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Senior Satellite Systems Engineer - BlackSky

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Job Title
Senior Satellite Systems Engineer
Job Location
Seattle, WA
Job Description

Senior Satellite Systems Engineer


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.

BlackSky is looking for a talented and creative Senior Satellite Systems Engineer to support the development, operation, and capability evolution of our BlackSky satellites.  As part of the satellite systems engineering team, you are instrumental in supporting the satellite product line throughout all phases of the satellite development and operational lifecycle – including design, build, test, and operations. 

The primary function of this position is to provide multi-disciplinary engineering analysis - including thermal, mechanical, electrical, and Comms/RF in support of mid-level trades and capability assessments. As such, the ideal candidate has experience developing engineering budgets (link, pointing, energy, etc.) and modeling physical systems with (or without) industry standard tools such as SolidWorks, Thermal Desktop, STK, SPICE, etc. (the more the better!) This position is a critical element of the BlackSky Satellite Systems Engineering team and is expected to work collaboratively with external satellite development teams to ensure that the satellites produced fully enable the BlackSky mission and seamlessly support the operations framework.

In addition to outstanding technical modeling and simulation skills, the ideal candidate has satellite development, operations, and test experience; familiarity with satellite system engineering; and success working in a development oversight capacity. Finally, the candidate should be an independent thinker with the demonstrated ability and willingness to lean in and solve new problems, and a demonstrated ability to manage their own efforts over a broad scope of work as an independent contributor.

While the locations listed in the job posting are ideal, we would love candidates near either our Herndon, VA or Seattle, WA offices. We may also consider remote candidates in certain states.


  • Define and perform multidisciplinary engineering design trades to inform technology investment decisions.
  • Develop and use tools to model satellite and constellation systems and budgets.
  • Engage with satellite design and manufacturing teams to ensure proper flow-down and verification of top-level requirements, and to track and independently verify technical budgets (Propulsion, Mass, Link, etc.)
  • Interface with manufacturing teams to ensure final designs can be produced in accordance with overall project goals.
  • Support satellite operations teams to resolve major anomalies, identify risks, and investigate opportunities for more efficient satellite utilization, with opportunity to support as Satellite Operator.
  • Support Tiger Teams and Review Boards in root cause analyses for test/ops anomalies.
  • Interface effectively with multidisciplinary teams, including satellite and ground system engineers, program management, software developers, IT, and systems engineering.
  • Support requirement management for multiple systems in JAMA.

 Required Qualifications: 

  • A minimum of 4 years of relevant technical experience, preferably in a space systems development environment.
  • Bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering or related discipline
  • Enthusiasm for independent problem-solving yet possessing strong inter-team cooperation and organization skills.  
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills with a strong understanding of audience.
  • Ability to multi-task within a startup, fast paced environment.
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen.

Preferred Qualifications: 

  • A minimum of 6 years of relevant technical experience, preferably in a space hardware development environment.
  • Advanced degree in engineering or related discipline with a focus on Space Systems.
  • Thorough understanding of satellite systems and associated subsystems.
  • Experience developing/coding analysis tools in Python, MATLAB, or similar.
  • Experience defining and performing technical trades and analyses.
  • Experience managing one or more technical budgets (Link, Mass, Pointing, etc.)
  • Experience in electrical engineering aspects of satellite design (circuit design, RF, etc.)
  • Experience in thermal analysis of satellites and satellite components.
  • Experience in CAD and mechanical design and analysis.
  • Experience with Root Cause Analysis.
  • Experience with hardware test and qualification (performance and environments).
  • Broad understanding of space systems and the interface/relationships between satellites and the other components of a space mission architecture.
  • Experience with launch integration.
  • Experience with imaging satellites and optical systems.
  • Knowledge of space regulatory, compliance and export requirements and their effect on system design.
  • Familiarity with small satellite design and qualification processes and testing best practices.
  • Familiarity with JAMA, STK, Grafana, Atlassian (Confluence, JIRA) workflows.
  • Security Clearance (TS/SCI) preferred.

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 $125,000-$150,000 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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