Flight Navigation Engineer

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), a national leader in scientific research and development, is located midway between Baltimore and Washington, DC.

Job Summary: The Force Projection Sector's Navigation, Guidance, and Control group is seeking a Flight Navigation Engineer. The position involves developing a deep understanding of flight navigation equations, onboard navigation sensors, including Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs), Global Position Systems (GPS) receivers, and external sensors (e.g., RADAR). Relying on a strong technical foundation, provide an independent assessment of navigation system performance to the government sponsor. Assess the accuracy of both legacy and emerging navigation systems. An innate sense of curiosity coupled with a strong technical foundation is required for this position.


  • Through directed and independent research, maintain a deep understanding of flight navigation systems and associated contributions to system inaccuracy. Systems include inertial navigators, GPS/GNSS, RADAR, and other sensors. Evaluate at a fundamental level the suitability of a navigation system to meet system requirements. (30%)
  • Evaluate post-flight test data, and using data fusion algorithms (e.g. the Kalman Filter) along with high fidelity models determine overall flight navigation accuracy and identify sources of inaccuracy. Impartially document and report flight test performance to the sponsor.(30%)
  • Develop high fidelity models of navigation error sources based on sound engineering and physics fundamentals. Implement new models or processing routines (primarily in MATLAB) as a part of new and existing accuracy analysis tools.(20%)
  • Impartially present flight analysis and navigation accuracy findings to the sponsor through working groups, post-flight briefings, and program reviews.(10%)
  • Participate in technical meetings as an independent evaluator of navigation system performance. Interface with the sponsor and contractors in order to understand navigation requirements and how a system meets those requirements.(10%)

Note: This job summary and listing of duties is for the purpose of describing the position and its essential functions at time of hire and may change over time.Required Qualifications:

  • M.S (or above) in Aerospace or Mechanical Engineering, or related technical field.
  • Relevant experience in one or more of the following areas: inertial navigation, GPS navigation, vehicle trajectory modeling/simulation, and estimation theory (e.g., Kalman Filtering).
  • A strong sense of curiosity to understand why and how a system works, and initiative to follow up on that curiosity.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills; ability to work and contribute in a team environment.

Desired Qualifications:

  • PhD in Aerospace or Mechanical Engineering, or related field. Some coursework in one or more of the following areas: navigation, guidance, dynamics, and controls. Proficiency in Matlab.

Special Working Conditions: Some travel (potentially 1-2 trips per year of duration one week or less).

Security: Secret Clearanceis required. Applicants selected will be subject to a Government security investigation andmust meet the eligibility requirements for access to classified information upto the Secret level. Eligibility requirements include UScitizenship.

Benefits: APL offers a comprehensive benefits package including a liberal vacation plan, a matching retirement program, significant educational assistance, a scholarship tuition program for staff with dependents, and competitive salaries commensurate with skills and experience. For more information about our organization, please visit our web site at www.jhuapl.edu.

Equal Employment Opportunity: Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer that complies with Title IX of the Education Amendments Acts of 1972, as well as other applicable laws. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected Veteran status.

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