Flight Termination Systems Lead
About The Role
Rocket Lab is a vertically integrated provider of small launch services, satellites, and spacecraft components. Our mission is to open access to space to improve life on Earth. Our team is over 1,500 people strong and we’re adding to it every week. Collaboration is at our core – every idea is heard, and everyone makes a difference. Teams are nimble, decisions are made quickly, and we are action oriented.
Neutron is a medium lift launch vehicle capable of delivering the mega constellations of tomorrow, high assurance payloads, and human spaceflight. As a highly reusable launch platform, Neutron will deliver a highly cost-effective and reliable launch solution leveraging Rocket Lab’s proven execution history with the Electron program. If you’re interested in joining a high performing team, pushing the boundaries with a clean sheet development of re-usable liquid launch vehicle, this is your opportunity!
FLIGHT TERMINATION SYSTEMS LEAD
As the Flight Termination Systems Lead you will be responsible for all aspects of Flight Safety System (FSS) and Flight Termination System (FTS) architecture, system design, verification, certification per regulatory requirements, and flight operations. A major focus area of this role with be the Neutron reusable launch vehicle currently in development. You should be organized, a good communicator, and excellent at identifying and solving problems related to the integration of complex systems. You should be familiar with all, and well versed in at least one, of the many engineering disciplines which are part of a flight termination system: electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, software engineering, structural and thermal analysis, environmental test, and collaboration with government entities for product certification.
WHAT YOU'LL GET TO DO:
- Design, analyze, and test components for Flight Termination Systems including power sources, processors, valves, and ordnance
- Lead hardware qualification efforts for Flight Termination System components
- Develop, or lead the development of, system and component level testing requirements, specifications, procedures, and documentation
- Lead analysis activities and support the development of documentation to meet requirements on a per-launch basis
- Manage, mentor, and support direct or indirect reports to be motivated, effective, and efficient in their roles
- Proactively identify capability gaps and work to fill them through internal collaboration or external recruitment
- Lead, manage, and support meetings with Launch Sites, Range Safety, and Government agencies (FAA, CAA, Federal Ranges)
- Develop flight safety requirements and mission rules across global launch sites
- Work with Rocket Lab's internal teams to assess and modify trajectories as informed by analysis
- Create informed project plans and budgetary estimates as inputs to program management functions, track progress against milestones, and react to change quickly and appropriately
- Proactively identify and solve technical challenges to allow projects to proceed at pace
YOU'LL BRING THESE QUALIFICATIONS:
- 3+ years’ experience with POST2, ASTOS, RRAT, or similar trajectory optimization software
- 5+ years’ prior experience working with launch sites and executing launch operations
- Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering, Electrical Engineering, or related technical discipline
- Demonstrated ability to effectively liaise and collaborate with external stakeholders
- Demonstrated success with highly detail-oriented projects
THESE QUALIFICATIONS WOULD BE NICE TO HAVE:
- Experience working with licensing requirements (CFR 413/414/440/450, AFSPC 91-710. RCC 319/324)
- Experience working with military and commercial ranges, FAA AST, ATC, USCG
- Ability to translate specifications and functional descriptions into fully operational automated test hardware and software
- Strong hands-on hardware troubleshooting and software debugging skills
- Proficiency in data acquisition, signal conditioning, data communication and system interface design
- Ability to learn new software skills/languages/applications quickly
- Familiarity with use of test equipment (e.g. logic analyzers, oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers, function generators, power supplies)
- Familiarity with environmental testing: Thermal, Vibration, Shock, Humidity, Vacuum, etc.
- Proficiency in general test software development environments
- Knowledge of manufacturing qualification and process controls and the differences between commercial, automotive, military, and space grade EEE parts
- Experience with root cause failure analysis
- Familiarity with microcontrollers is a plus
- Familiarity with ordnance systems is a plus
- Strong written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills
- Proven track record of leading a team to deliver complete and successful engineering projects
- Ability to work to deadlines within a high-pressure environment
In addition to base salary, Rocket Lab offers a comprehensive total compensation offer package based on individual qualifications and experience, including company stock. Employees will also be eligible for medical, dental, vision coverage, 401(k) retirement plan options, and to purchase discounted stock through Rocket Lab's Employee Stock Purchase Program.
FOR CANDIDATES SEEKING TO WORK IN US OFFICES ONLY:
To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, applicant must be a U.S. citizen as defined by ITAR (22 CFR §120.15) or eligible to obtain the required authorizations fromthe U.S Department of State.
Rocket Lab provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment at Rocket Lab, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.
FOR CANDIDATES SEEKING TO WORK IN NEW ZEALAND OFFICES ONLY:
For security reasons background checks will be undertaken prior to any employment offers being made to an applicant. These checks will include nationality checks as it is a requirement of this position that you be eligible to access equipment and data regulated by the United States' International Traffic in Arms Regulations.
Under these Regulations, you may be ineligible for this role if you do not hold citizenship of Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, the European Union or a country that is part of NATO, or if you hold ineligible dual citizenship or nationality. For more information on these Regulations, click here ITAR Regulations.
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