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.

This unique opportunity is part of the Autonomous Systems Division, which is responsible for technology development, advanced concepts, design, development, delivery, integration and test, verification and validation, and operation of Command and Data Handling (C&DH) Hardware, Flight Software, Power Systems, Robotic Systems, and Guidance and Control (G&C).

As a Guidance and Control Engineer at JPL, you will be working for JPL’s Guidance and Control Section 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 Guidance and Control Section 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 Control Analysis Group you would be responsible for developing spacecraft and payload/instrument guidance, navigation and control (GN&C) architecture, design, algorithms, analysis, computer simulation, flight software implementation, and performance validation.

Other responsibilities include:

  • Conceiving, designing, analyzing, simulating, overseeing, and assessing complex performance at the G&C subsystem level.

  • Ensuring the delivery of complex algorithms and software to G&C subsystem integration and test.

  • Developing and implementing detailed test and verification plans from the subsystem.

  • Leading teams that develop and operate these GN&C systems, as well as coordinating their efforts to validate and document the performance of these systems prior to delivering them to the customers.


This position requires a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Engineering or related technical discipline with a minimum of 6 years of related experience, a Master’s degree in a technical discipline with a minimum of 4 years of related experience, or a PhD in a technical discipline with a minimum of 2 years of related experience.  

Additional requirements include

  • A strong technical background in the areas of modern guidance, estimation and control with application to aerospace systems

  • Capability to perform research and development of advanced GNC systems for deep space exploration applications

  • A proven team player and effective leader with excellent communication, interpersonal, verbal and presentation skills.

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

  • GN&C system architectures

  • Precision payload dynamics and controls

  • Advanced control (linear & non-linear systems)

  • Estimation (Kalman filtering, random processes, nonlinear filtering, computer vision)

  • Linear/non-linear dynamical systems, multi-rigid-body dynamics

  • On-board guidance & navigation (optimization, convex analysis)

  • Attitude estimation & control

  • Precision pointing control

  • Pointing, acquisition and tracking systems

  • GNC for autonomous aerial vehicles

  • Rotorcraft dynamics and control

  • Vision-based navigation

  • Terrain-relative navigation (TRN)

  • 3D Lidar-based navigation (active and passive)

  • Fast steering mirror control

  • High-bandwidth mechatronics control

  • Vibration control (active & passive)

  • Control of gimbaled and articulated platforms

  • Controlled optics

  • Optical wavefront and pathlength control

  • Structural models, Finite Element analysis

  • GNC-relevant on-board and ground calibrations

  • Integrated modeling (e.g., flexible structures/optics/thermal, dynamics & control)

  • Time-domain simulation, broad-band and multi-rate systems

  • Small Spacecraft design

  • Multi-vehicle Formation Flying

  • Control of large monolithic and segmented telescopes

  • Dynamics & control of large distributed systems

  • Aerodynamic system control for exploration of deep-space planets

Desired experience and skills also include:

  • Willingness and ability to obtain TS/SCI clearance.

  • Strong technology development background.

  • Experience with the development of instrument/optical pointing systems and integrated GN&C hardware and software systems.

  • Experience working with lasers, detectors, fast steering mirrors and high-rate control systems.

  • Experience in the design of autonomous systems and spacecraft autonomy

  • Demonstrated experience managing cost and schedule to develop new technology

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.

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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
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