Principal GNC Engineer

Engineering Irvine, California


Be more than just an employee number! Join Terran Orbital, a leader in innovation, manufacturing, and operations in the satellite industry. We are a pioneer in the miniaturization of space technologies and the delivery of responsive space solutions. We are a unique, fast-growing, and trusted team focused on quickly and economically designing, building, launching, and operating state-of-the-art satellites for advanced mission constellations.

Terran Orbital is seeking an experienced Principal Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GNC) Engineer to join our growing team. Reporting to the Lead GNC Engineer the Principal Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GNC) Engineer will join a collaborative team developing innovative small satellite vehicle solutions for multiple projects. The candidate will be responsible for a wide range of analysis, software, hardware, testing, integration, and documentation in a fast-paced environment.

  Key Duties and Responsibilities

  • Design, analysis, implementation, and testing of Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GNC) algorithms for spacecraft
  • Develop and maintain high-fidelity 6-DOF simulations with MATLAB/Simulink
  • Support vehicle control system architecture sizing and definition
  • Perform software-in-the-loop and hardware-in-the-loop testing
  • Provide technical inputs and support for proposal efforts
  • Support mission operations and anomaly resolution
  • Provide technical mentorship and peer review for coworkers
  • Perform all other duties assigned

 Qualifications and Skills

  • Master’s Degree in an engineering field with a concentration in dynamics and control
  • Minimum of 12 years of related work experience
  • Must have experience leading teams and mentoring entry-level engineers
  • Demonstrated GNC engineering and software development using MATLAB and Simulink
  • Strong fundamental understanding of orbital dynamics and classical mechanics
  • Highly motivated, self-starting, and able to perform duties autonomously without supervision
  • Passion for the new space industry

 Additional Differentiators

  • Ph.D. in Dynamics and controls is highly desired
  • Experience with autonomy for satellite constellation maintenance, orbit maintenance, station keeping, and collision avoidance
  • Low and high thrust trajectory design and optimization
  • Flight dynamics, Monte, navigation, orbit determination and mission operations for GEO and deep space
  • Experience with the design of spacecraft flexible body control, Kalman Filtering, jitter analysis, rendezvous, proximity operations, and docking (RPOD), fault detection, isolation, recovery.
  • Hands-on experience with small satellites, robotic systems, or similar
  • C++ and Python, experience


  • 100% Company-paid comprehensive medical, dental, and vision coverage for you and your dependents
  • Employee Equity Incentive Program
  • 401(k) Match
  • Unlimited PTO

Salary Range: $160,000-$200,000

Your actual level and base salary will be determined case-by-case and may vary based on the job-related qualification, knowledge, skills, education, and experience. In addition to base salary, we offer equity for each employee, 100% covered medical, dental, and vision coverage, a 401(k) match, unlimited flex time off, covered life insurance, maternity and paternity leave, tuition reimbursement, employee referrals, and lots of swag!


To comply with U.S. Government space technology export regulations, applicant must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State.  In addition, please note that this position may also require the possession of an existing United States National Security clearance or eligibility for such a clearance.


Founded in 2013 in Irvine, California, with headquarters in Boca Raton, Florida. Terran Orbital Corporation is a leading vertically integrated provider of end-to-end satellite solutions. Terran Orbital combines satellite design, production, launch planning, mission operations, and in-orbit support to meet the needs of the most demanding military, civil, and commercial customers. In addition, Terran Orbital is developing the world’s largest, most advanced NextGen Earth Observation constellation to provide persistent, real-time earth imagery.

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Terran Orbital is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. We consider applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, disability, genetic information, or membership in any other group protected by federal, state, or local law.