Optical Systems and AIV Engineer

Job Reference : GTL-2017-11-102

Location: United Kingdom

One of our Space Clients based in the UK are seeking an Optical Systems and AIV Engineer to lead in the design and delivery of a variety of Optical Payloads. This opportunity would allow an engineer to be involved in all aspects of the development including the Assembly, Integration and Verification making use of high performance equipment such as Interferometers, CMMs, as well as bespoke test and alignment equipment.

Our client has developed a range of Earth Observation payloads which are currently flying on existing missions. These include both reflective and refractive optical systems that cover a range of applications such as Agriculture, Forestry, Risk Management, Disaster Monitoring, Maritime, Defence and Security.

Previously launched missions have included:

  • DMC-3 was a 3 satellite constellation of high resolution imagers, 1m PAN, 4m Multispectral GSD and 24 km swath
  • Alsat-1B hosting a 24m multispectral and 12 m panchromatic GSD imager
  • Carbonite-1, a 1m GSD with a swath width of 5 km. The imager was a commercial-off-the shelf telescope adapted for space

Key Tasks:

  • Development of space-borne optical systems within a multidisciplinary team performing optical instrument system design, being the technical point of contact for the relevant optical system(s).
  • Design and development of optical systems from concept through to manufacture, system integration and verification.
  • Management of new optical solutions including the programmatic and technical aspects of work packages relevant to area of expertise.
  • Define and own technical requirements specifications for optical payload systems, including trade analysis of these requirements working closely with the spacecraft system engineer to identify derived requirements
  • Development planning, budget and schedule management
  • Ownership of risk registers and appropriate mitigation as agreed with the project manager
  • The ability to pragmatically review and critique optical systems for application in space, balancing technical requirements with programmatic and budget constraints
  • Assembly, Integration and Verification of optical instruments within a cleanroom environment
  • Optical and mechanical alignment of instruments
  • Building of Optical, Mechanical and Electrical ground support equipment
  • Operation of equipment such as Interferometers, CMMs, Thermal Vacuum Chamber, MTF rig, Integrating Spheres, etc


MSc in Optics, Physics or engineering ideally with proven related practical optical or spacecraft experience


  • Comprehensive knowledge of Optical Engineering, applied to space applications, coupled with a working knowledge of other engineering disciplines e.g. electronics, electro-optical device physics and opto-mechanics.
  • Knowledge and experience of other spacecraft systems would be an advantage
  • The candidate should have basic opto-mechanical knowledge to aid in optical system development.
  • Knowledge in materials and component selection, in the space domain.
  • ‘End to end’ Optical Engineering knowledge and experience including
  • Requirements Engineering and Trade offs
  • Electro-opto-mechanical Design and Analysis
  • Integration of Optical Systems (preferably including Space Systems)

Knowledge & Skills:

  • Optical design experience with proficiency in Zemax and knowledge of design software such as Solidworks is desirable
  • Familiarity with optics and optical testing methodologies
  • Self-motivated, creative, high attention to detail and accountable
  • Ability to work autonomously or within project team(s) and a real company player
  • Good communication skills
  • Ability to work under pressure in an organised and responsive manner
  • Knowledge of spacecraft systems / design would be an advantage including materials
  • Creative problem solving
  • Ability to plan and manage own work

Optical Systems & AIV Engineer

Job Reference: GTL-2017-11-102 

Location: Harwell, United Kingdom

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