Airbus Defense and Space
  • 15-Oct-2020 to 28-Feb-2021 (EST)
  • AIRBUS U.S. Space & Defense, Inc.
  • Arlington, VA, USA
  • $89,000 - $160,000+ DOE (depending on experience)
  • Salary
  • Full Time

This position offers the following benefits: Medical insurance, Dental insurance, Vision insurance, Prescription insurance, Employee Assistance Program, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts, Commuter Benefit Program, Basic & Voluntary Life and Accidental Death & Dismemberment insurance, Short and Long-term Disability insurance, Voluntary Accident insurance, Voluntary Critical Illness insurance, Identity Theft & Fraud Resolution insurance, Legal Plan insurance, 401(k), Travel Assistance, International SOS insurance, Paid Vacation, Paid Personal Time, Paid Holidays, Tuition Assistance, Bonus(es). These are our current benefit offerings for the 2021 plan year and are subject to change without notice.

Airbus is an international pioneer in the aerospace industry. We are a leader in designing, manufacturing and delivering aerospace products, services and solutions to customers on a global scale. We aim for a better-connected, safer and more prosperous world.

A commercial aircraft manufacturer, with Space and Defense as well as Helicopters Divisions, Airbus is the largest aeronautics and space company in Europe and a worldwide leader.

Airbus has built on its strong European heritage to become truly international with roughly 180 locations and 12,000 direct suppliers globally. The company has aircraft and helicopter final assembly lines across Asia, Europe and the Americas, and has achieved a more than sixfold order book increase since 2000.

Position Summary: The Senior Systems Engineer, Laser Communications will be responsible for spacecraft laser communication subsystem engineering for Airbus US.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • 65%

  • Lead the design and implementation of laser communication equipment for spacecraft systems, including:
    • Optical Intersatellite Laser Communication Terminals,
      • Including coarse and fine-pointing assemblies
    • Optical Modems
    • Pointing and Tracking Algorithms
    • System Performance Models (Link Budgets, Error Budgets)
  • Ensure hardware compatibility with expected mission environments (AO, radiation, etc.)
  • Support the development of system level requirements and requirement flow-down to the components and parts
  • Support the full development lifecycle with particular emphasis on Design for Cost/Design for Manufacturability/Design for Test approaches
  • Support the full program lifecycle, from requirements development, hardware design, manufacturing, test, and in-orbit support. Lead reviews for program milestones (PDR, CDR, TRR, etc...)
  • Ability to drive multiple design activities (programs or missions) could lead to spacecraft, payload, satellite bus, and/or launch integration activities
  • Demonstrated ability to participate in cross-functional planning, coordination, and task execution situations involving the full spectrum of engineering development and integration activities;

  • 15%

  • Support Airbus spacecraft development product roadmap: includes design improvements, schedule, and cost targets aligned for future business captures.
  • Support the definition of spacecraft customization process for customer mission needs.

  • 10%

  • Perform all the necessary laser communication system engineering activities to build, to maintain and to evolve the Airbus spacecraft products.

Additional Responsibilities: 10%

Other duties as assigned

Qualified Experience / Skills / Training:


  • Bachelor's degree in STEM (Science, Technical, Engineering, Math) or related scientific areas or combination of education and experience.
  • Preferred: Master's degree in STEM (Science, Technical, Engineering, Math) or related scientific areas or combination of education and experience.


  • Minimum 10 years of experience in laser or RF communication hardware for spacecraft systems
  • Proven track-record of working with satellite systems, starting from conceptual designs and tradeoffs thru detailed design, development, manufacture, integration, and test.
  • Design for Manufacturing/Design for Test experience highly desirable.

Knowledge, Skills, Demonstrated Capabilities:

  • Proficiency with Engineering tools relevant to opto-mechanical system design.
  • Familiarity with elements of space mission architectures extending beyond the satellite platform including launch, flight operations, mission CONOPS, user interfaces, etc.
  • Proficiency with MS Office applications.
  • Communicate in a clear and concise manner effectively across multiple levels.
  • Be team-minded and ready to work in a multi-functional and multi-cultural, fast-moving and complex/technical environment.
  • Flexible attitude and strong initiative.
  • Demonstrated ability to deliver results.

Communication Skills (Spoken, Written, Influencing, Proficiency in Other Languages):

  • Excellent listening, comprehension & interpersonal skills as responsible for daily communication via email and phone calls required.
  • Excellent analytical, interpersonal, communication (verbal/writing), and presentation skills.


  • Primary location is either Rosslyn, VA or Merritt Island, FL
  • Occasional travel between VA and FL facilities
  • Occasional International travel to collaborate with European Airbus counterparts


  • US citizenship is required


  • Ability to obtain and maintain a Government security clearance
  • Active DoD security clearance at Secret or above highly desirable.

Organizational information:

Direct Reports: Exempt: 0

Non-exempt: 0

Equal Opportunity: Airbus is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status. Airbus is also committed to compliance with all fair employment practices regarding citizenship and immigration status.

As a leader in our field, Airbus provides relocation assistance for qualified positions and a comprehensive compensation and benefits package.

As a matter of policy, Airbus does not sponsor visas for US positions unless specified. Only applicants with current work authorization will be considered.

Airbus does not offer tenured or guaranteed employment. Employment with Airbus is at will, meaning either the company or the employee can terminate the employment relationship at any time, with or without cause, with or without notice.

Airbus Defense and Space
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