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Job Details

Requisition Number 18-0037
Post Date 3/15/2018
Title Observatory Simulations Engineer, JWST
City Baltimore
State MD
Description Take part in a NASA mission at the forefront of astronomy in a job that offers an excellent benefits package, tuition reimbursement, competitive salaries, and a stimulating and diverse work environment. The James Webb Space Telescope 's (JWST) Flight Operations Team at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), located on the Johns Hopkins University Campus in Baltimore, MD, is seeking an Observatory Simulations Engineer.

***Your Role***

As an Observatory Simulations Engineer (OSE), you support a small team of ground system experts to ensure the JWST observatory is operating normally. You lead the operation and configuration of the JWST Observatory simulators, ensuring simulator availability to support validation of operational flight products and new ground system software.
You bring your knowledge of flight operations, observatory subsystems, simulator fidelity and flight product testing. You interact with and lead a team including the JWST Spacecraft Subsystem Engineers, Science Instrument Engineers, Ground System Developers and Observatory Simulator Developers to accomplish their assigned work.

During on-orbit operations, you oversee activities using the JWST simulators, and configure them as necessary to support testing activities. You coordinate simulator configurations, set-up and scenarios to ensure they match on-orbit configurations, and monitor and analyze the performance of the JWST simulators, identifying and solving problems with any anomalies that might arise.

Prior to launch, you develop simulation scenarios, operational processes/procedures, write documentation and attend programmatic reviews to support the JWST simulators. During this period, simulators are also a key resource for preparing for and conducting the mission rehearsals and training exercises required by the mission operations team.

This is an 8-hour day position with expectation that during launch and commissioning and other special tests before launch, some shift work and additional hours are required. In addition, since the position is responsible for supporting anomaly response and troubleshooting, there is an expectation that on-call duties will be performed.

You are part of the larger JWST Flight Operations Team (FOT). As such, you support the JWST Flight Operations Manager in the planning and development of operational processes/procedures, documents and programmatic reviews in addition to your primary role. This position falls within the Operations and Engineering Division of STScI in the Ground Systems Engineering Branch.

During the pre-launch phase of the mission, you participate in flight segment I&T activities to become familiar with the hardware and operations conducted during testing. The OSE contributes to mission launch rehearsals, mission operations practice and other training activities. These training activities will provide experience and form part of the core training as well as provide the knowledge base for development of the simulator products and procedures required for nominal operations. As such, you are also responsible for the coordination and development of simulator products (scenarios, Standard Operating Procedures, etc.) used to conduct simulator operations as well as coordinating and leading the Project Reference Database content required/deployed on the various simulators.


***About You*** We invite applicants with a minimum of a BS Degree in Computer Science, Information Systems, Engineering or similar field to apply. Substitution of additional relevant education or experience for stated qualifications may be considered. 5 to 10 years of progressively responsible experience in flight operations with a minimum of 1 to 3 years of that experience in a role of primary simulator scenarios developer and simulator configuration manager for an operational mission, including:

• Thorough understanding of flight operations

• Experience with large/complex ground systems used to control and monitor space based astronomical observatories

• Experience operating large/complex spacecraft simulation systems

• Experience scripting the operations of spacecraft simulators • Experience using, analyzing, maintaining and troubleshooting sophisticated telemetry and command systems as well as writing procedures using advanced scripting languages to conduct operations

• Technical writing experience, including prior experience writing requirements, decomposing requirements into lower level requirements and preparing acceptance test procedures

• Demonstrated ability to interact with numerous contractors, institutional organizations, external partners and agencies

• Prior experience in ground system, spacecraft or instrument integration and test will be considered an asset

• Prior experience with a Raytheon ECLIPSE based Telemetry and Command System will be considered an asset

• Available/capable to travel: Required for local meeting support at Goddard Space Flight Center as well as occasional travel to the observatory simulator developer in Los Angeles, California

• Candidates must be a US citizen or Permanent Resident for ITAR clearance

To Apply: Interested candidates are requested to complete an on-line application through our website at or the “Apply Online” link at the bottom of this posting. Please provide a resume in the "Resume Upload Section." Please include job #18-0037 in the filename. Applications received by April 9, 2018 will receive full consideration. AURA, as a leader in the astronomical community, is committed to diversity and inclusion. AURA develops and supports programs that advance our organizational commitment to diversity, broaden participation, and encourage the advancement of diversity throughout the astronomical scientific workforce. Learn more at


As a recipient of U.S. Government funding, AURA is considered a government contractor and is subject to Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action regulations. As an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer, AURA and all of the centers, do not discriminate based on race, sex, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity/gender identity expression, lawful political affiliations, veteran status, disability, and/or any other legally protected status under applicable federal, state, and local equal opportunity laws. The statements below as well as the requests for self-identification are required pursuant to these regulations. We encourage your participation in meeting these federal reporting requirements which are included for protection and to assist us in our record keeping and reporting. Your responses are kept strictly confidential.

STScI sees the diversity of our staff as a strategic priority in our desire to create a first-rate scientific community. We reflect that deep commitment in strongly encouraging women, minorities, veterans and disabled individuals to apply for these opportunities.

Individuals with disabilities, veterans or wounded warriors needing assistance with the employment process can contact us at EOE/AA/M/F/D/V Voted to the Baltimore Magazine Hall of Fame in 2015 – Top 25 Places to Work in Baltimore.

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  • Please view Equal Employment Opportunity Posters provided by OFCCP here.
  • The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor's legal duty to furnish information. 41 CFR 60-1.35(c)
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