Virgin Galactic

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Associate Engineer- Avionics & Electrical (Flight Systems)

Associate Engineer- Avionics & Electrical (Flight Systems)

Req No. 
Job Locations 
US-NM-Las Cruces
Regular Full-Time
Virgin Galactic

More information about this job

Who we are

Virgin Galactic ( is on track to become the world’s first private “spaceline”. It is dedicated to becoming a world leader in sub-orbital commercial space tourism with a longer term vision to develop orbital flights for space tourism and other commercial applications.


Our Values
The Virgin Galactic organization has a relaxed and informal culture that encourages individuality and innovation. You will be motivated, enterprising and enthusiastic. Company culture is such that you need to be able to “check your ego at the door,” be a self-starter and possess a sense of humility. You will work well under commercial pressure and thrive on being given challenges and responsibility. You will communicate clearly and be confident and persuasive. You will have a high level of integrity and understand the need of complete confidentiality.


Who you are
We are seeking an Associate Avionics and Electrical Systems Engineer- Flight Systems to take responsibility for the operations engineering of the avionics and electrical hardware for the WhiteknightTwo (WK2) and SpaceshipTwo (SS2) flight vehicles at Mojave, CA and then Spaceport America, New Mexico. The position includes both systems tasks and hands-on test and operations tasks. The scope of the flight avionics/electrical systems engineering position includes: flight avionics hardware, signal conditioning, data acquisition, actuator control, RF communication, wire harness elements, flight software including hardware interface, vehicle guidance, navigation, control, fault tolerance, associated ground-support electronics hardware and software, and integrated vehicle health monitoring. Develops, documents, tests, and debugs avionics software that contains logical and mathematical solutions to mission problems or questions. Supports missions at Mission Control Center as responsible engineer.


Location: Initial start is in Mojave, CA. Transitions to Las Cruces, NM area for commercial operations.




Your Mission

  • Perform system integration for SS2/WK2 avionics equipment in aircraft/spacecraft including preparation/ modification of schematics, wiring harness drawings and other work authorizing documents.
  • Prepare ground test plans and flight test plans for avionics equipment evaluation.
  • Assist in the preparation/updates of FAA AST Part 400 vehicle licensing documents related to avionics systems as appropriate.
  • Coordinate with TSC counterpart engineers on requirements development, hardware/software design, verification, and validation activities.
  • Partner with TSC counterpart to develop solutions to address hardware and software obsolescence.
  • Responsible for the technical operational performance of the flight element avionics and electrical systems; includes:
  • Coordinate and/or integrate with counterpart TSC designers on modifications and/or design change proposals for assigned systems. Review and propose concepts for redesign recommendations based on operational experience, reliability, maintainability, etc. on assigned systems.
  • Review and approve technical publications. Propose modifications where appropriate. Includes:

o    Review and approve repair manuals. May author portions as appropriate.

o    Approve and/or review disposition for component removals and replacements.

o    Author and/or approve troubleshooting dispositions.

o    Author and/or approve Work Instructions/Engineering Reports.

  • Develop and remain technical authority for assigned Flight Rules, Launch Commit Criteria, and Required Equipment List (REL) items, and how they interact for assigned systems.
  • Define and implement process to make real-time decisions and/or issue waivers to hazard reports, flight rules, launch commit criteria, and REL items for assigned systems.
  • Provide control room systems engineering support in real time during the mission to monitor systems performance and recommend corrective actions on issues.
  • Perform post flight data analysis function, including continued development of system health monitoring and reliability data for more established systems
  • Perform analysis of tear down and failure reports for failed vendor components (if available)
  • Communicate reliability data/recommendations back to TSC designers.

What you bring

  • B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Data Systems or similar degree required.
  • 0 - 4 years of relevant avionics engineering experience on development/operational aircraft and/or spacecraft; Relevant internships or on the job experience are highly preferred.
  • Must understand the systems engineering process.
  • Must have the ability to troubleshoot electromechanical and avionics systems including fault tree analysis.
  • Requires skills with business and engineering software packages: MS Office, MS Visio, and MATLAB. Skills with computer operating systems and basic networking theory is highly desirable.
  • Skill integrating software programming (embedded or otherwise) to avionics on the vehicles and/or simulators desired. Familiarization with C++, Java, MS Visual Basic, XML, Python or similar is desired.
  • Familiarization with DO-178 and DO-254 is a plus.
  • Must be a “U.S. person” as defined by the ITAR (22 CFR §120.15). 


Virgin Galactic is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with Virgin Galactic is governed on the basis of merit, competence and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, color, religion, gender, national origin/ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status. 


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