Sr. Software Engineer - Ground Segment

Job Expired

Louisville, CO - Centennial, CO, United States

Full Time

6 months ago

Job description

Do you enjoy developing new products and services? Join us! Our Software Engineers work in an agile, collective environment. You will be using your skills and expertise to define, design, develop, test, certify and improve cutting-edge software products. These cover a very wide range from advanced mission payloads and electronic systems through highly integrated aircraft to orbital and space exploration systems. You'll perform coding, debugging, testing, and troubleshooting of systems and software throughout our development process. Your technical duties involve the design and development of new software products throughout the product lifecycle.

Sierra Space-based in Louisville, CO with operations in Madison, WI, Durham, NC, Huntsville, AL, Houston, TX, and Kennedy Space Center, FL—designs and manufactures the Dream Chaser spaceplane and other advanced spacecraft, commercial space destinations, satellites, propulsion and environmental systems, spacecraft subsystems and components for the U.S. government (including NASA), commercial customers, and international organizations. Learn more about Sierra Space

Sierra Space’s Orbital Mission and Services (OMS) division focuses on the design, build, and operations of small satellites in support of commercial services and national security space and offers two work locations: Louisville, Colorado and Centennial, Colorado.

As a Senior Software Engineer, your primary responsibility will be designing, developing, and integrating various types of ground segment software and algorithms solutions for testbeds and spacecraft missions for both civilian and DoD GaaS applications.  These designs stem from understanding, analyzing and evaluating satellite and constellation capabilities, mission concepts, and system requirements. Your work will ensure we meet customer requirements by making data-driven decisions in architecting, planning, building and testing the design in a testbed prototype and subsequent delivery of the end product. Along the way, you will build tools and contribute to analyses of various architectures that include space vehicles, satellites, sensors, communications, and ground infrastructure; evolving or creating new approaches based on analysis results. You will also contribute to evaluating the mission effectiveness of the candidate approaches, balancing mission objectives against factors such as development and lifecycle costs. 

This candidate will have experience with all portions of the software life cycle (concept development, requirements definition, design, development, testing, and deployment).  The candidate participates in the design, development, and integration of space ground segment software to support ongoing and future satellite programs.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Assess new spacecraft designs to determine detailed, low-level ground segment software requirements
  • Conducts multidisciplinary research and collaborates with equipment designers and/or hardware engineers in the planning, design, development, and utilization of electronic data processing systems for product and commercial software
  • Determines computer user needs; analyzes system capabilities to resolve problems on program intent, output requirements, input data acquisition, programming techniques and controls; prepares operating instructions; designs and develops compilers and assemblers, utility programs, and operating systems
  • Estimate cost and schedule for spacecraft ground segment development activities
  • Ability to oversee subcontracted efforts
  • Ability to provide technical leadership to small work teams
  • Ability to trade multiple approaches to meeting mission requirements to find the best fit based on varying criteria
  • Implement best practices for developing maintainable production ready software products
  • Support functional testing of completed software items
  • Originate software architecture documents, verification and validation plans, procedures, reports, and other documentation in support of software design and development activities
  • Ensure compliance of software designs with Engineering performance specifications
  • Execute ground segment to spacecraft to ground software design and development activities consistent with Customer quality, cost, and schedule requirements
  • Read and interpret technical specifications
  • Prepare material for and present technical information at design reviews
  • Support the Flight Software Development Team, Hardware-Software Integration Team, and Flight Controllers through testing with NASA, Qualification of the Software, training of Flight Controllers and support during missions
  • Work with other engineers to implement operating procedures, resolve system issues, and provide required technical information
  • Understand, plan, and execute technical activities in accordance with Sierra Space policies, procedures, and work instructions


  • Bachelor's of Science degree in Computer Science, Software Engineering or other related discipline and typically 10 or more years of relevant experience
  • Relevant work experience may be considered in lieu of required education
  • Thorough understanding of Computer Aided Engineering tools
  • Demonstrated knowledge of engineering principles and practices
  • Experience working in multi-disciplinary teams, agile development methods and scrum experience


  • An active Top Secret with SCI eligibility U.S. Security Clearance strongly desired.
  • Demonstrated technical leadership to software teams across multiple IPTs.
  • Experience developing, testing, and debugging both Software in the Loop (SITL) and Hardware in the Loop (HITL) environments. 
  • Experience with hardware-software integration  
  • Advanced tools experience with C/C++, Python, Linux, MATLAB, Simulink, STK, DOORS, Rhapsody, DXL, JIRA, Excel VBA, OpenCV and/or other CI/CD tools
  • Certified through Scrum Alliance for Product Owner or Scrum Master
  • Knowledge of requirements management, system modeling, and information/front end development tools such as SysML, Cameo Enterprise Architect, Teamwork Cloud, Unified Architecture Framework, JavaScript, HTML, and CSS
  • Excellent communication skills (written and verbal). Demonstrated experience briefing technical subjects to both technical and non-technical people and delivering key messages and insights from analysis products.

At Sierra Space (Sierra Space) we deliver customer-focused technology and best-of-breed integrations in the aerospace and defense sectors. Sierra Space has been honored as one of the most innovative U.S. companies in space, a Tier One Superior Supplier for the U.S. Air Force, and as one of America’s fastest-growing companies. Learn more about Sierra Space

Physical/Mental/Emotional Requirements:

  • Frequently walk, sit, stand, climb stairs and steps
  • Frequently repeat same hand, arm, and finger motion many times to include finger and hand dexterity
  • Rarely lifting or carrying up to 20 lbs.

Working Conditions:

  • Rarely exposed to outdoor elements (high/low temperatures, sun, rain/snow, etc.)
  • Rarely exposed to fumes or hazardous chemicals/materials
  • Rarely exposed to loud noises


This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a Top Secret U.S. Security Clearance. U.S. Citizenship status is required as this position needs an active U.S. Security Clearance for employment. Non-U.S. Citizens may not be eligible to obtain a security clearance.  The Department of Defense Consolidated Adjudications Facility (DoD CAF), a federal government agency, handles the adjudicative aspects of the security clearance eligibility process for industry applicants. Adjudicative factors which affect the outcome of the eligibility determination include, but are not limited to, allegiance to the U.S., foreign influence, foreign preference, criminal conduct, security violations and illegal drug use. 

With 30+ years of proven spaceflight heritage, Sierra Space has provided more than 4,000 space systems, subsystems and components to customers worldwide, and participated in more than 500 missions to space, including to Mars. The company has technology in production and in development to enable space habitats for short- and long-duration space travel, a fleet of Dream Chaser spaceplanes, and the first free-flying commercial space station. Please visit to learn more about Sierra Space, its business areas, capabilities, programs, products and services.

Estimated Starting Salary Range: 

$138,634.92 - $207,952.37

Sierra Space offers annual incentive pay based upon performance that is commensurate with the level of the position.

Sierra Space offers a generous benefit package, including medical, dental, and vision plans, 401(k) with 150% match up to 8%, life insurance, 3 weeks paid time off, tuition reimbursement, and more.

At Sierra Space, our mission is to dream, innovate, inspire and empower the next generation to transform humanity through technology and imagination. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, we welcome our employees to bring their whole selves to their work. Sierra Space is committed to fostering an inclusive, accepting, and diverse environment free of discrimination on the basis of race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran. Contributions to Sierra Space come in many shapes and styles, and we believe diversity in our workforce fosters new and greater ways to dream, innovate, and inspire.

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