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Planet Labs // commercial satellite network
Engineering, Full Time    San Francisco, CA    Posted: Wednesday, April 06, 2022
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Welcome to Planet. We believe in using space to help life on Earth.

Planet designs, builds, & operates the largest constellation of imaging satellites in history. This constellation delivers an unprecedented dataset of empirical information via a revolutionary cloud-based platform to authoritative figures in commercial, environmental, & humanitarian sectors. We are both a space company & data company all rolled into one.

Customers & users across the globe use Planet's data to develop new technologies, drive revenue, power research, & solve our worlds toughest obstacles.

As we control every component of hardware design, manufacturing, data processing, & software engineering, our office is a truly inspiring mix of experts from a variety of domains.

We have a people-centric approach toward culture & community & we strive to iterate in a way that puts our team members first & prepares our company for growth. Join Planet & be a part of our mission to change the way people see the world.

Planet is headquartered in San Francisco, California, Earth.

About the Role:  

Planet is working on the next generation small satellite bus that will host a high resolution optical imaging payload (Pelican) & a hyperspectral payload (Carbon Mapper). Planet has continuously iterated & developed small spacecraft communication systems including board level hardware, antennas, & ground station equipment that produce record data rates. Our system consists of transceivers in several bands, as well as a worldwide network of ground stations.  We are seeking a seasoned  RF & communication engineer to develop our next-generation onboard & ground radios & antenna systems that pushes the frontiers of satellite communications. You will make evolutionary & revolutionary improvements in their performance, reliability & cost, including the design of next-generation S-band through Ka-band radios & a variety of antennas as well as work with vendors on various design projects. You will be responsible for PCB layout projects & interfacing with mechanical engineers to address challenging packaging & thermal issues. You will conduct environmental & EMC testing on communication subsystems & get them ready for flight. You will work closely with systems engineering, missions, & manufacturing teams to ensure mission success..

Impact Youll Own:

  • RF hardware circuit design, simulation (Spice, ADS), & instrumentation & testing
  • RF system design, link budgets, & interference analysis
  • EMI testing & mitigation
  • Antenna design, simulation & testing (ADS, HFSS)
  • Digital communications theory & associated signal processing algorithms for both narrowband & wideband data transmission systems
  • Software Defined Radio (SDR) platforms & respective signal processing libraries (ex.: GNURadio)
  • Validation & Verification of radios & antennas pre-shipment & validation of radio performance on orbit after satellite launch.

What You Bring:

  • 10+ years of engineering experience designing & maturing RF/antennas/SDRs to market, ability to review low-level design decisions & understand their impact to the larger system/mission
  • Strong fundamentals in RF/microwave, electromagnetics, & signal processing
  • Proven ability to support & criticize RF layout, RF circuit design & component selection
  • Strong knowledge of digital communications theory & associated signal processing algorithms for both narrowband & wideband data transmission systems 
  • Proven ability to adapt & learn a multitude of skills in order to develop/contribute to the design of a complex system including but not limited to active RF circuits, transceivers, mixers, switches, RF amplifiers, oscillators, detectors, filters, & other building blocks for space & ground station applications.
  • BSEE is required, MS/PhD preferred

What Makes You Stand Out:

  • Experience with Altium or similar EDA tools, high-density PCB design, high speed clock trees. 
  • Experience in Linux, Python, & data analysis
  • Excited by working in an agile, fast-paced environment, even in times of uncertainty & ambiguity.
  • Strong understanding of cross-team dependencies including mechanical, thermal, structural, & space environmental effects

Benefits While Working at Planet:

  • Comprehensive Health Plan
  • Wellness program & onsite massages in specific offices
  • Flexible Time Off
  • Recognition Programs
  • Commuter Benefits
  • Learning & Tuition Reimbursement
  • Parental Leave
  • Offsites & Happy Hours
  • Volunteering Benefits

Some Press About Us: 

Our CEO, Will Marshall featured on TED and featured in a Planet Blog

Planet: Bringing Space Back Down to Earth

Tiny, privately owned satellites are changing how we view the Earth features in NBC News

Planet And Rocket Lab Create Mission Patch To Honor Women In Aerospace Planet Blog

Why we care so much about Belonging. 

Were dedicated to helping the whole Planet, & to do that we must strive to represent all of it within each of our offices & on all of our teams. Thats why Planet is guided by an ultimate  north star of Belonging, dreaming big as we approach our ongoing work with diversity, equity & inclusion.  If this job intrigues you, but youre thinking you might not have all the qualifications, please... do apply!  At Planet, we are looking for well-rounded people from around the world who can contribute to more ways than just what is listed in this job description.  We dont just fill positions, we aspire to fulfill peoples careers, most excited about folks who are motivated by our underlying humanitarian efforts.  We are a few orbits around the sun before we get to where we want to be, so we hope youre excited to come along for the ride. 

EEO statement:

Planet is committed to building a community where everyone belongs & we invite people from all backgrounds to apply. Planet is an equal opportunity employer, & committed to providing employment opportunities regardless of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, childbirth & breastfeeding, age, sexual orientation, military or veteran status, or any other protected classification, in accordance with applicable federal, state, & local laws. 


Planet is an inclusive community & we know that everyone has their own needs. If you have a disability or special need that requires accommodation during the interview process, please call Planet's front office at 669-214-9404 or contact your recruiter with your request. Your message will be confidential & we will be happy to assist you.

Privacy Policy: By clicking "Apply Now" at the top of this job posting, I acknowledge that I have read the Planet Data Privacy Notice for California Staff Members & Applicants, & hereby consent to the collection, processing, use, & storage of my personal information as described therein.

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