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Senior GNC Engineer

Orbit Fab

Orbit Fab

Other Engineering
Lafayette, CO, USA
Posted on Wednesday, May 11, 2022

With a vision for a bustling in-space economy that can support permanent jobs in space, Orbit Fab is building the fundamental infrastructure this entire economy can be built upon: a fuel supply in orbit.

Today, satellites cannot be refueled. A single-use paradigm severely limits satellite mobility and holds back the development of economic activities in space. Orbit Fab is building the first Gas Stations in Space™ refueling infrastructure. We develop the supply chain architecture and technology to deliver propellant in space, allowing satellites to be built for lower cost, to be more flexible and maneuverable, to be more precisely controlled, and to operate longer, enabling operations and business models that have never before been imagined..

Established in 2018, we have already flown three tankers to space; with the first one flown within one year of founding. Working closely with partners and customers across the space industry, we are making the thriving in-space economy a reality.


As the Senior GNC Engineer at Orbit Fab you will be responsible for developing guidance, navigation, and control systems to support a variety of upcoming Orbit Fab missions. A major emphasis is on reliable filtering and controls schemes for spacecraft proximity operations and docking.

Below are the skills, qualifications, and responsibilities that we need to have as a team. You don't need all of them. Your aptitude for complex technical challenges and your practical experience designing/building/coding stuff will trump specific qualification or tools any day!


  • Develop control schemes for Orbit Fab’s technologies including spacecraft attitude and maneuver controllers
  • Architect, plan and implement software solutions for control during in-space formation flying and proximity operations
  • Plan and implement tests and simulations of spacecraft controls systems
  • Assist in overall system design and development providing input to trade studies and hardware selection particularly for thruster configuration and allocation and navigation sensor selection.
  • Develop navigation approach that has different sensors or processing of the sensor data at different ranges, smoothly transition between those approaches, and be robust to failures and degrades gracefully.
  • Directly interact with the customers, both government and commercial
  • Manage the GNC project/tasks, interact with contractors and vendors to meet the needs of the project

Experience, Qualifications, and Characteristics

  • Knowledge of linear and non-linear systems, feedback control, signal processing, and signal filtering
  • Experience developing control laws for complex dynamic systems
  • Experience implementing controls in software including (Python, Matlab, Simulink, C or similar programming languages
  • Experience with sensor fusion for use in space navigation. Kalman filter tuning.
  • Ability to develop simulations to test and analyze controller and filter performance
  • Ability to plan and implement tests of control system performance using flight or flight-like hardware
  • Expertise working in a diverse, multidisciplinary team environment that includes business communication and diverse engineering disciplines
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • BS degree and six (6) years of related engineering experience, or
  • MS degree in related field and four (4) years of related engineering experience, or
  • Ph.D. in related field and (2) years of related experience

Nice to Have

  • Hands-on experience developing flight software
  • Familiarity with RTOS, determinism, safety-critical systems, and hard- or soft-real-time design constraints (RTEMS, FreeRTOS, Rate-Monotonic Analysis and system resource monitoring)
  • Experience with computer vision, sensor fusion, and machine learning
  • Familiarity with terrestrial or space-based computer vision systems
  • MS or higher in Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Software Engineering, or similar
  • Familiarity with space flight operations and procedures
  • Experience with MATLAB and Simulink toolboxes, particularly computer vision or embedded coder toolboxes
  • Experience with requirements management, decomposition, and communication.
  • Active Security Clearance

The estimated salary range for this position is $130,000-160,000

If you feel you would succeed in the role above, we encourage you to apply regardless of whether or not you meet all of the requirements listed.

Location and Benefits

Orbit Fab is based out of Lafayette, Colorado and all roles are based in Colorado. We offer fully covered benefits and flexible work hours.


To conform to US Government space technology export regulations, applicants must be a US citizen, lawful permanent resident of the US, protected individual as defined by 8 USC 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorization from the US Department of State.

Orbit Fab Inc does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.