Job Details

RF Systems Engineer (Satellites R&D)

Hawthorne, California, United States
SpaceX was founded under the belief that a future where humanity is out exploring the stars is fundamentally more exciting than one where we are not. Today SpaceX is actively developing the technologies to make this possible, with the ultimate goal of enabling human life on Mars.


The spacecraft engineering team in Hawthorne is growing to support our R&D satellite programs that are pushing the boundaries of in-space capabilities. Our missions support scientific research, classified national security space and commercial opportunities. As we grow our classified mission manifest, we are looking for RF systems engineers to join our team.

On the RF hardware development team, you will have the exciting opportunity to be responsible for flight hardware! You will demonstrate extreme ownership of this hardware through deep understanding of your hardware functionality, design, and requirements and see it through all aspects of its life cycle from inception through flight. You will also work with many other teams and think at a system level to ensure that your design is viable and will help drive us to mission success. Our development timelines are aggressive and you will be asked to rigorously explore solutions for previously unsolved problems.

We're looking for people who want to dive in and get their hands dirty and those who are not afraid to make important decisions and work to provide a data driven rationale. Every day we push the limits of what is possible through innovation, determination, and teamwork and we're only just beginning.

An active Top Secret security clearance, or ability to obtain one, is desired but not required.

  • Ensure RF communication systems meet performance expectations on orbit and operate as expected
  • Design and test RF systems for communications and sensors/instruments
  • Perform analysis to support system architecture trades or verify the system design - including antenna pattern coverage, co-site interference, link budget, multiple access, etc.
  • Conduct or participate in customer and/or program technical review or flight readiness presentations
  • Develop system and component level requirements documents
  • Lead and conduct troubleshooting and root cause system level performance anomalies
  • Support RF system testing and verification at launch sites and customer sites as needed
  • Bachelor's degree in electrical, computer, or aerospace engineering
  • 2+ years of professional experience designing RF communication systems or hardware
  • U.S. Citizen
  • Self-driven to solve problems, and proven track record of being a team player
  • Master's degree in electrical engineering with focus on digital signal processing, or communication systems, or radio design
  • Exposure working with test equipment such as spectrum analyzer, signal generator, network analyzer, channel emulator, power meters, software-defined radios - and common RF passive components
  • Experience with STK or other satellite orbital mechanics modeling tools for link access analysis
  • Experience with link budget analysis, power flux density, dilution of precision, doppler, etc.
  • Experience with digital communication theory and testing, Bit Error Rate, EVM and System Noise Figure
  • Experience modeling fading channels with multipath, co-channel and adjacent channel interference
  • Previous experience with RF Design tools such ADS, AWR Microwave Office, CST, HFSS
  • Python, Matlab (or other language) programming experience for data analysis or test equipment interfacing
  • Experience performing interference analysis and EMI/EMC evaluation for RF systems
  • Knowledge of digital communication systems including spread spectrum, forward error correction, and modulation types such as FSK, BPSK, QPSK, QAM, and PCM/FM
  • Excellent communication and documentation skills, and ability to collaborate with other engineering disciplines
  • Active Top Secret or Top Secret SCI clearance, or ability to obtain one desired but not required

  • Extended hours and weekend work may be required to support critical project and mission milestones
  • Note that an active clearance may provide the opportunity for you to work on sensitive SpaceX missions; if so, you will be subject to pre-employment drug and random drug and alcohol testing
  • 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. Learn more about the ITAR here .
SpaceX is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with SpaceX is governed on the basis of merit, competence and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, color, religion, gender, national origin/ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.

Applicants wishing to view a copy of SpaceX's Affirmative Action Plan for veterans and individuals with disabilities, or applicants requiring reasonable accommodation to the application/interview process should notify the Human Resources Department at .

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