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Sr. Principal Systems Engineer-Top Secret (Satellite/Space Systems)

Requisition ID: R10083540

  • Category IconCategory: Engineering
  • Location IconLocation: Dulles, VA, USA
  • Citizenship IconCitizenship Required: United States Citizenship
  • Clearance IconClearance Type: Top Secret
  • Telecommute IconTelecommute: No- Teleworking not available for this position
  • Shift IconShift: 1st Shift (United States of America)
  • Travel IconTravel Required: Yes, 10% of the Time
  • Positions IconPositions Available: 1

At Northrop Grumman, our employees have incredible opportunities to work on revolutionary systems that impact people's lives around the world today, and for generations to come. Our pioneering and inventive spirit has enabled us to be at the forefront of many technological advancements in our nation's history - from the first flight across the Atlantic Ocean, to stealth bombers, to landing on the moon. We look for people who have bold new ideas, courage and a pioneering spirit to join forces to invent the future, and have fun along the way. Our culture thrives on intellectual curiosity, cognitive diversity and bringing your whole self to work — and we have an insatiable drive to do what others think is impossible. Our employees are not only part of history, they're making history.

The ESPAStar line of vehicles is a highly dynamic, schedule aggressive line of vehicles that are the freight train to space. The mission is configured in a product line approach, with the basis of each program a build-to-print spacecraft bus that serves as a hosting platform for 6 ports worth of payloads – sometimes approaching 12-20 payloads. Every vehicle has a unique payload loadout, and every payload brings new missions, new technologies, and new customers. We’re looking for people that are looking to work responsive space, be vendor and customer facing, and help contribute to both a specific mission and a product line.

This position will support the ESPAStar line of spacecraft products as a Payload Platform Lead and is located in Dulles, VA supporting our Tactical Space Systems Division.


  • Develop payload specific ICD documenting all mechanical, electrical, and functional interfaces to the host ESPAStar

  • Track and status giver-receiver documentation necessary for integration and testing

  • Develop testing scripting material for early risk reduction testing and flight hardware performance/functional testing

  • Coordinate specific requirements and accommodation requests from the payload to the host platform

  • Assist payload vendor and customer with development of operational mission and scenarios for the payload Develop and execute on-orbit procedures

  • Support launch site integration considerations for payload

  • Support host platform systems engineering efforts; requirements, verification, test planning, environmental test campaigns

  • Support integrated platform status and comprehensive mission evaluation Maintain platform level schedule cognizance for integration schedule

  • Incorporate product line process and material to support platform specific tailoring When required, engage with mission integrators to assist in the development of mission specific platform conduct

  • Manage the planning and technical interface for ESPAStar vehicles to auxiliary payloads, both separable and hosted.

  • Responsible for the direct interface for one or more payloads on a platform, and the comprehensive payload integration picture across a platform.

  • Work products include development of payload specific accommodation interface documents, (ICD’s), weekly interface meeting and reporting for one or more payloads, supervision of specific payload technical design accommodation, support for payload testing during environmental and single line flow, support to on-orbit operations and checkout of payload.

  • Payload lead will report weekly status on the integration flow, specific accommodations from external segments for payloads, and overall payload integration progress for a platform.

  • Payload Lead will have some leadership responsibilities in advising, supervising, and supporting junior payload engineering team members.

  • Position will include some travel to launch locations and supporting meetings with customers and vendors.

Basic Qualifications: 

  • Must have U.S. Citizenship with a current or active Top Secret level clearance, SCI eligible.

  • This position requires a BS degree in Engineering, Science or related technical field and at least 9 years of applicable experience, an MS Degree and 7 years of applicable experience, or a PhD Degree and 4 years of applicable experience.

  • Systems engineering experience

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with a space development program

  • Experience presenting to customers

  • Experience working with a cross-discipline team

Salary Range: $129,700 USD - $194,500 USD

Employees may be eligible for a discretionary bonus in addition to base pay. Annual bonuses are designed to reward individual contributions as well as allow employees to share in company results. Employees in Vice President or Director positions may be eligible for Long Term Incentives. In addition, Northrop Grumman provides a variety of benefits including health insurance coverage, life and disability insurance, savings plan, Company paid holidays and paid time off (PTO) for vacation and/or personal business.

The health and safety of our employees and their families is a top priority. The company encourages employees to remain up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccinations. U.S. Northrop Grumman employees may be required, in the future, to be vaccinated or have an approved disability/medical or religious accommodation, pursuant to future court decisions and/or government action on the currently stayed federal contractor vaccine mandate under Executive Order 14042

Northrop Grumman is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce. We are proud to be an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer, making decisions without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, national origin, age, veteran status, disability, or any other protected class. For our complete EEO/AA and Pay Transparency statement, please visit U.S. Citizenship is required for most positions.

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What's great about
Northrop Grumman

  1. Be part of a culture that thrives on intellectual curiosity, cognitive diversity and bringing your whole self to work.
  2. Use your skills to build and deliver innovative tech solutions that protect the world and shape a better future.
  3. Enjoy benefits like work-life balance, education assistance and paid time off.

Did you know?

Northrop Grumman leads the industry team for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, the largest, most complex and powerful space telescope ever built. Launched in December 2021, the telescope incorporates innovative design, advanced technology, and groundbreaking engineering, and will fundamentally alter our understanding of the universe.