Space Control Engineer

Archangel Lightworks

Graduate Position Permanent Harwell, UK

Uploaded 11 Jun 2018

Job Description

Archangel Lightworks is a start-up specialised in space laser communications based in Harwell Space Campus, Oxfordshire. Founded in mid-2017, we have secured long-term funding and successfully demonstrated several novel prototypes related to laser transmission and efficient perpendicular solar concentration. Our mission is to make 10x more data download possible to meet the demand from the growing satellites market, especially smallsats, delivering more data from the earth orbit to the ground at higher speed.

Role & Responsibilities

We are passionate about innovation and driven to find new concepts for space laser communications. We are looking for an innovative, ambitious and experienced lead control engineer to drive our team forward and augment our rapidly growing team. The successful candidate will be responsible for design, simulation, purchase and implementation of high reliability pointing acquisition and tracking system for a laser communication system.

Specific job responsibilities include but not limited to:

  • Development of full control system architecture simulation to investigate trade-offs and inform subsystem requirements.
  • Characterise motion and disturbances of payload platform. This will include planning, execution, documentation of tests.
  • Aiding in definition, implementation and conduction of test and verification plans for pointing of communication subsystem as well as control of airborne platform.
  • Comparison and selection of components, sensors and actuators including supplier management as required.
  • Participate in technical reviews

Interested applicants may also consider starting first as a fixed-term consultant while rolling into a permanent role although this is less preferred.

Person Specification

Required skills/experience:

  • Experience implementing complex control systems in an aerospace or communications context.
  • Relevant practical experience using applicable sensors and hardware (e.g. attitude sensors, Inertial sensors and GNSS), algorithms, actuation systems.
  • Space industry experience, and/or experience with high reliability PAT systems.
  • Extensive programming experience in MATLAB/SIMULINK, C/C++. Python desirable.
  • Strong mathematical ability including pure mathematics, linear algebra, statistics and numerical methods.
  • Educated to BSc level (or equivalent) in Control Engineering or related subject.
  • Proficient English, positive attitude, self-driven and interested in working in a start-up environment
  • Independent, quick learner, can structure and show initiatives to thoroughly evaluate and solve problems from different angles, proactively push progress forward

Desirable additional skills/experience:

  • Experience implementing RTOS.
  • Experience using Windows and Linux.
  • Experience working on Cubesat projects, UAV, HAPS projects.


You will be remunerated competitively depending on your experience and skills. We work around delivery-focused, agile sprints such that you will be making impact early and regularly, with a sustainable work-life balance. There are options for flexible working hours, (some) working from home, travel and training bursaries, as needed. We also work in the buzzing Harwell Space Campus with regular events on site (networking, workshops), and delicious lunch time international cuisines.

Dates and duration:

Suitable candidate to join as soon as possible, with the start date negotiable.


Our offices are with the European Space Agency at Harwell, near Oxford. Some remote work and overseas travel will be possible.



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