Flight Dynamics Engineer

Company Details

The first and only space-based cellular broadband network

SpaceMobile and our global partners are building the first and only space-based cellular broadband network to be accessible by standard smartphones. Called SpaceMobile, this ultra-powerful network is being designed to provide connectivity at 4G/5G speeds everywhere on the planet – on land, at sea and in flight.

The Flight Dynamics Engineer is responsible for satellite flight dynamics, collision avoidance and satellite maneuvering for the AST constellation. This position will work with satellite Attitude and Orbit Control Subsystem (AOCS) engineers to perform prelaunch and on-orbit operational flight dynamics planning and analysis. This is a day staff position, with periodic shift support during critical orbital events and satellite maneuvers. The Flight Dynamics Engineer plays an integral role in achieving AST’s goals of maintaining a safe constellation from launch to end-of-life (EOL).

This position reports to the AST College Park, MD office but can be remote for the right candidate.

Duties and Responsibilities 

  • Analyze AST satellite Flight Dynamics from initial launch to mission to EOL de-orbit for the entire constellation including:Orbit Determination
  • Maneuver Planning and Performance
  • Collision Mitigation and response to conjunction events
  • Constellation Analysis
  • Develop Flight Dynamics concepts of operations (CONOPS) and processes that evolve throughout the lifetime of the AST constellation
  • Perform trade studies on Flight Dynamics software tools
  • Support development and implementation of automated Flight Dynamics software tools
  • Develop, test, and validate operational Flight Dynamics procedures and processes
  • Configure, operate, and troubleshoot Flight Dynamics software tools.
  • Support mission readiness activities including operations tests, mission simulations, and rehearsals
  • Support the mission operations team during LEOP and on-orbit maneuvers, including possible periodic rotating shifts
  • Coordinate with external organizations and agencies including launch vehicle providers, commercial ground stations, NASA, and the US Space Force for creation, validation, and distribution of all satellite ephemeris products including satellite pointing vectors and orbital event files
  • Develop and execute orbit estimation algorithms
  • Work with satellite AOCS and propulsion subsystem engineers to perform satellite maneuver planning including collision avoidance and EOL maneuvers
  • Develop, monitor, and maintain long term constellation trending and orbit stability
  • Conduct atmospheric modeling and trending for drag analysis and forecasting
  • Support system development activities such as design reviews, readiness reviews, requirements management, architecture development, integration & test, and formal program milestones
  • Provide Flight Dynamics training, mentoring and guidance to the mission operations team

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in Engineering or Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (STEM) field
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Familiarity with orbit analysis tools, i.e. GMAT, OREKIT, STK, FreeFlyer
  • Strong technical background in orbital mechanics/astrodynamics
  • Experience with Matlab
  • Strong analytical and computing skills
  • Ability to work in a remote, distributed team with diversified individuals with varying backgrounds to achieve mission success
  • Ability to work to tight deadlines in high stress environments.
  • Comfortable working in a Windows and Linux environment
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently
  • High level of problem-solving capabilities
  • Ability to work in an environment with rapidly evolving system requirements
  • Must be fully vaccinated for COVID

Preferred Qualifications

  • 5+ years’ experience, and/or Masters/PhD degree
  • Multi-satellite LEO constellation operations experience
  • Experience with satellite rendezvous and proximity operations
  • 5-10 years of satellite astrodynamics analysis experience including orbit determination, maneuver planning, error analysis, and perturbation analysis
  • Experience developing mission products including procedures and command scripts using script languages such as Python and Ruby
  • System engineering experience or significant classwork in system engineering or system design
  • Comfortable working on applications deployed in AWS

Tagged as: Matlab, orekit, freeflyer, flight dynamics, AWS, STK, gmat, orbital mechanics/astrodynamics

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