Satellite ADCS Engineer

  • 0 yrs
  • $ Not Disclosed / YEAR

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Job Description


This is a rare opportunity to play a key role in Rocket Lab’s evolution into an end-to-end space company that delivers launch, spacecraft, and on-orbit operations. The Space Systems Division is shaping Rocket Lab’s future with Photon, our brand of high-performance satellites, enabling innovative missions in low Earth orbit and beyond including missions for NASA to LEO, the Moon, and Mars and commercial customers including leading the design and manufacture of 17 high power telecommunication spacecraft buses for Globalstar.

Rocket Lab is also growing spacecraft components business, anchored on the acquisition of Sinclair Interplanetary manufacturing reaction wheels and star trackers in Toronto, SolAero Technologies manufacturing solar power and primary structure solutions in Albuquerque, Planetary Systems Corporation manufacturing launch separation systems in Silver Spring, and Advanced Solutions, Inc. provider flight and ground software as a service in Denver. Our component’s business is key to vertically integrating our spacecraft solutions and enabling constellations for customers.


The Satellite ADCS Engineer is responsible for the design, implementation and operation of ADCS Systems involved in satellite and ground operations for Photon and other Rocket Lab Spacecraft, including their production.


  • Mission requirements engineering, including detailed sensor and actuator characterization and modeling.

  • Design and development of GNC and ADCS software, particularly:

    • Satellite simulator software.

    • ADCS algorithms and implementation.

    • On-orbit GNC system calibration and commissioning.

    • Maneuver and operation sequencing and command creation.

    • Data processing software for GNC purposes (MATLAB/Python Post-Processing Tools).

    • Other new software products that may be initiated.

  • Review software merge requests and ensure all new GNC Software meets our internal software standard.

  • Assisting with satellite operations including flight dynamics, fault-finding, contingency planning and command validation.

  • Hardware-in-the-loop test planning, execution and validation.

  • Identify and implement process improvements to aid the efficiency of the GNC Team.

  • Follow company / GNC Team coding standards

  • Domestic and international travel may be required


  • Bachelors degree in Electrical, Mechanical, or Aerospace Engineering, or comparable field.

  • 4+ years’ experience developing in C/C++ including embedded or high reliability development.

  • 4+ years’ experience developing attitude determination and control algorithms, and/or guidance and navigation algorithms.

  • Experience with Git - Version Control.

  • The ability to work in a fast-paced work environment.

  • Excellent communication skills with the ability to build strong working relationships.


  • Master's degree in Electrical, Mechanical, or Aerospace Engineering, or comparable field.

  • Experience with Python, and MATLAB.

  • A strong theoretical and/or practical understanding of kinematics, dynamics, and electronic systems

  • Experience with flight simulator or flight software development for autonomous vehicles, preferably satellites.

  • Understanding of orbital mechanics

  • Understanding of closed-loop control systems.

  • Experience working in a continuous integration environment.