RF Communication Electrical Engineer

Location: South Seattle, WA

Type: Full Time

Min. Experience: Experienced

LeoStella is a joint venture between Spaceflight Industries and Thales Alenia Space. Seattle-based LeoStella is a state-of-the-art small satellite design and manufacturing company, redefining how high-quality satellite constellations are built at scale. The company is pioneering a revolutionary engineering and manufacturing process from the ground up to accelerate the development and production while lowering the costs of small-sat constellations. By removing the barriers of building satellite constellations, LeoStella is helping organizations and markets change the world.

LeoStella is looking for a proven Electrical Engineer with a strong background in Communication Systems to lead a multi-disciplinary team in the development of satellite communication systems. Electrical Engineers at LeoStella are involved throughout the engineering lifecycle, from understanding customer and mission needs through design, integration, test, and ultimately the operation of satellites. This position is ideal for a candidate who possesses the eagerness and aptitude to adapt and extend traditional systems engineering and spacecraft development practices to an agile and low-cost environment. 

Duties specific to this position:

You will be engaged in all aspects of satellite system, subsystem, and component electrical design and test, with a focus on RF networks and satellite communication systems. You will understand electrical and RF communications principles and concepts and support the design and development of satellites through all phases of the product lifecycle. You will work directly with technical leadership and other members of a multi-disciplined team to develop and test microsatellite communications systems. You will architect and execute test plans to show functionality of these systems. Furthermore, you will also be responsible for interfacing with ground station providers and satellite end users to ensure system compatibility.

Primary responsibilities:

  • Be the technical lead of the satellite communications system responsible for performing communications system design and analysis, testing, debug, data analysis, and overseeing flight hardware design.
  • Create and maintain system link budgets and perform data throughput analyses, availability analyses, and perform trade studies for flight hardware vis-à-vis implications to the comm system.
  • Work with digital design, flight software, and ground systems team to transmit data across analog and digital platforms as a technical authority for the packetization and architecture of the comms data.
  • Create dedicated test setups and procedures for antenna checkout, radio peripheral checkout, cable/phasing network checkout, ground station compatibility tests, and channel simulation tests
  • Work with production testers to develop and execute test plans that ensure adequate testing of units and the complete system
  • Interface with supplier/vendors as needed to support subsystem design, development, and production
  • Seek out new technologies, tools and approaches to maintain Spaceflight’s position as a leader in efficient space system engineering

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelors of Science (or greater) degree in Electrical or Aerospace Engineering
  • 4+ years of experience with RF communication systems and/or electrical design and test
  • Understanding of EE fundamentals/RF communications systems physics
  • Familiarity with existing communications technology in aerospace and space industries
  • Experience developing and validating RF link budget calculations from a first principles perspective
  • Knowledge of key parameters for Noise and Linearity for RF Systems and their impact on system performance
  • Familiarity with using RF and Electrical Test Equipment (e.g. oscilloscope, power meter, spectrum analyzer, signal generator, VNA, noise sources, etc)

Desired Qualifications:

  • 6+ years in RF development/research and production
  • Familiarity with Digital Design, Xilinx FPGAs, and VHDL
  • Understanding of radiation effects on electronics
  • Prior experience working within Linux development environments
  • Knowledge of CSDS communications standard and AES/GCM encryption
  • Previous experience working with Altium or similar tools for circuit design/schematic capture and library management.
  • Experience with test automation and efficient data processing (Labview, Python, Matlab)
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