Satellite Platform Engineer
Leesburg, VA 
Posted 1 month ago
Job Description
Satellite Platform Engineer
Job Locations US-VA-Leesburg
Job ID 2021-2028
Category Engineering
Worker Category Regular Full-Time[F]
Company Overview

Iridium is an award-winning and innovative satellite communications company with bragging rights to the only network that offers voice and data connectivity anywhere in the world. For over 20 years, Iridium's unique network and services have supported critical communications needs for individuals, businesses, and the evolving Internet of Things.

At Iridium, we understand the importance of staying connected and the limitations of traditional communications networks. People across the globe, including first responders, humanitarians, global militaries, scientific researchers, and lone workers, as well as ships, aircraft and remote operations all rely on Iridium to stay connected. We take our responsibility for providing these essential communications very seriously and pride ourselves on offering a reliable lifeline when needed. Likewise, Iridium is committed to providing an exciting and innovative workplace, where employees are challenged to think outside the box and collaborate on new, bold ideas and solutions. Our talented teams are passionate about their work and the impact our company makes around the world. Iridium fosters an empowering and inclusive culture that allows employees to genuinely be their best selves. We are looking for others who want to join this truly unique company that celebrates our employees and provides the opportunity to truly make a difference in the world.

Position Summary, Job Requirements & Responsibilities

What We're Looking For:

Iridium is seeking a motivated Engineer II, Satellite Platform to join our Space Engineering team. As a Satellite Platform Engineer you will autonomously support Thermal Control Systems (TCS) and Tools Development. In this role, you will work with a small team of satellite engineers to perform multiple duties on the Iridium Satellite Constellation.

The Satellite Platform Engineer position will require the candidate to develop intermediate knowledge related to the satellite Thermal Control Subsystem (TCS), including essential knowledge of thermistors, heat-pipes, passive thermal coatings and blankets, platform software components, and heaters. You will support the analysis of data, which will be used to make decisions and develop predictions of future satellite systems behavior.

In addition, the Satellite Platform Engineer position will require the candidate to develop intermediate knowledge related to platform tools. You will assist with architecting, developing, and maintaining software tools for the entire Platform team. You will develop code using agile and traditional software development processes. Iridium is looking for candidates with demonstrated experience in programming and generating tools.

What You'll Do:

Platform Thermal Control System Responsibilities:

    Monitor and trend thermal parameters of all satellite hardware
  • Ensure satellite components are always maintained at appropriate temperatures and are properly controlled
  • Investigate unusual thermal signatures, out-of-limits, and out-of-family conditions and assist in resolving issues
  • Determine and isolate issues, such as thermistor or heater failures, predict and assess impact of temperature change across the entire beta season, and brainstorm to support the team in developing solutions
  • Assist in developing contingency procedures and checklists, operational responses, and recovery procedures/checklists
  • Support the team in developing plans to allow satellite operation with failures (i.e., swapping thermistors, changing setpoints, changing duty cycle, etc.)
  • Perform routine thermal simulations using the Iridium Thermal Model in support of anomaly investigations or changes in vehicle operation, configuration, or environment
  • Maintain Iridium vehicle thermal model & develop and expand analysis capabilities
  • Provide support regarding real-time anomaly resolution
  • Perform routine platform simulations using the Dynamic Satellite Simulator (DSS)

Platform Tools Responsibilities:

  • Assist in developing software tools to improve job efficiency and support continuous improvement
  • Collaborate with engineers and users to support the identification of end-user requirements and specifications for software or tools
  • Support troubleshooting, debugging, and maintenance of existing software and tools, escalating issues as needed
  • Support the team in modernizing/modularizing codebase to improve, re-use, and reduce maintenance costs
  • Assist in developing technical documentation to guide in software or tool use and development of training materials
  • Participates in broader team activities

What You'll Need to Succeed:

  • Intermediate understanding of thermal analysis concepts, heat flow, radiation, and conduction
  • Strong communication skills, with the ability to demonstrate your knowledge of Satellite operations clearly and confidently
  • Have confidence and be able to easily build meaningful relationships with your manager and members of your team
  • Must be able to prioritize your tasks, be self-aware enough to identify and correct your mistakes, and not be afraid to ask for help when needed
  • Be active in seeking out ways to improve yourself and gain new knowledge, such as learning about the software development lifecycle
  • Provide occasional support in a 24x7 operations environment (on-call support)
Experience & Education Requirements / EEO

Things You Must Bring to the Table:

  • Bachelor of Science in Mechanical or Aerospace Engineering. Iridium may consider other engineering or technical disciplines (Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Physics, etc.) depending on the candidate's experience.
  • 2+ years of professional experience required
  • Experience in satellite operations and satellite subsystems
  • Software development experience with any of the common programming or scripting languages (Python, Perl, Ada, C, C++, Perl, Java, Git, Matlab, etc.)
  • Experience with Linux, Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)

Things That Would be Great if You Brought to the Table:

  • Experience with AutoCAD or other Computer Aided Design (CAD) software
  • Experience with Thermal Desktop or other thermal modeling software
  • Familiarity with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, with application to data monitoring

We'll also need you to:

  • Must be a US Citizen

Iridium requires all employees/new hires to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to starting work. Iridium is an equal opportunity employer and will consider requests for exemption from this policy as a reasonable accommodation where it can do so absent undue hardship, consistent with federal, state, and local law.

Iridium is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or status as a protected veteran. EOE of Minorities/Females/Vets/Disability and other protected categories.


Job Summary
Start Date
As soon as possible
Employment Term and Type
Regular, Full Time
Required Education
Bachelor's Degree
Required Experience
2+ years
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