PAYLOAD SYSTEMS ENGINEER

Company Details

Using space to help life on Earth

Welcome to Planet. We believe in using space to help life on Earth.

Planet designs, builds, and operates the largest constellation of imaging satellites in history. This constellation delivers an unprecedented dataset of empirical information via a revolutionary cloud-based platform to authoritative figures in commercial, environmental, and humanitarian sectors. We are both a space company and data company all rolled into one.

Customers and users across the globe use Planet’s data to develop new technologies, drive revenue, power research, and solve our world’s toughest obstacles.

As we control every component of hardware design, manufacturing, data processing, and software engineering, our office is a truly inspiring mix of experts from a variety of domains.

We have a people-centric approach toward culture and community and we strive to iterate in a way that puts our team members first and prepares our company for growth. Join Planet and be a part of our mission to change the way people see the world.

Planet is headquartered in San Francisco, California, Earth.

Job description

Planet designs, builds, and operates the largest constellation of imaging satellites in history. This constellation delivers an unprecedented dataset of empirical information via a revolutionary cloud-based platform to decision-makers in commercial, environmental, and humanitarian sectors. We are both a space company and data company all rolled into one.

Our Payload group is looking for a (Senior, Staff) Optical Payload Systems Engineer to join the team that is designing, building, and operating an advanced mission that will become an extension to the largest optical imaging constellation ever deployed in space. We are responsible for system-level analysis, operations, simulations, and development for our earth observation payloads. Our team works at the intersection of hardware, software, and product engineering teams within the Space Systems Division. The role will appeal to candidates that enjoy the interchange between photography, science, systems engineering, manufacturing, testing, and operations.

The candidate will be responsible for:

  • Leading the design, manufacturing, testing, and operation of new and advanced imaging systems
  • Deriving, owning, and driving the payload requirements from inception to mission implementation to on-orbit operation
  • Negotiating and implementing interface control documents within the payload systems, with the spacecraft bus, and with external vendors.
  • Supporting the development and implementation of verification and validation plans for the payload system.
  • Leading the payload cross-team collaborations between the hardware, satellite operations, imaging pipeline, and embedded software teams.
  • Developing and validating on-orbit payload concept of operation (new acquisition modes, on-orbit optical performance assessment  and calibration methods, etc)
  • Troubleshooting image quality issues and developing long-term mitigations and improvements to on-orbit operation
  • Contributing to the design and modeling of new imaging systems and new on-board image processing

MUST HAVES

  • 5+ years of experience designing and testing airborne or space imaging payloads and/or telescopes.
  • A passion for photography, earth sciences, and geography
  • Hands-on can-do attitude, great interpersonal skills and ability to collaborate effectively across many technical teams
  • Practical experience in solving problems by exploiting large cloud-based datasets
  • Experience with a variety of silicon and non-silicon imagers
  • Experience leveraging scientific tools based in Python, MATLAB,  and/or C/C++ to advance design maturity and analyze system performance
  • BS/MS in optics/instrumentation, physics, EE or relevant scientific/engineering field

NICE-TO-HAVES

  • 5+ years of experience in a technical leadership role
  • PhD in optics/instrumentation, physics, EE or relevant scientific/engineering field
  • 5+ years in optical design, optical testing and STOP analysis (Sigfit), particularly for mid-sized aperture telescopes
  • 5+ years GIS, remote sensing, photogrammetry, or mapping work experience
  • Experience as the directly responsible individual on projects of significant scope and/or complexity.
  • Practical experience in using optical metrology instrumentation (interferometers, wavefront sensors, collimators, monochromators, etc) to perform alignment, characterization, and MTF measurements.
  • Experience with optical design software (Zemax, sequential and non-sequential)
  • Solid Machine Learning and Dynamical Systems foundation

Benefits While Working at Planet:

  • Comprehensive Health Plan
  • Wellness program and onsite massages in specific offices
  • Flexible Time Off
  • Recognition Programs
  • Commuter Benefits
  • Learning and Tuition Reimbursement
  • Parental Leave
  • Offsites and Happy Hours
  • Volunteering Benefits

Some Press About Us: 

  • Our CEO, Will Marshall featured on TED and featured in a Planet Blog
  • “Planet: Bringing Space Back Down to Earth”
  • Tiny, privately owned satellites are changing how we view the Earth features in NBC News
  • “Planet And Rocket Lab Create Mission Patch To Honor Women In Aerospace” —Planet Blog

Why we care so much about Belonging.

We’re dedicated to helping the whole Planet, and to do that we must strive to represent all of it within each of our offices and on all of our teams. That’s why Planet is guided by an ultimate  north star of Belonging, dreaming big as we approach our ongoing work with diversity, equity and inclusion.  If this job intrigues you, but you’re thinking you might not have all the qualifications, please… do apply!  At Planet, we are looking for well-rounded people from around the world who can contribute to more ways than just what is listed in this job description.  We don’t just fill positions, we aspire to fulfill people’s careers, most excited about folks who are motivated by our underlying humanitarian efforts.  We are a few orbits around the sun before we get to where we want to be, so we hope you’re excited to come along for the ride.

Tagged as: remote sensing, gis, photogrammetry, optical testing and stop analysis (sigfit)

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