Hardware Engineer – OBC

Hardware Engineer – OBC

Position Description
Subsystem Summary:

The On-Board Computer or On-Board Data Handling subsystem is responsible for designing and implementing the hardware and software for microcontrollers that control all basic functions of the satellite. This includes communication with all other subsystems, implementation of space standards, and data storage.

As a hardware engineer, you will be responsible for designing the OBC’s electronics, electrical integration with other subsystems, and digital logic. You will also be in charge of PCB (Printed Circuit Board) designs in cooperation with other subsystems. In this position, you will learn how to create real-life designs capable of withstanding the space environment, how to rigorously perform functional & environmental tests, and how to combine all these elements to create an actual space mission.

Position Description:
  • Hardware and electrical interface design
  • Interface and testing of ICs
  • PCB design and troubleshooting
  • Code and design reviews
  • Development of test procedures and test execution at subsystem level, end-to-end tests with the spacecraft
  • Assistance of other subsystems in digital electronics & microcontrollers
  • Identification and troubleshooting of issues with the satellite subsystem, and work with the Systems Engineering team for resolution
Preferred Skills and Education:

Any of the following skills will be useful to an aspiring hardware engineer wishing to join us:

  • Ability to work and design collaboratively in a multi-disciplinary team
  • Experience with electronics, hardware and/or PCB design
  • Experience with programming in C or C++
  • Experience with communication protocols (UART, I2C, SPI, CAN), electronic testing equipment
  • Experience with microcontrollers (e.g. based on ARM, AVR, PIC, or Arduino)
  • Familiarity with digital design, digital interface ICs, or FPGAs
  • Familiarity with soldering
Optional Joint Position (with Science Unit):

This position can be extended as a joint position with the Science Unit, which is responsible for designing and implementing the on-board experiment, probing the dynamic response of eukaryotic cells’ molecular behavior in the conditions of Low Earth Orbit. During this collaboration, you will work closely with members of both subsystems for additional activities such as:

  • Design of the PCB boards (main & excitation board) of the Science Unit
  • Work on specialized experiment-related hardware (such as camera sensors, pumps and valves) and their electrical interface design
  • Work on communication protocols (USB, UART, I2C, SPI, CAN) and electronic testing equipment
  • Experimenting with supplementary lab equipment, such as reprogramming a 3D printer for microarray experiments

Note: The Software Engineer and Hardware Engineer positions are neither mutually exclusive nor destined for only one recruit each! Rather, they represent the different types of work performed in the subsystem.