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Staff/Principal RF Systems Engineer



Software Engineering
Tukwila, WA, USA
Posted on Saturday, November 18, 2023


Staff/Principal RF Systems Engineer


LeoStella is a state-of-the-art small satellite design and manufacturing company based in the Seattle area. At LeoStella, we are redefining how high-quality satellite constellations are built at scale. Our focus is on developing and using intelligent and agile engineering and manufacturing processes to accelerate the development and production of small-sat constellations, all while lowering costs and increasing on-orbit capabilities.

The work we do at LeoStella is helping organizations and markets change the world by removing the barriers to building satellite constellations. This is an opportunity to join a collaborative, high performing team focused on changing the paradigm in satellite development and production!


Position Description:

LeoStella is looking for an engineer with a strong background in RF communications to be a part of a multi-disciplinary team in the development of satellite communication systems. Engineers at LeoStella are involved throughout the engineering lifecycle, from understanding customer and mission needs through design, integration, test, and ultimately the operation of satellites. This position is ideal for a candidate who possesses the eagerness and aptitude to adapt and extend traditional systems engineering and spacecraft development practices to an agile and low-cost environment.

You will be engaged in all aspects of satellite system and subsystem electrical design and test, with a focus on RF networks and satellite communication systems. You will use your understanding of electrical and RF communications principles and concepts to support the design and development of satellites through all phases of the product lifecycle. You will work directly with technical leadership and other members of a multi-disciplined team to develop and test microsatellite communications systems. You will architect and execute test plans to show functionality of these systems. Furthermore, you will also be responsible for interfacing with ground station providers and satellite end users to ensure system compatibility.


Primary Responsibilities:

  • Act as the technical lead of the satellite communications system which will involve performing communications system design and analysis, testing, debug, data analysis, and overseeing flight hardware design.
  • Create and maintain system digital communication link budgets and perform data throughput analyses, availability analyses, and perform trade studies for flight hardware vis-à-vis implications to the comm system.
  • Develop and maintain communications subsystem and component specifications and verifications plans in accordance with LeoStella Systems Engineering best practices.
  • Work with digital design, flight software, and ground systems team to transmit data across analog and digital platforms as a technical authority for the packetization and architecture of the comms data.
  • Create dedicated test setups and procedures for antenna checkout, radio peripheral checkout, cable/phasing network checkout, ground station compatibility tests, and channel simulation tests
  • Support production testers in the development and execution of test plans that ensure adequate testing of units and the complete system
  • Interface with supplier/vendors as needed to support subsystem procurement, design, development, and production


Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelors of Science (or greater) degree in Electrical or Aerospace Engineering
  • 8+ years of experience with RF communication systems and/or electrical design and test
  • Understanding of EE fundamentals/RF communications systems from a first principles perspective
  • Familiarity with existing communications technology in aerospace and space industries
  • Strong knowledge of the basic building blocks of communication systems: filters, hybrids, diplexers, amplifiers (Low Noise and Power), Transceivers, Transmitters, and Receivers.
  • Experience developing and validating RF link budget system models
  • Strong knowledge of digital modulation schemes
  • Extensive experience defining test plans for RF Communication systems
  • Familiarity with using RF and Electrical Test Equipment (e.g. oscilloscope, power meter, spectrum analyzer, signal generator, VNA, noise sources, etc)
  • Experience as lead technical authority for subcontractor management including: specification definition, design reviews, interface definition, test plan and procedure review, test data acceptance, and failure investigation
  • Must be a U.S. Person. Due to government regulation of the space industry, this requirement cannot be waived.


Desired Qualifications:

  • Understanding of radiation effects on electronics
  • Experience with requirements and verification database management tools (We use Jama at LeoStella, DOORS and others are also good experience to have)
  • Knowledge of CCSDS communications standard and AES/GCM encryption
  • Experience with DVB-S2/S2X
  • Experience with test automation and efficient data processing (Labview, Python, Matlab)


Compensation & Benefits:

  • Compensation range is $140K-180K + 10+% target bonus
    • Your actual level and base salary will be determined on a case by case basis and may vary based on the following considerations: job-related knowledge and skills, education, and experience.
    • Base salary is one part of your total rewards package - you may also be eligible for up to 10+% potential bonuses. Additional employee benefits are detailed below as well.
  • Employee Benefits include:
    • Employer-paid Medical, Dental, Vision, basic and supplemental life insurance, short and long-term disability.
    • 401(k) with up to 3% company match
    • Paid parental leave and maternity-disability leave
  • Paid Time Off and Flexible Schedule: You may accrue 4 weeks paid time off per year, in addition to 8 company holidays.  You may also have the choice to take Flexible Friday off every other week.


We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. EEO is the Law Poster

LeoStella participates in E-Verify. See Link for details.  See also Right to Work Statement in English and Spanish.