equipment.  The incumbent is also responsible for the interface with local and International clients where needed on technical issues.

Key responsibilities will include but are not limited to:

  • Provide engineering expertise on RF, electronic, and electrical systems. Knowledge of control systems, mechanics, power generation, networks, software, and computing or data storage will be beneficial. Knowledge of transmission devices and advice on the placement of antennae for optimal performance.
  • Operate RF test equipment and knowledge of RF circuits as per specification.
  • Upgrade/modernize legacy systems and migrate them to the current platforms used
  • Perform acceptance testing on all ground segment systems and sub-systems.
  • Conduct tests to determine the strength of generating and/or receiving signals.
  • Conduct frequency interference testing.
  • Program RF equipment such as digital transmitters and receivers to optimize performance.
  • Support the development of prototypes and technology demonstrators.
  • Manage technical projects including budget and resources.
  • Work with the Project Management Office on technical aspects of a project.
  • Prepare project documentation for the Project Office and clients.
  • Provide guidance, training, and mentorship to interns and employees.

The ideal candidates will have the following qualifications and skills:

  • Minimum of a Bachelor of Engineering Degree in Electronics / Electronic Communications.
  • MEng/specialist expertise in RF and antennae engineering will be advantageous.
  • Experience in a telecommunications or RF Engineering environment preferable
  • At least six (6) years of experience working with satellite ground stations or radio astronomical installations, RF systems, and relevant software.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Good inter-personal, planning, and organizing skills.
  • Ability to multi-task and work under pressure.
  • Certification to a system engineering body is an added advantage.
  • Candidates must be prepared to travel as the project will require regular travel and stayovers in Matjiesfontein. The project will take approximately two and a half years.
  • A valid driver’s license.


Background verification, including criminal record, credit checks, security clearances, qualifications, and citizenship checks, as well as competency assessment and psychometric testing, may form part of the selection process. By applying for this vacancy, the candidates consent that SANSA can collect, process, and share their Personal Information (PI) for verification, assessments, and employment purposes only.

SANSA subscribes to the principles of Employment Equity Act. In accordance with the Employment Equity Plan of SANSA and its Employment Equity goals and targets, preference will be given to candidates from under-represented designated groups (African males and females, Coloured females, and People with disabilities ).

Should you meet the above requirements, please upload your detailed CV, and apply on:

Current Opportunities (

Communication will only be conducted with short-listed candidates. If applicants have not heard from us within 4 weeks of the closing date, regard your application as unsuccessful. SANSA reserves the right not to make an appointment.   If you have previously applied for this position, your application will be included in the process.

Closing Date: 25 November 2022

Samuel Mello