Space Ground Systems Software Engineer/Scientist (Scientist 1) | Los Alamos, NM | Los Alamos National Laboratory

Space Ground Systems Software Engineer/Scientist (Scientist 1)

What You Will Do

Are you passionate about contributing to a high functioning, inter-disciplinary team to address the challenging issues of national interest? We are seeking a creative and highly motivated Space Ground System Software Engineer/Scientist to join our collaborative and dynamic team! As a Scientist 1, you will work on a portfolio of exciting, challenging, and cutting-edge scientific and national security space missions. The Space Data Science & Systems Group (ISR-3) is an integral part of the Intelligence and Space Research (ISR) Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and has core capabilities in software development, mission operations, data exploitation, data systems development and integration.

There is nothing ordinary being done at LANL, and the Intelligence and Space Research (ISR) Division is no exception. We have been designing, building, and operating highly innovative ground, air and space-based measurement and detection systems for over 60 years. We solve some of the most challenging scientific and national security problems facing the world today. Our interdisciplinary teams of engineers, technicians, and scientists work, learn, and succeed through a highly creative and dynamic R&D environment. We lead experiments on NASA missions, including the Perseverance and Curiosity Rovers, Van Allen Probes, and IBEX as well as the upcoming IMAP Mission, NACHOS hyperspectral CubeSat, and BEAMPIE rocket experiment. We also 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 are looking for candidates with a strong computational background in the areas of data management, data encoding/decoding, signal processing, programming expertise, and an enthusiasm for creative problem solving and learning. They should also have technical initiative and experience in leading a project from an innovative concept to its use or application.

Responsibilities and Roles:
  • Develop ground support equipment systems and corresponding software used for command/control and data collection to test payloads during various stages of payload development, payload verification, payload test and integration to the host satellite system
  • Develop ground-based command/control/data collection systems and corresponding software used to command payloads and collect, display and archive telemetry data as received from various antenna sites (local and remote)
  • Provide technical and operational support throughout payload development, payload test and integration, host satellite factory test and integration and on-orbit planning and real time operations
  • Interface with end users, principal scientists, principal engineers and fellow colleagues to understand payload requirements, deliverables and time-frames, coordinate resources, plan, track, and execute project plans
  • Interface with sponsors, external stakeholders, satellite factory engineering & test staff to assist in developing plans for payload delivery, test and operations
  • Assist with proposals of hardware/software solutions and evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the proposals
  • Present results of work at programmatic meetings
  • Contribute to continuous software process improvement
  • Extract and define software requirements from system level requirements
  • Enhance technical and professional expertise through training
  • Contribute to peer review of others' work across organizations or disciplines

What You Need
Minimum Job Requirements:

Technical Experience
  • Programming experience with C/C++, Python, and Perl and/or Bash scripting
  • Experience in one or more of the following focus areas:
    • User-Interface Applications Development
    • TCP, UDP socket interfaces
    • Scientific data acquisition and display development
    • Technical skills for integration, test and debug of hardware/software interfaces
    • System Administration


Excellent written and verbal communication skills


Ability and desire to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team as well as independently, with creativity and initiative

Education/Experience: Position requires a Bachelor's degree in a STEM field from an accredited college or university and 2 years of relevant experience; or, an equivalent combination of education and experience directly related to the occupation.

Desired Qualifications:
  • Experience with Unix/Linux
  • Experience in formal software development processes and software effort estimation
  • Experience with software configuration management / version control (e.g., Git/GitHub, Subversion, etc.)
  • Experience with the development, deployment and operation of sensors
  • Experience with laboratory and/or field use of instruments
  • Experience with satellite sensors and programs
  • Experience in large data-set management and exploitation
  • PyQt experience

Location: This position will be located in Los Alamos, NM.

COVID Vaccine:

The COVID vaccine is mandatory for all Laboratory employees, on-site contractors, and on-site subcontractors unless granted an accommodation under applicable state or federal law. This requirement will apply to those working on-site, those teleworking, and all new hires.

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 requirements of the position.

Please note this position will require travel.
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 (paid sick, vacation, 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). Applicants selected will be subject to a Federal background investigation and must meet eligibility requirements* for access to classified matter. This position requires a Q clearance which requires US Citizenship except in extremely rare circumstances. Dependent upon position, additional authorization to access nuclear weapons information may be required that may or may not be available to dual citizens depending upon the circumstances.

*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.

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 or preference, 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 1-505-665-4444 option 1.Employment StatusFull Time