Electro-Optical Payload Engineer

  • Full Time
  • USA
  • Posted 3 months ago
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen. This requirement cannot be waived.

Company Details

About Us:

BlackSky is a geospatial intelligence solutions provider that enables organizations to task, collect, and transform data from earth observation, global sensor networks, mobile devices, and social media to deliver on-demand insights about places, events, and assets that are critical to their operations. BlackSky provides satellite collection, data, and cloud-based processing and analytic solutions to organizations that are capitalizing on the exponential growth of a wide range of sensor and collection platforms for delivering the next generation of geo-intelligence and location intelligence solutions. BlackSky has extensive expertise and capabilities in commercial remote sensing, multi-source analytics, cloud computing, open source software development, Amazon Web Services, and big data geospatial analytics. BlackSky is operating and deploying a constellation of high-resolution imaging spacecraft to image the planet in near real time.

About the Position:

BlackSky seeks an Electro-Optical Payload Engineer (EOPE) to spearhead the development and on-orbit operation of the imaging payloads in the BlackSky constellation.

BlackSky is deploying a constellation of high-resolution Earth imaging satellites that together provide near real-time data on an ever-changing world. As a member of the BlackSky Imaging department, the EOPE is instrumental in delivering imagery products that power our geospatial knowledge engine.

The EOPE will work extensively with the other members of BlackSky’s Imaging Department, BlackSky’s Satellite Engineering Department, and BlackSky’s portfolio of external development teams as the technical authority supporting, performing, and/or directing the design, build, and test of BlackSky’s imaging payloads.

The EOPE will create specifications and development plans for new payload concepts, conduct key design activities and provide technical oversight for payloads in development, oversee final environmental test and satellite integration for payloads in production, and support the operation of on-orbit payloads. The EOPE will also support BlackSky’s image processing team to develop the tools and processes to autonomously characterize, monitor, and improve the performance of BlackSky’s on-orbit imaging systems and contribute their extensive knowledge of imaging systems to enhance and expand the portfolio of BlackSky’s imagery products.

About You:

The successful candidate is expected to have a strong knowledge of imaging sensors and optical systems (visible and infrared) paired with hands-on experience with optical design, opto-mechanical design, payload build, and payload test. Experience overseeing procurement of optical systems from external suppliers is desired, as is experience with air/space payload systems engineering and familiarity with satellite subsystems and operations. The EOPE is a fundamentally collaborative role and will work with Integrated Product Teams across the organization, as well as with external suppliers, requiring excellent verbal and written communication skills.


  • Develop specifications for future space-based imaging systems
  • Perform key opto-mechanical design and/or key optical design activities
  • Provide technical oversight to external imaging payload design activities
  • Provide technical oversight to procurement of imaging payloads
  • Support the ground qualification and test of future imaging systems
  • Support the commissioning of each new imaging system after launch
  • Resolve any on-orbit failures or anomalies that arise during the life of the imaging system
  • Support the development of the processes and tools to autonomously characterize, monitor, and improve the performance of on-orbit imaging systems
  • Contribute extensive experience in payload design and performance to improve the portfolio of BlackSky imagery products


  • 7+ years experience designing, building and testing advanced Electro-Optical payloads
  • Broad knowledge of detector phenomenology and imaging sensor technologies
  • Comprehensive Electro-Optical systems analysis capabilities: SNR, MTF, NIIRS, etc.
  • Expert level optical and opto-mechanical engineering skills and understanding
  • Expert level payload systems engineering skills and understanding
  • Understanding of satellite/payload interfaces and CONOPS constraints
  • Personality that enjoys working in a dynamic, multi-task environment
  • Excellent presentation and communication skills
  • Excellent organization and time management skills
  • A passion for technology and rapid execution of sophisticated space missions
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen. This requirement cannot be waived.

Desired Skills:

  • Experience in the opto-mechanical design of space-based imaging systems
  • Experience specifying, designing, building, and testing space-based imaging systems
  • Experienced leading integration and test of small-satellite optical payloads
  • Experience working with CCD and CMOS sensors
  • Experience with on-orbit calibration of space-based imaging systems
  • Experience coding in Python
  • Experience developing tools for data trending and analysis
  • Familiarity with satellite subsystems and operational/environmental constraints

BlackSky is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce. We are proud to be an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer All Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.


Tagged as: python, conops, opto-mechanical, electro-optical payloads, detector phenomenology, imaging sensor, snr/mtf/niirs, satellite/payload interfaces

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