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Senior Principal Optical Engineer (Active TS Clearance Required)

Requisition ID: R10046398

  • Category IconCategory: Engineering
  • Location IconLocation: East Hartford, Connecticut, United States of America
  • 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.

Adaptive Optics Associates – Xinetics (AOA Xinetics), a wholly-owned Northrop Grumman Space Systems, Payload and Ground Systems Division Business Venture, has an exciting opportunity for a Senior Principal Optical Engineer to support Special Programs business activities in East Hartford, CT.

AOA Xinetics (AOX) designs and manufactures mission critical optical and photonic solutions. We serve markets worldwide including defense (ISR, directed energy, laser communications), industrial (freight logistics, semiconductor) and scientific (astronomy). Since its inception, AOX has been ‘working light’ for the betterment of our customers, the protection of our nation and the advancement of humankind.


Reporting directly to the Special Programs Optical Engineering Manager, the Senior Principal Optical Engineer will perform as a member of an interdisciplinary team of engineers and scientists on different project assignments to develop novel and innovative solutions to advanced technical problems. You will conduct research and development into physical optics, lasers, and advanced optical communications systems.  You will design, develop, build and test systems and products based on optic, photonic and laser technologies.  Additionally, you will develop mathematical models for simulation and analysis of optical and electro-optical systems.  The successful engineer will be responsible for the overall development of optical systems, including: specifying, selecting and qualifying active and passive optical components, developing and benchmarking system performance models, and implementing test procedures.

Responsibilities include:

  • Design and analyze optical components and subsystems

  • Specify optical components for fabrication by Qualified Suppliers

  • Develop test plans and perform testing of fiber optic components and subsystems

  • Contribute to the development of innovative solutions to difficult problems

  • Design micro-optical systems for fiber-optic applications

  • Perform testing on optical assemblies and photonic systems

  • Document designs and test results

  • Present results to customers

  • Lead teams of engineers and technicians in the pursuit of program goals, and complete tasks according to schedule, budget and design objectives

  • Additional responsibilities include support of proposal teams, and working with customers on product definition

Basic Qualifications:

  • BS in Physics or Optics with 10+ years’ experience, or 6+ years’ experience with a MS in Physics or Optics

  • Hands-on skills for assembly and testing of designs

  • Experience with precision optical, micro-optic and/or fiber optic communication components

  • Experience with optical instrumentation, such as optical spectrum analyzers, laser sources and power meters.

  • Understanding of fiber optic transmission, communication theory, advanced optical signal coding and modulation formats, and network architecture

  • Knowledge and experience with fiber optic systems and components, such as lasers, modulators, EDFAs, dispersion compensators, fibers, passive components, receivers, and high-speed optical modules and sub-systems

  • Great problem solving and troubleshooting skills

  • Good verbal and written communications skills for presentation of technical approaches, work performed, results, and findings

  • US Citizenship is a bona fide requirement as Applicants selected will be subject to a government security investigation and must meet eligibility requirements for access to classified information

  • Active Top Secret clearance

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in DoD, or Aerospace product development and manufacturing
    modulation formats

  • Understanding of fiber optic transmission, communication theory, advanced optical signal coding and, and network architecture

  • Experience with commercial optical transport products, including 40G/100G coherent systems

  • Experience with transmission modeling software (such as VPI)

  • Knowledge of computer instrumentation control

  • Knowledge of LabVIEW, MATLAB and Python programming languages

    Salary Range: $138,300 USD - $207,500 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.