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Senior Payload Systems Engineer



Software Engineering
Reston, VA, USA
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Scout is building a new way to see and operate in space: with a new paradigm of data empowering every satellite to make space safer. We are a rapidly-growing team; we are deploying real solutions to orbit; and our work will transform the face of spaceflight. We are looking for people that bring excitement and energy to our organization, are curious and eager to learn, and want to help drive our programs forward.

As a Senior Payload Systems Engineer, you will play a crucial role in the design, development, manufacturing, assembly, integration, test, and operations of our advanced electro-optical payloads for space missions. Your expertise will be essential in ensuring the successful integration and performance of optical and mechanical components within our space systems.


  • Design, develop, and optimize complex optomechanical systems for space applications, considering factors such as size, weight, power, and environmental constraints.
  • Support mission definition and requirements for optical and mechanical systems, incorporating Scout leadership and customer feedback.
  • Collaborate with multidisciplinary teams, including optical engineers, mechanical engineers, electronics engineers, and manufacturing technicians, to ensure seamless integration of optomechanical systems into broader space systems.
  • Assemble, integrate, and test optomechanical systems, ensuring robustness and precision of optical component alignment and pointing under mission-representative loadings.
  • Adapt commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) systems for space environments, addressing the unique challenges posed by the space environment, including radiation, vacuum, outgassing, and temperature extremes.

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, or a related field
  • Experience in optical and mechanical systems design, manufacturing, and testing for space applications.
  • Proven track record of deriving requirements for optical and mechanical systems, considering performance, environmental, and mission-specific factors.
  • Strong proficiency in CAD tools, such as SolidWorks, Autodesk, or equivalent, for creating detailed designs and engineering drawings.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, with the ability to articulate complex concepts and technical information clearly and concisely.
  • Must be eligible to hold a clearance.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master's or Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, or a related field.
  • Hands-on experience with design, assembly, and testing of optomechanical systems.
  • Experience developing test plans & conducting comprehensive testing and validation of optomechanical systems, including environmental testing (e.g., thermal vacuum, vibration).
  • Familiarity with adapting COTS systems for space environments, addressing reliability, radiation tolerance, and other space-specific challenges.
  • Excellent problem-solving skills and ability to work effectively in a multidisciplinary team environment.
  • Experience in designing, developing, and testing space-based gimballed payloads.
  • Experience performing as Lead Systems Engineer on complex spaceflight hardware programs.

Don't fulfill all the qualifications listed above? If you still feel like you might be a good fit, please feel free to APPLY ANYWAY. We believe in a well-rounded team, and this sometimes means that someone with out-of-context knowledge can contribute just as well as someone with very explicit alignment with our capabilities needs stated.

Our positions are based in the Reston, Virginia area, with much of our team operating in a hybrid or remote fashion. Our preference is for candidates in or around this area (or willing to relocate) as we scale our facilities and engineering team and provide more opportunities to work and collaborate in-person. Remote employees will be required to travel for onsite work and in-person meetings.

Scout Inc. does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor. To conform to US Government space technology export regulations, applicants must be a US citizen, lawful permanent resident of the US, a protected individual as defined by 8 USC 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorization from the US Department of State.

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