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Principal Electrical Design Engineer (Starlink)

SpaceX

SpaceX

Other Engineering, Design
Redmond, WA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, January 31, 2024

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.

PRINCIPAL ELECTRICAL DESIGN ENGINEER (STARLINK)

SpaceX is leveraging its experience in building rockets and spacecraft to deploy Starlink, the world’s most advanced broadband internet system. Starlink is the world’s largest satellite constellation and is providing fast, reliable internet to 2M+ users worldwide. We design, build, test, and operate all parts of the system – thousands of satellites, consumer receivers that allow users to connect within minutes of unboxing, and the software that brings it all together. We’ve only begun to scratch the surface of Starlink’s potential global impact. As we continue to upgrade and expand the constellation, we’re looking for best-in-class engineers to join the team.

As a Principal Electrical Design Engineer on Starlink, you’ll have complete ownership over the hardware that enables this connectivity, and sits at the intersection of electrical, mechanical, thermal analysis, software, and antenna engineering. There are several sub-teams within the larger Starlink hardware engineering group at our Redmond facility, each with a different area of focus. These range from high-speed digital communication, network system integration, power systems integration, RF systems, avionics, network computers, power electronics, failure analysis, on-orbit reliability, and testing automation. Your placement on these teams will be determined throughout the interviewing process after factoring in technical fit, expertise, and your personal preference. Sub-teams include:

  • Satellite Payload – design and implementation of RF systems, high-speed digital communication, and high-density power conversion hardware to the host design
  • Satellite Bus and Avionics – design, development, and test of space-hardened avionics hardware
  • Gateways - design, build, and test electronics for the world's largest network of ground stations, which function as an intermediary between the satellites and our end-users to ensure smooth data transfer and transmission
  • Hardware Test and Factory Automation – design validation and testing from initial concept development to full-scale production
  • Failure Analysis – root cause analysis of systemic production issues to drive design and process changes for improving product quality
  • On-Orbit Reliability – monitor and support health of satellite electronics while in orbit, leading anomaly investigations, and performing lab experiments to replicate findings in orbit
  • Enterprise & Government - Best in class solutions for large scale operations including the aviation, maritime, and defense industries

RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Design, develop, and test highly reliable electronics for communicating with our satellites
  • Evaluate third party electrical and design integration solutions for reliable operation of Starlink
  • Partner with software, mechanical, thermal, manufacturing teams, and production test teams
  • Drive system trades, requirements capture, component selection, analysis, schematic capture, PCB layout, prototyping, hardware bring-up, debugging, documentation, manufacturing, and test of complex electrical designs
  • Get hands-on and support hardware through production, satellite integration, and flight
  • Work closely with engineers from adjacent disciplines (mechanical, thermal, software, test engineering, supply chain, silicon design, etc.) to deliver tightly integrated, high-performance hardware
  • Drive continual improvements to our designs by building physical and digital tools to analyze data collected on orbit and in the lab
  • Challenge assumptions and work to find simple solutions to complex problems

BASIC QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering or computer engineering
  • 8+ years of experience designing circuits, electronic products, or hardware (internship and project team experience is applicable)

PREFERRED SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE:

  • Master’s degree in electrical engineering, computer engineering, or similar engineering degree
  • 2+ years of professional experience rapidly designing and delivering highly reliable products
  • 2+ years of electronic product experience designing hardware from concept through production; strong emphasis on full life cycle development of new hardware products and not small incremental updates to legacy hardware
  • 2+ years of experience designing and implementing mixed-signal circuit boards from concept through production using processors, FPGAs, Ethernet, multi-GHz Serdes, DRAM interfaces (DDR4), I2C, SPI, operational amplifiers, analog to digital and digital to analog converters, and power supply components
  • 2+ years of professional experience testing, troubleshooting, and debugging electronics
  • Strong understanding of computers and programming languages (Python, C/C++)
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a highly cross-functional role
  • 2+ years working on aerospace systems

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Ability to work extended hours or weekends as needed for mission critical deadlines
  • Some roles may require working on an “on-call” basis on a weeklong rotational schedule (On-Orbit Reliability only)

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS:

Pay range:
Electrical Design Engineer/Principal: $170,000.00 - $250,000.00/per year

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 just one part of your total rewards package at SpaceX. You may also be eligible for long-term incentives, in the form of company stock, stock options, or long-term cash awards, as well as potential discretionary bonuses and the ability to purchase additional stock at a discount through an Employee Stock Purchase Plan. You will also receive access to comprehensive medical, vision, and dental coverage, access to a 401(k) retirement plan, short and long-term disability insurance, life insurance, paid parental leave, and various other discounts and perks. You may also accrue 3 weeks of paid vacation and will be eligible for 10 or more paid holidays per year. Exempt employees are eligible for 5 days of sick leave per year.

ITAR REQUIREMENTS:

  • To conform to U.S. Government export regulations, applicant must be a (i) U.S. citizen or national, (ii) U.S. lawful, permanent resident (aka green card holder), (iii) Refugee under 8 U.S.C. § 1157, or (iv) Asylee under 8 U.S.C. § 1158, or be 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 (310) 363-6000.