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Optical Free Space Communications, Team Lead

Spire — Glasgow
Optical Free Space Communications, Team Lead - image

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 exploring optical communications, both for space-to-ground and intersatellite-links as an addition to its existing RF-based comms network. You will lead the team and help drive and architect optical communications systems.

As an engineer and leader 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:

  • Lead a small team of engineers developing free space optical communication solutions
  • Manage projects, work with management to set priorities for the team, and plan day-to-day work
  • Manage optical subsystems requirements
  • Maintain the optical link budgets
  • Drive the architecture and systems design of optical communications subsystems
  • Coordinate with spacecraft systems teams to coordinate vehicle-level requirements

Qualifications / Experience:

  • Experience managing people on small technical teams
  • Experience managing complex technical projects with a lot of dependencies
  • Experience leading technical projects from inception to operations
  • Good working knowledge of optics and photonics, applicable to laser communication systems
  • Hands-on experience with optical and photonics test benches and optical test equipment
  • Experience with optical link budgets
  • Experience with digital modulation techniques and communication protocols
  • Component-level knowledge of optical system hardware (e.g. diodes, fiber-optics, gratings, filters, mirrors etc.)
  • Experience with Pointing, Acquisition, and Tracking (PAT) systems
  • Experience with software aspects of optical communications
  • Experience in system architecture, tradeoff processes, risk management, etc.

Strong candidates will also possess skills in one or more of the following areas:

  • Experience with spacecraft-based laser systems
  • Experience with ECSS standards
  • Experience with typical ESA documentation processes
  • Scientific programming experience (e.g. Python, Matlab)



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