Communications Systems Engineer
Austin, TX / Denver, CO / Remote /
Satellite imagery is a historically-scarce resource, whose adoption has been slowed by an unbalanced relationship between price and resolution. In theory, frequent, ultra high-resolution imagery of Earth has near infinite applications; in reality, only a sliver of that potential has been realized.
Albedo aims to be the catalyst in unlocking satellite imagery’s latent potential, hoping to expand current applications and propel the discovery of new use cases. Whether our imagery is being used to reduce wildfire risk, assess the environmental impact of global forestry, contribute to timely 3D reconstructions of urban areas, or monitor carbon emissions from industrial power plants, our mission is to get better data into the hands of decision makers fast. We’re modernizing how satellite imagery is used by providing near real-time access to our ultra-high resolution data.
What We’re Up To: Albedo is developing a novel approach to the earth observation industry, both in space and with our business model. We are intentionally doing things differently by taking (calculated) risks, trying new things, and moving with speed. Our team believes satellite imagery is a valuable resource that should be made accessible, in every sense of the word. We are committed to our customers, ensuring that what we’re building is what they want. We are playing at the edges of how traditional New Space technologies have been approached, and we want to shake up the industry as it stands today.
Who We’re Looking For: Albedo is launching next-generation, ultra high-resolution imaging satellites to service a global audience through a modern, cloud-based product interface. In order to achieve this goal, we are looking for a team of people who are both passionate about our mission and are willing to put in the work to design, develop, and test an innovative earth observation concept in the commercial industry. The times ahead will be set in a fast-paced, often uncertain environment, but if you are hard-working, kind, and team-oriented, you can expect a rewarding and purposeful experience.
We’re looking for a Lead Communications Systems Engineer to join our Space team. You will be responsible for all aspects of space-ground communication.
What You'll Do
- Develop and refine link budgets for all system communication links
- Evaluate supplier RF designs for Albedo space-ground link, providing guidance and performing analysis as needed
- Continuously collaborate with engineering team to address mechanical, thermal, and power subsystems and interfaces
- Drive definition and maturation of the communications aspects of the CONOPS and Design Reference Mission
- Develop atmospherics budgets for different candidate ground stations and resulting link closure weather availability as a function of link rate and candidate designs
- Prepare engineering documentation, reports, and test plans
- Coordinate with governing bodies (FCC, ITU) to provide necessary inputs for Albedo’s architecture and licensing approvals
- Identify and communicate technical, cost, and schedule risks for communication systems and subsystems
- Oversee procurement and instantiation of cloud-based software defined radio modulation and demodulation services
- Lead technical engagements with Ground Station as a Service providers (AWS Ground Station, Azure Orbital, KSAT, etc.)
- Travel as needed to supplier locations and interface with vendors as the technical representative and subcontracts manager.
- Support other aspects of the system development effort as time, interest, and expertise allow
- Ideally, evaluate digital designs for mission data chains, and perform digital design integration of timing, formats, and mission data chain closure across subsystems
Minimum Technical Skills and Experience
- Expertise in X-band and Ka-band Gbps-class microsatellite-sized communications systems, modulations, and challenges
- Familiarity with software defined radios
- Technical background in data management, power, FSW review and analysis
- Experience in developing RF link budgets and data throughput analysis
- Familiarity with analog and RF circuit design from baseband through X-band
- Knowledge of test equipment design, testing or operation
- Knowledge of testing activities such as thermal, vibration, and EMI testing
- Additional space systems engineering expertise (such as digital system design, systems engineering, power systems, test planning, etc.)
- B.S. or greater in relevant engineering or physics discipline plus at least 3 years of relevant experience
Ideal Additional Technical Skills and Experience
- 3+ years of prior relevant experience in Electrical or Computer Engineering
- Working knowledge of modern FPGA architectures and external interfaces, including high speed converters, DDR RAM, Solid State NAND and NOR based storage, timing analyses
- Familiarity with standard physical layers for digital communication (UART, SPI, LVDS, Ethernet)
- Familiarity with analyzing bit error rates and the selection and sizing of EDAC/FEC
- Experience developing FPGA based hardware for the space environment
- Experience in development (design, fabrication, integration & test) of space-based electronics (requirements, interfaces and concept development)
- Knowledge of embedded software integration and test, configuration management
Additional Requirements: In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification form upon hire. All persons hired will be required to be a U.S. citizen, a lawful permanent resident of the U.S., or protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State. Albedo is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.
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