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Spacecraft Radio Frequency Engineer

Mid-Senior Level | Full-time
Engineering | livermore, CA | 01/16/2024

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Company Description

Join us and make YOUR mark on the World!

Are you interested in joining some of the brightest talent in the world to strengthen the United States’ security? Come join Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) where our employees apply their expertise to create solutions for BIG ideas that make our world a better place.

We are committed to a diverse and equitable workforce with an inclusive culture that values and celebrates the diversity of our people, talents, ideas, experiences, and perspectives. This is important for continued success of the Laboratory’s mission.

Pay Range

$132,810.00  - $170,556.00  Annually for the SES.2 level
$159,330.00  - $204,636.00  Annually for the SES.3 level

Please note that the pay range information is a general guideline only. Many factors are taken into consideration when setting starting pay including education, experience, the external labor market, and internal equity.

Job Description

We have multiple openings for experienced Radio Frequency (RF) Engineers to work on projects and initiatives with a focus on U.S. national security. You will be a member of an engineering team that will provide space mission engineering solutions for both national security and basic science investigations in direct support of LLNL’s Global Security Directorate Mission areas. As our RF engineer, you will be responsible for modeling RF front end components such as Power Amplifiers, Low Noise Amplifiers (LNAs), diplexers, couplers, circulators, filters and antennas. You will model RF front end assemblies that can be leveraged across multiple platforms, simulate their operation in complex environments to understand performance in different conditions, and help perform validation measurements to correlate your models with actual data at the component and system level. This position is in the Computational Engineering Division within the Engineering Directorate at LLNL. 

This position will be filled at either level based on knowledge and related experience as assessed by the hiring team. Additional job responsibilities (outlined below) will be assigned if hired at the higher level. 

You will 

  • Utilize ADS, CST Microwave Studio, HFSS, Comsol and other Radio Frequency & Electromagnetic tools for the design and simulation of antennas and RF front end modules and sub-assemblies.
  • Apply comprehensive understanding of transceiver requirements in satellite Telemetry, Tracking and Command (TT&C) subsystems.
  • Exercise technical knowledge of the limitations of proven concepts and practices on RF communication systems, equipment, and/or hardware to correctly evaluate alternatives or risk associated with using or replacing a nonconforming component for orbital requirements.
  • Work as an integral part of a small team of scientists and engineers to develop technical proposals for spacecraft missions including communications subsystem and payload specifications, spacecraft subsystem electrical specification, and cost and schedule estimates.
  • Participate in RF engineering design for spacecraft subsystems from conceptualization, simulation, part grade specification, layout, fabrication, and acceptance testing.
  • Review, advise, and conduct moderately complex to complex analysis and development studies in support of programmatic goals, including analysis of novel or unprecedented problems as an information resource to system engineers.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Additional job responsibilities, at the SES.3 level

  • Apply advanced RF engineering solutions and technical analysis to develop and implement creative solutions to resolve complex technical and programmatic issues.
  • Develop RF engineering path to flight vision and lead a team supporting spacecraft launch and early operations, maintaining spacecraft health and safety, optimizing performance, and troubleshooting anomalies.


  • Ability to secure and maintain a U.S. DOE Q-level security clearance with Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) access which requires U.S. citizenship.
  • Bachelor’s degree in RF/electrical engineering or related field, or the equivalent combination of education and related experience.
  • Comprehensive knowledge and broad experience with one or more of the following systems and subsystems: TT&C, communications, and RF sensing systems.
  • Experience working as a member of a multidisciplinary project team that may include engineers, scientists, designers, and technicians.
  • Experience devising solutions for moderately complex problems that require analysis of multiple, largely identifiable factors.
  • Proficient verbal and written communication skills necessary to effectively collaborate in a team environment and present and explain technical information to colleagues, management or sponsors.

Additional qualifications at the SES.3 level

  • Advanced knowledge of concepts related to aerospace and/or electrical engineering of spacecraft and experience leading the development of proposals to meet space mission customer requirements.
  • Significant experience with success developing and implementing creative solutions to a diverse range of complex multi-disciplinary problems and leading corrective actions where necessary.
  • Experience effectively managing multiple parallel tasks requiring prioritization of tasks toward predetermined targets, and experience estimating cost and schedule of projects.

Qualifications We Desire

  • Master’s degree in RF/electrical engineering or related field, or equivalent combination of education and related experience.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of space mission engineering principles, practices and applications.
  • Aerospace and/or spacecraft engineering experience with designing, assembling or testing flight hardware.

Additional Information

Position Information

This is a Career Indefinite position, open to Lab employees and external candidates.

Why Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory?

Security Clearance

This position requires a Department of Energy (DOE) Q-level clearance.  Also, you must have the ability to obtain and maintain Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) access.  If you are selected, we will initiate a Federal background investigation to determine if you meet eligibility requirements for access to classified information or matter. Also, all L or Q cleared employees are subject to random drug testing. Q-level clearance requires U.S. citizenship. 

Pre-Employment Drug Test

External applicant(s) selected for this position must pass a post-offer, pre-employment drug test. This includes testing for use of marijuana as Federal Law applies to us as a Federal Contractor.

How to identify fake job advertisements

Please be aware of recruitment scams where people or entities are misusing the name of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) to post fake job advertisements. LLNL never extends an offer without a personal interview and will never charge a fee for joining our company. All current job openings are displayed on the Career Page under “Find Your Job” of our website. If you have encountered a job posting or have been approached with a job offer that you suspect may be fraudulent, we strongly recommend you do not respond.

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Equal Employment Opportunity

We are an equal opportunity employer that is committed to providing all with a work environment free of discrimination and harassment. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, marital status, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, medical condition, pregnancy, protected veteran status, age, citizenship, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws.

We invite you to review the Equal Employment Opportunity posters which include EEO is the Law and Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision.

Reasonable Accommodation

Our goal is to create an accessible and inclusive experience for all candidates applying and interviewing at the Laboratory.  If you need a reasonable accommodation during the application or the recruiting process, please use our online form to submit a request. 

California Privacy Notice

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) grants privacy rights to all California residents. The law also entitles job applicants, employees, and non-employee workers to be notified of what personal information LLNL collects and for what purpose. The Employee Privacy Notice can be accessed here.

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