About The Role
Rocket Lab is the global leader in small satellite launch. Our mission is to open access to space to improve life on Earth. There are endless possibilities for what we can achieve with better access to space, and that access is now a reality thanks to Rocket Lab. Our team is 500 people strong and we’re adding to it every week. Collaboration is at our core - every idea is heard and everyone makes a difference. Teams are nimble, decisions are made quickly and we are action-oriented.
While other companies talk about it, we do it!
The Photon Program
Rocket Lab is seeking exceptional engineers to work on Photon, a versatile satellite-bus that can also fly as the upper stage of the Electron launch vehicle. Configurable for missions in LEO, MEO, GEO, lunar, and planetary – no two Photon missions will be the same! To address demanding constellation opportunities. Photon is vertically integrated with in-house subsystems and components based on high-volume manufacturing capabilities. As an engineer on the Photon team you will have a unique opportunity to help shape the Space Systems Division, and with the high launch cadence of Electron, have unparalleled opportunities for rapid tech demonstration on orbit.
Guidance Navigation & Control Engineer – Mission Formulation
The GNC Engineer will join the Space Systems Mission Formulation Team and be responsible for developing high performance, lightweight satellite systems in support of the Space Systems Business Development and Strategy team. The GNC Engineer will cover the initial concept and satellite configuration for rapid conceptual design of missions ranging from high value science and interplanetary missions, to national security space missions, and commercial missions. Responsibilities include the design and analysis of attitude determination and control systems (ADCS) as well as guidance, navigation, and control (GNC) systems used in Photon and other Rocket Lab space vehicles.
Duties & Responsibilities
- Design and development of GNC and ADCS Software, particularly:
- Satellite simulation software.
- ADCS algorithms and implementation in flight software.
- Maneuver and operation sequencing and command creation.
- Data processing software for GNC purposes (MATLAB/Python Post-Processing Tools).
- Develop and maintain an accurate understanding of the needs of the rest of the organization with respect to GNC, ADCS, and Satellite simulation software.
- Trajectory analysis for new mission concepts and proposal generation.
- Mission requirements engineering, including detailed sensor and actuator characterization and modelling.
- Assisting with satellite operations concepts including flight dynamics, fault-finding, contingency planning.
- On-orbit GNC and ADCS system calibration and commissioning.
- Familiarity with Hardware-in-the-loop testing and validation.
Required Experience & Education
- Masters or Ph.D. in Aerospace, Mechanical, or Electrical Engineering, or comparable field.
- 4+ years’ experience developing attitude determination and control algorithms, and/or guidance and navigation algorithms.
- 5+ years’ experience developing in Python or MATLAB.
- Thorough understanding of orbital mechanics, rigid body dynamics, and kinematics.
- Solid understanding of closed-loop control, estimation, and electronic systems.
- The ability to work under pressure and to tight deadlines.
- Excellent communication skills with the ability to build strong working relationships.
Preferred Experience & Education
- Ph.D. in Aerospace, Mechanical, or Electrical engineering, or a comparable field.
- Previous development of real-time control and/or estimation algorithms in autonomous vehicles, preferably satellites.
- Experience with Git version control.
- Experience working in a continuous integration environment.
- Experience with Simulink.
To conform to US Government space technology export regulations, applicants must be a US citizen, lawful permanent resident of the US, protected individual as defined by 8 USC 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorization from the US Department of State.
Rocket Lab USA is an Equal Opportunity Employer, employment with Rocket Lab USA is governed on the basis of merit, competence and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, color, religion, gender, national origin/ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status