Senior Optical Systems Engineer – Space laser comms

Company Details

Space connectivity reimagined. We are building deployable laser communication systems for the space-enabled networks of the future.

To support our growth, we are looking for an experienced Optical Systems Engineer with both design and Assembly Integration and Test experience to accelerate our technology and mission forward.

Join us at Archangel Lightworks, and you will be working with a fun, experienced, and forward-thinking space engineering team to deliver transformative free-space lasercom solutions to help solve some of Earth’s most critical problems, from economic inclusion to climate change. But that’s not all! We work extensively with aerospace primes, space agencies and specialist research partners which will provide you with exposure to cutting-edge technologies and exciting challenges, all in a fast-paced, supportive startup environment. You will be an integral part of a growing team which has already won international prizes and awards including having completed the Catalyst Accelerator which is backed by the US Air Force, Space Force and Microsoft.


As our Optical Systems Engineer, you will be responsible for the development of our optical subsystems, from requirements definition to testing in the field. You will work closely with the Lead Systems Engineer to deliver high performance optical assemblies for the next generation of lasercom systems. Your responsibilities will include:

  • Design of laser communication terminal optical sub-systems for extreme environments (e.g. telescopes, relays etc.).
  • Requirement definition and trade off analysis for complex optical systems, finding the optimal balance of performance against cost.
  • Modelling of optical system performance, optimization and tolerancing.
  • Practical breadboard testing to validate modelled data.
  • Working with AIT engineer to define and execute test procedures for optical subsystems.
  • Be the subject matter expert for optical and photonic systems.
  • Managing suppliers of optical and photonic components.


  • Experience defining requirements on optical systems, modelling and performing trades studies to inform design selection.
  • Optical design/analysis experience using Zemax for design, optimization and tolerancing. (Sequential, non-sequential desirable).
  • Hands on lab experience designing and carrying out tests for relevant optical systems.

Desirable Additional Skills:

  • Experience designing complex optical systems (telescopes, optical relays, etc.) for extreme environments in mass constrained applications.
  • Experience designing optical systems for extreme environments.
  • Experience with Structural, Thermal, Optical, Performance Analysis.
  • Experience developing systems incorporating control elements e.g. image stabilization, positioning systems.
  • Experience conducting stray light analysis and baffle design.
  • Experience taking an optical design from conceptual design through manufacturing integration and testing.
  • Experience with optical instrument calibration and alignment, and procedure definition.
  • Familiarity with optical and photonic components relevant to free space optical communications. (e.g. types of laser, quadrant detectors, CMOS, Focal Plane Arrays, filters and coatings etc.)

Location: Hybrid with travel when required. Our office is currently based in Osney Mead, Oxford.

Compensation & Perks:

  • The opportunity to make a measurable difference in a growing startup building cutting edge technology to support a world-changing vision;
  • Flexibility: Options for flexible working hours, working from home and custom arrangements that matter to you;
  • Competitive compensation (salary, equity options scheme), alongside pension contribution and annual leave allowance
  • Investment in you to help you grow, with training resources and budget
  • A supportive team culture with high levels of ownership and responsibility
  • Annual team retreat, regular socials and weekly team lunch
  • A variety of additional perks including goodies, shopping discounts, learning and wellbeing app subscriptions.

Tagged as: engineering, systems engineering, optics

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