Job ID: 199171

Ground Systems Aerospace Engineer (0546U), Space Sciences Laboratory - 40911

University of California, Berkeley

  • Nov. 10, 2022
  • Ground Systems Aerospace Engineer (0546U), Space Sciences Laboratory - 40911
  • University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, CA
  • Open until filled
  • Available immediately
  • Professional Staff
  • Aerospace/Aeronautical/Astronautics

Ground Systems Aerospace Engineer (0546U), Space Sciences Laboratory - 40911

About Berkeley

At the University of California, Berkeley, we are committed to creating a community that fosters equity of experience and opportunity, and ensures that students, faculty, and staff of all backgrounds feel safe, welcome and included. Our culture of openness, freedom and belonging make it a special place for students, faculty and staff.

The University of California, Berkeley, is one of the world's leading institutions of higher education, distinguished by its combination of internationally recognized academic and research excellence; the transformative opportunity it provides to a large and diverse student body; its public mission and commitment to equity and social justice; and its roots in the California experience, animated by such values as innovation, questioning the status quo, and respect for the environment and nature. Since its founding in 1868, Berkeley has fueled a perpetual renaissance, generating unparalleled intellectual, economic and social value in California, the United States and the world.

We are looking for equity-minded applicants who represent the full diversity of California and who demonstrate a sensitivity to and understanding of the diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ethnic backgrounds present in our community. When you join the team at Berkeley, you can expect to be part of an inclusive, innovative and equity-focused community that approaches higher education as a matter of social justice that requires broad collaboration among faculty, staff, students and community partners. In deciding whether to apply for a position at Berkeley, you are strongly encouraged to consider whether your values align with our Guiding Values and Principles, our Principles of Community, and our Strategic Plan.

Departmental Overview

The Space Sciences Laboratory (SSL) is an Organized Research Unit (ORU) of the Berkeley campus reporting to the Vice Chancellor for Research. SSL's primary goal is to foster research in space-related sciences and to provide education for the next generation of space scientists. Research at SSL, led by Berkeley faculty and SSL Senior Fellows, focuses on experiments and observations carried out in space as well as theoretical and basic research.

The Space Sciences Laboratory at the University of California at Berkeley operates a satellite Mission Operations Center (MOC) with responsibility to control a fleet of (currently) seven NASA-funded satellites, which pursue investigations in furtherance of Space Sciences Laboratory's scientific goals. Four more satellites are currently in development, with two bound for Mars. The MOC is responsible for all aspects of flight operations of these satellites: ground station antenna operations, communication pass and science planning, real-time command and control, flight dynamics and navigation, health and safety monitoring, data recovery, and delivery of raw data for further analysis by scientific teams. The ground segment of the MOC is the synthesis of hardware, software and network elements that are needed to perform flight operations in a reliable, automated, and low-cost manner.

In addition to operating existing projects, the mission operations group gets involved in the mission development, integration, and testing phases of new projects, during which the ground segment must be adapted and expanded to support a diversity of mission, spacecraft, and instrument designs. The applicant to this position would assist in and take leadership on various aspects of this adaptation and expansion, while also helping to maintain and improve the ground segment for existing projects.

The Mission Operations Center uses the Linux operating system, and runs a combination of in-house developed software (written largely C, C++, and C shell scripts) as well as commercial and government off-the-shelf (COTS and GOTS) applications. Git is used for revision control. Existing in-house software systems leverage a MySQL database and Qt 5 for cross-platform GUI and networking support. The applicant must have demonstrable experience with the software design and maintenance lifecycle in a high-level, object-oriented language, and abilities in software development of application-level client/server TCP/IP networking. Familiarity with the Linux operating system is highly desirable. The applicant may also be called upon for occasional travel to support integration of hardware and software solutions that the MOC provides to remote partners. Familiarity with concepts of telemetry and telecommand encoding, such as Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS) standards and techniques of data encryption, is desirable as is familiarity with spacecraft command and telemetry dictionaries.

Crucially, ground segments tasks are all undertaken in an environment where the safety of ongoing satellite operations must be preserved, and system configuration is changed only after careful review and approval.

Application Review Date

The First Review Date for this job is: August 25, 2022


  • Assist or lead in software development or modification to integrate new missions into the mission operations ground segment.
  • Help to maintain and improve ground segment software in support of currently active missions, with a focus on further improving efficiency and automation.
  • Research, evaluate, recommend, and initiate upgrade paths for new ground segment software and systems capabilities
  • Author ground segment design notes, end-user documentation, and mission readiness test reports.
  • Assist in anomaly responses on existing missions as they arise
  • Oversee revision control of ground segment electronic resources.

Required Qualifications

  • Demonstrated experience with working within the software lifecycle in a multidisciplinary team environment.
  • Demonstrated use of a high-level, object-oriented language (e.g. C++ or Java) to implement a software application, either user-facing or back-end.
  • Proficiency with version control (preferably GIT)
  • Demonstrated ability to work on multiple projects as a key member of a small but tightly integrated team.
  • Must be able to qualify for access to export-controlled information.


  • Advanced degree in related area and / or equivalent experience / training.

Preferred Qualifications

  • At least 2+ years professional experience preferred.
  • Strong experience with TCP/IP networking from a software development perspective; also, familiarity with VPN and secure shell tunnels.
  • Experience working on satellite ground segments.
  • Experience introducing software automation to a technical project.
  • Experience working within a spacecraft mission operations environment.
  • Experience with encryption and authentication techniques in the space telecommand domain.

Salary & Benefits

This is an exempt, monthly paid position. Annual salary is commensurate with experience within the range of $101,300.00 - $157,000.00.

For information on the comprehensive benefits package offered by the University visit:

How to Apply

Please submit your cover letter and resume as a single attachment when applying. Please upload the document in the Resume section, then skip the (optional) Cover Letter upload section.

Conviction History Background

This is a designated position requiring fingerprinting and a background check due to the nature of the job responsibilities. Berkeley does hire people with conviction histories and reviews information received in the context of the job responsibilities. The University reserves the right to make employment contingent upon successful completion of the background check.

Equal Employment Opportunity

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status. For more information about your rights as an applicant see:
For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

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