RF /Electrical Engineer

VA, United States (USA), Sapienza Consulting [NSSR0004]

Field(s) of expertise
Space Systems Engineering
Job type

About this job

We have been retained by a nano-sat start-up venture who are seeking an experienced RF/Electrical Engineer who can support the venture’s efforts to build out and test the key technologies related to the firm’s space and ground payloads.

If you love working with SDRs, Antennas, single-board computers, FPGAs, GPUs, CPUs, and SoCs then you should come and help us build the most novel communications system the world has ever seen.

As an RF/Electrical Engineer you will be responsible for wearing many hats in the world of radio frequencies, electronics, hardware, and software. You will be responsible for the analysis, design, implementation, optimization and enhancement of our nano-satellite communications payload (and, ultimately, the future constellation network).

Some work products will include link budgets analysis, system dimensioning for coverage and capacity (including traffic analysis and simulation), initial system design and dimensioning, coverage planning, frequency planning, interference analysis and mitigation techniques. Support the iterative design and test of our nano-satellite payload hardware/electronics and software. This will include working with software defined radios, single-board computers, FPGAs, SoCs, processors, LNAs, and filters – you will also be involved in our payload antenna selection and design.

While playing with all this hardware on a bench, you’ll probably need to pick up a soldering gun, use a spectrum analyzer, assemble circuits on a breadboard, and/or configure an RF channel simulator. If you enjoy the challenge of wearing many hats and have a track record of creative thinking to solve unconventional problems, then we look forward to meeting you!


  • Because we are a small company, the RF/Electrical Engineer will be responsible for straddling engineering work in the domains of RF, electrical, mechanical, and software engineering.
  • Support design of spacecraft payload hardware (including single-board computers, SDRs, FPGAs, SoCs, processors, LNAs, filters, amplifiers, etc.) and software design and development
  • Support selection and design of nanosatellite antenna technologies
  • Develop link budget analyses, simulations, traffic/capacity analysis, RF system design and dimensioning, coverage and frequency planning, etc.
  • Support spacecraft payload integration, testing, delivery to launch and spacecraft bus partners/vendors.
  • Designing and planning payload testing configurations on the ground when testing payload communications performance both in-lab and in-orbit.
  • Interface with Systems Engineering team to inform constellation/network architecture and design based on RF communications payload performance.
  • Bench level mechatronics work including testing, integration, assembly, programming and prototyping of electronics hardware and software.
  • Some software-based Systems Engineering analysis
  • Supporting developing and maintaining technical documentation for payload design and development.
  • Must be able to work independently and in a team environment.


  • A Bachelor’s degree (or better) in RF or Electrical Engineering.
  • Experience working on projects developing space payload hardware and software (preferably communications systems).
  • Hands-on experience with software-defined radios, antennas, FPGAs, GPUs, CPUs, SoCs, single-board computers, microcontrollers is highly desired.
  • Programming Proficiency in one or more programming languages is highly desired (e.g. C++, C, Python, MATLAB, etc.)
  • Should have experience working with Linux based systems.
  • Familiarity with VHDL or Verilog and Altera or Xilinx FPGAs is desired.
  • Proficiency with electrical design software, such as Altium is a plus.
  • Strong knowledge and understanding of RF air interfaces and their use of multiple access schemes such as TDMA, FDMA, OFDMA, CDMA, etc. is highly desired.
  • Hands-on experience with integrating hardware and software systems is desired.
  • Must be good with computers. Fluent in Linux, Windows, and Mac OSX; Very capable with Microsoft Office (Excel, Project, PowerPoint, Word).
  • Hands-on experience with programming microcontrollers and SDRs is desired.
  • Knowledge of some communications/networking protocols (for instance: IP, TCP/IP, SNMP, SDH/SONET, Ethernet, Carrier Grade Ethernet, DSL, SS7, ISDN, Q2931, B-ISDN, X.25, 802.11, 802.16, SIP, TDMA, FDMA, CDMA, LTE, EDGE, GPRS, HSPA, GSM, etc.)
  • Must be a US citizen

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