embedded system

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.

As a Guidance and Control engineer at JPL, you will be working for JPL’s Guidance and Control Section (343) where you have the opportunity to design and operate the world’s most advanced spacecraft, aircraft, and robots for deep-space and planetary exploration. The Section 343 is responsible for system engineering, design and analysis, hardware development/procurement, testing, and operations support in G&C areas for unique planetary, deep-space, earth-orbiting, and astrophysics missions. We also do world class research and technology development in autonomous guidance, navigation and control systems including pin-point and safe landing, space rendezvous, precision pointing, controlled optics, vision-based navigation, planetary aerial flight/rotorcraft, formation flying, and other key areas that enable future planetary exploration.

As part of the Entry, Descent, and Landing Guidance and Control Systems Group (3436) you would be responsible for modeling and analyzing spacecraft flight mechanics performance as it is affected by guidance, navigation and control (GN&C) embedded software in relevant environments.  Performance analysis includes vehicle targeting for in-situ landing, embedded software parameter determination, spacecraft and algorithm performance margin assessment, outlier behavior investigations, and vehicle and sub-system performance reliability analysis.  We also receive and develop various models of spacecraft environments and hardware, including planetary gravity models, atmospheric models, spacecraft sensors, actuators, and mechanisms.  The group also regularly executes sensitivity studies, uncertainty quantification analysis, and parameter optimization analyses.  We are responsible for the associated data mining, metrics development, and reporting to customers in all phases of development (formulation through operations).

Other responsibilities include:

·       Aiding fellow Guidance and Control Section (343) members in conceiving, designing, analyzing, simulating, overseeing, and assessing complex performance at the G&C subsystem level and flight vehicle level.

·       Integrating deliveries of G&C subsystem software and detailed sensor, actuator, and other flight hardware models for vehicle simulation and performance analysis.  Deliveries will vary in fidelity depending on heritage and analysis fidelity requirements in different as a project/task matures.

·       Developing tools and techniques to extract and present detailed performance metrics and reports from very large data sets (a.k.a. “data mining”) for the G&C, team and flight vehicle customers for EDL, Deorbit Descent and Landing (DDL), Aerocapture, Aerobraking, and small body proximity operations including Touch-and-Go (TaG) sampling.

·       Leading teams that assess flight mechanics and perform independent verification and validation of GN&C performance at the subsystem and vehicle system level, as well as coordinating their efforts to document the performance of these systems during all phases of a flight mission.


This position requires one of the following:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering, or Mechanical/Electrical Engineering with a focus on space applications with a minimum of 4-7 years of industry experience, or
  • Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering, or Mechanical/Electrical Engineering with a focus on space applications and a minimum of 2-5 years of industry experience, or
  • Ph.D. degree in Aerospace Engineering, or Mechanical/Electrical Engineering with a focus on space applications and a minimum of 0-3 years of industry experience.
  • US Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident


Requirements include:

  • A proven team player with growth potential to be an effective leader with excellent communication, interpersonal, verbal, prose writing, and presentation skills.
  • Understanding of Spacecraft Flight Mechanics fundamentals for modeling and analysis, such as orbital mechanics, aerodynamic modeling, and multi-body kinematics
  • A technical background in the areas of modern guidance, estimation and control with application to space systems (e.g. orbiters, Fly-by, and proximity operations/entry, descent, and landing/touch-and-go, and aerocapture)
  • Experience modeling typical spacecraft subsystems, such as:  liquid fuel thruster systems (pulsed and throttled), solid rocket motors, thrust vectoring systems, reaction wheels, solar array articulation actuators, antenna pointing actuators, separations actuators, inertial sensors, passive (camera-based) sensors, radar/lidar sensors, sun sensors, stellar sensors, magnetometer sensors, magnetic torque rods
  • Familiarity with aerodynamics, aerodynamic modeling, and aerothermal design considerations
  • Proficiency working in Linux OS using the shell and ssh for remote work
  • Proficiency in Python and C programming languages
  • Proficiency with at least one scientific computing analysis platform (e.g. Python SciPy stack (preferred), MATLAB, and/or Mathematica)
  • Experience exercising Sensitivity Study, Design/Parameter Optimization, and Uncertainty Quantification analysis techniques
  • Experience working with modern software management for teams (configuration control and continuous integration and deployment, such as Git/GitHub/Jenkins/Artifactory)

Additionally, it is highly desired that the candidate has a range of capabilities and experience drawn from any of the following areas:

  • Development of advanced EDL/DDL/Proximity Operations concepts for deep space (read: not Earth) exploration applications
  • Modeling/analyzing/testing atmospheric guidance and control sensor/software/hardware implementations (e.g. Apollo entry guidance w/ lifting capsule and pulse-width control roll thrusters)
  • Modeling /analyzing/testing terminal descent guidance and control implementations (e.g. gravity turn, polynomial guidance laws for pluse-width and/or throttled terminal descent thrusters)
  • Experience with time-domain simulation of multi-rate embedded systems
  • Exposure to with Terrain-Relative Navigation techniques and sensors (e.g. cameras, LIDAR, RADAR)
  • Familiarity with soft-goods deployed aerodynamic decelerators (e.g. parachutes, ballutes, SIADs, HIADs)
  • Familiarity with C++ and FORTRAN programming languages
  • Familiarity with automated Python-based software testing frameworks (e.g. pytest or unittest)
  • Familiarity with Python Packaging Authority (PyPA) and/or conda software packaging
  • Familiarity with Docker/Singularity containers
  • Familiarity with large-scale “embarrassingly parallel” scientific computing using job management tools like PBSPro or SLURM.

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.

EEO is the Law.

EEO is the Law Supplement

Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision

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.

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United States, JPL Campus, Pasadena, California
Posted 2 months ago
Job offer closed
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