Software Defined Radio (SDR) / Embedded Systems Design Engineer

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), a national leader in scientific research and development, located midway between Baltimore and Washington, DC is seeking a software defined radio (SDR) / Embedded Systems Engineer. The Embedded Systems Development section of the GNSS and SATRACK Systems Group is looking for a motivated engineer to enable our sponsors' missions through the design, development, coding, and deployment of custom embedded signal processing centric system solutions.

Job Summary: The Embedded Systems Development section of the GNSS and SATRACK Systems Group is a multi-faceted team that provides a wide range of skill sets including: software development, custom hardware design, digital signal processing, FPGA design, and Matlab programming/simulation. As a member of the section, you will be responsible for the design, coding, implementation, and testing of custom embedded systems for use in non-traditional navigation applications and in analyzing the performance of missile systems. We are looking for an individual that generates creative, technically sound solutions and can rapidly prototype them to support proof-of-concept experiments. This individual will also lead small design teams, transition prototypes to field-ready solutions, and design flight-qualified systems. Projects include: design and implementation of embedded control software, design and implementation of digital signal processing (DSP) algorithms for embedded and software defined radio (SDR) centric systems, high speed data collection, test, analysis, and integration of various sensor types including inertial measurement units (IMUs).


  • Program / code embedded and PC-based processors using C/C /Labview and other programming techniques (40%)
  • Implement signal processing algorithms for various types of communication and radio navigation signals (20%)
  • Design and integration of embedded systems and sensors (20%)
  • Perform system-level design of data recording and signal tracking systems (10%)
  • Digital circuit board design (5%)
  • Travel to support field tests of systems (5%)

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:

  • BS in Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, or other relevant technical discipline
  • 2-5 years embedded programming experience (C/C )
  • 2-5 years embedded systems design experience
  • Working knowledge of and interest in embedded system design with FPGAs
  • Experience programming PC, Linux, and real-time embedded systems
  • Strong personal communication skills
  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • Willingness to lead small projects comprised of similarly experienced engineers
  • Able to multitask between multiple projects
  • Must work well in a team environment

Desired Qualifications:

  • M.S. in Electrical or Computer Engineering
  • Experience programming Software Defined Radios (SDR)
  • Working knowledge of GPS and GNSS processing systems
  • Working knowledge of Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs) and Inertial Navigation systems
  • High-speed FPGA design experience (VHDL or Verilog)
  • Experience with digital signal processing (DSP) algorithms
  • Experience configuring/customizing Linux based operating systems
  • Experience with real-time operating systems (RTOS)
  • FPGA programming using Matlab Simulink

Special Working Conditions: Occasional travel required to support fields tests and experiments. Some projects will require working in closed areas (25 - 50%).

Security: Secret Clearance is required. Applicants selected will be subject to a Government security investigation and must meet the eligibility requirements for access to classified information up to the Secret level. Eligibility requirements include US citizenship.

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

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.

Meet Some of Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory's Employees

Gianni P.

Electrical Engineer

Gianni works on the design, modeling, and simulation of low- to high-fidelity radar projects for the lab. He also conducts tests to evaluate new technologies.

Mary A.

Lead RF Systems Engineer

Mary Ann builds prototypes and integrates software and hardware communications in order to create complete systems for APL contracts and projects. She also collaborates with her team to fix software issues.

Back to top