Opto-Mechanical Engineer at Planet

Posted on:
April 5, 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:  

The Mechanical Engineering team at Planet is seeking an Opto-Mechanical Engineer to help drive the design of payloads in Planet’s fleet of Earth-imaging satellites. Your mission will be to champion our payload design efforts, with a specific focus on opto-mechanical design and manufacturing. The ideal candidate will be a seasoned opto-mechanical designer who has led optical system engineering efforts across multiple programs from conceptual design through flight. As a member of the Mechanical Engineering team within Planet’s Space Systems division, you will be a key contributor and stakeholder in Planet’s agile aerospace approach to spacecraft design, and will work hand-in-glove with structural analysis, thermal engineering,  and reliability & qualification, as well as the rest of Planet’s leading-edge spacecraft design and manufacturing teams.

Impact You’ll Own:

Own the opto-mechanical design and manufacturing process of optical payloads on Planet’s next-generation satellites

Design the manufacturing line for mid-volume production of optical payloads. Make first principle based, data-driven decisions throughout the design process to ensure efficient assembly and test processes

Collaborate with structural analysis team to drive / perform analyses on optical payloads to meet stiffness and strength requirements and ensure launch survivability and on-orbit performance as well as STOP analysis

Drive part / assembly design, fabrication at key vendors, failure analysis, and tolerance stackup/GD&T analyses

Drive documentation and presentation of new designs throughout design process, e.g. across design review gates

Support test planning and qualification test campaigns

Be hands on with flight and test hardware. We like engineers who get their hands dirty

What You Bring:

5+ years experience owning opto-mechanical products from requirements, through conceptual design, and test and manufacturing

Experience designing for high-reliability space environments– designing for launch survivability, vacuum, on-orbit thermal conditions (STOP), etc

Experience with design and fabrication of glass/composite/metallic/ceramic assemblies, epoxies, mechanisms, and electrical components in the context of opto-mechanical systems

Seasoned experience in and passion for analyzing and root-causing problems quickly and efficiently

Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering or other related engineering or science degree

Experience motivating oneself and giving a s  sense of ownership over one’s work in a dynamic and fast-paced environment

Outstanding verbal and visual communication skills and passion for sharing your knowledge with those around you

What Makes You Stand Out:

Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering or other related engineering or science degree

7 years of experience designing and/or manufacturing opto-mechanics for space applications including: gimbals, focus mechanisms, afocals, etc.

Expertise in optics / opto-mechanical manufacturing, metrology, alignment and calibration

Proven ability to build out manufacturing line for precision optical systems

Ability to drive manufacturers and DFM/DFA

Proficiency in Matlab, Visual Basic, Python and/or C

Benefits While Working at Planet:

Comprehensive Health Plan

Wellness program and onsite massages in specific offices

Flexible Time Off

Recognition Programs

Commuter Benefits

Learning and Tuition Reimbursement

Parental Leave

Offsites and Happy Hours

Volunteering Benefits


The US base salary range for this full-time position at the commencement of employment is $128,400 - $160,500.  Additionally, this role might be eligible for discretionary short-term and long-term incentives (bonus and equity). The final salary range is determined by job related experience, skills and location.  The range displays our typical hiring range for new hire salaries in US locations only.  Your recruiter can share more about the specific salary range for your preferred location during the hiring process.


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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