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Principal Engineer, Image Data & Software - BlackSky

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Job Title
Principal Engineer, Image Data & Software
Job Location
Seattle / Herndon / Remote
Job Description

Principal Engineer, Image Data & Software 

About Us:

BlackSky is a geospatial intelligence solutions provider that enables organizations to task, collect, and transform data from earth observation, global sensor networks, mobile devices, and social media to deliver on-demand insights about places, events, and assets that are critical to their operations. BlackSky provides satellite collection, data, and cloud based -processing and analytic solutions to organizations that are capitalizing on the exponential growth of a wide range of sensor and collection platforms for delivering the next generation of GEOINT and location intelligence solutions. BlackSky has extensive expertise and capabilities in commercial remote sensing, multi-source analytics, cloud computing, open source software development, Amazon Web Services, and big data geospatial analytics. BlackSky provides solutions to commercial and government organizations with relevant programs with the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA), US. Army, and U.S. Air Force Research Labs.

The Image Data & Software group works together with the Image Processing group and Electro-Optical Payloads group to build and sustain BlackSky’s image processing pipeline. As a principal engineer for the Image Data & Software Engineering group you will be responsible for developing and maintaining the pipeline that transforms the raw pixels collected by BlackSky’s satellites into imagery products.

Your leadership, creativity, and execution will have a direct impact on the quality, timeliness, and utility of one of BlackSky’s core products. You will leverage your extensive technical and interpersonal abilities in a fast-paced, multi-disciplinary, and highly-collaborative environment to ensure that BlackSky’s image processing pipeline is at the cutting-edge of low-latency, cloud computing, and machine vision. While the position listed in this job posting is ideal, we are open to candidates remotely in certain states.


  • Architect, write, deploy, and maintain the production image processing pipeline that transforms raw data from the satellites into imagery products and calibration coefficients
  • Provide data access and visualization for data scientists, analysts, and executives to inform decision-making and technology strategy
  • Mentor engineers and scientists on best practices and performance; identify gaps in requirements or implementation processes and advocate for continuous improvement
  • Collaborate with image processing engineers to deploy new algorithms into the production pipeline, develop robust tools for at-scale testing
  • Engage with stakeholders from across BlackSky’s architecture to solve cross-functional challenges and maximize the value of BlackSky’s image processing pipeline

Required Qualifications:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills and an ability to articulate technical concepts clearly and succinctly
  • Extensive expertise in Python
  • Expertise in agile development methodologies, git, CI/CD
  • Proficiency with cloud deployments and environments, particularly AWS
  • Extensive experience building production-level, computationally-complex, processing pipelines
  • Experience with Docker/Containerized applications
  • Must be a US citizen

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with large-scale scientific computing
  • Experience with data engineering, ETL, data viz
  • DevOps/MLOps experience
  • Experience with key data science, image processing, and geospatial libraries, such as NumPy, Pandas, OpenCV, GDAL, etc
  • Big Data experience (Hadoop, spark, kafka, etc)
  • Proficiency with C++, C, and Cython (in addition to Python)
  • Experience with config management/orchestration tools (chef, ansible, terraform, cloudformation)

Life at BlackSky for full-time benefits eligible employees includes:

  • Medical, dental, vision, disability, group term life and AD&D, voluntary life and AD&D insurance
    • BlackSky pays 100% of employee-only premiums for medical, dental and vision and contributes $100/month for out-of-pocket expenses!
  • 15 days of PTO, 11 Company holidays, four Floating Holidays (pro-rated based on hire date), one day of paid volunteerism leave per year, parental leave and more
  • 401(k) pre-tax and Roth deferral options with employer match
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Employee Assistance and Travel Assistance Programs
  • Employer matching donations
  • Professional development
  • Mac or PC? Your choice!
  • Awesome swag

The anticipated salary range for candidates in Seattle, WA is $175,000 to $195,000 per year. The final compensation package offered to a successful candidate will be dependent on specific background and education. BlackSky is a multi-state employer and this pay scale may not reflect salary ranges in other states or locations outside of Seattle, WA.

BlackSky is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce. We are proud to be an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer All Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.

To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) you must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State.

EEO/AAP/ Pay Transparency Statements:


BlackSky Headquarters Location

Herndon, VA

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BlackSky Company Size

Between 200 - 500 employees

BlackSky Founded Year


BlackSky Funding Rounds

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