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(Lead) Space Systems Product Engineer

Charter Space

Charter Space

Other Engineering, Product · Full-time
Austin, TX, USA · Los Angeles, CA, USA · Remote
Posted on Wednesday, December 13, 2023

What we’re looking for

Charter is looking for a seasoned space systems engineer who brings ample experience and is able to help our team learn, grow, and win. You’ll be at the cutting edge of software development in the space industry, and help create the tools necessary to build spacecraft faster, better, and more safely.

At Charter, you will be responsible for defining and deciding on which features to prioritise to best meet user needs. You will be translating user needs and requirements into core features and product elements of Charter’s technology. You will take charge of our product-led strategy, contribute to how the product develops, and have a big influence over which elements get built and in what order. Whatever Charter is, will be, and will grow into as a product - that's what you’ll be directly affecting.

You’ll help with establishing culture, making sense of the chaos inherent to startups, and figuring out the best way forward.

You will also be key in interfacing with our Software Engineering and Design teams, and you will lead the Product Engineering team to collaborate on decision-making around feature, architecture, and capability design philosophies so we can build an incredible piece of software that solves the difficult problems inherent to satellite missions.

Who you are

You’re a space systems engineer who has run headfirst into the brick wall that is satellite program and mission management, and you understand the exact problem that Charter is working to solve.

  • You are intimately familiar with how tedious and time-consuming the process of launching a satellite is, and you want to change that.
  • You’re curious and possessed of a penchant for systematic and methodical thinking.
  • You’re familiar with industry best practices, common modes of work, and you’ve managed a satellite program or mission firsthand.
  • Your substantial experience with the nitty-gritty of satellite missions has taught you the merit of measuring twice, cutting once.
  • You think about solving problems in terms of progressive steps and pipelines that look like A → B → C → ... → Z.

You should also:

  • Have significant experience working on satellite missions in a program/mission management or senior systems engineering role;
  • Thrive in a fast-paced environment which revolves around cross-disciplinary interaction and remote collaboration;
  • Have a passion for space and the capacity to learn fast, and be excited about contributing your talents to and making an impact in a rapidly expanding market;
  • Have a strong bias to action;
  • Have a methodical and organized approach to problem-solving, with an obsessive eye for detail;
  • Be an Engineer’s Engineer - possessing the adaptability, drive, and the élan to make things happen;
  • Align with our values; and
  • Fundamentally believe that great change for the better is possible, if only we have the right cause, team, and timing.

Responsibilities

  • Reporting directly to our CEO and CTO, and working closely with our Lead Designer.
  • Defining and developing the product vision to accommodate new missions and evolving needs.
  • Participating in Scrum meetings and product sprints.
  • Overseeing and contributing to all stages of product creation including design and development.
  • Monitoring and evaluating product progress.
  • Attending UX research sessions and synthesizing user feedback to suggest, sort, and/or evaluate feature requests.
  • Developing user stories and translating them into concrete features.
  • Collaborating with users to understand and anticipate their needs and translate them into product requirements.
  • Suggesting new features based on product requirements to enable wider functionality and a more diverse user base.
  • Interfacing with Engineering and Design teams to prioritize feature development and build out Charter’s platform’s mission processes and workflows based on user requirements.
  • Leading the Product Engineering team and liaising with end-users to deliver consistent updates and keep everyone on the same level in terms of understanding current product and development status.
  • Sanity-checking Charter’s platform from a satellite engineering perspective.

Minimum Qualifications

  • BSc/BEng in Space Systems Engineering or equivalent, or other Satellite Engineering background.
  • Experience as a systems engineer (min. 3 years) managing different aspects of one-or-more satellite missions - from conception through to delivery.
  • Project and product management experience.
  • Experience with satellite component interfaces on hardware/electronics/software level.
  • Strong knowledge & proven experience of planning and managing nanosatellite and/or microsatellite AIT, and familiarity with space testing and qualification standards (in particular MAR, GEVS, ECSS, and/or any other standard commonly used by NASA, ESA, or JAXA).
  • Strong knowledge of and experience with defining spacecraft operational modes and requirements.
  • Experience preparing spacecraft system-level documentation and guides.
  • Experience defining and implementing risk mitigation strategies.
  • Experience with commercial satellite operations, including ConOps design, data generation and refinement, and constellation planning - in particular the ability to analyze and decompose satellite mission requirements into mechanical, hardware and software requirements.
  • Excellent verbal and written communications abilities.
  • Strong debugging skills, and willingness to dive deep into simulated, semi-simulated, and duplicated systems and code.
  • Ability to use hardware schematics and MCU/peripheral datasheets as input for firmware development.
  • Comfortable working asynchronously and leading a distributed team.
  • Organized and self-sufficient.

Preferred Qualifications

  • MSc/MEng in Space Systems Engineering or equivalent.
  • Substantial experience as a systems engineer (4-7 years) managing different aspects of one-or-more satellite missions - from conception through to delivery.
  • Experience with requirements management.
  • Experience with technical software systems:Orbital STK, NASA GMAT, and/or FreeFlyer; MATLAB & Simulink and/or Python; Fusion 360, AutoCAD, and/or any other CAD program; Gantt or project tracking software; IBM DOORS and/or any other requirements manager.
  • Experience with filing regulatory and licensing paperwork for satellite missions.
  • Experience with radio frequency selection, allocation, and ground station establishment.

Compatible Time Zones

Our current team members are distributed across different time zones including:

  • GMT-8 (Los Angeles)
  • GMT-5 (NYC)
  • GMT+0 (London)
  • GMT+1 (Sweden)
  • GMT+8 (Singapore)

Although we've found that it's easier to collaborate when everyone's in a similar time zone, if you're willing to stay up late or get up early, so are we.

Charter Space is an equal opportunity employer.

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