• 05/2/24
  • Ref: 515507

Power Electronics Controls Engineer

Space

  • Location Icon England, Reading
  • Work Type Icon Permanent / Full Time

Job Description

This is an exhilarating opportunity to join a rapidly growing space company and contribute to pioneering, cutting-edge propulsion technology unmatched anywhere in the world. As a vital member of our team, you will play a crucial role in launching the world's first air-breathing ion propulsion system into orbit. Your personal responsibility will include design and implement the control system of our whole air-breathing ion propulsion system. Your role is vital in ensuring the flawless execution of our maiden in-orbit demonstration mission.
This is more than a job – it's a chance to write your name in one of the most important spacecraft missions in space technology, which will unlock currently inaccessible ultra-low orbits for satellites and become the world's first in-situ resource utilization in the history of spaceflight.

About Our Client
Our client is developing the first hybrid of an aircraft and a satellite using Air-breathing Electric Propulsion (ABEP). While aircraft operate at altitudes of up to 20km and conventional satellites above 450km, there exists no technology which can consistently operate at altitudes between 20 km and 450 km. Our client addresses this by developing the first satellite capable of bridging this gap.
At our client, they have developed a revolutionary air-breathing ion propulsion system that allows satellites to operate in ultra-low Earth orbits of 180km, three times lower than the current lowest operational altitude of the satellites. This unique technology enables us to access and explore a layer of the atmosphere previously deemed inoperable.
Operating much closer to the Earth's surface offers significant improvements in observation and connectivity. This proximity allows for much better resolution in satellite imaging, enabling new applications in high-precision environmental monitoring and wildfire prevention. It also opens possibilities for global direct-to-phone satellite internet coverage, among other game-changing applications, at self-cleaning altitudes free of space debris.
 
Your Role
We are seeking enthusiastic, creative, and hard-working experts in digital control using microcontrollers and FPGAs to work alongside our power electronics and propulsion scientists and engineers. The goal is to develop highly efficient, state-of-the-art DC-DC converters (some with specifications of up to >2kV, 1kW) for our first satellite. You should be capable of delivering an entire control system from scratch and take full ownership of the work, ensuring the success of our upcoming mission.
Please note that this role is not a typical 9-5 job and requires a great deal of passion and dedication to space technology.
What we are looking for:
  1. Experience with control of power processing electronics circuits, utilizing FPGAs and real-time microcontrollers (e.g., C2000).
  2. You should be an expert in embedded programming and testing using C/C++.
  3. You should have an MEng, MSc, or preferably a PhD in electronics or other relevant field.
  4. Skills in digital control of SMPS and CAN, RS-485,-422,-232 Protocols.
  5. You should have good understanding of electrical power converters.
  6. The role requires the use of hardware, and therefore requires extensive experience using lab equipment.
  7. Your role will be focused on the development of high-performance space-proof systems for the power processing unit (PPU) of our propulsion system. You will help design, simulate, and control the hardware for the next generation of our PPU.
  8. PCB design, schematic and layout is preferable.
  9. Experience in the aerospace industry is preferable.
  10. You should be accustomed to working at a high pace in a highly collaborative environment to produce rapid product iterations.
Why Our Client
1. Pioneering Space Technology Join our client and contribute to launching groundbreaking technology into space next year. Your work on our revolutionary air-breathing ion propulsion system will redefine satellite operations in ultra-low Earth orbits.
2. Historical Milestone in Space Exploration Be part of a historic space mission that will leave a lasting legacy in space exploration. Your efforts at our client will play a crucial role in this pioneering satellite mission, setting new benchmarks in earth observation and global connectivity.
3. Unmatched Ownership and Impact You'll experience a level of ownership that's rare in the industry. You will participate in the full lifecycle of satellite technology development and face diverse challenges in preparing our propulsion for space.
4. Join Exceptional Team Work with some of the brightest engineers in the space technology sector. Our team, driven by passion and skill, provides an environment for your constant growth.
5. Equity and Competitive Salary Our client offers not just competitive salaries but also company ownership stakes. Your dedication and hard work are rewarded with a share in the pioneering technology you help build, ensuring you're a part of our collective success.
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Consultant

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Adam Stockley
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