Research Technologist III

  • Full Time
  • USA
  • Posted 2 weeks ago
  • JPL will not accept applications from citizens of designated countries or those born in a designated country unless they are Legal Permanent Residents of the U.S or have other protected status under 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3)

Company Details

Dare Mighty Things

Job Details

New ideas are all around us, but only a few will change the world. That’s our focus at JPL. We ask the biggest questions, then search the universe for answers—literally. We build upon ideas that have guided generations, then share our discoveries to inspire generations to come. Your mission—your opportunity—is to seek out the answers that bring us one step closer. If you’re driven to discover, create, and inspire something that lasts a lifetime and beyond, you’re ready for JPL.

Located in Pasadena, California, JPL has a campus-like environment situated on 177 acres in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and offers a work environment unlike any other: we inspire passion, foster innovation, build collaboration, and reward excellence.


The Tracking Systems and Application Section provides world-leading capability and expertise in a wide range of technologies that are critical to spacecraft tracking and related applications. The Section supports algorithm development, calibration and validation of NASA’s satellite altimeter missions as well as NASA’s deep-space missions by providing to the JPL navigators unique and extremely precise radiometric sources and data types. The Section provides the Deep Space Network (DSN) with precision atomic frequency and time references and distribution systems. The Section also delivers to JPL navigators a host of other products that are required for deep space navigation such as celestial and terrestrial reference frame coordinates, Earth orientation parameters, and calibrations to account for the effects of the Earth’s troposphere and ionosphere on radio-frequency metric tracking data-types.

For terrestrial and near-Earth users the Section offers the highest accuracy Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)-based positioning and timing products and services. The Section also performs extensive scientific investigations using its technologies in the areas of planetary dynamics, astrophysics, astrometry and radio astronomy, gravitational waves, geophysics, and fundamental physics.


You will be a Research Technologist in the Near-Earth Tracking Applications (NETA) Group undertaking cutting-edge research and development in algorithms, calibration, and validation of NASA’s satellite altimeter missions, including, but not limited to the Jason and Sentinel-6 series. Work in teams to contribute to research and development of science data system algorithms and calibration/validation activities for the suite of JPL-supported altimetry missions: Jason-1, Jason-2, Jason-3, Sentinel-6, and SWOT missions. Contribute to the end-to-end calibration and validation of each component of the measurement system and the science data products for these missions. Apply established approaches, and contribute to the development of novel approaches, for calibration and validation of satellite altimeter measurement systems to identify and mitigate errors in those systems. Perform routine quality control, calibration and validation of science data products for these missions. Contribute to publication in the peer-reviewed literature, as well as presentations at professional society and altimetry mission science team meetings. Contribute to proposals to support related research activities. Use skills in Python and C++ to develop new, or maintain existing, satellite altimeter measurement system calibration and validation tools.


The NETA group performs cutting edge satellite altimetry calibration and validation in support of NASA’s satellite altimeter missions, as well as advanced research and applications in GNSS positioning and signal analysis. Come and join our dynamic team!


Required Skills:

  • Bachelors degree in Engineering, Math, Physics, or related technical discipline with typically a minimum of 6 years of related experience; Masters degree in similar disciplines with a minimum of 4 years of related experience; or PhD with 2 years of experience in similar disciplines.
  • Knowledge in one or more of the following related fields: numerical analysis, data analysis, mathematical modeling, estimation theory, probability/statistics, linear algebra, large dataset analysis.
  • Data analysis of scientific data from space science missions
  • Knowledge of applicable industry and/or academic practices and standards in Python and/or C++ programming languages.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to work in large teams.


Desired Skills:

  • Experience in one or more of the following related fields: satellite altimetry, synthetic aperture radar data processing and analysis, Kalman filtering.
  • Experience with the development of algorithms to process raw pulse-limited and/or Synthetic Aperture Radar instrument data.
  • Experience developing data analysis software packages and analyzing global data sets.
  • Experience performing calibration and validation in satellite altimetry.


Closing Statement:

JPL is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to sex, race, color, religion, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, pregnancy or perceived pregnancy, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, protected military or veteran status or any other characteristic or condition protected by Federal, state or local law.


In addition, JPL is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor.


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The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a federal facility. Due to rules imposed by NASA, JPL will not accept applications from citizens of designated countries or those born in a designated country unless they are Legal Permanent Residents of the U.S or have other protected status under 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3). The Designated Countries List is available here.

Tagged as: spacecraft tracking, near-earth tracking applications, satellite altimetry, deep-space navigation

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