Spacecraft GNC Engineer
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Spacecraft GNC Engineer



Spire Global is a space-to-cloud analytics company that owns and operates the largest multi-purpose constellation of satellites. Its proprietary data and algorithms provide the most advanced maritime, aviation, and weather tracking in the world. In addition to its constellation, Spire’s data infrastructure includes a global ground station network and 24/7 operations that provide real-time global coverage of every point on Earth. 

As part of the drive to better serve our customers and deliver higher volumes of lower-latency data, Spire is developing optical communications systems, both for space-to-ground and intersatellite-links as an addition to its existing RF-based comms network. Optical communications are made particularly challenging due to the tight pointing and tracking requirements, and as a GNC engineer you’ll help architect and build the systems that solve these problems and enable a next generation communication system for the Spire constellation. 

As an engineer at Spire, you’ll move fast, iterate quickly, and solve global problems. You might be the right fit if you love exciting technical challenges, hate getting bored, and enjoy collaborating with engineers who are changing the way the world thinks about space, satellites, and data.

Responsibilities of your role:

  • Design, model, analyze, integrate and operate GNC (Guidance, Navigation and Control) systems for small spacecraft. Help translate system requirements into architectures and drive subsystem trade-offs
  • Contribute to the development of spacecraft attitude control systems, including fine pointing systems for critical payloads and subsystems (e.g. optical communication systems)
  • Design, evaluate, select, qualify and implement flight sensors and actuators, including optical systems (e.g. steerable mirrors)
  • Prototype and help productionize algorithms for precise pointing, acquisition and tracking systems
  • Develop and utilize spacecraft dynamics and control simulations, including 'hardware-in-the-loop'
  • Be hands-on in laboratory and manufacturing environments during testing, integration, and qualification of flight systems
  • Provide support and analysis for on-orbit operations of your systems
  • Represent your work to internal and external stakeholders and reviewers

Basic Qualifications:

  • Extensive experience with spacecraft attitude dynamics and control algorithms, with emphasis on practical application of knowledge
  • Experience with flight sensors and actuators for spacecraft attitude determination, estimation and control (e.g steerable mirror, gimbals, quadrant detectors, APDs, star cameras, horizon and sun sensors etc.) 
  • Experience with simulation environments (e.g. 42, Matlab, simulink, STK)
  • Basic knowledge of optics, photonics, and opto-mechanical systems
  • Experience developing software using C/Python
  • Experience or familiarity with the Linux development environment

Preferred Qualifications: 

  • Experience with multi-stage fine pointing systems
  • Experience designing and/or implementing Kalman filters for attitude estimation
  • Experience with electro-optical and opto-mechanical aspects of optical systems such as actuators, sensors, optical fibers, lasers, and other systems (e.g. steerable mirrors)
  • Experience with laser-based communication systems
  • Experience with image processing
  • Experience with space terminal pointing, acquisition and tracking algorithms
  • Experience with spacecraft or spacecraft subsystem assembly, integration, and testing
  • Experience with ECSS standards
  • Experience with typical ESA documentation processes
  • Scientific programming experience (e.g. Python, Matlab)
  • Experience with spacecraft operations and maintenance (e.g. identifying and resolving system anomalies)
  • Experience working with external engineering contractors
  • Experience in system architecture, tradeoff processes, risk management, etc

Spire is Global and our success draws upon the diverse viewpoints, skills and experiences of our employees. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, gender identity or veteran status.




Want to join us?

We are constantly looking for bright growth-minded people to join our teams around the world. If you would like to join us you can email your CV here:

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