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Sr. / Principal RF Electrical Engineer (Top Secret) – Space / Satellite Systems (Dulles, VA)

Requisition ID: R10077751

  • CategoryCategory: Engineering
  • LocationLocation: Dulles, VA, USA
  • Citizenship RequirementsCitizenship Required: United States Citizenship
  • Security Clearance TypeClearance Type: None
  • TelecommuteTelecommute: Yes-May consider hybrid teleworking for this position
  • ShiftShift: Days (United States of America)
  • Travel RequirementsTravel Required: Yes, 10% of the Time
  • Relocation AssistanceRelocation Assistance: Relocation assistance may be available
  • Number of Positions AvailablePositions 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.

We have an opening for an RF Electrical Engineer to join our team of qualified, diverse individuals in the Tactical Space organization. This position will be located in Dulles, VA.

In this role, you will work as an RF/Analog design engineer developing SDR and other components for satellite communications applications. As a senior principal engineer, you will have a senior role in a small team to define and design robust RF solutions while working within system constraints on mass, power, and volume.

To be successful you should have:

  • Strong technical skills coupled with the ability to operate within a fast-paced environment
  • Ability to work with others from engineering and non-engineering disciplines in a fast-paced team environment
  • Good oral presentation skills and comfort with customer interaction. Ability to write technical documents clearly and concisely
  • Well organized and able to keep track of and make progress on multiple simultaneous tasks
  • Strong skills in Microsoft Office (particularly Excel, Word and PowerPoint)

In particular, you will be involved in:

  • Design of software defined radio (SDR) and other RF components for satellite communication systems
  • Design and analysis of communications systems for satellite and interplanetary applications. You must be familiar with RF analyses such as link budgets, digital modulation/coding, gain/loss budgets, noise figure, etc.
  • Requirements flow-down from top-level customer document through subsystem-level definition to component-level specification. You will be expected to produce clear, concisely written documents that will be used as the technical basis for high dollar value procurements
  • Prepare and present design reviews for internal and external customers. You will have regular interaction with the internal engineering and program management team as well as the external customer
  • Requirements verification based on customer’s top-level requirements compared to subcontractor and prime contractor actual implementation. You will need to be able to concisely summarize findings and present them to the end customer
  • Subcontractor management (some travel required) and manufacturing interface definition including performance specification, interface control drawing, and statement of work generation. You will work with potential subcontractors to ensure any technical solution meets the top-level customer's needs while satisfying system and program constraints
  • Support integration and test of the communications system including unit-level functional and environmental testing, spacecraft level testing, and in-orbit checkout (some travel and occasional shift work required)

This position can be filled at the Principal or Sr. Principal level.

Basic Qualifications:

Principal Engineer

  • BSEE (or related field) with some combination of the following course work: microwave theory, satellite communications, radio-wave propagation, electromagnetics, antennas. Good understanding of communications and microwave theory
  • 5 years of experience with a Bachelors; or 3 years with a Masters; or a PhD
  • Experience with RF circuit card design of software defined Radios
  • Experience with performing RF analysis and trade studies to meet RF performance parameters including (Gain, noise figure, Intercept point, stability, power consumption, etc).
  • Hands on experience with RF test equipment such as spectrum analyzers, signal generators, oscilloscopes, digital multimeters, arbitrary waveform generators, etc.
  • Experience with digital waveforms such as WCDMA, BPSK, QPSK, and DVB-SX. Additionally, experience with and understanding of RF designs and validation test to support these waveforms
  • Experience with RF simulation tools such as Microwave office, ADS, or other simulation tools
  • US Citizenship with an active Top Secret security clearance

Preferred Qualifications:

  • MSEE  (or related field) a strong plus
  • TS/SCI security clearance
  • Experience leading small engineering teams in development or production of RF systems
  • Familiar with engineering analysis tools such as MATLAB or Mathcad, and support tools such as Visual Basic for Applications
  • Experience with cost account management for engineering portion of multi-year program, including cost and labor hour estimating, task scheduling and earned value tracking
  • Experience or understanding of antenna design
  • Experience with HFSS
  • Experience with analog design of various circuits such as Opamps, regulators, feedback loops, power supply, etc.

The Northrop Grumman Tactical Space Division is a strategic partner specializing in commercial and classified partnerships with the design, delivery, operation and sustainment of satellites and human spacecraft.  We support science and space exploration through our various partnerships, including NASA’s Artemis program with the goal to return humans to the Moon in 2024 and the TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) program that has discovered more than twenty confirmed plants.  Recognized as an industry leader, we also develop highly specialized space and satellite components. 

Northrop Grumman offers a competitive and robust benefits program.

As a full-time employee of Northrop Grumman, you are eligible for our robust benefits package including:


Dental & Vision coverage


Educational Assistance

Life Insurance

Employee Assistance Programs & Work/Life Solutions

Paid Time Off

Health & Wellness Resources

Employee Discounts

Flexible Schedules (For example the ability to work a 9/80 work schedule, which allows an employee to work a nine-hour day Monday through Thursday and take every other Friday off of work)

For more details please visit our total rewards site or chat with one of our recruiters to learn more.





Space System










Salary Range: $101,400 USD - $152,200 USD
Salary Range 2: $125,800 USD - $188,600 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.