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Staff Electro Optical Payload Engineer - BlackSky

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Job Title
Staff Electro Optical Payload Engineer
Job Location
Herndon, VA; Seattle, WA; Remote
Job Description

Staff EO Payload 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.

We are seeking a Staff EO Payload Engineer to work with BlackSky’s Payload and Systems Engineering teams to architect and design new EO payload concepts to broaden our growing portfolio of imaging payload designs.  You’ll have the opportunity to influence the design and development of new payloads, develop the associated integration and test strategies, and support instruments through on-orbit commissioning and longer-term characterization and calibration.  You’ll work closely with and support our Image Processing and Satellite Operations organizations to help design the processing and operations frameworks to characterize, optimize, and improve payload performance for satellites throughout their operational lifetimes on orbit.

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.


  • Support the development of new EO payload architectures and concepts.
  • Develop optical system requirements associated with new designs.
  • Provide technical assistance and oversight with design procurement and integration.
  • Develop comprehensive integration, requirements verification, and test strategies for EO payloads.
  • Support the characterization and commissioning activities of orbital imaging systems.
  • Other job-related duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications:

  • Degree in optical engineering, physics, or other area of appropriate technical focus.
  • Minimum of 5-10 years of experience in technical engineering roles involving the specification, modeling, design, integration, and/or test of imaging or non-imaging optical systems and associated components/subsystems.
  • Strong technical grasp of the physics of optical image formation and associated detector phenomenology, especially in the visible and infrared spectra.
  • Proficiency with radiometry, optical imaging and detection figures of merit, and optical system performance modeling/estimation/simulation.
  • Proficiency in at least one computer language with an emphasis on numerical or technical computing.
  • Adept with developing concise specifications for optical systems within a well-defined, systematic requirements framework.
  • Familiarity with satellite/payload interface and CONOPs constraints and associated systems engineering.
  • Must be a US Citizen.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Advanced technical degree.
  • Direct experience in spaceborne optical remote sensing systems.
  • Direct experience in focal plane array design and engineering.
  • Direct experience in satellite radiometric, spatial, and spectral calibration.
  • Proficiency with numerical and technical programming in Python.
  • Familiarity and experience with a technical discipline complementary to optics, e.g., mechanical, thermal, electrical engineering.

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 $160,000 to $180,000 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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