Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory

Flight Software Lead - Guidance, Navigation And Control

3+ months agoLaurel, MD

Does creating software to control interplanetary spacecraft sound fun to you?

Are you an experienced embedded software developer with an interest in algorithms or guidance & control?

If so, we're looking for someone like you to join our team at APL.

We are seeking a Guidance, Navigation and Control Flight Software Lead to help us develop and implement embedded software to integrate control algorithms into spacecraft flight software. The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (JHUAPL) Space Exploration Sector develops spacecraft for both National Security applications and NASA funded exploration missions. Our group is a collaborative team of professionals including software developers and embedded system engineers that develop the flight software for JHUAPL-developed spacecraft. This position would be responsible for integrating G&C algorithms and C&DH (Command and Data Handling) elements into our flight software.

As a Guidance, Navigation and Control Flight Software Lead...

  • Your primary responsibility will be the end to end development of the embedded flight software application responsible for integrating the Guidance, Navigation and Control functionality into the spacecraft.
  • You will interface with the spacecraft development team including the Embedded Hardware and GNC Groups to understand the interfaces and requirements necessary to design, implement, and verify the GNC embedded flight software application.
  • You will lead, and collaborate with, a small team of software developers to implement and verify functionality of the flight software.
  • You will design, implement and test software to solve problems in a variety of embedded environments, with an emphasis on modular reuse and modular architectures; maintain the catalog of institutional reusable flight software libraries; contribute to technology evaluation, technology plans, and future group roadmaps.
  • You will work with technical experts at JHUAPL to research, advance, and advocate for emerging software and GNC concepts such as optical navigation algorithms, hardware-based processing, and software design patterns.


You meet our minimum qualifications for the job if you...

  • Have a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science, Electrical or Computer Engineering, or other related field.
  • Have 5-10 years of experience in software engineering, preferably embedded full lifecycle development (requirements development through deployment / operational support).
  • Have experience with embedded software development in C.
  • Ability to communicate system-level solutions and technical direction, both to government sponsors and to team members.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, initiative, and independent follow-through.
  • Are able to obtain Secret level security clearance. If selected, you will be subject to a government security clearance investigation and must meet the requirements for access to classified information. Eligibility requirements include U.S. citizenship.
  • Can demonstrate that you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. To ensure the safety and well-being of the community, APL has established a policy requiring that all staff be vaccinated against COVID-19. All staff members must provide proof of full vaccination or have an approved medical or religious accommodation by their start date.

You'll go above and beyond our minimum requirements if you...

  • Demonstrated experience leading teams in full software development life cycle.
  • Are Familiar with flight software libraries, applications, and frameworks including NASA's cFE (Core Flight Executive)
  • Have experience with real time operating systems including RTEMS and VxWorks an Operating System Abstraction Layers (OSAL).
  • Have experience using Matlab's Embedded Code Generation.
  • Have worked with spacecraft control systems, navigation algorithms or image processing.
  • Are familiar with interfacing to spacecraft sensors and actuators such as Inertial Measurement Units (IMU), star trackers, thrusters, reaction wheels, torque rods, magnetometers and gimbals.

Why work at APL?

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) brings world-class expertise to our nation's most critical defense, security, space and science challenges. While we are dedicated to solving complex challenges and pioneering new technologies, what makes us truly outstanding is our culture. We offer a vibrant, welcoming atmosphere where you can bring your authentic self to work, continue to grow, and build strong connections with inspiring teammates.

At APL, we celebrate our differences and encourage creativity and bold, new ideas. Our employees enjoy generous benefits, including a robust education assistance program, unparalleled retirement contributions, and a healthy work/life balance. APL's campus is located in the Baltimore-Washington metro area. Learn more about our career opportunities at


Job ID: hopkins-6941_20814