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Senior RF Antenna Engineer



Long Beach, CA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Vast was founded to expand humanity's frontier into the solar system and beyond. We believe that the next step on that journey is enabling manufacturing and habitation in LEO. We are building artificial gravity space stations to make this a reality. If you want to join a team that builds amazing things with the most talented people on Earth, please reach out.

Vast is looking for a Senior RF Antenna Engineer, reporting to the Staff RF Engineer, to develop and execute creative testing solutions for our complex RF and Antenna systems for our Orbiter and Haven programs. This will be a full-time, exempt position located in our Long Beach location.

As a Senior RF Antenna Engineer, you will architect complex RF systems and develop RF and Antenna components for an artificial gravity space station. Your work will involve developing communication systems for the Station to Ground and Station to Visiting Spacecraft. Your input will be vital in designing and developing new and existing RF hardware to support the mission.


  • Develop RF Antenna telemetry and tracking systems for the next generation of crewed space stations, including hardware, software and operations for space station tracking, mission data, payload data, and communications with visiting vehicles.
  • Design and test RF antenna hardware in VHF through Ka-band - from concept to production.
  • Perform architecture trade studies, requirements definition, component design, and manage development for various radios and/or laser systems (S-band, X-band, K-Band, infrared/optical, TDRS, C2V2, etc.)
  • Design, model and EM simulation of complex RF hardware (antenna, filters, passives)
  • Fabricate and characterize prototypes of antennas, passives, and RF front ends.
  • Design of advanced antenna and feed systems for on-orbit spacecraft and ground systems.
  • Full life-cycle ownership for related systems, including development, testing, integration, operations and maintenance for related hardware (interfaces, modems, radios, antennas, etc.)
  • Provide technical direction relating to RF systems and set top-level requirements to hardware agile development teams, integration, and test personnel.
  • Partner with manufacturing/integration engineers to develop work instructions and installation procedures for integrating and testing RF hardware.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's Degree in electrical engineering or other engineering discipline.
  • 4+ years of experience with RF design, analysis, and/or unit level testing (significant academic projects, internships, and traditional professional experience all qualify).
  • Experience with the design and integration of RF Antenna systems consisting of radio transmitters, antennas, receivers, LNAs, PAs, couplers, filters, etc.

Preferred Skills & Experience:

  • Experience with simulation tools such as SPICE, ADS, CST, HFSS.
  • Experience with RF test equipment such as Spectrum Analyzers, VNAs, Power Meters, Cable Analyzers, SDRs.
  • Experience with electrical schematic capture software (Altium, Orcad).
  • Experience mentoring engineers in engineering best-practices and RF technical principles.
  • Comfortable communicating deeply technical topics to a wide variety of audiences.
  • Master’s Degree in electrical engineering or similar.
  • Ability to creatively solve problems and weigh against multi-disciplinary requirements together while assessing risk and making design and development decisions.
  • Strong sense of accountability and integrity with excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Proficiency in working with GNU Radio and software-defined radios (SDRs).
  • Knowledge of space radiation effects on RF electronics and antennas.
  • Prior experience with vehicle electrical bonding requirements.
  • Strong grasp of electronics and RF theory, and hands-on experience with electronics hardware, including both analog and digital.
  • Ability to thrive at an early-stage startup where you will have the opportunity to help create and optimize key systems and processes.
  • Familiarity with antenna measurement techniques and tools such as anechoic/reverb chambers, near field EM measurements.
  • Experience with software programming: Matlab, LabVIEW, Python, C/C++, JS, etc.
  • Experience with full-lifecycle product development.
  • Experience with designing electronics for spaceflight environment, verifying workmanship and operability through environmental test (random vibration, shock, thermal, burn-in, and TVAC).
  • Knowledge of RF demodulation, decommutation, FEC and CRC decoding, IRIG or CCSDS decoding techniques, Best-Source Selecting, for use in RF receiving front-end systems.
  • Analyze in-the-field operational RF performance data of RF antenna products and investigate methods to improve performance and debug issues.
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.
Vast is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with Vast is governed on the basis of merit, competence and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, color, religion, gender, national origin/ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.