Satellite Operations & Automation Engineer

Hawthorne, CA, United States

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Posted 4 months ago

SpaceX was founded under the belief that a future where humanity is out exploring the stars is fundamentally more exciting than one where we are not. Today SpaceX is actively developing the technologies to make this possible, with the ultimate goal of enabling human life on Mars.


As an Operations & Automation Engineer in Satellite Avionics, you will have a unique opportunity to characterize and develop the systems required to fly a new satellite platform in space. Working as a cross disciplinary expert, you will ensure that the software running the vehicle is safe and reliable and make updates to code that not only alerts you, the operator, to issues on orbit but also safely recovers the vehicle autonomously from myriad anomalies to ensure continued operational availability. You will work with subsystem responsible engineers, software engineers, and electrical design engineers to understand and evaluate how the satellite should be operated and execute that vision. You will operate the satellite while on orbit and while on the ground in test and support check outs of the vehicle in the lead up to launch. You will help develop and refine the tool chains needed to make the job and review more accessible and through a process of continuous improvement, you will automate the operations of the satellite to the point of minimal user intervention.


  • Work collaboratively in multidisciplinary teams to represent the avionics system in defining scope, system requirements, and vehicle level operations software
  • Own full systems and avionics sub-systems operational knowledge, FDIR, and alerts as well as being responsible for mission success
  • Create, maintain and communicate detailed schedules ensuring that all assigned personnel are aware of theirs tasks and deadlines while identifying required resources and securing allocation to meet need
  • Define and perform checkouts to integrate hardware and software on a flight vehicle
  • Define and perform checkouts to verify and validate operations software on a flight vehicle including FDIR and alerts as well as nominal operations and automation
  • Specify and drive creation of representative flight hardware test tables or system simulators to support software development and system verification and validation
  • Troubleshoot issues on prototype and production assemblies on an aggressive schedule
  • Support integration and test at customer facility and launch site to ensure mission success
  • Support on orbit operations through the life of the satellites
  • Continuous improvement on automation and satellite ops
  • Improvement and creation of tool chains to aid in the review and authoring of operations software


  • Bachelor’s degree in an engineering discipline
  • Prior experience in real time operations
  • Prior experience authoring and reviewing software
  • 2+ years of professional experience in system-level integration of electronic components and  system-level testing including system and sub-system ownership
  • 2+ years of professional experience managing complex technical projects and developing and tracking schedules


  • Master's degree or PhD in an engineering discipline 
  • Experience designing, testing, or integrating electrical hardware 
  • Experience with Python
  • Experience with automating complex systems
  • Experience writing FDIR control logic
  • Systems knowledge of space vehicles and redundancy architectures
  • Experience with real time operations on space qualified vehicles or other highly complex systems
  • Experience with on-orbit operations
  • Hands-on experience using electrical test equipment (multimeters, oscilloscopes, power supplies, etc.)
  • Creative, passionate problem solver that can thrive leading multidisciplinary teams through fast paced, autonomously driven, and demanding design and integration campaigns
  • Strong sense of accountability, integrity, and team focus with extensive multi-tasking and organizational experience
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills


  • Must be able to work extended hours and weekends as needed
  • Some travel may be required; ~20%


  • To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) you must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State. Learn more about the ITAR here.  

SpaceX is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with SpaceX 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.

Applicants wishing to view a copy of SpaceX’s Affirmative Action Plan for veterans and individuals with disabilities, or applicants requiring reasonable accommodation to the application/interview process should notify the Human Resources Department at (310) 363-6000.

Job tags: C Python