People Matter

FPGA Engineer

Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab

Long Beach, CA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, April 5, 2023

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.


This is a rare opportunity to play a key role in Rocket Lab’s evolution into an end-to-end space company that delivers launch, spacecraft, and on-orbit operations. The Space Systems Division is shaping Rocket Lab’s future with Photon, our brand of high-performance satellites, enabling innovative missions in low Earth orbit and beyond including missions for NASA to LEO, the Moon, and Mars and commercial customers, including leading the design and manufacture of 17 high-power telecommunication spacecraft buses for Globalstar.

Rocket Lab is also growing our spacecraft components business, anchored on the acquisition of Sinclair Interplanetary manufacturing reaction wheels and star trackers in Toronto, SolAero Technologies manufacturing solar power and primary structure solutions in Albuquerque, Planetary Systems Corporation manufacturing launch separation systems in Silver Spring, and Advanced Solutions, Inc., provider of flight and ground software as a service in Denver. Our components business is key to vertically integrating our spacecraft solutions and enabling constellations for customers.


Based out of Rocket Lab’s global headquarters in Long Beach, the FPGA Engineer is responsible for assisting in the development of avionics for its satellite and spacecraft programs. You will participate in all aspects of FPGA firmware design, from requirements definition to design, implementation, and testing. You will support the Space Systems organization, with deliverables required for internal leadership, board of directors, and investors.


  • Collaborate with other engineering disciplines in developing system and firmware architecture and requirements
  • Develop FPGA firmware for Xilinx and Microsemi FPGA and SoC devices
  • Develop documentation for FPGA operation and interfacing with other SW and FPGA systems
  • Develop and participate in test campaigns, ranging from unit-level to automated testing at the subsystem and system level

YOU’LL BRING THESE QUALIFICATIONS (Note: you must meet every qualification in order to be considered):

  • Bachelor’s degree in electrical, computer, or software engineering; or other technical discipline
  • Experience with FPGA firmware development


  • Master’s degree in electrical, computer, or software engineering; or other technical discipline
  • Proficiency with Xilinx and Microsemi devices and tools
  • Proficiency understanding PCB designs and reading schematics
  • Proficiency understanding embedded software
  • Demonstrated success working in a dynamic environment
  • Experience with FPGAs and embedded systems in a radiation environment, including SEU/SEL impact and mitigation within spacecraft avionics
  • Proficiency with lab tools and working with hardware
  • Embedded software development for ARM processors and MCUs over the full stack including Linux
  • PCB design including schematic capture and layout in Altium Designer
  • Proficiency with JIRA
The expected salary range for the position is displayed in accordance with the California Equal Pay for Equal Work Act. Final agreed upon compensation is based upon individual qualifications and experience.

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.
Base Pay Range (CA Only)
$95,000$125,000 USD

Important information:


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 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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