AVIONICS INTEGRATION ENGINEER (Launch site)
Are you passionate about spaceflight and eager to work hands-on with flight hardware, balancing system-level knowledge with a detailed understanding of individual subsystems? Do you have electrical or controls experience (as an electrical, mechanical, or aerospace engineer- or through awesome university projects)? The Vandenberg Integration Team is looking for talented new-grads and experienced professionals to join our fast-paced and collaborative Avionics Integration Team.
Flight computers, sensors, power systems, etc. – if it’s electrical and it flies, the Avionics Integration Engineer is responsible for it! In this role, you would author and execute functional checkout procedures on the rocket and payload avionics after their arrival at the launch site. You will be responsible for the critical customer interfaces between SpaceX hardware and payload avionics, performing for final verifications of mission-critical systems. While the rocket is on site, the majority of your time will be spent in and around the Falcon 9 conducting hands-on integration and troubleshooting. The Integration Team is also responsible for interfaces between the vehicle and pad systems which are critical for launch and allow the rocket to be remote-controlled on the pad. You will be at the end of Falcon 9’s life cycle as a part of the team that is the last set of hands and eyes on the system before launch operations begin.
All integration engineers are tasked with critically evaluating current vehicle integration processes in an attempt to drive greater system efficiencies and more robust automation. While hardware design is not a primary responsibility of this role (<50% of the time), integration engineers utilize a broad range of multi-disciplinary knowledge, drawing from industrial, hardware, software and electrical engineering to solve these problems. In an effort to realize Elon’s goal of making spaceflight as ubiquitous and affordable as airline travel, launch site processing timelines will need to be significantly reduced from several weeks to 24 hours. Are you up for the challenge?
EXAMPLE INTEGRATION ENGINEER SPECIAL PROJECTS:
Automation, automation, automation – In order to achieve Elon’s hefty goals of launching in 24 hours, the launch site is pushing hard for expediting vehicle processing. While we “learn to do the process” first and foremost, we are quickly enabled and constantly required to find how to do it faster. With that in mind, here are some projects we are working on at the launch site:
- Automated mating of stages, utilizing the sensing system (strain gages, cDAQ hardware for analog sensing, networking the hardware together) and the motorized arm mechanism to transition time and labor-intensive process to a single click automation.
- Automated leak check carts to automate the pressurizing and venting of our vehicle helium checkout system, nitrogen attitude control system, as well as pressurizing the stage propellant tanks while in the hangar. With dozens of hand valve and regulator adjustments per shift during pressurized system checkouts, coupled with numerous flex hose mates/demates to and from the vehicle, this fluid interface for vehicle processing is ripe with improvement opportunities.
- Provide engineering expertise in the areas of test and integration of avionics hardware in support of our launch vehicles and spacecraft
- Collaborate with teams company-wide to coordinate systems verifications, risk assessment, and final launch configurations
- Design automated testing of vehicle and payload avionics systems, manage ground support build, perform vehicle powered ops and functional verification tests
- Resolve issues and creatively solve problems that arise
- Strategize integration campaigns and streamline launch site processing operations
- Launch, recovery and refurbishment operations support
- Data review, anomaly investigation and resolution
- Bachelor’s Degree in an engineering discipline
- At least 3 years of combined project and/or professional experience in the electrical, mechanical or aerospace engineering field
- Project or professional experience testing, integrating and troubleshooting complex multi-disciplinary systems
PREFERRED SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE:
- Expert knowledge of analog, digital or mixed-signal design principles including designs using operational amplifiers, filters, and transistors
- Excellent communication skills both written and verbal
- Demonstrated practical knowledge of electromagnetic interference (EMI) principles and mitigation techniques
- Process improvement implementation experience and general knowledge of automation techniques
- Strong knowledge of- and experience in-analog to digital and digital to analog converters, power supply components and design, analog testing/troubleshooting techniques, and signal integrity, layout and grounding principles
- Understanding of computers and programming languages (C++, LabVIEW, and/or Python)
- Knowledge of high-reliability processes and related documentation practices
- Passion for advancing the commercial space industry and human spaceflight
- Strong work ethic and drive to succeed
- Ability to work in a fast paced, autonomously driven, and demanding start-up atmosphere
- Eagerness to apply practical electrical engineering techniques in a unique work environment to solve problems and facilitate testing
- Ability to perform job duties that require standing, kneeling, crouching, twisting upper body, working in cramped positions in small openings and climbing hand over hand.
- Ability to work at elevated heights (up to 300 feet), including the use of ladders
- Willing to operate heavy machinery
- Physical effort with climbing up and down stairs regularly throughout the day
- Physical effort with some handling of supplies or materials (up to 35 lbs)
- Ability to work in confined spaces
- Occasionally exposed to work in extreme outdoor environments – heat, cold, rain
- Work performed in an environment requiring exposure to fumes, odors, and noise
- When necessary, must be willing to work long hours and weekends to support launch and critical project timelines
- Must pass Vandenberg Air Force background check
- To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, applicant 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 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.