Soma Capital Portfolio Jobs

Sr. Flight Software Engineer (Spacecraft)



Software Engineering
torrance, ca, usa
Posted on Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Turning Space into a Transportation Layer for Earth

Who We Are:
Inversion was founded in 2021 with the mission to build the first affordable, high cadence return capability for the commercial and defense space industries. With launching to space becoming cheap and frequent, comparable options for return must become available to allow for a robust economy in space. We believe in a future where returning from space is as common as launching to space. Inversion is building reentry vehicles faster and cheaper than ever before through a focus on simplicity.

This next-generation class of space vehicle will finally be able to provide high-frequency return of research, goods, supplies, and equipment that is critical for all future commercial activities and supply chains in space. With launch costs at an all-time low and dropping, now is the time to build these round-trip capabilities. Inversion has ambitious goals with strong financial backing to make this a reality.

What You’ll Do:
Flight software is the magic that interfaces people and hardware to make a spacecraft come alive. Each step of every mission we fly, from orbit to landing, must be planned and executed by flight software. If it doesn't work or is difficult to operate, then you’ve just built and launched a very expensive brick. Nobody likes a brick, but everyone likes a successful mission! At Inversion, success means bringing the vehicle back down to Earth. As a flight software engineer, you'll work across engineering disciplines to design, develop, and test robust flight software that can function in an extreme environment. Have complete ownership of systems from cradle-to-grave, and help us build a new class of space vehicle set to change how humanity utilizes space!
  • Write and test software for spacecraft, including drivers, networking, fault management, and attitude control interfaces
  • Work with vendors to interface with sensors, actuators, and other hardware components
  • Assist in creating and executing tests, including HITL (hardware in the loop) testing, integration testing, and unit testing
  • Assist with ground control and mission operations
  • Assist in architecting flight software for future vehicles

What It Takes:

  • 3+ years of experience building, debugging, and supporting operations for complex semi-autonomous real-time embedded software systems in C/C++
    • Spacecraft preferred, but also open to experience with UAVs, deep sea ROVs, etc
  • Experience developing hardware drivers using serial protocols such as SPI, I2C, UART, CAN, RS485
  • 2+ years experience with microcontroller development
  • Comfortable using git for version control and code review

What We’d Love:

  • Experience with real-time software development on STM32 microcontrollers with FreeRTOS
  • 5+ years working on an embedded flight software team with a shared code base
  • Code has flown in space!
  • Experience using gitlab CI to automate build artifacts and testing
  • Experience using Cubesat Space Protocol over CAN
  • Experience collaborating with GNC engineers and helping to integrate their algorithms (bonus points if you’ve helped develop the internals too)
  • Experience supporting mission operations to debug and patch flight software on orbit
  • Experience working with closed loop HITL (Hardware In The Loop) test setups
  • Experience developing HITL hardware emulators in addition to flight software (bonus points if in Simulink)
  • Comfortable wiring up electronics and debugging with an oscilloscope or logic analyzer
  • Experience developing embedded real-time Linux applications
  • Experience developing HDL for FPGAs that interface with embedded real-time Linux applications
  • Experience doing Linux Kernel development using Petalinux or something similar

Software Team Culture:

  • Enthusiastic about space exploration - we love what we build here, and we want to see it fly!
  • Enjoys coding, debugging, and collaborating with others
  • Cares about writing code that is easy to understand, test, and reuse
  • Cares about clear and descriptive code and naming conventions (especially for command/telemetry)
  • Cares about keeping source code and repositories organized
  • Good at spotting opportunities to generalize and/or autogenerate code
  • Willing to contribute time to necessary evils such as documentation, ground software, continuous integration, and unit testing in addition to fun flight software
  • Willing to engage in design review with others before coding up a storm
  • Can accept constructive criticism in a code review
  • Willing to listen, learn, teach, and ask for help

Additional Requirements:

  • Position may require extended work hours and weekend work.

Where You’ll Be:

  • Our office headquarters is located in Torrance, CA. All jobs require you to work onsite unless otherwise stated in the job description.
  • If working remote is an option, other major metropolitan locations in the U.S. with relevance to the space industry may be possible.
  • Travel may be required (up to 30%) for this role.

The California annual base salary for this role is currently $120,000 - $190,000. Pay Grades are determined by role, level, location, and alignment with market data. Individual pay will be determined on a case-by-case basis and may vary based on the following considerations: interviews and an assessment of several factors that are unique to each candidate, job-related skills, relevant education and experience, certifications, abilities of the candidate and internal equity.

ITAR Compliance:
To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) you must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State. Learn more about the ITAR here.
Equal Employment Opportunity:
Inversion provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, veteran status, or disability.
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