Director of Spacecraft Operations

Umbra

Umbra

Operations
Santa Barbara, CA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Umbra builds next-generation space systems that observe the Earth in unprecedented fidelity.

Our mission: Deliver global omniscience.

To stay ahead of climate change, geopolitical risk, and other major crises and issues, we need a global understanding of what is changing, where, and how fast. Umbra provides easy access to the highest quality commercial satellite data available, which is an indispensable tool for the growing number of organizations monitoring the Earth. We empower our customers to create the solutions that inform, inspire, and address our planet’s most pressing needs. We’re helping to create a brand new industry that has never meaningfully existed before.

We are looking for a talented, mission driven Director of Spacecraft Operations to lead our talented Spacecraft Operations Team. We value continuous improvement and optimization and strive every day to be better. The ideal individual has technical expertise on both spacecraft systems and cloud enabled ground architectures and experience with operating a semi-automated constellation of earth observation satellites. The individual should be able to provide significant architectural guidance and become intimately familiar with how Umbra’s software and hardware systems interact. This position works to bring a big picture perspective to the table to continually advance our space operations capabilities, automation, and the operational reliability of Umbra’s growing constellation of satellites. Additionally, they will collaborate with different departments within the organization to integrate new tools, methods, and technologies that enhance our suite of orbital capabilities and expand our range of product offerings. Remote considered with regular travel to Santa Barbara.

Key Responsibilities

  • Provide technical and personnel guidance for spacecraft operations, drawing upon deep experience and leadership skills.
  • Translate high-level objectives into actionable guidance for spacecraft operations, focusing on constellation performance and user experience.
  • Lead the optimization radar satellite and software systems, utilizing technical expertise for continual improvement.
  • Collaborate with Mission Operations teams and business leaders to integrate new capabilities iteratively and strategically.
  • Provide technical and personnel guidance for spacecraft operations, drawing upon deep experience and leadership skills.
  • Translate high-level objectives into actionable guidance for spacecraft operations, focusing on constellation performance and user experience.
  • Lead and optimize radar satellite and software systems, utilizing technical expertise for continual improvement.
  • Collaborate with Mission Operations teams and business leaders to integrate new capabilities iteratively and strategically.
  • Communicate key concepts effectively to team members, fostering a culture of openness and collaboration.
  • Operate within a lean agile team focused on technical excellence and customer satisfaction.
  • Possess familiarity with cryptographic key-management techniques and lead key management processes.
  • Hold signature authority for anomaly and counterspace reports.
  • Make decisions on non-recoverable operations in collaboration with the VP of Mission Operations.
  • Exercise decision authority for conjunction avoidance and maneuver plan approvals as required.

Basic Qualifications

  • Build, manage, and maintain high-performing operational teams, including organization, management, and task prioritization.
  • Possess exceptional management skills, encompassing empathy to understand and support their team, the ability to inspire peak performance through effective leadership, active listening to address concerns and foster collaboration, and a driving commitment to achieve stellar results every day.
  • Serve as the primary interface with internal customers for Spacecraft Operations needs.
  • Demonstrate initiative for technical excellence and promote a DevOps mindset, providing collaborative technical leadership.
  • Possess deep expertise in On-orbit trouble shooting.
  • Possess knowledge of SW architecture and trade spaces for C3 and Scheduling sufficient to serve as the primary customer for these systems ongoing evolution.
  • 5+ years’ of Python development – or similar.
  • Experience working with APIs and cloud deployed micro-services.
  • Coach and mentor junior engineers to enhance the technical strength of the team.
  • Collaborate effectively in a fast-paced team environment within a lean agile framework, with a passion to learn new skills and technologies
  • Leverage a background in both software and aerospace to drive the integration of ground and flight software developments with mission control requirements.
  • Employ strong teambuilding skills to engage necessary experts from across the company for troubleshooting and optimization.
  • Demonstrate strong interpersonal and managerial skills
  • Familiarity with flight software best practices for New-space architectures.
  • Attend meetings with external customers as necessary, with strong communications skills to create and deliver impactful material for internal and external audiences.

Desired Qualifications

  • Possess an advanced degree in a relevant field.
  • 5+ years’ experience with on orbit satellite operations with an emphasis on New-space architectures and managing constellations exceeding 12 spacecraft.
  • Proficient in using collaboration tools such as GitLab, JIRA, and Confluence to work effectively with teammates.
  • Skilled in writing requirements for operational features, including ground and flight software, with knowledge of spacecraft-level systems engineering trades.
  • Possess knowledge of SW architecture and trade spaces for C3 and Scheduling specific to proliferated constellations and cloud deployed systems.
  • Understand SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) or other Earth observation techniques.
  • Familiarity with communication schema, ground station networks and inter-satellite relays
  • Knowledgeable about the business aspects and operational dynamics of an earth remote sensing business, including the competitive landscape.
  • Understand regulatory constraints and processes related to satellite operations.
  • Willingness to provide in-person team leadership on a continual or at least intermittent basis.

Benefits

  • Flexible Time Off, Sick, Family & Medical Leave
  • Medical, Dental, Vision, Life, LTD, STD (employer funded)
  • Vol Life, Critical Illness, Accidental, Hospital Indemnity, Pet Insurance (employee funded)
  • 401k with 3% non-elective company contribution
  • Stock Options

Umbra is an Equal Opportunity Employer that is committed to inclusion and diversity. We take affirmative action to ensure equal opportunity for all applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, Veteran status, or other legally protected characteristics.

Employment Eligibility Verification:

In compliance with federal laws, all hired persons will be required to verify their identity and eligibility to work in the United States by completing the required Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9 Form) upon hire.

ITAR/EAR Requirements:

This position may include access to technology and/or data that is subject to U.S. export controls pursuant to ITAR and EAR. To comply with federal export controls, all persons hired must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, U.S. lawful permanent resident, refugee or asylee as defined by 8 U.S.C. § 1324b(a)(3), or must otherwise be eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State and/or U.S.Department of Commerce as applicable.

Pay Transparency:
This job posting may span more than one career level. To provide greater transparency to candidates, we share base ranges for all job postings regardless of state. We set standard base pay ranges for all roles based on function and level benchmarked against similar stage growth companies. Final offer amounts are determined by skills, responsibilities and relevant work experience.