Technologist II

Job Details

Job ID: 11027

New ideas are all around us, but only a few will change the world. That’s our focus at JPL. We ask the biggest questions, then search the universe for answers—literally. We build upon ideas that have guided generations, then share our discoveries to inspire generations to come. Your mission—your opportunity—is to seek out the answers that bring us one step closer. If you’re driven to discover, create, and inspire something that lasts a lifetime and beyond, you’re ready for JPL.


With an unmatched history creating groundbreaking advances in science and technology, JPL has been in the space exploration business since the beginning. Located in Pasadena, California, JPL has a campus-like environment situated on 177 acres in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and offers a work environment unlike any other: we inspire passion, foster innovation, build collaboration, and reward excellence.


We resonate with people who are looking for ways to go further and offer an opportunity to be part of a team of passionate and dedicated engineers working with some of the world’s best capabilities and cutting- edge technology in science, technology, and engineering. The pride of working at JPL’s (NASA and Caltech) innovative work culture; we offer a comprehensive benefits plan, relocation, tuition reimbursement and generous Caltech retirement contributions.


The Tracking Systems and Application Section provides world-leading capability and expertise in a wide range of technologies that are critical to spacecraft tracking and related applications. The Section supports NASA's deep-space missions by providing to the JPL navigators unique and extremely precise radiometric sources and data types. The Section provides the Deep Space Network (DSN) with precision atomic frequency and time references and distribution systems. The Section also delivers to JPL navigators a host of other products that are required for deep space navigation such as celestial and terrestrial reference frame coordinates, Earth orientation parameters, and calibrations to account for the effects of the Earth's troposphere and ionosphere on radiofrequency metric tracking data-types.


For terrestrial and near-Earth users the Section offers the highest accuracy Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)-based positioning and timing products and services. The Section also performs extensive scientific investigations using its technologies in the areas of planetary dynamics, astrophysics, astrometry and radio astronomy, gravitational waves, geophysics, and fundamental physics.


You will be a Research Technologist in the Near-Earth Tracking Applications (NETA) Group undertaking cutting-edge research in the processing of primarily Global Navigation and Satellite Systems (GNSS) data using our GipsyX data processing software, which is developed in-house but utilized by hundreds of users across academia, government, and commercial sectors. This software is used to perform precise positioning of terrestrial GNSS stations, precise orbit determination of GNSS constellations (such as GPS) and precise orbit determination of low-Earth orbiters with GNSS receivers on-board, including current missions to measure sea-level rise and the Earth's gravity field. You will help develop and test new GipsyX-based software to undertake precision orbit determination for JPL’s upcoming NISAR synthetic aperture radar mission and also be a key member of the operational team who will determine NISAR’s orbit.  You will also process data from global networks of GNSS receivers to determine the orbits and clocks of GNSS constellations which are needed to determine the orbits of NISAR and many other flight missions. You will use skills in Python and C++ to develop and/or maintain GipsyX software, and develop scripts and programs to manage large global data sets and undertake orbit determination. You will use data analysis skills to optimize accuracy and reliability of orbit determination. You will contribute to research in fields such as satellite orbit determination, satellite geodesy, reference frame determination, and altimetry, including publications in the peer-reviewed literature.



  • Bachelors degree in Engineering, Math, Physics, or related technical discipline with typically a minimum of 3 years of related experience; Masters degree in similar disciplines with a minimum of 1 year of related experience; or PhD in similar disciplines required. 
  • Broad knowledge in one or more of the following related fields: probability/statistics, linear algebra, large dataset analysis, mathematical modeling, parameter estimation.
  • Extensive knowledge of applicable industry and/or academic practices and standards in Python and/or C++ programming languages.
  • Broad knowledge in one or more of the following related fields: geophysics, one or more of the satellite geodetic techniques (GNSS, VLBI, SLR, DORIS), orbit determination, altimetry, celestial/orbital mechanics, Kalman filtering, reference frames, impact of troposphere and ionosphere on signal propagation.
  • Experience developing large data analysis software packages and analyzing large global data sets.
  • Interest in performing research in satellite orbit determination, satellite geodesy and altimetry.
  • Experience with internet communication protocols.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to work in large teams. 

In summary, the NETA group develops cutting edge GNSS tracking and science technologies in support of NASA, defense, and commercial flight projects, as well as and advanced research and applications. Come and join our dynamic team!

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