Science Systems and Applications, Inc. - Science and Technology with Passion


SSAI is an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer. EEO/AA-Minorities/Females/Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities

Satellite Operations Lead (Ground Segment)
Reference #:21-3076
Open Date:4/8/2021
Location:Greenbelt, MD
US Citizenship Required:No
Job Description:

Science Systems and Applications, Inc. (SSAI) is seeking an experienced satellite ground segment operator to lead the ICESat-2 Constraint Analysis and Monitoring System (CAMS) operations.  The CAMS system is responsible for the Ice Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite 2 (ICESat-2) science planning, science optimization analysis, instrument and spacecraft health and safety constraint avoidance, and protecting space assets from damage due to lasing from ICESat-2’s 6 laser beams.  The CAMS system was developed and is operated within NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Geodesy and Geophysics Laboratory.  

Responsibilities include:

  • Leading the CAMS, a critical ground system segment within the ICESat-2 mission.
  •  Leading an operations team consisting of 3 operators.
  • Interfacing with science and sustaining CAMS engineering to continually monitor and improve upon system performance, and to correct any issues.
  • Interface with science and sustaining CAMS engineering to further develop the next generation of the CAMS system for improved capabilities and efficiencies.
  • Interface weekly with Geodesy and Geophysics Laboratory leadership concerning CAMS operations progress, issues, and development.
  • Ensure all CAMS operations requirements are met.
  • Attend ICESat-2 weekly operations and planning approval meetings.
  • Understanding of mission planning flow and CAMS’ role in the mission planning; Consistently looking for ways to improve processing, optimize both human and computer resources; work with Earth Science Mission Office (ESMO) and ICESat-2 element leads to improve mission planning flow.
  • Assess impact of mission planning and mission monitoring when maneuver planning has changed due to CARA identified High Interest Events (HIE), CAMS recommended Laser Conjunction Avoidance (LCA) or Reference Ground Track (RGT) control. Work with CAMS’ operators to formulate a plan and the timeline needed for planning.
  • Work with CAMS’ team to make processing system improvements to perform laser screening for the increasing number of space assets.In addition, CAMS will begin to obtain ephemeris files for large constellations like StarLink and OneWeb for use in their laser screening.The challenge of this task will include system design and programming skills that can include – PERL, MATLAB, python and UNIX, as well as optimization of computer resources to handle the large number of assets.
Required Qualifications:
  • Bachelors degree in a related field and 3 - 5 years of experience in supporting and leading satellite operations or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience in leading a team of satellite operations engineers requiring managing shift work.
  • Experience and knowledge in low earth orbit satellite operations.
  • Experience in satellite operations software problem diagnosis and correction.
  • Experience with system version control, testing, and validation.
  • Experience in tracking and verifying system requirements.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • US Citizenship or Permanent Residency and the ability to obtain NASA credentials required.
Desired Qualifications:
  • Understanding of orbital mechanics, orbit determination, attitude control, attitude determination, maneuver planning, collision avoidance as it pertains to satellite operations.
  • Experience in satellite operations software system design and programming with knowledge of the following:PERL, MATLAB, python and UNIX, as well as optimization of computer hardware resources.
  • Experience in system programming for satellite operations.