Optical Systems Engineer


Direct Entry Job Permanent Didcot, UK

Uploaded 4 Sep 2021

Job Description

RAL Space, UKRI’s space laboratory based at STFC’s Harwell Campus has had significant roles in over 210 space missions and are at the forefront of UK space research.


The Optical Systems Group is responsible for the conception, design, development, procurement, assembly, integration and test of optical systems for space instrumentation in Space Science, Solar Research, Earth Observation, Planetary Science and Optical Communications. 

The work spans the entire project life-cycle, from early stage conceptual R&D right through to instrument verification and calibration, and potentially post-launch mission support. In addition, RAL Space has key roles in ground-based astronomical instrumentation through the UK’s Astronomy programme. New RAL Space projects with significant optical engineering requirements include ARIEL (an Exoplanet mission for ESA), Lagrange (an ESA Space Weather mission, to monitor the Sun for solar activity that can potentially disrupt technology infrastructures at the Earth) and a Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) secure communications technology demonstrator (a UK-Singapore collaboration). 

Your work will range from design studies for future instruments through to alignment and test of flight hardware and you can expect to follow projects from the concept stage right through to successful operation. 

Person Specification

  • A degree (or equivalent) in optics, physics or a related discipline
  • A proven track-record in the design, optimisation, analysis and procurement, building and testing of optical systems
  • Experience in optical alignment and measuring techniques/ tools
  • Understanding of stray-light effects in optical remote-sensing, and its control measures and analysis methods in design.