Spacecraft Communications Engineer
As a Spacecraft Communications Engineer at Lynk, you will wear many hats in the world of radio frequencies, electronics, hardware, and software. You will be responsible for the analysis, design, implementation, optimization, and enhancement of spacecraft communications systems for our satellites (and, ultimately, the future constellation network). Some work products will include spacecraft radio and ground station product evaluations, link budgets analyses, system dimensioning for coverage and capacity (including traffic analysis and simulation), initial system design and dimensioning, coverage planning, frequency planning, interference analysis, and mitigation techniques. You will also be responsible for supporting the iterative design and test of our spacecraft payload hardware/electronics and software. This will include working with software-defined radios, single-board computers, LNAs, and filters – you will also be involved in spacecraft communication systems antenna selection and design. While playing with all this hardware on a bench, you’ll probably need to pick up a soldering gun, use a spectrum analyzer, and/or configure an RF channel simulator.
If you enjoy the challenge of wearing many hats and have a track record of creative thinking to solve unconventional problems, then we look forward to meeting you!
Because Lynk is a small company, the Spacecraft Communications Engineer will straddle engineering work in the domains of RF, electrical, mechanical, and software engineering.
- Continue to evolve Lynk’s spacecraft communications architecture, including components and systems that provide direct ground links, orbital relays, and inter-satellite links.
- Evaluate and select spacecraft radios, antennas, and other RF components for spacecraft communication systems.
- Define Concept of Operations for spacecraft communications and related ground systems.
- Evaluate ground station options and select configurations that support the spacecraft communications Concept of Operations.
- Design, plan, and conduct payload testing configurations on the ground when testing spacecraft communications performance both in-lab and in-orbit.
- Interface with Systems Engineering team to inform constellation/network architecture and design based on spacecraft communications performance.
- Perform link budget analyses, simulations, traffic/capacity analysis, RF system design and dimensioning, coverage and frequency planning, etc. for spacecraft communications systems.
- Determine spacecraft antenna types, number, and placement required on spacecraft.
- Perform integration of spacecraft communications systems components and software for the spacecraft and in the lab.
- Support spacecraft integration, testing, and delivery to launch/spacecraft bus partners/vendors.
- Develop and maintain technical documentation for spacecraft communications systems architecture definition, design, and development.
- A Bachelor’s degree (or better) in RF or Electrical Engineering or related field.
- Recent participation in projects developing space hardware and software (preferably space communications systems).
- In-depth knowledge and hands-on experience with software-defined radios, antennas, and ground station providers.
- Experience integrating radios, antennas, and ground stations into an operating communications system (preferably, a space communications system).
- Programming Proficiency in one or more programming languages is highly desired (e.g., C++, C, Python, MATLAB, etc.)
- Proficient in working with Linux based systems
- Working knowledge of some communications/networking standards (e.g., CCSDS, etc.) and protocols (e.g., IP, TCP/IP, SNMP, SDH/SONET, Ethernet, Carrier Grade Ethernet, etc.)
- Hands-on experience with programming microcontrollers and SDRs is desired.
- Must be good with computers. Fluent in Linux, Windows, and Mac OSX; Proficient with Microsoft Office (Excel, Project, PowerPoint, Word).
- Must be able to work independently and in a team environment.