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Principal Spacecraft Systems Engineer

Irvine, CA 92618

Posted: 01/06/2023 Employment Type: Direct Industry: Engineering Job Number: 83977

Job Description

We are seeking an experienced Principal Spacecraft Systems Engineer. In this role, the engineer will lead, work closely with, and be an integral part of a multidisciplinary team leading the cradle-to-grave technical definition of our products and missions. You will architect key elements of mission operations, system functional behavior and performance, and detailed design for all subsystems that support innovative, high-capability small satellites. Your work will synthesize and integrate subsystems including space propulsion subsystems, high data rate radios, encrypted communication devices, radar systems, phased array antennas, and other satellite payloads to name a few. We are looking for skilled individuals with competencies in spacecraft design and operations such as:
  • Mission Assurance
  • Space and Ground communications
  • Flight Software Architectures and Command and Data Handling
  • Electrical and Battery power systems management
  • Space Flight Dynamics and Mission Operations
  • Spacecraft Propulsion
You will collaborate with other engineering specialties (ex. software, electrical, mechanical, and GNC, RF), program management, and manufacturing to develop optimal solutions to complex problems throughout the full product lifecycle. Duties may include: 
  • Mission Concept of Operations refinement, mapping, and application
  • Requirements generation, derivation, decomposition, and mapping
  • Logical and Physical Architecture definitions
  • System-level design activities to include State-Machines, Orbital dynamics, etc.
  • Contribution towards continuous technology and process improvement.
  • System Integration, Verification, and Validation definition and execution
  • Mission Operations and systems tasking support 

Job Requirements


  • Leading and working closely with hardware, software, mechanical, mission operations, and other systems engineers to design and develop optimal architectures and detailed solutions to complex space domain missions.
  • Leading concept of operations development, architecture definition, mission operations baselines, and mission operations procedures.
  • Collaborate with Program and Product management to implement and manage schedules, knowledge management, configurations, and change management documents
  • Participating and leading the technical discussions with customers and suppliers to ensure mission success
  • Lead and take responsibility for technical reviews to ensure appropriate milestone maturity meets internal and external expectations.
  • Managing requirements to ensure maturity, feasibility, proper flow-down and traceability, requirements verification, and requirements validation.
  • Perform mission, system, and vehicle level trade studies to balance risk, cost, and performance
  • Supporting assembly, integration, and test activities including build procedures, test plans/procedures, and other verification and validations execution activities.
  • Develop systems engineering artifacts that support requirements and architecture development; modeling and simulation; cybersecurity; network operations; interoperability; verification and validation testing; and enterprise deployment and capability monitoring
  • Participating in team discussions involving vehicle architecture and design for future projects.
  • Establish standard operating procedures that support mission assurance, risk mitigation, and contingency plans to assure required mission 'up time' for all ground activities
  • Collaborate with engineering teams to define interfaces; integrate mission applications and data storage; and verify the campany's enterprise capabilities
  • Implement life cycle systems engineering best practices
  • BS or MS in engineering field with focus on Aerospace or other engineering discipline with 10+ years work experience or demonstrated equivalent.
  • Technical leadership experience across one or multiple areas in the space domain
  • Demonstrated ability to make complex critical decisions in a timely manner
  • Demonstrated experience and success with one or more of the technical areas listed above.
  • Experience leading day-to-day operations on complex programs or large functional organizations, with proven collaboration and coordination skills across internal and external stakeholder organizations
  • Experience with risk, issue, and opportunity management
  • Understanding of how people, process, tools, systems, and leadership concept of operations operate to achieve goals
  • Proven ability to deliver effective communication verbally, written, and through well-crafted presentations across all levels of an organization
  • Impeccable attention to detail and sense of urgency
  • Ability to self-govern with minimal supervision, establish workload priorities, and to utilize efficient time management practices to achieve assigned tasks
  • To conform to U.S. Government export regulations, applicant must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by 22 CFR 120.15 or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State
  • Demonstrated experience and success with technical leadership of launched or operational space domain systems and architectures.
  • Demonstrated experience and success with space-based encrypted communications architectures and devices as well as knowledge of standards for geospatial intelligence data and products
  • Demonstrated experience and success with space-based reliability, availability, and maintainability and safety
  • Demonstrated experience and success with space-based optical systems and applications
  • Demonstrated experience and success with space-based remote sensing systems
  • Demonstrated experience and success with rendezvous proximity operations and docking.
  • Familiarity with MATLAB, STK, and Linux platforms
  • Familiarity with satellite system budgets including mass, power, and link budgets


  • Employee Equity Incentive Program 
  • Company-paid comprehensive medical, dental, and vision coverage 
  • 401(K) Match
  • Unlimited PTO

Salary Range: $170K - $200K DOE

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