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SpaceAlpha Job Board

Thermal Engineer, Space Systems

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada .
full-time . July 19, 2022


The Alpha Insights team is building the world's premier space-based and super-high-resolution, Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite technology. Our mission is to pair Alpha's SAR-XL technology with a predictive analytics platform—delivering unprecedented global insights for precision agriculture, environmental monitoring, supply chain tracking, security, and more. 
Alpha Insights' next-generation SAR satellite technology is designed to provide broad coverage and ultra-high-resolution data that can penetrate biomass, soil, and sand. This dual, X and L band, SAR features real-time processing and space-based AI for use in diverse applications—everything from farming to market research. 
The Thermal Engineer, Space Systems will be part of the team responsible for Thermal design, analysis and testing of Alpha’s electronics and Antenna subsystems. As well, the Thermal Engineer will be required to lead the antenna thermal analysis based on the thermal radiation environment in space. Another key component of the work associated with this position will be the development of thermal qualification test campaigns and environments.

The work will involve all aspects of the project life cycle including requirements, design, development, qualification testing, release, and maintenance. You will be expected to work with external suppliers, consultants and partners at the spacecraft level of thermal interaction. Working as part of a multi-disciplinary technical team, you will also participate in defining the overall payload and spacecraft. 

The Thermal Engineer will be expected to support the mechanical developments as necessary and should be able to perform meaningful reviews of the mechanical designs and analysis performed by other members of the team.  
Required Skills 
  • Development of finite element thermal models of the Spacecraft, Payloads and Units using state-of-the-art knowledge and techniques. 
  • Heat transfer analysis of primary and secondary payload items. 
  • Thermal design using active and passive cooling systems used in space industry 
  • Thermo-elastic and thermal fatigue analysis, and their effects on design of mechanisms and electronics. 
  • Perform test preparation activities including the design of ancillary equipment. 
  • Creation, maintenance and modification of CAD & FEM models. 
  • Definition and verification of structural and thermal performance and environmental requirements. 
  • Design of TVAC tests including instrumentation. Writing, reviewing and approval of test reports. 
  • Design, procurement and validation of GSE for thermal tests, jigs etc. for assembly 
  • Subcontractor management support to ensure their designs meet the thermal requirements and fit into the overall system. Reviewing their thermal and structural analyses and integration into our in-house models for system level analyses. 
  • Validation and correlation of the thermal models through both ground testing and on-orbit testing. 
  • Support the Assembly, Integration and Testing (AIT) of the spacecraft and space payloads with emphasis on thermal testing. 
 Additional Skills 
  • Excellent written and verbal communication 
  • Self-starter, with the ability to manage set objectives and execute with minimum supervision 
  • Team player 
  • Master’s or PhD (preferred) in Mechanical Engineering, or Engineering Physics with a Mechanical Major. 
  • 10+ years’ experience in CAD, FEM and Thermal analysis of mechanical systems for space is preferred, however applicants with a strong analytic or research background in the domain will be considered. 
  • Experience designing and analysing for a radiation centric environment is important.  
  • Experience designing housings for electronic units with challenging thermal requirements. 
  • Board level analysis of thermal performance, leading to reliability certification of EEE parts.  
  • Awareness of thermal control techniques, and materials in the space environment is important. 
  • CAD modeling using SolidWorks (strongly preferred) or other CAD packages - Asset; 
  • FEM analysis using Ansys, NASTRAN, Solidworks Simulation or other equivalent analysis tools is optional but desirable.; 
  • Experience in design of space payload units, subsystems or spacecraft bus 
  • Experience in active and passive cooling systems for spacecraft systems 

Know someone who would be a perfect fit? Let them know!