Ground Stations Engineer at Planet

Posted on:
February 23, 2023

🔭 Our mission & vision

Job Description

Welcome to Planet. We believe in using space to help life on Earth.

Planet designs, builds, and operates the largest constellation of imaging satellites in history. This constellation delivers an unprecedented dataset of empirical information via a revolutionary cloud-based platform to authoritative figures in commercial, environmental, and humanitarian sectors. We are both a space company and data company all rolled into one.

Customers and users across the globe use Planet's data to develop new technologies, drive revenue, power research, and solve our world’s toughest obstacles.

As we control every component of hardware design, manufacturing, data processing, and software engineering, our office is a truly inspiring mix of experts from a variety of domains.

We have a people-centric approach toward culture and community and we strive to iterate in a way that puts our team members first and prepares our company for growth. Join Planet and be a part of our mission to change the way people see the world.

Planet is a global company with employees working remotely world wide and joining us from offices in San Francisco, Washington DC, Germany, and The Netherlands.

About the Role:  

As an Ground Station Engineer at Planet you will be a member of an Operations and Development team focused on >99% uptime of a geographically diverse Ground Station network. The network is composed of a mix of cloud infrastructure, physical servers, networking equipment, and industrial controllers working in unison to autonomously track and communicate with Planet’s 150+ satellite constellation.

Planet’s satellites generate a substantial dataset and moving that data across the Ground Station network daily poses ever changing design goals for our Operations Team. The Ground Station team works closely with Spacecraft Operators and Mission Control engineers to autonomously control the spacecraft and bring the data back to Earth.

Impact You’ll Own:

Contribute to the design, operation, and reliability of a growing global Ground Station Network spanning 6 continents.

Be the Responsible Engineer for ground station sites, working with site staff and vendors to maintain a highly reliable down-link network around the world.

You will partner and collaborate with various teams with Planet, ranging from Mission Operations to Spacecraft design, to ensure the Ground Station Network meets all of the needs to achieve Planet’s missions.

What You Bring:

Basic antenna system design and analysis

Basic programming - scripting and data analysis

Familiarity with RF test equipment such as spectrum and network analyzers

Innate Curiosity

A penchant for phone calls and travel

A willingness to learn and grow as an individual as well as a team

What Makes You Stand Out:

Excellent understanding of RF communication and satellite communication protocols

Experience in an Operations environment with an on-call schedule

Willingness to travel up to 25% of the time

Experience with RF Electronics and Communication Systems including: RF Front-End Equipment, Back-End Equipment, Communication Hardware, and Link Budgets.

Antenna system calibration, diagnostics and monitoring experience

Experience with telemetry, tracking and control systems

Project management and logistics experience

Radar and/or comms experience

Experience with Bash, Python or other scripting or object-oriented languages

Experience with Linux servers

Mentorship and/or leadership qualities

Benefits While Working at Planet:

Additional company winter holidays and regular global days off

Remote friendly work environment and flexible working hours

Contribution to our growth by offering equity options for employees

Giving back to the community - one day per quarter for charitable work

Learning and Tuition Reimbursement

Regular hack-weeks and meetup events to exchange knowledge

Home office budget

Employee Resource Groups providing empowering spaces for connection and mentorship


Why we care so much about Belonging. 

We’re dedicated to helping the whole Planet, and to do that we must strive to represent all of it within each of our offices and on all of our teams. That’s why Planet is guided by an ultimate  north star of Belonging, dreaming big as we approach our ongoing work with diversity, equity and inclusion.  If this job intrigues you, but you’re thinking you might not have all the qualifications, please... do apply!  At Planet, we are looking for well-rounded people from around the world who can contribute to more ways than just what is listed in this job description.  We don’t just fill positions, we aspire to fulfill people’s careers, most excited about folks who are motivated by our underlying humanitarian efforts.  We are a few orbits around the sun before we get to where we want to be, so we hope you’re excited to come along for the ride. 

EEO statement:

Planet is committed to building a community where everyone belongs and we invite people from all backgrounds to apply. Planet is an equal opportunity employer, and committed to providing employment opportunities regardless of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding, age, sexual orientation, military or veteran status, or any other protected classification, in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws. 


Planet is an inclusive community and we know that everyone has their own needs. If you have a disability or special need that requires accommodation during the interview process, please call Planet's front office at 669-214-9404 or contact your recruiter with your request. Your message will be confidential and we will be happy to assist you.

Privacy Policy: By clicking "Apply Now" at the top of this job posting, I acknowledge that I have read the Planet Data Privacy Notice for California Staff Members and Applicants, and hereby consent to the collection, processing, use, and storage of my personal information as described therein.

Privacy Policy (European Applicants): By clicking "Apply Now" at the top of this job posting, I acknowledge that I have read the Candidate Privacy Notice GDPR Planet Labs Europe, and hereby consent to the collection, processing, use, and storage of my personal information as described therein.

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