Ball Corporation / Ball Aerospace Principal Engineer-Mission Systems Architect-Microwave Sensor Development (664688) in Boulder, Colorado

Who We Are:

Ball Aerospace leads the way in designing, developing and manufacturing innovative aerospace systems. We take on some of the most complex and exciting challenges in the universe--from space and Earth science to national security and intelligence programs.

We produce spacecraft, instruments and sensors, RF and microwave technologies, data exploitation solutions, and a variety of advanced aerospace technologies and products. In addition, we pioneered the development of the commercial remote sensing market, producing spacecraft and imaging systems that helped spawn a market-driven demand for imagery.

Our success is built on more than products or systems. Our team of more than 3,000 engineers, scientists, technicians and support staff drives all the achievements at Ball Aerospace. Whether contributing to a better understanding of the universe or helping keep our nation safe, our people bring their diverse backgrounds, perspectives and skills together to achieve a common mission.


Principal Engineer – Mission Systems Architect

This engineering position will have an emphasis on Microwave Sensor Development and Performance for a variety of observing missions and is for an experienced systems engineer who is creative, flexible, and comfortable handling many diverse and sometimes open-ended assignments.

What You’ll Do:

  • Provide engineering support across multiple and diverse new business pursuits by developing concepts to meet customer mission needs.
  • Design sensor collection strategies for new sensors and missions in support of civil space new business pursuits (earth sciences, planetary sciences, and astrophysics). Includes modeling signatures of targets of interest, and understanding environmental effects and sensor behavior to determine the expected signature and design optimal collection strategies.
  • Characterize the performance of advanced remote sensing systems; activities include sensor characterization, calibration, algorithm development, and field testing. Experience with building and operating airborne sensors is desirable.
  • Develop calibration approaches and methodologies for airborne and spaceborne remote sensing instruments. Interact with customer community to develop calibration methodologies and approaches in support of new business pursuits and IRAD and CRAD efforts.
  • Develop signal and image processing algorithms for airborne and spaceborne remote sensor data; develop, enhance, test, and evaluate algorithms to support deriving geophysical variables from sensor data.
  • Develop, enhance, test, evaluate, and integrate scientific algorithms in high-level scientific computing languages (MATLAB, IDL, Python).
  • Define, execute, and lead IRAD and CRAD efforts; report results of these R&D; studies through technical reports and presentations, both internally and to external customers.
  • Define, execute, and report on trade studies that provide data for decision making to our customers.
  • Prepare and give presentations to peers/management/customers; present at conferences and workshops to external science and engineering groups.
  • Support and/or lead technical proposal development.
  • Support existing microwave programs across all Ball business units, including civil and defense programs.
  • Maintain a regular and predictable work schedule.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships within the department, the Strategic Business Units, Strategic Support Units and the Company. Interact appropriately with others in order to maintain a positive and productive work environment.
  • Perform other duties as necessary.

What you’ll need:

  • BS degree or higher in Engineering or a related technical field is required plus 12 or more years related experience. MS or higher in Remote Sensing or Microwave or Electrical Engineering or a related technical field is strongly preferred.
  • Each higher-level degree, i.e., Master’s Degree or Ph.D., may substitute for two years of experience. Related technical experience may be considered in lieu of education. Degree must be from a university, college, or school which is accredited by an agency recognized by the US Secretary of Education, US Department of Education.
  • Customer Relationships: Knowledge of missions and customers across core technologies areas. Knowledge/experience working with critical customer base, including science communities studying atmospheric and surface (land and ocean) processes.
  • Demonstrated experience leading multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Demonstrated experience in developing and implementing mission concepts, either airborne or spaceborne.
  • Demonstrated experience in most or all phases of hardware program execution, including early planning, design reviews, manufacture, assembly, integration, test, sell-off, and on-orbit mission operation.
  • Demonstrated experience in systems engineering processes, including requirements development, concept of operations, requirement allocation, change management, verification and validation.
  • Excellent presentation skills with documented presentation experience to science/technical audiences.
  • Proven track record in producibility of designs with cost, budget, and schedule constraints for self and others is essential.

Working Conditions:

  • Work is performed primarily in an office, laboratory, production floor, or clean room, outdoors or remote research environment.
  • May occasionally work in production work centers where use of protective equipment and gear is required.
  • May access other facilities in various weather conditions.
  • Travel and local commute between Ball campuses and other possible non-Ball locations may be required.


Relocation for this position is Available

EEO Statement:


Equal Opportunity Employer

Minority, Female, Disabled, Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender and Veterans.

Job Title: Principal Engineer-Mission Systems Architect-Microwave Sensor Development (664688)

Job ID: 664688

Location: CO - Boulder

Full/Part Time: Full-Time

Regular/Temporary: Regular