GNC Engineer


Direct Entry Job Permanent Didcot, UK

Uploaded 27 Apr 2021

Job Description

Astroscale is seeking to employ an experienced and motivated GNC Engineer at our facility based in Harwell, UK. This is a unique opportunity to join a dynamic and rapidly growing company seeking to make a positive contribution to the growing problem of orbital debris that endangers mankind’s continued use of space as an asset. This role will allow the right candidate to shape solutions for our missions. Whilst the candidate will primarily work in the UK, they will interact extensively with a larger team in Astroscale’s Japan Office and may be required to travel to Tokyo as needed in support of Astroscale projects and operations.


  • Contribute to Guidance, Navigation and Control systems and design activities for Astroscale missions: derive and design to AOCS (Attitude & Orbit Control System)/GNC (Guidance, Navigation, and Control) sub-system requirements.
  • Support development of GNC hardware architecture, trade-off analysis of hardware towards an overall GNC hardware solution.
  • Design, optimisation and test of GNC algorithms e.g. navigation filters, guidance strategies and controllers.
  • Design of GNC simulator models/functionalities.
  • Contribute to system level activities, such as: developing mission CONOPS (Concept of Operations), defining FMECA (Failure Mode, Effects, and Criticality Analysis) and FDIR (Fault/Failure Detection, Isolation, and Recovery) processes and design, system test and verification activities.
  • Contribute to current development-focussed GNC activities as well as future production-focussed GNC activities e.g. QA (Quality Assurance) processes.

Person Specification

Essential Skills

  • Diploma; bachelor or master’s degree in aerospace engineering or another relevant engineering/science discipline.
  • Experience with computer languages commonly used for aerospace algorithm simulations e.g. MATLAB/Simulink and Python.
  • GNC algorithm design e.g. navigation filters, guidance strategies and/or controllers.
  • Experience designing fault-tolerant GNC systems e.g. fault-tolerant algorithm / software design, RPO (Rendezvous & Proximity Operations) fault detection etc.
  • Experience of GNC Hardware AIT (Assembly, Integration and Test).
  • Can work both autonomously with initiative, and collaboratively as part of the wider GNC/project groups.
  • Can strike a good balance between a creative approach to Engineering and being able to deliver on time to business requirements.

Desired Skills

  • Knowledge and experience of GNC rendezvous and pose estimation sensors and methods.
  • Experience of Microsatellite (~100-200kg) GNC design.
  • Experience of on-orbit GNC analysis, debug and refinement.
  • Experience of Design-for-Test methodologies.
  • Experience of satellite trajectory design and analysis e.g. passively safe trajectories, abort manoeuvres and collision avoidance manoeuvres.
  • Practical working knowledge of digital electronics relevant to a GNC system (communications protocols, satellite Command & Data Handling, digital integration to enable Hardware-in-the-Loop Testing etc.)
  • Knowledge of missions concerning active debris removal or RPO: RemoveDebris, CleanSpace / ESA projects e.g. e.DeOrbit, DEOS, ATV, ETS-7, DARPA Express