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Planet Labs // commercial satellite network
Engineering, Full Time    San Francisco, CA    Posted: Tuesday, May 04, 2021
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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:

As a Guidance & Control Engineer, you will work on a small team of dedicated engineers responsible for the attitude determination & control subsystem of the Planet Labs satellites. Key functions include development & implementation of attitude determination & control algorithms, anomaly resolution, spacecraft telemetry trending, & generation/validation of operational products related to attitude determination. You will be responsible for performing technical analysis to support flight operations & inform design decisions for future spacecraft. You will assist in the development & analysis of new mission concepts & support the development of the state estimation & commanding system for a three axis stabilized spacecraft. You will also build ground testing equipment for concept validation & have the opportunity to take designs from scratch to space operation.

Impact Youll Own:

  • Hardware testing
  • On-orbit operations
  • Flight code development

What You Bring:

  • Masters degree in Aerospace Engineering or related field
  • At least 5 years of experience as an estimation/controls engineer or related position
  • Practical experience developing production-quality real-time systems in C for microcontroller or embedded Linux target
  • Experience with Matlab/Simulink
  • Familiarity with software engineering tools & processes (version control, code review, regression testing)
  • Ability to test, evaluate & guide ADCS hardware decisions
  • Working knowledge of optimal state estimation & control theory, force & momentum formulations, numerical methods & 6-DOF simulations
  • Ability to carry out first-principles analysis & derive control/estimation specifications
  • Practical experience troubleshooting & debugging complex systems
  • Propulsion expertise
  • Willing to do hands-on experiments & testing

What Makes You Stand Out:

  • Experience with STK, Python
  • Established record of spacecraft project experience
  • Experience in the design & calibration of low-cost sensors & actuators
  • Basic understanding of orbital mechanics
  • Experience in spacecraft or related flight operations
  • Significant publications or conference presentations

Benefits While Working at Planet:


  • Comprehensive Health Plan
  • Wellness program & onsite massages
  • 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. 

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