Principal Flight Software Engineer

Sierra Nevada Corporation Centennial, CO

About the Job

Do you enjoy developing new products and services? Join us! Our Software Engineers work in an agile, collective environment. You will be using your skills Are you a bold thinker? We dream big at Sierra Nevada Corporation—advocating the exploration of space, keeping service members safe and creating the systems that keep our world united and sustain our way of living. Join our team! As a mission design engineer, you will perform the modeling and simulation of multi-domain space mission architectures (launch vehicles, spacecraft, and sensors), as well as analyze a wide variety of solutions to meet our customer’s mission need. You will have great latitude to be creative, conceiving and testing various approaches to determine which is best suited to meet technical and programmatic objectives. You will work across our engineering product teams to recommend candidate approaches that support the objectives, operational concepts and interfaces at the mission, segment, system, and sub-system levels. You will identify key performance parameters and constraints to enable mission success and future capabilities.

At SNC’s Space Systems Group (SSG) we are not only the creator of the Dream Chaser® spacecraft, but also the designer and manufacturer of rocket engines and components, systems that sustain life in deep space, as well as systems and satellites that improve life here on Earth. The work of our Space Systems team not only supports the U.S. government (including NASA), but also commercial customers and international organizations. Learn more about SSG

As a Flight Software Engineer at SNC, your primary responsibility will be designing, developing, and flight and simulation software and algorithms solutions for testbests and spacecraft missions for both civilian and DoD applications.  These designs stem from understanding, analyzing and evaluating satellite and constellation capabilities, mission concepts, and system requirements. Your work will ensure we meet customer requirements by making data-driven decisions in architecting, planning, building and testing the design in a testbed prototype and subsequent delivery of the end product. Along the way, you will build tools and contribute to analyses of various architectures that include space vehicles, satellites, sensors, communications, and ground infrastructure; evolving or creating new approaches based on analysis results. You will also contribute to evaluating the mission effectiveness of the candidate approaches, balancing mission objectives against factors such as development and lifecycle costs.  

This candidate will have experience with all portions of the software life cycle (concept development, requirements definition, design, development, testing, and deployment).  The Software Engineer participates in the design and development of flight software to support ongoing and future small satellite programs. This individual must have a strong working knowledge of object-oriented design using the C and C++ languages, and must have a strong background in deploying and testing flight code on embedded processors.  The ideal candidate will have recent experience with at least one real-time operating system (such as VxWorks), and be familiar with both asymmetric and symmetric multiprocessing architectures.  The candidate must also be comfortable working in an Agile Scrum environment.

The Software Engineer reports to the Software Architect and works in concert with the Project Engineer and lead functional engineers in execution of the program.  The Software Engineer is responsible for the decomposition of requirements, development of the concept of operations, and design, build, integrate, test, and maintenance of the flight software.  Also expected is maintaining appropriate performance measures, constructing meaningful demonstrations, executing internal research and development.  The Software Engineer supports programs from the early phases of program capture through integration and test and operations. The Software Engineer will develop intimate knowledge of the product technology and a good working knowledge of the associated engineering disciplines. Local area travel between Louisville and Centennial may be required.


  • Bachelors of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering, Applied Math, Physics, or related discipline and typically 14 or more years of relevant experience.

  • Experience developing models and simulations using software and software languages such as MATLAB, Simulink, Python, or C++.

  • Experience with standard COTS packages (such as Systems Tool Kit (STK))

  • Knowledge of interface and design documentation such as Functional block diagrams

  • Practical experience with GN&C development team(s)

  • Practical experience developing, testing and certifying GN&C algorithms and flight software

  • Confident with MATLAB/Simulink and/or C, C++. JAVA, Python

  • Previous experience and skills in simulation, implementation, lab integration and/or test

  • Ability to rapidly work with minimal supervision on projects involving both small and large engineering teams

  • Desire for new challenges, to be on the ground floor of an exciting capability for our nation, and to be part of the initial cadre developing a new multi-domain system.

  • Willingness to work on a small team performing complex engineering design evaluations for a diverse mission where everyone has input matters.

  • Experience working on multi-disciplinary design and development teams.

  • Thorough understanding of systems engineering principles, requirements analysis (RA), CONOP development and Verification and Validation (V&V).

  • This position will require a Top Secret/SCI security clearance.  The ability to obtain and maintain this clearance is required. 


  • An active Top Secret with SCI eligibility U.S. Security Clearance strongly desired.

  • Masters of Science degree in Engineering, Physics or related discipline and typically 12 or more years of relevant aerospace experience

  • Working knowledge of spacecraft GN&C hardware and algorithms

  • Experience with high agility/low jitter systems up to and including CMG-based systems

  • Experience with Rendezvous and Proximity Operations systems

  • Experience leading GN&C integration efforts for a spacecraft program.

  • Experience performing Design and Optimization of avionics system of systems.

  • Advanced experience with requirements management and system modeling tools, such as SysML, Cameo Enterprise Architect, Teamwork Cloud, DOORS, Unified Architecture Framework

  • Excellent communication skills (written and verbal). Demonstrated experience briefing technical subjects to both technical and non-technical people and delivering key messages and insights from analysis products.


This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a Secret U.S. Security Clearance. U.S. Citizenship status is required as this position needs an active U.S. Security Clearance for employment. Non-U.S. citizens may not be eligible to obtain a security clearance.  The Department of Defense Consolidated Adjudications Facility (DoD CAF), a federal government agency, handles the adjudicative aspects of the security clearance eligibility process for industry applicants. Adjudicative factors which affect the outcome of the eligibility determination include, but are not limited to, allegiance to the U.S., foreign influence, foreign preference, criminal conduct, security violations and illegal drug use.

At Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) we deliver customer-focused technology and best-of-breed integrations in the aerospace and defense sectors. SNC has been honored as one of the most innovative U.S. companies in space, a Tier One Superior Supplier for the U.S. Air Force, and as one of America’s fastest-growing companies. Learn more about SNC

Estimated Starting Salary Range: $154,786.56 - $212,831.52

SNC offers annual incentive pay based upon performance that is commensurate with the level of the position.

SNC offers a generous benefit package, including medical, dental, and vision plans, 401(k) with 150% match up to 8%, life insurance, 3 weeks paid time off, tuition reimbursement, and more.

Sierra Nevada Corporation is an Equal Opportunity Employer

– Minority / Female / Disability / Veteran, or any other protected status

pursuant to applicable local, state or federal law, ordinance or regulation.