RF Engineer

Job Ref: 2659504 | Type: Permanent / Full Time

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About The Role

This is a fantastic opportunity for an experienced engineer to join the team at Rocket Lab and work on the most exciting engineering project currently being undertaken in New Zealand.

As a RF Engineer you will work closely with both the Avionics and Launch teams and you will play an important role in the design, testing and integration of radio frequency communications systems used to support Rocket Lab’s Electron launch vehicle. You will be challenged daily and to succeed you will need to adapt quickly and thrive under pressure to achieve tight project deadlines.

Our next launch date is fast approaching and we are looking for someone who can hit the ground running, so previous experience with RF communication components is essential.

There are three main areas of responsibility which are:

Ground Station Network
  • Define and test ICDs on the stations.
  • Configure receivers/transmitters for the flight phases.
  • Perform signal acquisition of flight vehicles.
  • Implement satellite communication links.
Launch Vehicle
  • Define RF systems hardware as per requirements from the Software, GNC, and Vehicle teams.
  • Define and execute test plans, including functional testing, performance testing and environmental testing.
  • Define ICDs for avionics networks and communications networks on the ground.
  • Understanding of environmental testing.
  • Electromagnetic compatibility tests.
  • Define requirements for tests.
  • Supervise testing and support other teams.
  • Analyze test results and suggest solutions in case of issues.
  • Manage operations of RF links between remote sites and launch vehicles
  • Execute launch procedures
  • Join operations teams on site and in the mission control center in support of launch campaigns
  • Complete pre-flight tests
  • Define RF/communications interfaces with payloads
Essential skills required for the position of Lead RF engineer
  • Bachelors degree (or higher) in Engineering or Physics, majoring in Communications systems/Digital communications/Electromagnetics (or an equivalent qualification)
  • 3+ years' experience in the design, test and integration of RF front end systems for high reliability applications (aviation or aerospace systems)
  • Experience with RF test equipment including network and spectrum analysers
  • Experience with digital radio transmission/reception equipment and a general understanding of modulation and coding techniques
  • The ability to work under pressure and to tight deadlines
  • Effective communication skills and the ability to build strong working relationships
  • Experience designing, integrating and testing front-end RF systems
  • Experience with Software Defined Radio, including GNU radios
  • Experience designing and deploying ground stations
  • Programming experience, including Python
  • Experience using MATLAB
  • A solid theoretical and/or practical understanding of general electronic systems design

For security reasons background checks will be undertaken prior to any employment offers being made to an applicant.  These checks will include nationality checks as it is a requirement of this position that you be eligible to access equipment and data regulated by the United States’ International Traffic in Arms Regulations.  Under these Regulations, you may be ineligible for this role if you do not hold citizenship of Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, the European Union or a country that is part of NATO, or if you hold ineligible dual citizenship or nationality. For more information on these Regulations, click here.

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