Space Data Processing Scientist (Scientist 2/3)

What You Will Do

This position will be filled at either the Scientist 2 or 3 level; depending on the skills of the selected candidate. Additional job responsibilities (outlined below) will be assigned if the candidate is hired at the higher level.

The Space Data & Software Systems Group (ISR-3) at Los Alamos National Laboratory is seeking a qualified staff scientist to participate in the execution of our portfolio of space and ground-based programs. ISR-3 is an integral part of the Intelligence and Space Research (ISR) Division with core capabilities in software development, mission operations, data exploitation, data systems development, and integration.

The successful candidate will become a member of ISR-3 and be assigned to the Data Processing Tools & Management team. This team provides support for ground-based processing of spacecraft and instrument telemetry by developing and maintaining data processing software and pipelines. The successful candidate will work regularly in a classified setting and must demonstrate a strong commitment towards security. The successful candidate will be self-motivated, with good communication, documentation, and teamwork skills.

The Intelligence and Space Research (ISR) Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory has been designing, building, and operating highly innovative ground, air and space-based measurement and detection systems for nearly 60 years. Our interdisciplinary teams of engineers, technicians, and scientists work, learn, and succeed through a highly creative and dynamic R&D environment. We build, fly, operate and analyze data from measurement systems deployed to space for verification of international nuclear treaties, and develop innovative sensors, ground, airborne, and space hardware/software systems for basic scientific missions, nuclear nonproliferation, space situational awareness and remote sensing. We also lead experiments on NASA missions, including the Curiosity Rover, Van Allen Probes, and IBEX as well as the Mars 2020 Rover, IMAP Mission, NACHOS hyperspectral cubesat, and BEAMPIE rocket experiment.

Scientist 2 ($101,700 - $168,200)
As a Scientist 2 you may be called to perform the following types of work:

  • Collaborate on the development of software for automated and on-demand processing of spacecraft and instrument telemetry data
  • Develop scientific algorithms for processing spacecraft instrument data
  • Develop test suites for validating data processing software
  • Document software through reports and self-documenting source code
  • Provide support and maintenance of data processing pipelines

Scientist 3 ($122,300 - $206,300)
In addition to above, Scientist 3 responsibilities include:

  • Lead large, complex software development tasks
  • Contribute to internal and external funding proposals
  • Contribute to peer review of work of others across organizations or disciplines
  • Mentor junior team members
  • Participate in process and project planning with project leadership

What You Need

Minimum Job Requirements:
  • PositionUnix/Linux Operating System experience
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently as well as part of a team
  • Effective written and oral communication skills
  • Software development experience using high-level languages (Python, C, C++, etc.) in a team environment using revision control tools (SVN, GIT, etc.)
  • Experience with a formal software development process
  • Experience with development/maintenance of data processing pipelines

Additional Job Requirements for Scientst 3:
In addition to the requirements outlined above, qualification at the higher level requires:

  • Experience leading software development projects
  • Experience leading multi-person projects to meet scope, schedule, and budget.

Education/Experience at lower level: Position requires a Bachelor' degree in a STEM field from an accredited college and university and 4 years of related experience; or, an equivalent combination of education and experience directly related to the occupation.

Education/Experience at higher level: Position requires a Master's degree in a STEM field from an accredited college or university and 6 years of relevant experience; or, an equivalent combination of education and experience directly related to the occupation.

Desired Qualifications:
  • Experience with satellite sensors and programs
  • Experience developing scientific algorithms, esp. related to spacecraft
  • Experience working with sensitive or classified information
  • Experience with one SQL database administration or web development
  • Candidates who already possess a DOE "Q" and TS/SCI clearances would be able to quickly contribute to our work

Work Environment:

Work Location: The work location for this position is onsite and located in Los Alamos, NM. All work locations are at the discretion of management.

Position commitment: Regular appointment employees are required to serve a period of continuous service in their current position in order to be eligible to apply for posted jobs throughout the Laboratory. If an employee has not served the time required, they may only apply for Laboratory jobs with the documented approval of their Division Leader. The position commitment for this position is 1 year.

Note to Applicants: Interested applicants must include a cover letter and resume detailing how they meet the minimum requirement of the position.
Where You Will Work
Located in beautiful northern New Mexico, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security. Our generous benefits package includes:
  • PPO or High Deductible medical insurance with the same large nationwide network
  • Dental and vision insurance
  • Free basic life and disability insurance
  • Paid childbirth and parental leave
  • Award-winning 401(k) (6% matching plus 3.5% annually)
  • Learning opportunities and tuition assistance
  • Flexible schedules and time off (PTO and holidays)
  • Onsite gyms and wellness programs
  • Extensive relocation packages (outside a 50 mile radius)
Additional Details

Directive 206.2 - Employment with Triad requires a favorable decision by NNSA indicating employee is suitable under NNSA Supplemental Directive 206.2. Please note that this requirement applies only to citizens of the United States. Foreign nationals are subject to a similar requirement under DOE Order 142.3A.

Clearance: Q (Position will be cleared to this level). Selected applicants will be subject to a background investigation conducted by or on behalf of the Federal Government, and must meet eligibility requirements* for access to classified matter. This position requires a Q clearance. and obtaining such clearance requires US Citizenship except in extremely rare circumstances. Dependent upon the position, additional authorization to access classified information may be required, which may or may not be available to dual citizens. Receipt of a Q clearance and additional access authorization ultimately is a decision of the Federal Government and not of Triad.

*Eligibility requirements: To obtain a clearance, an individual must be at least 18 years of age; U.S. citizenship is required except in very limited circumstances. See DOE Order 472.2 for additional information.

New-Employment Drug Test: The Laboratory requires successful applicants to complete a new-employment drug test and maintains a substance abuse policy that includes random drug testing. Although New Mexico and other states have legalized the use of marijuana, use and possession of marijuana remain illegal under federal law. A positive drug test for marijuana will result in termination of employment, even if the use was pre-offer.

Regular position: Term status Laboratory employees applying for regular-status positions are converted to regular status.

Internal Applicants: Regular appointment employees who have served the required period of continuous service in their current position are eligible to apply for posted jobs throughout the Laboratory. If an employee has not served the required period of continuous service, they may only apply for Laboratory jobs with the documented approval of their Division Leader. Please refer to Policy Policy P701 for applicant eligibility requirements.

Equal Opportunity: Los Alamos National Laboratory is an equal opportunity employer and supports a diverse and inclusive workforce. All employment practices are based on qualification and merit, without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status or spousal affiliation, physical or mental disability, medical conditions, pregnancy, status as a protected veteran, genetic information, or citizenship within the limits imposed by federal laws and regulations. The Laboratory is also committed to making our workplace accessible to individuals with disabilities and will provide reasonable accommodations, upon request, for individuals to participate in the application and hiring process. To request such an accommodation, please send an email to or call 1-505-664-6947 option 2