Mission Payload Unit Engineer

The Aerospace Corporation
Chantilly, VA
Added: February 20, 2024
The Aerospace Corporation is the trusted partner to the nation’s space programs, solving the hardest problems and providing unmatched technical expertise. As the operator of a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC), we are broadly engaged across all aspects of space— delivering innovative solutions that span satellite, launch, ground, and cyber systems for defense, civil and commercial customers. When you join our team, you’ll be part of a special collection of problem solvers, thought leaders, and innovators. Join us and take your place in space.

At Aerospace, we are committed to providing an inclusive and diverse workplace for all employees to share in our common passion and aspiration – to carry out a mission much bigger than ourselves.

The National Systems Group serves as the technical advisor to the Intelligence Community and its mission partners involved in the collection and distribution of national and tactical intelligence, including electronics programs, advanced technologies, ground and communications, imagery programs, and systems engineering and launch.

Imagery Programs Division’s (IPD) Reconnaissance Systems (RS) Office is looking for an engineer with electrical engineering and space hardware test experience to be the Mission Payload Unit Engineer (Sr. Project Engineer) in a next generation RF major system acquisition. The Mission Payload Unit Engineer will guide a team of technical SMEs in support of unit development and test, manage independent test and analysis projects to support anomaly resolution, ensure requirements are thoroughly verified and sold-off, support unit delivery to the prime contractor for integration, address unit-related issues in spacecraft system-level testing, and coordinate across interfaces to ensure mission success. This is a dynamic and exciting time in the development cycle, and the Mission Payload Unit Engineer will have the opportunity to shape the future of a critical space program.

This position requires 100% in-person work in Chantilly, VA

What You’ll Be Doing

  • Provide technical direction on a cutting-edge RF payload, to include aperture development, manufacturing, test, verification, integration with the spacecraft, and on-orbit test
  • Coordinate a diverse team of technical SMEs through module and unit-level test; assembling major technical issue response teams and providing recommendations in support of root cause and corrective action efforts for unit testing, and subsequently for unit-related anomalies in spacecraft I&T testing and on-orbit testing
  • Steer responsive, independent laboratory testing, non-destructive imaging, RF range testing, analysis, and modeling and simulation to resolve difficult contractor technical issues, often ones that drive the critical path for the program
  • Support mission payload unit requirements verification review, sell-off, and trades
  • Provide on-site Aerospace support to the government customer and collaborate with the customer, SETA contractors, and development contractors to meet mission needs

Minimum Requirements

What You Need to be Successful

  • Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering or a related technical discipline
  • Twelve or more years of responsible professional engineering experience
  • Experience with development and test of space electronics hardware
  • Technical project management experience
  • Willing to support frequent travel (typically 1-2 weeks per month)
  • This position requires a current and active TS/SSBI/SCI security clearance and polygraph, which is issued by the U.S. government. U.S. citizenship is required to obtain a security clearance.

How You Can Stand Out

It would be impressive if you have one or more of these:

  • Advanced degree in RF or electrical engineering
  • Experience working with RF payloads for National Security Space customers
  • Ability to assess large amounts of technical detail and distill it into clear and succinct messaging, while balancing the desire for technical perfection with broader programmatic perspectives
  • Understanding of and experience working with a matrixed engineering organization, or previous program office experience.
  • Demonstrated ability to function effectively, efficiently, and collaboratively with limited supervision
  • Strong customer-oriented attitude, ability to cultivate strong relationships across organizations, and demonstrated aptitude for coordinating exchanges between technical staff and the customer.

Leadership Competencies

Our leadership philosophy is simple: every employee, regardless of level and role, can demonstrate leadership. At Aerospace, our commitment is our people. To cultivate our talent and ensure that we have a strong pipeline of future leaders, we want individuals who:

  • Operate Strategically
  • Lead Change
  • Engage with Impact
  • Foster Innovation
  • Deliver Results

Ways We Reward Our Employees

During your interview process, our team will provide details of our industry-leading benefits.

Benefits vary and are applicable based on Job Type. A few highlights include:

  • Comprehensive health care and wellness plans
  • Paid holidays, sick time, and vacation
  • Standard and alternate work schedules, including telework options
  • 401(k) Plan — Employees receive a total company-paid benefit of 8%, 10%, or 12% of eligible compensation based on years of service and matching contributions; employees are immediately eligible and vested in the plan upon hire
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • Variable pay program for exceptional contributions
  • Relocation assistance
  • Professional growth and development programs to help advance your career
  • Education assistance programs
  • An inclusive work environment built on teamwork, flexibility, and respect

We are all unique, from diverse backgrounds and all walks of life, yet one thing bonds all of us to each other—the belief that we can make a difference. This core belief empowers us to do our best work at The Aerospace Corporation.

Equal Opportunity Commitment

The Aerospace Corporation is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. We believe that a diverse workforce creates an environment in which unique ideas are developed and differing perspectives are valued, producing superior customer solutions. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, age, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, color, religion, genetic information, marital status, ancestry, national origin, protected veteran status, physical disability, medical condition, mental disability, or disability status and any other characteristic protected by state or federal law. If you’re an individual with a disability or a disabled veteran who needs assistance using our online job search and application tools or need reasonable accommodation to complete the job application process, please contact us by phone at 310.336.5432 or by email at You can also review Know Your Rights: Workplace Discrimination is Illegal, as well as the Pay Transparency Policy Statement.